Contact: Liz Katz or Tom Still at 608-442-7557

BROOKFIELD – Kohler Engine Division lead engineer Tom Engman will join two UW-Madison researchers at Thursday’s meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network’s Milwaukee chapter for a preview of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center and how it will help Wisconsin.

“Wisconsin has long been the small-engine capital of the world. As biofuels become a more commercially attractive option, it only makes sense that Wisconsin engine manufacturers such as Kohler will lead the way with innovative designs and solutions,” Wisconsin Innovation Network President Tom Still said.

The meeting will be held at Brookfield Suites Hotel and Convention Center, 1200 S. Moorland Road, just off I-94 in Brookfield. Registration and networking begins at 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon and the presentation at 12:30 p.m.

The cost is $25 for WIN members, $35 for non-members and included with WIN corporate memberships. To register online, go to

The most significant federal grant awarded to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in its history, a $125 million, five-year grant from the Department of Energy, will result in the cutting edge Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. The center will foster the research and technology necessary to convert cellulosic plant biomass – cornstalks, wood chips and perennial native grasses – to sources of energy for everything from cars to electrical power plants.
Also speaking will be Molly Jahn, dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and principal investigator Tim Donahue, who led the efforts to locate the center in Madison. The UW-Madison and UW System worked with a coalition that included Michigan State University and Wisconsin businesses.  The center coincides with a larger Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, a statewide effort focused on the development of fuel and energy resources from non-food sources in ways that promote regional economic growth and environmental stewardship. 

Co-sponsors of the event are:

-      Open Roads, a business growth and development services firm with significant experience and interest in the agri-food and fuels supply chain, life sciences, technologies, specialty and engineered products and business-to-business sectors, and;
-      Ethanol Technology, a rapidly growing Milwaukee-based firm which supplies fermentation ingredients and related expertise to the global ethanol industry.  Ethanol Technology is a business unit of Lallemand, Inc.
-       Irgens Development Partners, LLC, a real estate development firm dedicated to achieving customer, investor, employee, and community goals by creatively providing professional, results-oriented real estate solutions.

The Brookfield Suites Hotel and Convention Center, 1200 S. Moorland Road, is about 15 minutes west of downtown Milwaukee and about a mile south of Brookfield Square Mall. It is about two blocks south of I-94. Take the Moorland Road exit (Exit 301A) south; the hotel and its parking lots are on the left. The Advocate Room is accessed by turning left once inside the hotel lobby. Phone: 800-444-6044.

WIN is the membership subsidiary of the Wisconsin Technology Council, the science and tech policy advisers to the governor and the Legislature. To join WIN, go to or call Liz Katz at 608-442-7557, ext. 27.