Letter from Board Chair

Thanks to the enthusiastic support of all of our members, partners, and sponsors as well as the contributions of the M-WERC leadership team and staff, we made continuous and significant progress of fulfilling our mission to make the Midwest region a leader in the Energy, Power, and Control industries.

We successfully completed the first year of our M-WERC 2.0 initiatives, which re-focused the strategy and value proposition of our organization. Moving forward, we will focus our efforts in three important areas: strategic roadmaps and working groups, our Technology Innovation research program, and WERCBench Labs our entrepreneurial start-up program. In addition, recognizing that increasing membership plays a key role to a vibrant organization, we revamped and stream-lined our member recruitment and member retention processes.

Our M-WERC Working Groups and Committees continue to grow as a valuable resource for M-WERC members to expand activity in five important areas: Distributed Energy/Energy Storage, Industrial Energy Efficiency, Public Policy, Energy-Water Nexus, and Construction & Engineering. In addition, we continue to have wide-spread participation in member meetings with rich content that also enables extensive opportunities for networking.

Selected topics from last year’s meetings included Electric Grid Technologies including a panel discussion, Energy-Water Nexus Strategic Roadmap Presentation, and Smart City Technologies.

I am delighted to have accepted the Chairman position for a two-year period in July having previously been Vice-Chairman. In closing, I would like to thank our outgoing Chairman, Michael Corradini, Director, Wisconsin Energy Institute, for his outstanding guidance and leadership during his tenure. I look forward to continuing to fulfill our mission moving forward and especially to 2017.

Marvin Klowak
M-WERC Board Chairman
Global Vice-President, Research and Development
Briggs and Stratton Corporation

Research and Patents

Intellectual Property

One Patent Application was granted for Optical Current Sensing Technology

Two additional Patent Disclosures filed as a result of TI committee review of 2014-2015 research efforts – both are currently under review by University Patent Foundations.


Completed the first phase of the next generation Technology Innovation 2.0 strategy and operating plan scheduled for rollout in Q2 -2017.

Supported the formation of the first foundational element of an advanced manufacturing institute that combines a research member of M-WERC and a joint portfolio of experts from Wisconsin’s three major research universities.

Supported the DOE Better Building Challenge Project for the City of Milwaukee


Convened two workshops supporting technology roadmapping

Supported panel sessions for two open member meetings

Supported two technical conferences jointly sponsored with the Market and Industry Development Committee aligned with Industry Working Groups.

Road Mapping

Completed first Technology Innovation roadmap joining together Distributed Energy Resource Systems, Industrial Energy Efficiency, and Energy Storage

Held Technology Innovation workshops with three of the Research members and held on site visits with three others in review of the roadmap results.

Capability Support

Began phase two of the build out of the Energy Innovation Center with the commissioning of the EIC “maker space”.

Completed Phase I joint Study with EPRI and We Energies on proposed Century City microgrid.

Technology Innovation Outreach

Represented M-WERC at: • Presented at Two National Lab Symposiums • The IEEE – PES DER Panels • Presented at MISO – Market Symposium • Presented Two WPUI – Tutorials • Presented at two DOE-GWAC workshops

Working Groups and Committees

M-WERC’s committee and working group structure in 2016 grew to include the following nine teams. Some of these groups include a significant number of participants and organizations. The Distributed Energy and Energy Storage (DE/ES) Working Group for example has more than 80 individuals representing 32 member companies or partner organizations.

The Energy Water Nexus (EWN) working group was one of the most collaborative efforts developed through a partnership with The Water Council to produce the first of it’s kind industry roadmap.

  • Public Policy Committee: focused on member and education of energy policies

  • Workforce Development Committee: assessing workforce development needs in the energy, power and controls sector

  • Market and Industry Expansion Committee: oversees M-WERC Strategic Roadmapping activities

  • Technology Innovation Committee: directs and coordinates our technology and research (R&D) activities

  • Industrial Energy Efficiency Working Group: focuses on expanding business, projects and development

  • Distributed Energy / Energy Storage Working Group: focuses on teh advancement of technologies

  • Energy-Water Nexus Working Group: focuses on implementing the Energy-Water Nexus Working Group

  • Construction & Engineering Working Groups: focuses on the implementation of smart development practices and Better Building Challenges program

  • Construction & Engineering Working Groups: focuses on the implementation of smart development practices and Better Building Challenges program

  • Smart Cities Technologies Working Group: proposed working group targeting Smart Cities and IoT technologies and other municipalities

Snapshot of Events

January 2016 Member Meeting

Held at the American Transmission Company offices in Pewaukee, WI. Members had the opportunity to hear a panel on grid technologies, as well as a transmissions projects update from the VP of System Planning at ATC.

April 2016 EWN Roadmap Workshop:

The EWN Workshop announced the results of M-WERC’s distillation process regarding the EWN base technologies and crosscutting technologies

July 2016 Microgrids Conference:

Held at Energy Innovation Center, members took a look at Microgrids, an emerging new form of electrical distribution. The conference also featured a national speaker addressing the technical and business trends in microgrid development across the country.

July 2016 Member Meeting:

The M-WERC Member Meeting featured the final update on the Energy-Water Nexus (EWN) Strategic Roadmap before its final release. This readout highlighted the preliminary results of the roadmapping and the opportunities and challenges for companies in both water industries and energy industries in this region. M-WERC will also highlighted a new three-year Strategic Plan at this member meeting.

Fall/Winter 2016 WERCBench Labs:

A 12-week technology-immersive start-up program for technology innovators. WERCBench Labs provided a unique opportunity for teams to work with nearly 100 highly experienced and technical mentors, where they focused on customer discovery, and business model exploration.

September 2016 Policy Forum:

Sponsored by Godfrey & Kahn, M-WERC held an in-person Policy Forum presented by both the M-WERC Public Policy Committee and the M-WERC Distributed Energy / Energy Storage working group. This Policy Forum served to continue the dialog started in the panel session at an earlier M-WERC Member Meeting, and further explored Distributed Energy and Energy Storage technologies.

December 2016 Member meeting and Holiday Event:

At this M-WERC Member Meeting, we heard about current Smart Cities initiatives that are already in place, and how other cities are laying the groundwork for future activities. After the member meeting, members were able to network at our holiday event.

Strategic Roadmaps Update

The primary focus and major accomplishment in 2016 was the completion of the Energy-Water Nexus (EWN) Roadmap and Report, which will be issued early in 2017. This report is a first-of-its kind compilation jointly undertaken by M-WERC and The Water Council. The final report will reflect and effort that has defined the industry, current market size ($240B) and growth expectations ($500B by 2025), core products, top market segments, major players and a regional development plan. The research conducted to prepare this body of work included over 100 currently available national and global EWN source data and reports, supplemented by input from dozens of EWN experts from industry, government, and academic institutions.

The EWN Project included four workshops, three surveys, two Steering Committee Meetings, two major presentations, a Working Group interest meeting and three rounds of report reviews. Project meeting attracted nearly 400 participants at various events. The final report seeks to provide a highly valuable tool for M-WERC and The Water Council members to identify specific EWN applications, benefits, target markets, industry categories, technologies and products, and active companies.

Other activities conducted during 2016 included a study of the potential impact of EPA Clean Power Plan on M-WERC region and core technologies and presented results at July Member Meeting, as well as efforts to synthesize data and identify synergies between DERS, EE and ES Roadmaps and presented foundational summary to new DE/ES Working Group. Activities also included an expanded role going forward in supporting WGs and Technology Innovation research activities via short cycle, specialized research projects to better define the markets for targeted market sub-segments and key enabling technologies. This included identifying and exploring next round of industry targets for roadmaps.


Alan Perlstein

Executive Director and CEO

Elliot Berman

Chief Financial Officer and Director of Strategic Planning

Jeff Anthony

Chief Operating Officer

John Bobrowich

Director of Market Research & Development

Bruce Biehoff

Director of Technology Innovation

Thomas Fehring

Director of Special Projects

Joshua Morby

Director of Public Affairs

Michael Hanson

Administration Coordinator

Caitlin Rice

Public Affairs Associate

Owen Liebelt

Membership Specialist

Kyle Lechnir

Business Specialist

The M-WERC Board

Alan Perlstein

CEO and Executive Director, M-WERC

Doug Weber

Business Development Manager, Rockwell Automation

Sheku Kamara

Dean of Applied Research, MSOE

Hal Karas

Treasurer, Attorney, Husch Blackwell

Dan Krueger

Senior Vice President, We Energies

Mark Felsheim

Vice President Oak Creek Campus, MATC

Marvin Klowak, Chairman

Global Vice President, Briggs & Stratton Corporation

Michael Lovell, Chairman Emeritus

President, Marquette University

Brett Peters

Dean, College of Engineering, UW-Milwaukee

Mary Blanchard

Associate Director, Wisconsin Energy Institute, UW-Madison

Tom Otterlee

Attorney, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

William Weber

Secretary, Vice President Design Engineering, DRS Power & Control

Membership + Partners

  • Members

  • A.O. Smith
  • American Transmission Company, LLC
  • Argonne National Labs
  • Boldt Construction Services
  • Briggs and Stratton Corporation
  • Carroll University
  • Clark Dietz Inc.
  • Comp Steel, Inc.
  • Clifton Larson Allen LLP
  • Connect.The.Dots, LLC
  • DRS Power and Control Technologies Inc.
  • ElectroMechanical Engineering Associates (EME)
  • Energy Law Wisconsin
  • Engineering Operations And Certification Service
  • EnSync Energy Systems
  • Fairbanks Morse Engine
  • Findorff
  • Franklin Energy Services, LLC
  • Freedom Field Renewable Energy Inc.
  • General Capital Group
  • General Compression Inc.
  • Godfrey & Kahn S.C.
  • Graef Engineering
  • Hellermann Tyton
  • HGA Architects and Egineers
  • Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI)
  • Jonco Industries
  • LEM USA Inc.
  • Manufacturing Diversity Institute
  • Marquette University
  • Michael Best & Friedrich, LLP
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC)
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE)
  • Odyne Systems, LLC
  • Pika Energy
  • Pierce Atwood
  • Renew Now Facilities, LLC
  • Rockwell Automation Inc.
  • S & C Electric Corporation
  • Setter-Roche, LLP
  • Silicon Pastures
  • University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
  • University of Wisconsin -Parkside
  • 2015 WBL Startup 1 (Seiva Technologies)
  • 2015 WBL Startup 2 (Thermodata Corp.)
  • 2016 WBL Startup 1 (Revolt)
  • 2016 WBL Startup 2 (Iconac)
  • 2016 WBL Startup 3 (Improovment)
  • 2016 WBL Startup 4 (PURESINE
  • 2016 WBL Startup 5 (Process Machine)
  • 2016 WBL Startup 6 (STEMhero)
  • 2016 WBL Startup 7 (TERRAOAK, INC.)
  • 2016 WBL Startup 8 (SciArt, LLC)
  • 2016 WBL Startup 9 (H2Q)
  • WEC Energy Group
  • Husch Blackwell
  • Xcel Energy
  • Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP)
  • ZAF Energy System Inc. / ViZn Energy Systems Inc.
  • Supporters

  • Colliers International
  • Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
  • Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
  • Northwest Side Community Development Corporation
  • M7
  • Greenfire Management Services, LLC
  • Partners

  • Aerotropolis
  • American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE)
  • American Society for Quality (ASQ)
  • Association of State Energy Research & Technology Transfer Institutions (ASERTTI)
  • City of Milwaukee
  • Clean Energy Trust
  • K-12 Environmental Education Program
  • Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA)
  • Milwaukee Institute
  • RENEW Wisconsin
  • Seventhwave
  • Sherman Park
  • The New North
  • The Water Council
  • Tri-State Alliance
  • Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative
  • Wisconsin Center for Commercialization Resources (WCCR)
  • Wisconsin Distributed Resources Collaborative
  • Wisconsin Energy Institute
  • Wisconsin State Energy Office
  • Wisconsin Technology Council