James Madison University

Industry Specialist Joins Madison Engineers

By: Daniel Vieth
Posted: November 18, 2013

The James Madison Engineering Department is launching a new lecture series entitled MAD(E) Mouths, part of the new MAD(E) Experience for JMU’s engineering students and faculty. This series is an opportunity for both students and faculty to learn about some of the engineering that goes into the design and implementation of systems, products, and processes across different industries. The first speaker, Joe Donndelinger, is a Staff Researcher in the Vehicle Systems Research Laboratory at the General Motors Global Research & Development Center in Warren, Michigan. He will be joined by junior JMU engineering student, Mackenzie Peterson, who worked on a collaborative summer research project with Donndelinger and JMU engineering professor Dr. Robert Nagel. Donndelinger’s presentation, entitled “How the Rubber Meets the Road: Vehicle Development at General Motors,” will be held in ISAT/CS 259 on November 20th at 6:00pm.

Vehicle development is a complex process that consists of multiple phases and relies on a cross-functional team of both specialized engineers and business professionals. To further explore this, Donndelinger will explain vehicle development at GM, focusing particularly on the roles of some of the engineers. His presentation will include an overview of the various development stages, a concentration on the roles of some of the individual engineers who make up the process, and a quality engineer’s perspective on the overall process. Peterson will then share some of her experiences from her summer project at GM exploring how quality engineers processed Voice of the Customer information for application in Failure Modes and Effects Analysis.

The MAD(E) Experience is a new program being developed by the Madison Engineering Student Development Committee that is aimed at creating a greater number of curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular opportunities for engineering students. These activities, such as the MAD(E) Mouth Lecture Series and MAD(E) Mixers, are designed to provide additional preparation to students in developing their skills, knowledge and professionalism. They will also help connect engineering students with the faculty, as well as aid the students in becoming more active participants in the community.

The next MAD(E) Mouth lecture speaker will occur in February during National Engineers Week.


  • September 28
    Fall Career & Internship Fair
    Festival Conference and Student Center
  • October 2
    11:00 a.m.
    Cohen Center Talk:
    David Campbell of Boston University presents: Back to the Future: Recovering the Age of Wonder
    Highlands Room
  • November 13
    11:00 a.m.
    Cohen Center Talk: Henry Petroski of Duke University presents on the topics of design, success and failure, and history of engineering and technology.
    Grafton Stovall Theater
  • April 16, 2016
    9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Engineering xChange