How do you know you’re an industrial superstar? When your machine is being used in 4,000 installations around the world. That’s how many factories are using a high-speed corrugated-cardboard splicer designed by Carl Marschke ’63, MS’64.
Over five decades, Marschke has been inventing and improving machines that do a number of important jobs in the building and paper industries. He has more than 70 patents to his name and founded Marquip Corporation in 1968.
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Marschke’s formal education in science and engineering began at UW–Madison.
“I entered the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1959,” he says, “two years after the Russians put up Sputnik. This event had a big effect on what the UW did with the engineering curriculum. The College of Engineering was turning out scientists rather than just textbook engineers.”
Marschke’s interest in electromechanical engineering had its roots in his boyhood.
“As a boy, I always had the desire to build and invent things,” says Marschke. “I was fortunate to have parents who supported that.”
One of Marschke’s most interesting boyhood projects was setting up a ski lift on a hill behind his family’s home north of Rib Lake, Wisconsin. He built the ski tow himself using funds he acquired by selling stock in the enterprise. The project was a success.
The College of Engineering was turning out scientists rather than just textbook engineers.
“We only had one broken arm,” he laughs.
When hiring engineers for his factories, Marschke has always looked for people who showed that same level of problem-solving skills and do-it-yourself attitude.
“I always looked for first-generation college kids — farm kids who knew their way around a combine or a tractor,” explains Marschke. He felt that these individuals held the most potential.
While inventing and running a manufacturing firm took much of his time, Marschke found time to give back. For many years, he was the leading force behind Young Scientists of America, an organization that helps middle- and high-school students prepare for and compete in the Science Olympiad. Giving back in this way always seemed natural to Marschke.
“I have always felt that being of service was a personal responsibility,” he says. “If you’d been given creative abilities, you should use them for the benefit of others as best as you can. I based Marquip on this principle.”