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Marquette University Alumni Association

James K. Michels, Eng '62

James K. Michels, P.E., Eng '62

Entrepreneurial Award

College of Engineering

Entrepreneurial Award

James K. Michels, P.E., Eng '62

Jim Michels likes to say that "my favorite project is my next one." He has had a lot of favorites. In its 35 years of business, Jim's Illinois-based consulting engineering firm — Engineering Enterprises Inc. — has managed the planning, design and construction of hundreds of infrastructure projects, including water works, wastewater treatment plants, transportation systems, water resources and site development projects.

"I enjoy turning ideas into reality," he says. "A client identifies a problem, and we provide a cost-effective solution."

Jim has picked up a lot of awards throughout the years, including Civil Engineer of the Year and professional recognition honors from the American Society of Civil Engineers. He was inducted into the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 2007 for lifetime achievement. And his company was named one of the 30 best places to work in Illinois based on employee feedback.

Jim's employees receive good salaries with annual raises, performance bonuses, generous health insurance and profit sharing, too.

"In addition," Jim says, "we provide opportunities to our employees to work on challenging projects that help them attain professional recognition and satisfaction."

And now Jim has launched a new project — his retirement. Whether it will prove challenging, a favorite or a little of both remains to be seen. He plans to maintain some professional and community involvement but also spend more time getting away with his wife.

"At Marquette," Jim says, "I found the right learning and living environment to grow and pursue my eventual career."

down arrowFun facts about Jim

Favorite quote: “My favorite project is the next one.” — Author unknown