Cover photo for Edward G. Lovell's Obituary
Edward G. Lovell Profile Photo
1939 Edward 2023

Edward G. Lovell

May 25, 1939 — June 7, 2023


Edward G. Lovell, UW Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, passed away on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, at the age of 84.  The cause of death was cardiac arrest, after battling coronary heart disease for nearly 15 years.

Ed was born on May 25, 1939, to Julia A. (Kopacz) and George A. Lovell in Windsor, Ontario.  Growing up in Amherstburg, Ontario he often spoke of the enjoyable times he had boating and fishing with his brothers on the Detroit River.  Originally having both U.S. and Canadian citizenship, his family later moved to the Detroit area and in 1960, he chose to retain his U.S. nationality.

Ed received his B.S. and his M.S. from Wayne State in 1960 and 1961, respectively, and his Ph.D. (in Engineering Mechanics) from the University of Michigan in 1967.  He was subsequently awarded a National Academy of Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship, held at NASA’s Langley Research Center.  He was also a NATO Senior Fellow at the University of Manchester, working on experimental shock, fracture, and wave propagation in materials.  Additional project engineering work resulted in industrial affiliations at Boeing Aircraft, Pratt and Whitney, and the Ford Motor Company.

In 1968, he joined the professorial faculty at the UW-Madison College of Engineering.  Structural mechanics was his principal research focus, which included the vibrations of aerospace shells, the design of nuclear fusion reactor chambers, the fabrication of microsensors and microactuators, and nanoscale mechanics analysis for the semiconductor industry.  Especially noteworthy was the work completed on micromechanisms.  Professor Lovell was one of a team of four UW faculty investigators who successfully created the first micron-size metal components in the U.S. (i.e., springs, gears, motors, etc.) using synchrotron radiation and electroplating.  The results of their work were featured in the New York Times and Detroit News in 1991.

Later, his research with the UW Computational Mechanics Center and collaborators from the semiconductor industry focused on identifying the advantages and disadvantages of so-called Next-Generation Lithographies (NGL), including x-rays, ion beams, electron beams, imprinting, and extreme ultraviolet radiation.  Results from this research were used by the industry to assess the commercial potential of each technology for fabricating the next generation of computer chips.

Ending a forty-year career at the UW-Madison, Professor Lovell retired from the Mechanical Engineering Department in 2008, where he also served as Associate Chair.  Prior to that, he served as Chair of the Department of Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics.  At retirement, he had over 230 archival research publications and had developed and taught more than a dozen graduate-level courses in structural mechanics and vibrations.  Service to the UW included the Campus Planning Committee, Chair of the Recreational Sports Board, and faculty advisor to the UW Racquetball Club (a sport in which he earned a Wisconsin state title).

Throughout his career, Professor Lovell emphasized the importance of working hard to achieve your academic and lifetime goals, always treating others fairly and with respect, and reaching out to those who may need help.  Of course, he never forgot his alma mater – he was a devoted fan of the University of Michigan teams in football, basketball, and hockey.  In honor of Ed, we say “Go Blue.”

Ed married Roxann Engelstad on July 23, 1994, and they enjoyed over 28 wonderful years of marriage.  Besides collaborating on a number of research grants, they were able to participate jointly in their favorite sports, including racquetball, snow skiing, scuba diving, and golf.  After their retirement, they built a new home on the Engelstad family farm, where they have been crop farming, raising both corn and soybeans.  The country setting also gave them the opportunity to create a park-like environment for their beloved golden retrievers (Dually, Bailey, Remy, Rhythm, Poet, and Zep) to romp and play.  Ed was a true animal lover and was extremely appreciative of the endless companionship that each of his goldens provided over the years.

Professor Lovell is survived by his wife, Professor Emerita Roxann Engelstad; children Ethan (Leah Bassoff) Lovell and Elise (James Foster) Lovell, M.D.; grandchildren Rose and Avery Lovell; sister Mary Anne Fritz; sisters-in-law Marlene Lovell and Beverly Lovell; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.  He was predeceased by his parents George and Julia Lovell and brothers Len and Jan Lovell.

The family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. Matthew Kalscheur, UW-Madison, Cardiovascular Medicine, for his compassion and overall outstanding care.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, July 8, 2023, at St. Paul’s Liberty Lutheran Church, 3494 Oak Park Road, Deerfield, WI 53523.  Visitation will begin at 10:00 am at the church until the time of the service.  Interment will be in the adjacent cemetery after the service, followed by food and fellowship in the church’s Educational Center.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Restoration Fund at St. Paul’s Liberty Lutheran Church are encouraged.  A Celebration of Life will be held in the Detroit / Windsor area at a future date.

“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”-Psalm 23:6

Please share your memories at

Cress Funeral Services

201 Bue Street, PO Box 376, Deerfield

(608) 764-5369

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, July 8, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Paul's Liberty Lutheran Church

3494 Oak Park Rd, Deerfield, WI 53531

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, July 8, 2023

11:00 - 11:45 am (Central time)

St. Paul's Liberty Lutheran Church

3494 Oak Park Rd, Deerfield, WI 53531

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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