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Engineering a Solution

November 2013


St. Ambrose had a problem.

Windows as old as Ambrose Hall itself needed replacing. The problem was, many of the building's wooden-framed windows were rounded at the top, and new energy efficient, aluminum-framed windows don't meet those specifications.

Lucky for St. Ambrose, Jeff Menke '99, a senior engineering team leader for Pella Windows and Doors, was ready to put to work problem-solving skills he had learned as an engineering student while sitting beside those very same windows.

Menke developed the process that helped Pella create an assembly line to build one-of-a-kind replacements that were rectangular on the interior, but with a custom-built curved exterior upper sash. The windows are being installed as part of the extensive exterior renovation of Ambrose Hall that is nearing completion.

Among Menke's many Ambrosian memories are classroom hours in the wintertime, sitting near those same drafty, single-paned, century-old windows with his heavy coat on.

"The radiators ran all the time," he said. "That will go away with the product we are providing. These windows are definitely energy savers."

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