Dr. Kristina M. Ropella is the Opus Dean of the Opus College of Engineering. She received her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Marquette in 1985 and earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University. She returned to Marquette and joined the biomedical engineering faculty in 1990 and served as the chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering from 2004–2013, when she was named the executive associate dean.
Ropella has focused her research and teaching career on biosignal processing, bioinstrumentation and medical imaging. Currently, her lab is developing clinical applications of functional magnetic resonance imaging, including presurgical planning and evaluation of rehabilitative outcomes after injury or pathology. She is collaborating with the Medical College of Wisconsin to use her fMRI research results to improve the tool’s clinical uses. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Ralph and Marion Falk Medical Research Trust, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, the Whitaker Foundation, and MCW.
Ropella has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate classes, including Introduction to Biomedical Engineering Methods, the Art and Business of Science, Advanced Biomedical Signal Processing, Computer Applications in Biomedical Engineering, and Statistics for Biomedical Engineers. She is co-director of the Functional Imaging doctorate program, jointly offered with MCW. She has twice received the college’s Outstanding Teacher Award (1994 and 2002); received the university Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence (2002); and was named the Wisconsin U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support for Education (2007). Among other honors, she was the recipient of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” (2000) and Women of Influence (2008) awards. She is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and is currently serving on its board of directors. She has served on other national boards, including the Biomedical Engineering Society, the Council of Chairs in Biomedical Engineering, and the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.