In addition to a degree in art and design (Cornell University), Nathaniel Stern holds a Masters of Professional Studies in Interactive Telecommunications (ITP, New York University), and a PhD from an Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department (Trinity College Dublin). He has also worked as a designer, consultant, and/or coder at and with hi-tech companies in New York, San Francisco, Milwaukee and Johannesburg. He has been lead, mentor and/or Co-PI in several state-wide and national engineering and entrepreneurship grants, including three projects through the National Science Foundation, and work with Stanford and Venturewell. In short, Stern “speaks” business and engineering, with a sensitivity to the relationships between culture and industry – how the latter support and mobilize each other, in both the short- and long-term. Stern’s expertise have helped businesses come up with new products and ideas, grow or invest in new areas, and build new prototypes for testing.
In his time as a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Stern has consulted on and supported projects at Rexnord, Rockwell, TAPCO, Johnson Controls, GE Medical, Aurora Health Care, the Medical College of Wisconsin, DRS Power and Control, the Wisconsin Department of Traffic, and more; he has helped to place students at startups, engineering and market-based companies, museums and galleries, and consulting and design firms, across the country; and through his efforts as a Co-Founder and core team member of the UWM Startup Challenge and later the Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship, he continues to fund and advise several new companies in the Milwaukee area every year. For Stern, this work is completely in line with the work he does in the arts and humanities, the latter including performances and exhibitions worldwide, academic and mainstream writing, and other diverse activities that might manifest as, for example, empowerment workshops for HIV-positive township teens in South Africa, Fulbright-funded writing seminars for postgraduates in design, or one-on-one mentoring for local artists through the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network. In all, he creates fertile ground through investment in advanced research and human resources, which in turn makes for ingenuity and opportunity across the culture and industry ecosystem.