THU AM News: Phoenix Nuclear Labs growing, solar energy jobs, MadRep event in May

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— An investment from BrightStar will help Phoenix Nuclear Labs edge away from research and focus more on its commercial opportunities.

The Monona company’s technology generates neutrons for uses ranging from creating medical isotopes to detecting explosives and illicit nuclear material. And the company is looking to add on more customers.

“The goal for this year is to transition away from doing a lot of research and development and move to more commercial technology to grow our revenue and improve the reproducibility of this technology,” said Evan Sengbusch, PNL’s vice president of business development.

PNL began its research and development operations in 2005, when it was a one man shop founded by former Gillware Inc. chief technical officer Gregory Piefer. It sold its first technology to a company in the United Kingdom in 2014 and has now grown to 30 employees.

For a long time, the company relied on federal grants, but private investors have since come out of the woodwork as the company keeps growing. So far, it’s raised about $5 million from private investors and brought in $15 million through other funding.

See more on the company in a new story:

— RENEW Wisconsin is saying solar energy is a “job creation engine” after a report showed Wisconsin’s industry has 1,941 employees.

The report ranks Wisconsin 27th in jobs per capita, with most Wisconsin workers focused on installing panels and located in Milwaukee, Dane and Waukesha counties.

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— UW-Madison professor James Rawlings has been elected to the National Academy of Engineers.

Rawlings, a chemical and biological engineering professor, was elected for his work on control engineering theory. Also elected were two UW-Madison alumni, one in the pharmaceutical industry and another who created the Mars rover landing system.

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— MadREP and the Urban League of Greater Madison have an economic development and diversity summit set for May 9th.

The event, which will take place at Monona Terrace in Madison, seeks to encourage diversity at businesses as it “spurs economic growth, while homogeneity slows it down,” MadREP president Paul Jadin said.

It will include speeches from University of Southern California professor Manuel Pastor, who’s written about how both issues are intertwined, and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams.

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**REGISTER NOW Thursday Feb. 18: State Budget Director Michael Heifetz**

Michael Heifetz serves as the Division of Executive Budget and Finance administrator, as well as state budget director. Prior to his appointment as Administrator, Michael served as vice president of governmental affairs at Dean Clinic and SSM Health Care of Wisconsin for the past 11 years. Before that, he was a top legislative aide.

Heifetz will discuss the Walker administration’s priorities as the legislative session winds down.

Check-in begins at 11:30 a.m. at The Madison Club, 5 E. Wilson St., Madison. Event ends at 1 p.m. Parking available at a nearby city ramp, Monona Terrace or the Hilton Hotel garage next door.

$19 for program and buffet luncheon.

Pre-registration required: Contact The Madison Club at [email protected]

Sponsors: Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, American Family Insurance, University Research Park, Walmart, and Xcel Energy.



Fast-food workers plan strike before Milwaukee Democratic debate

UW-Extension plans about 80 job cuts to absorb budget hit

Navy urged to slow deployments of warships built in Marinette

Assurant Health wind-down on pace for 2016 closing

Rockwell Automation to buy developer of magnetic propulsion technology

Sales to Amazon help Kornit Digital’s profits

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– Building Commission Okays New UW-Madison Meat Science Lab

– Road America unveils expansion plan

– Neighboring apartment projects being built in Walker’s Point


– UW Cooperative Extension cutting about 10% of its positions


– Proposed food hub aims to change the way Milwaukee sources local food


– Artisan Partners reports lower profit on volatile market


– Report hints at Oshkosh Corp. award process

– Charter Manufacturing names Glaister’s successor

– Verso owes millions to Wisconsin firms

– Trombetta acquires Electronic Design


– Bill would ban Milwaukee streetcar project from using state money

– Dems gearing up for Thursday night’s Clinton-Sanders debate at UWM

– Committee advances measure on voucher school funding


– Bellevue board again rejects development plan

– Oshkosh council hopes loan spurs development

– Milwaukee-area home sales pick up where they left off in 2015

– Consulting firm plans move from downtown Milwaukee to north side

– South Side lofts help dispel myths about affordable housing

– West Milwaukee advances funding for speculative industrial development


– Panel OKs relaxing emission regs, tweaks renewable program

– Liquor license bill to help Titletown District passes

– Appeals Court: Kohler Co. overtaxed by village

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– Wausau Center mall funding clears 2 hurdles

– Aldi plans more Wisconsin stores, hiring in Green Bay


– Roadrunner makes investments in Texas, Tennessee


See these and other press releases:

ACLU Wisconsin: Health care at women’s prison improved to meet terms of settlement with ACLU

Angelic Bakehouse: Expands in northeast Costcos

Cabela’s: To host 2nd Amendment Classic and NRA Weekend

First Bank Financial Centre: Donates to Downtown Oconomowoc Business Association

First Business Bank Northeast: Mark Kaiser joins advisory board

OEM Fabricators Inc.: Names Joseph Bartz Director of Operations

Play Madison Parks: Madison selected as one of 7 cities to connect children to nature

Renew Wisconsin: Wisconsin solar industry employs over 1,900

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Criminal justice alcohol program linked to decreased mortality

UW-Madison: Engineers create custom tuning knobs to turn off any gene

UW-Madison: Grassland biofuels could benefit people and birds in Wisconsin and beyond

UW-Madison: Mobile communication keeps couples who live close to one another even closer

UW-Madison: Researchers begin work on Zika virus

UW-Madison: Wisconsinites living longer but not necessarily healthier

UW-Stout: StoutProud event Feb. 18 part of 125th anniversary celebration

Venable: To succeed retiring Glaister as president and COO of Charter Manufacturing

WI Lottery: Muskego man claims $50,000 Powerball ticket

WI Lottery: Seven Lucky Badger 5 players split $111,000 Jackpot

WI Lottery: Wisconsin Lottery’s SuperCash! game turns 25 this month!

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: First call for producer led Watershed Protection Projects

Wisconsin Medical Society: More than 300 physicians, medical students participate in Doctor Day 2016 at State Capitol

WMC: Lauds Supreme Court Action to stay EPA’s Clean Power Plan