Honorary Commander spotlight - Dr. Curt Bronkhorst

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Mary E. Greenwood
  • 115th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 115th Fighter Wing (FW) Honorary Commander Program is a partnership that links military commanders with business leaders in the local community.  These relationships provide an opportunity for both military and civilian professionals to gain valuable insight and perspectives of different organizations.  The program also serves as a vital link for the Wisconsin Air National Guard to connect with and educate the public on the important missions of the 115th FW.

Dr. Curt Bronkhorst is a professor for the UW-Madison Engineering Physics Department specializing in theoretical/computational mechanics of materials, computational plasticity, multi-scale material modeling, damage mechanics, single crystal plasticity, dynamic material behavior, structural phase transformation and he also serves as the Honorary Commander of the 115th FW Medical Group.  The activities of the Medical Group comprise Medical/Health Systems Management, Dentistry, Bioenvironmental, Public Health, and Aerospace Medical services.

Dr. Bronkhorst began working his current position in February of 2018 and his interests outside of work include pistol/rifle sports, golf, and fly fishing. He and his wife Susan have three daughters Lorenza, Stephanie, and Annika.

What is the favorite part of your job?

I am able to work with excellent people and on topics of importance to the defense and economic vitality of our country.

What advice would you give to young leaders?

Care about your people and lead by example with energy and commitment.

Advice to someone starting in your career field?

Work hard and challenge yourself with hard problems while not being concerned about failure.

What is a valuable aspect of your partnership with the 115th FW?

It is an honor to be asked to partner with the 115th Fighter Wing. This will be an important element of education and recruitment of the next generations of engineers and scientists at the University of Wisconsin. 

What is the one quality that best describes you?

The pursuit of excellence in all aspects of life.

What has been a highlight or significant accomplishment of your professional career?

My 16 years working on national defense science at Los Alamos National Laboratory.