Kurt Frank Wendt was born in Milwaukee on January 5, 1906. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Civil Engineering and joined the Mechanical Engineering faculty in 1936. He served as Dean of the College of Engineering from 1953 until he retired in 1971. Dean Wendt also served as President of the American Society for Engineering Education in 1963 and 1964.
During Dean Wendt’s administration, the College of Engineering expanded Engineering Hall, constructed the Engineering Research Building, and established undergraduate curricula in Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, and Industrial Engineering. The College also added graduate programs in Nuclear Engineering and Industrial Engineering and established educational and research programs with institutions in developing nations. Much of the planning for Wendt Library was done during his administration. Mr. Wendt died on June 9, 1982.