I am delighted to return to full-time teaching as an instructor in the robotics engineering program at WPI after a long and very satisfying career at Daniel Webster College (DWC) where I had the opportunity to teach courses in engineering design (including CAD/CAM), statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, aerodynamics, and differential equations. I also had the privilege to serve as dean of the DWC School of Engineering and Computer Science (5/2009-12/2015).
My interest in robotics was ignited as the result of consecutive inspirational DWC commencement addresses given in 1993 and 1994 by Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers. In December 1994 I approached a local high school about starting a FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team and asked some local companies to help DWC sponsor the team. The experience was transforming for the high school students, the DWC student mentors, and for me as the team manager. What started out as an act of community service, inadvertently became a major influence in the transformation of the engineering program at DWC. It turned out that the Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate (CDIO, www.cdio.org) paradigm of FIRST was also a great model for teaching and inspiring college engineering students as well! In recent years I have regularly served as a judge at VEX robotics events. VEX, like FIRST, provides outstanding opportunities for students to learn about robotics. I enthusiastically look forward to participating in the WPI summer robotics camps for high school students.
Believing that helping engineering students develop good communications skills is a top priority, the DWC engineering and humanities faculty members and I mentored a number of undergraduate student teams who co-authored and presented papers and posters at Engineering Design Graphics Division (EDGD) and other American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), CDIO, and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) meetings as well. At WPI I hope to team with other faculty members in mentoring WPI undergraduate students in conference participation. I have also been involved in mentoring students in the creation of flipped classroom learning modules with automated assessment, and hope to establish project collaborations of this type with WPI students and students at other colleges.