I always wanted to be an engineer and I actually worked as an electronics technician in the CNC field before I became a trained engineer, so I knew what I was getting into. However, my interest in education goes back further: my great uncle Andy always called me “The Professor,” so I guess I can blame him. He was an engineer, albeit a railroad engineer, but he always said when I was little I was always rattling off something about something I knew. Later in life I got involved in martial arts and at one point assisted in training new students and found I enjoyed helping others learn. My sensei Nori said I would make an excellent teacher. And finally in college, James (Jimbo) Masi, one of my mentors, and one of the best mentors I have had the privilege to work with, encouraged me to be an educator. So I have planned on becoming a professor in engineering for a long time.

Making it fun

I think my dedication, hands-on capabilities, and sense of humor are qualities that my students enjoy and I am very dedicated to advancing any student at the university. I believe we can learn in a hands on way, by seeing, doing, reading, all of it, BUT most importantly I believe you got to have fun doing it. If you don’t like your job, well… I try to get my students to enjoy learning, to never stop learning, and to mix up their studies with fun stuff. I am a blacksmith, for example, apprenticing under a master blacksmith for over five years and I am still learning. However, this artistic work can apply to biomedical engineering. Some of the things we can build easier by forging than by cutting steel and welding it back together.

Engineering educators need to change the way we teach and what we teach. I was part of a major curriculum overhaul and update and the change is refreshing and challenging. Integrating real-world problems into the class is important, and we need to do it in a very hands-on way.

Balancing teaching and research

I believe the best way is to weave both together. I can teach someone about antibody-antigen interactions AND show them how to build a sensor to measure them. Mix the math with wet chemistry! Practice-based learning mixed with old school didactic education plus weave in industry and clinical needs and standards. When you do the work together you not only work smarter but accomplish more! I have had the pleasure of mentoring over 200 Computer Science Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, and Chemical Engineering undergraduate and graduate students. Some that have moved on to graduate or medical school at places such as Stanford, MIT, Carnegie-Melon, University of Pittsburgh, University of Arizona Medical School, etc. I have even had several students that are Fulbright and Whitaker fellows as well as several Mayo Surf participants.

ASEE’s network

ASEE is beneficial in that it disseminates what works and what doesn’t work, provides a forum to share ideas, and holds events to bring likeminded people together. Being part of the network is great. Engineering educators need constant support so it’s great for ASEE to continue to impart upon our national and local leadership the value of engineering, education, and engineering education and educators. 

I enjoy spending time with my wife and my son, building things of out metal, wood, or plastic. Some of the extracurricular activities I participate in that I am passionate about too are student and campus organizations, such as scholars programs; Engineering World Health (engineers tackling broader scale issues and challenges in health from developing world to developed world applications and needs); Camp H.O.P.E. (travels to and presents STEM education to orphanages in Arizona and Mexico); Forge Devils (blacksmithing in science, art and education); and SODA (Student Organization for Diabetes Awareness – developing connections and information to bring awareness and screening for diabetes).

I always wanted to be an engineer and I actually worked as an electronics technician in the CNC field before I became a trained engineer, so I knew what I was getting into. However, my interest in education goes back further: my great uncle Andy always called me “The Professor,” so I guess I can blame him. He was an engineer, albeit a railroad engineer, but he always said when I was little I was always rattling off something about something I knew. Later in life I got involved in martial arts and at one point assisted in training new students and found I enjoyed helping others learn. My sensei Nori said I would make an excellent teacher. And finally in college, James (Jimbo) Masi, one of my mentors, and one of the best mentors I have had the privilege to work with, encouraged me to be an educator. So I have planned on becoming a professor in engineering for a long time.

Making it fun

I think my dedication, hands-on capabilities, and sense of humor are qualities that my students enjoy and I am very dedicated to advancing any student at the university. I believe we can learn in a hands on way, by seeing, doing, reading, all of it, BUT most importantly I believe you got to have fun doing it. If you don’t like your job, well… I try to get my students to enjoy learning, to never stop learning, and to mix up their studies with fun stuff. I am a blacksmith, for example, apprenticing under a master blacksmith for over five years and I am still learning. However, this artistic work can apply to biomedical engineering. Some of the things we can build easier by forging than by cutting steel and welding it back together.

Engineering educators need to change the way we teach and what we teach. I was part of a major curriculum overhaul and update and the change is refreshing and challenging. Integrating real-world problems into the class is important, and we need to do it in a very hands-on way.

Balancing teaching and research

I believe the best way is to weave both together. I can teach someone about antibody-antigen interactions AND show them how to build a sensor to measure them. Mix the math with wet chemistry! Practice-based learning mixed with old school didactic education plus weave in industry and clinical needs and standards. When you do the work together you not only work smarter but accomplish more! I have had the pleasure of mentoring over 200 Computer Science Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, and Chemical Engineering undergraduate and graduate students. Some that have moved on to graduate or medical school at places such as Stanford, MIT, Carnegie-Melon, University of Pittsburgh, University of Arizona Medical School, etc. I have even had several students that are Fulbright and Whitaker fellows as well as several Mayo Surf participants.

ASEE’s network

ASEE is beneficial in that it disseminates what works and what doesn’t work, provides a forum to share ideas, and holds events to bring likeminded people together. Being part of the network is great. Engineering educators need constant support so it’s great for ASEE to continue to impart upon our national and local leadership the value of engineering, education, and engineering education and educators. 

I enjoy spending time with my wife and my son, building things of out metal, wood, or plastic. Some of the extracurricular activities I participate in that I am passionate about too are student and campus organizations, such as scholars programs; Engineering World Health (engineers tackling broader scale issues and challenges in health from developing world to developed world applications and needs); Camp H.O.P.E. (travels to and presents STEM education to orphanages in Arizona and Mexico); Forge Devils (blacksmithing in science, art and education); and SODA (Student Organization for Diabetes Awareness – developing connections and information to bring awareness and screening for diabetes).