Simpson named Teaching and Learning with Technology Fellow

Pamela Krewson Wertz
May 20, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Timothy W. Simpson, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering and engineering design and co-director of the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition, has been named a Penn State 2015 Teaching and Learning with Technology Fellow.

Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) organization at Penn State works to help guide the University in the appropriate use of technology to enrich teaching and learning. The mission of the group is to help Penn State instructors take advantage of information technology to enrich the educational experience of their students.

The objectives of the TLT Fellows are to work collaboratively to identify emerging questions in the field of teaching learning with technology; to create and grow communities to explore topics to inform new practice; to support directed research and development; and to create opportunities to develop long-term relationships.

As a fellow, Simpson will expand the usage and access to 3D printing across the Penn State University Park campus, one of TLT’s four focus areas this year.

“TLT is trying to create an infrastructure to support 3D printing across all of Penn State. A critical component of this will be helping faculty new to 3D printing get started with the technology, and help identify unique opportunities where 3D printing can enhance the learning experience of our students in a variety of disciplines,” said Barton K. Pursel, faculty programs coordinator of TLT, co-director of the Center for Online Innovation in Learning. “Tim is at the forefront of this work at Penn State, and we are excited to collaborate with him to create these new opportunities for our faculty and students.”

Currently, there are more than 30 3D printers and digital scanners scattered across campus with a new suite of 3D printers set to come online in Fall 2016 in a MakerBot Innovation Center that will be located in the Pattee/Paterno Library at Penn State.

Additionally, 3D printing capabilities are supporting several research efforts, educational projects and outreach in the College of Engineering’s senior capstone program; the College of Arts and Architecture’s DigiFab; and the 3D Printing Club, housed in the School of Engineering Design, Technology and Professional Programs.

“I will be using the TLT Fellowship to try to connect the different 3D printing resources available at Penn State and to identify synergies that may occur through more coordinated efforts that will enable Penn State to become a national leader in research and education related to 3D printing and additive manufacturing,” said Simpson.

He has a set list of tasks he hopes to accomplish with the Fellowship that includes: identifying available 3D resources on campus; developing a website that features those resources and shows the availability of equipment; and cataloguing courses and programs that use 3D technology.

Simpson also is interested in creating a faculty program for using 3D printing in the classroom; investigating applications of the use of digital badges, which are indicators of accomplishment, skill, quality or interest that can be earned, for self-directed learning in 3D printing; identifying ways to coordinate 3D activities across campus; and organizing a 3D printing event at the 2016 TLT Symposium.

“This is an exciting time in education given the rise of 3D printing,” added Simpson. “It is re-writing everything that we know and teach -- from how we design, to how we make, to how we certify/qualify parts and components, particularly when it comes to 3D metal printing. Penn State is well-positioned to lead the national discussion on these advancements in both education and research.”

TLT Fellowships are awarded on a per-project basis and are generally presented to those who already have experience in teaching and learning with technology topics and wish to add new knowledge to the field.

“TLT is currently exploring how to make 3D printing a common good service, using an infrastructure that looks similar to our Media Commons,” added Pursel. “Tim’s expertise will be a huge asset in this effort, and we are excited to work with him to create various opportunities for faculty and staff to gain hands-on experience with 3D printing, particularly how to leverage it to support curricular and co-curricular activities around Penn State.”

In addition to 3D printing, the topics for the 2015 TLT Fellowships are digital badges, undergraduate research and virtual reality and wearable technology.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 20, 2015