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David Fleming, Ph.D.

Crash Test Smarty

Dr. David Fleming earned his B.S. from MIT and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. Currently, Dr. Fleming is an associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, with his research concentration on structural analysis, specifically that of  composite materials and aerospace structures. Brace yourselves; He is also the coordinator for the Florida Tech Structural Mechanics Laboratory where he and his students test the crash behavior of vehicles and the computer modeling of structures under crash conditions. Dr. Fleming and his students are involved in the development of design concepts for lightweight space structures.  He is the student advisor for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Florida Tech student chapter which has received a multitude of awards over the years. 

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Deborah Carstens, Ph.D.

Success Strategist

Dr. Carstens received her B.S. in business administration and her Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the University of Central Florida and her MBA from Florida Tech. Dr. Carstens focuses her research on the optimization of human and system performance in terms of usability, safety and efficiency. She also has a background in information security research. Dr. Carstens was a NASA Kennedy Space Center employee for over ten years, working both in the field of project management and human factors research. As an engineer, her focus was to apply human factor principles to improve processes and systems affiliated with several KSC programs such as the shuttle, payloads, and future spaceport operations. 

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Nakin Suksawang, Ph.D.

Structural Expert

Dr. Nakin Suksawang is an associate professor of Civil Engineering and Construction Management. He received all his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Structural Engineering from Rutgers University. He has many years of teaching and research experience in structural engineering, construction materials, and structural condition assessment. He is also a licensed professional engineer with lots of real world experience. When you arrive at Florida Tech, Dr. Suksawang will be one of the first professors you’ll experience in your freshman year as he teaches Introduction to Civil Engineering. His courses emphasize hands-on and minds-on instruction to actively engage students using physical models to explain difficult engineering concepts. He also likes to use various team-building activities (such as the game “minute to win it”) to help students work together and become more effective and productive as a team. Dr. Suksawang goals as an educator are to foster critical thinking, facilitate the acquisition of life-long learning skills, and prepare students to think like an engineer.

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Abram Walton, Ph.D.

Innovation Mastermind

Do you want to change the world? Do you want to understand the thought process behind your favorite companies like Apple and Tesla? Want to be the next Steve Jobs or Elon Musk? Join Dr. Abe Walton, as he teaches you the tools to build the next unicorn. Dr. Abram Walton specializes in strategic innovation and new product development. His learn-by-doing approach will enable you to not simply regurgitate definitions from a textbook but he will give you the opportunity to get your hands dirty. He will push you and aid in your critical thinking as you develop use cases for the next revolutionary product. He has worked with Fortune 100 firms and managed companies with $100 million in revenue. His work has resulted in millions in external investment and over $500 million in new revenues. He is the founding Director of the Center for Lifecycle and Innovation Management at Florida Tech. He is also one of the founding members of the International Association of Innovation Professionals where he helped to define and maintain the global standard for innovation strategy. 

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Manolis Tomadakis, Ph.D.

Master of Materials

Dr. Manolis Tomadakis received his bachelor’s in chemical engineering in 1988 from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece, and his Ph.D. in the same field from the University of Rochester in 1993. Since then, he’s been a chemical engineering professor here at Florida Tech. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in unit operations and transport phenomena. You’ll likely find Dr. Tomadakis in his office, working on theoretical research focusing on the development of computer simulation algorithms for estimating parameters of porous and composite materials, as well as the mathematical modeling of chemical systems. In the lab, he has focused on the pressure swing adsorption separation of biogas. All of this research has resulted in many journal articles that have been cited more than 500 times by other researchers working at over 200 universities and research centers in 25 countries around the world. He has also earned many Teaching and Service Excellence Awards at Florida Tech due to his dedication to the university and its students.

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Nasri Nesnas, Ph.D.

Vision and Brain Chemist

Professor Nasri Nesnas received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York, and has been an integral member of the faculty during Florida Tech’s growth period since 2002. He introduced a graduate program in biochemistry and designed multiple graduate courses, including natural products and bioorganic chemistry. His teaching style integrates simple analogies, and actively engages students by relating chemistry to things familiar to them.  His lectures highlight how chemistry is built on the foundations of mathematics and physics, and how it explains the biological world around us. Dr. Nesnas received funding from the National Science Foundation to develop nano-sensors based on human vision and established global collaborations on various aspects of vision. He also received an award from the National Institutes of Health to develop molecules that absorb light and enable the mapping of the brain. Dr. Nesnas actively involved over 60 students and scholars in research, including visiting professors, graduate, undergraduate, and high school students. He was recently a guest professor at Caltech and continues collaboration with two professors on discovering the marvels of silicon’s chemistry.

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Paul Cosentino, Ph.D.

Concrete Commodore

Dr. Paul Cosentino received his B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Dr. Cosentino has a unique combination of industrial and academic experience, which lends real-world knowledge to his classroom, and creates an engaging experience for civil engineering students. His areas of focus include fiber-optic sensors and their application to civil engineering measurements and highway applications for various recycled materials, including waste-to-energy ash, waste glass, recycled asphalt pavement and scrap tires. Additionally, he is the head of Florida Tech’s award-winning Concrete Canoe Team which challenges students to apply of the engineering principles they learn in the classroom coupled with the fun of building and racing a canoe made out of concrete. Floating concrete isn’t magic- it’s science! 

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Kevin Johnson, Ph.D.

At-Sea Voyager

Dr. Kevin Johnson, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon, teaches a wide range of marine and environmental courses at Florida Tech. He has received numerous awards, including the College of Engineering’s Walter M. Nunn Jr. Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Johnson’s research interests encompass a wide range of topics related to zooplankton ecology. In particular, his program explores phenomena that impact organisms, communities and populations. Johnson's revision of "A Guide to Marine Coastal Plankton and Marine Invertebrate Larvae", 2nd Edition, is used as a supplement in biology and oceanography laboratories around the world. Dr. Johnson has worked at seven marine field laboratories and has accumulated several months of at-sea experience. He enjoys discussing his around the world experiences with Florida Tech students.

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Heidi Hatfield Edwards, Ph.D.

Media Maven

Dr. Heidi Edwards received her B.S degree in Telecommunication from the University of Florida and her Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Georgia. Dr. Edwards is an Associate Professor of Communication and is the chair of the undergraduate communication program. Her research involves communication and social issues, particularly in how the media impact society and the meaning people create around certain kinds of communications. She is currently working on better understanding gaming and how gamers interact with the medium, particularly machinima -- the manipulation of games into stories produced by users. Dr. Edwards is committed to providing opportunities for students to get involved in real world projects and to help create communication tools for groups on campus and in the Florida Tech community. This includes departmental newsletters, the campus newspaper and other campaigns. The communication climate is evolving and Dr. Edwards and the rest of the communication faculty provide a unique environment of small classes and the portfolio enhancement opportunities students need to stay ahead of the curve.

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Anna Montoya, M.A.

Spanish Profesora

Ms. Montoya is the lead Spanish instructor in the School of Arts and Communication and has been teaching at Florida Tech since 2002. She received her Master's from Middlebury College and her Bachelor's from the University of Central Florida.  Additionally, she completed ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Oral Proficiency Interview Tester Training, and has used that expertise to tutor Spanish Education majors who seek to achieve the Advanced-Low level requirement for student teaching or state certification. A native of Miami, Florida, she grew up listening to Spanish for several years in late childhood before studying it in school and college. That experience facilitated her acquisition of the language's sound and grammar system. In her classes, she strives to bring the benefits of a primary emphasis on listening comprehension of practical, high-frequency words and phrases through conversation and repetition. As students increase their understanding of the spoken word, they begin to read more written texts, culminating at the end of the semester with the reading of a short novel made for learners. 

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Andrew Palmer, Ph.D.

Planet Planner

Chemical Ecology and Astrobiology are the driving themes of research in Dr. Palmer’s lab. Whether it is developing a plan for growing food on a future Mars Colony or deciphering the chemical signals exchanged between living things, his research is at the intersection of chemistry and biology. His students are as likely to be in the greenhouse as they are in front of a mass spectrometer in the chemistry department. Dr. Palmer’s major area of research is ‘quorum sensing’, a mechanism by which bacteria coordinate both good and bad behaviors. A Florida native, Dr. Palmer grew up in St. Augustine. He received a B.A. from Florida State University in Biochemistry, a PhD in Biomolecular Chemistry from Emory University and then did an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His teaching style reflects his interdisciplinary research program, using the solid foundation of chemistry and physics our students develop to explain concepts of biology. Class discussion and developing communication skills are also key elements of his courses. 

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Hector Gutierrez, Ph.D.

Zero-G Heavyweight

Dr. Hector Gutierrez who received his B.S. degree in Applied Mathematics from Universidad Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University, is currently an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering. He can be found with his students in the lab researching the slosh dynamics of cryogenic fuel tanks under low gravity for NASA. Dr. Gutierrez's research expands to include magnetic suspension technology for the National Science Foundation, and the electromagnetic launching for affordable, agile access to space. He was instrumental in taking the learning out of the classroom and into a zero gravity environment with the help of NASA's Facilitated Access to Space Environment for Technology Program (FAST). FAST enables students and researchers to run experiments in a Zero-G research aircraft. Students were able to collect valuable data that has been used by NASA scientists and engineers, as well as by commercial companies. This work will benchmark and validate numerical models of liquid "sloshing" inside rocket propellant tanks in microgravity. His work with his aerospace students has resulted in numerous publications and awards, including the Career award from the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award. Dr. Gutierrez is leading the next generation of rocket scientists through hands-on experience in and out of the lab. Next stop: Panther-G, the first FIT guided rocket with on-board automatic control. Rock On, Rocket Scientist.

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Daniel Batcheldor, Ph.D.

Supermassive Scientist

Dr. Daniel Batcheldor earned his B.S and Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. Supermassive black holes lie at the heart of Dr. Batcheldor's research. These exotic objects, whose masses can reach billions of times that of the Sun, have been observed at, or near, the centers of galaxies and provide important clues to the ways galaxies evolve. His passion for such titans is shared with his physics and space sciences students in the classroom and on the observation deck. Each month, Dr. Batcheldor engages his students, and the local community, with astronomy and astrophysics through enlightening lectures and star-gazing sessions. Most nights, you can catch Dr. Batcheldor and his students on top of the roof of the Olin Physical Sciences Building peering through the Ortega Telescope, the most research active telescope in Florida. He is also leading research efforts to develop of the next generation of astronomical detectors that are likely to be used onboard the space-based telescopes of the future.

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Kenyon Lindeman, Ph.D.

Captain Planet

Dr. Kenyon Lindeman earned his Ph.D. from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences, a M.S. at the University of Puerto Rico, and a B.S. from Florida Tech. He manages the sustainability studies major and minor programs at Florida Tech. His approach to integrating sustainability into our curricula provides students from all degree programs an opportunity to bring a systems-based, interdisciplinary perspective into their studies and careers. His several books and articles in 18 different journals focus on emerging sustainable policy issues including the science-based management of coastal lands, habitats, and fisheries affected by climate change. He started his first non-profit organization in 1989 and grew up in multiple cities between Miami and Melbourne. When not on the laptop, he surfs the central Space Coast with his family. 

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Joshua Pritchard Ph.D.

Behavior Analyst

Dr. Joshua K Pritchard earned his doctorate in psychology from the University of Nevada-Reno. He is a BCBA-D (Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctorate). He is currently a full-time assistant professor at the Florida Institute of Technology and program manager of the hybrid MA program and currently serves as the president of ASAT and on several board of editors of scientific behavioral journals. He has provided behavioral services, assessments, and consultation to school settings, residential settings, in-home, and in-center for over a decade. He also has experience consulting with a variety of agencies across the country and internationally using his experience in Applied Behavior Analysis and Organizational Behavior Management. Josh explored ethics when in Reno during an OBM project at The Bunny Ranch and has since presented and written on the topic, offering a scheme for ethical guidelines within OBM that incorporates the complexities and dynamics that are added when consulting with systems and organizations. In addition, he has recently begun exploring the idea of a functional approach to ethics and how that would play out in a science of behavior and its derivative practices.

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Ted Petersen, Ph.D.

Media Maverick

Dr. Ted Petersen is a professor of communication who he teaches multiplatform communication and journalism classes. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida and his M.A. from University of South Florida and has written for the Gainesville Sun, the Independent Florida Alligator and the Florida Engineer. Currently, Dr. Petersen teaches new media and society, publishing and the internet, journalism, scientific and technical communication and basic writing. Dr. Petersen understands and explores how new media impacts the way news is distributed, created and used, which provides his students a real-world look at modern communication. He is the faculty adviser for the student-run newspaper, the Crimson, and helped them bring the first free speech event to campus. His research centers on how popular culture artifacts on collective memory; he even examined how Bob Dylan’s music of the 1960s and 1970s continues to shape popular memory.

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Jose Martinez-Diaz, Ph.D

Behavior Analysis Guru

Dr. Jose Martinez-Diaz, BCBA-D, is founder and Associate Dean of the School of Behavior Analysis at Florida Institute of Technology and he is also Special Assistant for Program Development. He is also CEO of ABA Technologies, Inc. and is an adjunct professor at Penn State's Department of Special Education.

Jose served as an officer and board member of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) for seven years and is now Senior Consultant for the BACB. Jose also serves as member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA). He also is a member of Florida’s Behavior Analysis Peer Review Committee. Jose is a past president of the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis, which awarded its highest honor, the Charles H. Cox Award for Outstanding Service and Advancement of Behavior Analysis in Florida in 2005.

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Jean-Paul Pinelli, Ph.D.

Loss Forcaster

Dr. Jean-Paul Pinelli is a professor of Civil Engineering at Florida Tech. He graduated from the University of Buenos Aires, and later obtained his Master and Ph.D degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Over the years, Dr. Pinelli has received more than $2.3 million, in external funding, as the principal investigator in more than 13 projects. He is the leader of the engineering team in the development of the Florida Public Hurricane Loss project funded by the State of Florida. The purpose is to develop a model to predict insurance hurricanes losses. His team recently started work on modeling the effect of storm surge, also a powerful tool for mitigation studies. Other research projects involve developing and using wireless instrumentation for the purpose of hurricane wind monitoring. The research has resulted in novel networks of wireless sensors, whose application goes beyond wind monitoring. Dr. Pinelli is also interested in the control of vibration. With colleagues at FIT he is investigating the effectiveness of magneto-rheological mass dampers for the damping of seismic and wind vibrations in tall buildings.

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Winston Scott

Jazztronaut

Captain Scott received his B.A. in Music from Florida State University and teaches music here at Florida Tech. His Master's degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the United States Naval Postgraduate School and honorary Ph.D.'s from both Florida Atlantic University and Michigan State University. During his naval career, he also served as a US Navy 'Top Gun' fighter pilot and test pilot and is one of three former astronaut faculty members at Florida Tech. Captain Scott embodies what it means to be a "renaissance man"; he is a black belt in Shotokan karate, plays the trumpet for several local bands-- including the all-faculty band, TWITCHY, and is an electronics hobbyist and an expert rifleman. When he isn't flying one of his Piper airplanes, you might catch him on several TV outlets. He has been featured on PBS, the Discovery Channel, Fox and NBC. Captain Scott's professional experience, community service and dynamic interests provide Florida Tech a true American hero to guide Florida Tech students and faculty. Captain Scott has spent a total of 25 days, including three spacewalks, in space on flights STS-72 and STS-87. As you can imagine, his music teaching style is "Out of this World".

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