Frank McPhillips is a lucky man. He has been able to unite his two main passions in life: teaching and machining. This "2003 Teacher of the Year" in machine trades for the state of Indiana, named so by the Indiana Association of Career and Technical Teachers, is a certified manufacturing engineer in general manufacturing engineering and a certified manufacturing technologist in both computer automated systems and robotics.
He started at Prosser School of Technology in 1985 as an automation lab manager for a pilot project, where he developed programs and hands-on projects that would introduce high school students to computers, CNC's robotics, PLC's, hydraulics, and pneumatics. He then taught computer programming, PC repair, and managed the school's computer network for two years.
In 1995, he had the opportunity to incorporate his other passion - machining. For the last eight years, he has been the instructor for Prosser's Machine Trades Program and the U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship Training Program. During his tenure in the Machine Trades Program, he has had two school state championship titles and two runner-up titles, 10 individual state winners, and a third place national champion. He currently serves as a Skills-USA VICA advisor.
In 2002, he was chairman of the Indiana State University Machine Trades Workshop. That same year, he created an industry and education partnership with Charmilles Technology, which allows Prosser to teach 4-axis wire EDM. McPhillips is currently developing a National Institute of Metalworking Standards NIMBS Certification Program for Prosser.
He recently was named to the Indiana Trade and Industrial State Standards Development Task Force for Machine Trades. For the last 14 years, he has taught several classes in the MET and TG programs at Purdue University-New Albany.
This was originally written for the Distinguished Technology Alumni Awards in 2003.