Project Consultants

Project Advisory Board

Dr. Ragu Athinarayanan joined the School of Engineering Technology (SOET) in July 2017. Prior to joining SOET, Dr. Athinarayanan served in various leadership roles for 17 years as Department Head and Associate Dean. He has provided leadership in the development of research and academic programs that are consistent with state and national priorities. Under his leadership he has led the development of more than 20 academic programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Sandra is the Executive Director of the American Technical Education Association (ATEA) starting in 2012. She served as the Dean of Technical Trade and Apprenticeship Program at Saint Paul College. Prior to that she was the Director of Partnerships and Articulated programs for the University of Minnesota in Rochester, Minnesota, establishing the base for a future University campus. She has served as the Director, Academic Affairs for the Minnesota State Universities, with 7 universities and 35,000 students.

Dr. Matei studies the relationship between communication technologies and social interaction, broadly defined. His research investigates the social dynamics of online communities and groups, including those that produce knowledge, and the relationship between social structures and communication patterns. His work includes development of online platforms and ethical propositions for structuring social interactions online.

Mr. Robert L. Nida, also known as Bob has been Vice President of Organizational Development at Wabash National Corp. since February 27, 2014. Mr. Nida has been Vice President of Business Development at Wabash National, Inc since February 2008. He served as vice president and general manager, retail at Wabash National since 2008. He is employed at Wabash National Trailer Centers He served as corporate senior vice president at Accuride Corporation in Evansville, Ind.

VR Simulation Script Development Committee

Dr. M. Austin Creasy is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Technology for the Purdue Polytechnic at the Columbus Statewide Site.  He teaches courses related to materials, mechanics, and programming.  His research interests are related to engineering technology education, acoustics, and vibrations.

Jason Doty is a Lead Video Producer/Director at Purdue University. He's also an award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker.  He taught screenwriting and film production at Purdue University for seven years. As a screenwriter, he's optioned and sold 4 screenplays to production companies and major studios. Focus Features (Universal Studios' prestige label) acquired his screenplay, Deprivation in 2013.  He's pitched on writing assignments at Warner Bros, Amazon Studios, and Bad Robot (JJ Abrams company). He's a member of the Writer's Guild of America (WGA).

Joe Fuehne is the Director and Maha Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at the Purdue Statewide campus in Columbus, IN. He earned a BS degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois and MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in both Texas and Indiana.  He has industrial experience in the aerospace, oil, and automotive industries and has been at Purdue since 2002.  

Bob Goosen is the Associate Director of Engineering and Technology Services for the Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). He is responsible for leveraging Purdue’s extensive technical strengths and capabilities to assist Indiana manufacturers with advanced technologies, such as Augmented/Virtual Reality, Robotics, Additive Manufacturing, and more. Bob has over 21 years of combined manufacturing, engineering, and operations management experience. Before joining Purdue MEP, Bob held several positions at Dow AgroSciences, including Global Asset Improvement Leader, Global Project Leader, and Manufacturing Production Leader.

Dr. Lan Jin is currently the Intercultural Learning Specialist of the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research (CILMAR) at Purdue University. Her major research interests lie in the area of intercultural competence development in the classroom, study abroad programs, virtual exchange programs, and co-curricular programs, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. Dr. Jin is particularly interested in developing intercultural interventions for teaching and learning using innovative approaches to improve intercultural competence and other student learning outcomes.

Nastasha E. Johnson is Associate Professor of Library Science at Purdue University Libraries & School of Information Studies in West Lafayette, IN.  She also serves as a Provost Fellow in the Office of the Provost, Division of Diversity & Inclusion and an Intercultural Learning Officer for the Center of Intercultural Learning, Mentoring, Assessment, and Research(CILMAR).  As liaison to the Mathematics & Physics Departments, she maintains the Mathematical Sciences Library and the Physics and Astronomy library collection. 

Thomas Lucas received a PhD in Electrical Engineering and has research experience Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS). He transitioned from research to teaching Electrical Engineering Technology at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington, IN. Currently, Dr. Lucas is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the School of Engineering Technology at Purdue Polytechnic Institute.

Natalie Medich is a manufacturing operations content expert for the NSF Collaborative Research: Developing Business Communication Skills in Manufacturing Technician Education. She is the Department Chair and Assistant Professor for Advanced Manufacturing, Automation and Robotic Technology for Ivy Tech Community College.  She was recognized in 2020 by the Indiana Manufacture's Association with the Manufacturing Excellence Award for her contributions to manufacturing talent related to Industry 4.0.  As a graduate of Purdue University – West Lafayette in Industrial Engineering, she brings more than fifteen years of Manufacturing Engineering and Six Sigma Black Belt experience to the project. 

Dr. Parker currently works in Global Engineering Programs and Partnerships as the Director of the Global Competence Initiative and the Asst. Director of Student Mobility & Assessment. She is charged with managing and implementing a grant from the US Department of State to significantly increase the number of transformative experiences in the Americas including study abroad, internships abroad, and international research collaborations. In addition, she manages various strategic partnerships in Latin America and Spain for the College of Engineering.

Dr. Andy Schaffer is Associate Head for Faculty Affairs in the School of Engineering Technology at Purdue University and Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering Technology. He previously served as Associate Dean responsible for the nine-campus Purdue Polytechnic Statewide system and prior to that served as Director of Polytechnic Locations at Columbus, Greensburg, New Albany, and Vincennes, Indiana.

Dr. Jacquelyn Thomas-Miller is the Director of Advising and Retention in the College of Education, after serving three years as the Managing Director of the Family Impact Institute at Purdue University. She is a former public high school and elementary school administrator which followed a 19+ years teaching career in special education. Dr. Jackie’s passion as an educational leader is unveiled in her work as a published author, public speaker, and trainer. She is an avid community servant who focuses primarily on our most vulnerable youth, families, and women while also embedding service to all mankind through the Program Targets of the honorable Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and various community organizations.

Dr. Rustin Webster is an assistant professor in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University and specializes in mechanical engineering and computer graphics technology. Dr. Webster’s industry experience includes time as a contractor for the Department of Defense as an engineer, project manager, and researcher. He holds a B.S. in Engineering Graphics and Design and a M.S. in Management of Technology from Murray State University, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Webster has received various professional certifications from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, SOLIDWORKS, and the Project Management Institute.