Dr. Ropp has over 18 years experience in technical operations and educational development in risk-sensitive technology industries, including supervisory roles in air vehicle airframe maintenance operations for a major U.S. air carrier. He has taught in SATT's Aeronautical Engineering Technology area since 2005, using the School's large transport laboratory jets as research and immersive learning platforms for students. His research focus areas include technology innovations for Advanced Aerospace Manufacturing and Next Generation air vehicle lifecycle management; Safety Risk Management for aerospace and airport surface operations. Dr. Ropp has served on the Federal Aviation Administration's Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) Institute through the Joint Planning and Development Office in Washington, D.C. (2008-2010) as a safety working group member, and has researched and presented on safety risk management systems around the world. While at Purdue he has developed and deployed safety management systems, quality management system and human factors leadership training in several industry sectors including work with the U.S. Navy’s Undersea Weapons facility at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and some of the largest aviation MRO and Air Carrier organizations in North America.
Dr. Ropp is Director of the Aerospace and MRO Technology Innovation (AMT-I) Center at Purdue and leads its R&D arm - Hangar of the Future Research Laboratory. The lab focuses on novel technology innovations for next generation air vehicle MRO and advanced aerospace manufacturing processes. His award winning undergraduate and graduate student research teams are often published, are invited presenters at conferences and STEM career and education demonstrations around the U.S. and have patent disclosures on key projects. His students have won and placed in national design competitions with FAA, and Boeing and at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine - Transportation Research Board (TRB) Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) University Design Competition. His Hangar of the Future lab and student teams have been featured in Aviation Week and Space Technology, Popular Mechanics magazine and the national Big Ten Network.
FAA certificated Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic.
FAA certificated Private Pilot.
April 2023 - Charles B. Murphy Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, School of Aviation and Transportation Technology
April 2020 - Charles B. Murphy Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, Purdue Polytechnic.
April 2018 - Charles B. Murphy Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, Purdue Polytechnic.
April 2017 - Outstanding Faculty in Engagement, Purdue Polytechnic.
March 2017 - Outstanding Faculty in Engagement, School of Aviation and Transportation Technology
2016 - National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine - Transportation Research Board's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs - 2nd place. Touchscreen Air traffic Management System (TAMS). Runway Safety/Runway Incursion/Runway Excursion Challenge.
2015 - Outstanding Faculty in Engagement - School of Aviation and Transportation Technology.
2015 - Boeing Information Technology Case, National Design Competition Co-winner. Engineering, Operations and Technology. March 2015. Hangar of the Future team won with their software application design using "point cloud” Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) data to detect man-made objects over complex terrain.
2014 - Outstanding Faculty in Undergraduate Learning Award – Dept. of Aviation Technology.
2012 - Nominee: Dwyer Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching for Dept. of Aviation Technology. Nominated by AT Student Council.
2012 - FAA National Design Competition for Universities - 3rd place, national student team faculty research advisor. Coordinated Dept. of Aviation Technology undergraduate student design team on innovative in-ground taxi-runway signage and concept design paper.
2012 - Good to Great Award. Purdue University College of Technology Dean’s Forum. April 13, 2012. Award for commitment to excellence and demonstrating impact in the field of work.
2010 - FAA National Design Competition for Universities - 1st place, national winning student team faculty research advisor. Coordinated Dept. of Aviation Technology undergraduate student design team on development of autonomous aircraft tug at high density airports. Provisional patent with students.
2010 - Department of Aviation Technology. Outstanding Non-tenured Faculty nominee award for Dept. of Aviation Technology, 2010. Prior awards 2008 and 2009.
Recent Publications, Conference Proceedings & Presentations:
Ropp, T.D. (2023). Digital Twins for applied teaching and learning in Aeronautical Engineering Technology Curriculum. White Paper Report, Aerospace and MRO Technology Innovation (AMT-I) Center’s Hangar of the Future. May 11, 2023. Purdue University, School of Aviation and Transportation Technology. West Lafayette, IN https://tropp31.wixsite.com/purduepolycrjg4lab
Ropp, T.D. & Cronin, G. (2023). The case for data science, automation, AI and programming integration into an Aeronautical Engineering Technology Curriculum. White Paper Report, Aerospace and MRO Technology Innovation (AMT-I) Center’s Hangar of the Future. April 4, 2023. Purdue University, School of Aviation and Transportation Technology. West Lafayette, IN https://tropp31.wixsite.com/purduepolycrjg4lab
Yother, T., Dubikovsky, S., Davis, J.M., Hagovsky, T.D., Ropp, T.D., Sterkenburg, R., Thom, J.M., & Wang, P-H. (2022). Identification of core competencies for Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering Technology. Journal of Engineering Technology, Vol. 39, Iss.1. Spring 2022: 42-55.
Borgen, K.B.G, Ropp, T.D. & Weldon, W.T.G (2021). Assessment of Augmented Reality Technology’s Impact on Speed of Learning and Task Performance in Aeronautical Engineering Technology Education. The International Journal of Aerospace Psychology, 31:3, 219-229, 19 February, 2021. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/24721840.2021.1881403 DO... Paper published with graduate students.
Ropp, T.D. & Belt, S.M.F., (2020). Resilience as a competency for aviation and aerospace professionals: A review of the literature. American Society for Engineering Education. 2020 Annual conference – Technical Educational Research Division. June 24, 2020 Technical Session. Proceedings.
Ropp, T.D., Pirateque, J.E., Aurenas, J.M., Minarik, K & Lopp, D. (2020). Hangar of the Future 2030: Challenges for MRO, Aerospace and Aviation Education. Presentation on international survey results of workforce competency needs in MRO and Aerospace, 2020. Aviation Week-MRO Latin America International conference, Hilton Cartagena, Cartagena, Colombia. Jan. 22-23, 2020.
Ropp, T.D. (2018). Igniting self-directed learning and higher level workforce competencies in an aviation curriculum. Presentation. Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation (IMPACT). Center for Instructional Excellence, West Lafayette, IN.
Hubbard, S. M., Ropp, T. D. (2017). Human Decision Making and Threat-awareness Response during Emergency Aircraft Evacuations. 19th Annual International Symposium on Aviation Psychology (ISAP 2017). Dayton, Ohio, USA 8-11 May 2017. Proceedings. ISBN: 978-1-5108-4214-4.
Wang, Y., Anne, A., & Ropp, T. (2016). Publication with student and industry partner. Applying the Technology Acceptance Model to Understand Aviation Students’ Perceptions Toward Augmented Reality Maintenance Training Instruction. International Journal of Aviation, Aeronautics, and Aerospace, 3(4), 11. http://commons.erau.edu/ijaaa/
Ropp, T.D. (2016). Aviation Week - Speed News 4th Annual Aerospace Manufacturing Conference. Executive Roundtable Session, invited Keynote speaker: The Aerospace Technology Landscape: Preparing a Workforce as Pioneers. Belmond Charleston Place - Charleston, S.C. May 3, 2016.
Leasure, M., Ropp, T.D., Chia, J., & Appold, E., (2015). Inspection, Maintenance and Repair Training for Civilian Unmanned Aircraft. Aviation Technology Education Council (ATEC) Journal, Fall 2015, Vol. 37, Iss. 2, pg. 21-23.
Ropp, T.D., Anne, A., Davis, J.M., (2014). Incorporating 3D printing as an introduction to digital manufacturing in an aeronautical engineering technology curriculum. Aviation Technology Education Council (ATEC)Journal, Vol. 36: Iss. 2, pg. 1.
Anne, A., Garcia, E., Deng, K., Morrissette, J. & Ropp, T.D. (2014). Using Augmented reality in advanced aerospace manufacturing and maintenance. Purdue University Research Roundtable Poster Session. Purdue Memorial Union Ballroom. Nov. 11, 2014.
Ropp, T., Minkel, A., Dobson, J. & Reed, J. (2014). Visual Electronic Cumulative Threat and Operational Risk - “VECTOR”: Threat Management System for Aerospace Operations. Purdue University Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium, April 8, 2014.
Hartman, N., & Ropp, T. (2013). Examining the use of model-based work instructions in the aviation maintenance environment. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Product Lifecycle Management, PLM13, 8th - 10th July 2013. Nantes, France.
Ropp, T.D.; Thomas, E., Lee, S.; Broyles, A.; Lewin, P.; Andreychek, C. & Nicol, J. (2013). Creating hybrid adaptive air vehicle technical work instructions using Augmented Reality and 2D Barcode visualization technologies. White paper. Hangar of the Future Research Laboratory, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. June 2013.
Borsa, R., Dillman, B.G & Ropp, T.D. (2013). Exploring the impact of ADS-B NextGen technology requirements for general aviation. Proceedings of 17th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology (pp. 214-219). Wright State University. Dayton, OH. May 6 – 9, 2013. Paper and Poster session.
Ropp, T., Hedden, J.B., Mick, P., Davis, J. M., & Austin Jr., S.W. (2012). Incorporating advanced aircraft technologies into an Aeronautical Engineering Technology curriculum. Journal of Aviation Technology and Engineering, Vol. 2: Iss. 1, Article 5. http://dx.doi.org/10.5703/1288284314863
Lu, C-t., Schreckengast, S., Ropp, T. D., & Dillman, B. (2011). System safety study; Pedagogical aviation action research. The Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education Research (JAAER), 20(3), 17-23.
Ropp, T., Whittinghill, D., Bowen, E., Hansen, R., and Holmes, J. (2011, June). Work in progress: Incorporating pervasive computing concepts into an aircraft maintenance job task card system. Paper presented at the American Society of Engineering Education annual conference and exposition, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Dubikovsky, S., Ropp, T. D., & Lesczynski, T. (2010). Developing next generation research competencies through collaborative student design and advanced manufacturing projects. International Journal of Applied Aviation Studies (IJAAS), 10(1), 219-225.
Ropp, T. D., & Dillman, B. G. (2010). Standardized measures of safety: Finding global common ground for safety metrics. Technology Interface Journal, 10(3). Available online: http://www.technologyinterface.nmsu.edu/Spring10/
Ropp, T. D. (2009). Implementing safety management systems for aviation into an aviation technology curriculum. Technology Interface Journal, (10) 2. Available online: http://www.technologyinterface.nmsu.edu/Winter09/
Johnson, M. E., & Ropp, T. D. (2009). Safety and process improvement using PFMEA in aviation courses and laboratories. Aviation Technician Education Council Journal (ATEC), 31(2), 10-17.
Ropp, T. D., Dubikovsky, S., & Johnson, M. (2009). Using peer and team performance assessments as learning tools on collaborative student projects. Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education and Research (JAAER), 18(3), 48-55.
Woo, I., Kim, S. Y., Maciejewski, R., Ebert, D., Ropp, T., & Thomas, K. (2009). A context-preserving interactive visualization system for technical diagrams. Computer Graphics Forum, 28(3), 943-950.
Dr. Ropp routinely engages with global aerospace and air transportation companies. He is known for involving students directly in a variety of hand-on process, safety and technology integration projects where students themselves present to industry leaders and at conferences, demonstrate prototypes, submit for patents and publish their findings. He also invites industry leaders into the classroom to talk first hand about current state of the industry.