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Julie Moore, M.S.

Aviation Ambassador

Professor Julie Moore earned her M.S. in Environmental Studies from Green Mountain College and her B.S. in Human Factors from the US Air Force Academy.  She is currently an Assistant Professor of Aviation Science in the College of Aeronautics, where she teaches aeronautics, advanced aircraft systems and unmanned aerial systems.  In addition to teaching at Florida Tech, Professor Moore is a Major in the US Air Force Reserves.  She has trained fighter pilots across the Air Force on adversary systems and tactics, specializing in infra-red systems, and she has over 1500 hours of jet time, serving in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle. Professor Moore enjoys bringing her experiences in military aviation to her classes, tying real life examples to concepts in aviation. For example, she flew an F-16C into the Melbourne International Airport, which allowed her students to see, in person, many of the same systems discussed in class. Her current research interests involve using unmanned aerial systems for environmental monitoring and conservation.

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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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Hamid Rassoul, Ph.D.

Captain Lightning

Dr. Hamid K. Rassoul, a veteran space physicist, joined Florida Tech following post-doctoral research fellowships at two major universities, and then at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. Driven by dreams of space travel, he graduated from the University of Texas with a PhD in space physics. Dr. Rassoul worked for NASA on the construction of a state-of-the-art Imaging Spectrometric Observatory that ultimately made the trip to space for him aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-45). His current research interests include x-ray and gamma-ray emissions produced by thunderstorms and lightning, initiation and propagation of lightning and electrical discharges, terrestrial gamma-ray flashes, solar modulation of galactic and anomalous cosmic rays, and instrument development. He is a co-discoverer of x-ray emissions from lightning that has had profound importance in atmospheric sciences. Dr. Rassoul serves as the Dean of Science at Florida Tech. If you’re lucky enough to be in one of his classes, you will be learning to think like a true physicist with the ability to reason qualitatively and quantitatively about physical processes.

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Stephen Wood, Ph.D.

Oceanic Mastermind

Dr. Stephen Wood oversees the ocean engineering program in the Department of Marine and Environmental Systems. An experienced mechanical and ocean engineering field researcher, he has worked as a marine research specialist at the University of Rhode Island and in the research laboratories of Hewlett Packard studying plastic injection-molding. Dr. Wood has also worked for Steag MicroTech in Pliezhausen, Germany, where he led a group that programmed software for robotic wet processing tools. Today, he teaches ocean engineering, hydroacoustics, fluid mechanics and underwater robotics. His research interests include autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) technology, specifically the areas of navigation, path planning and control, using neural networks, fuzzy logic, artificial intelligence and expert systems. Dr. Wood and his students have worked on a wing wave generator, remotely controlled hovercraft and remotely operated sea crawler. He takes great honor in the student’s achievements and looks forward to growing the marine and environmental program at Florida Tech. Dr. Wood received his Ph.D. from Oregon State University.

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Geoffrey Swain, Ph.D.

Marine Whiz

Dr. Geoffrey Swain, who received his Ph.D. from Southampton University, UK, is a professor of oceanography and ocean engineering. With a background in oceanography and marine biology materials engineering, he teaches courses on marine corrosion, the protection of marine materials, engineering materials, introduction to ocean engineering and application of marine materials. Dr. Swain frequently consults fundamentals of offshore engineering with industry, state and federal agencies in the fields of corrosion and biofouling control. Prior to joining Florida Tech, he worked in the North Sea oil industry conducting corrosion and biofouling surveys on offshore structures. He also has extensive experience with designing and implementing hydrographic and marine resources studies. He truly brings a creative viewpoint to Florida Tech's oceanography program.

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David Wilder, Ph.D.

Behavior Analyst

Dr. David Wilder is a Professor in the School of Behavior Analysis. He teaches courses in Research Design, Behavioral Assessment and Organizational Behavior Management. Dr. Wilder is involved in cutting-edge research as well as provides behavioral consultation services to individuals and organizations. In his courses, students can expect to be challenged while learning the latest techniques in research design, behavioral assessment, and behavioral interventions. He provides direct supervision as his students work with clients. This hands-on feedback enables students to become experts in applying behavior analysis in a real-world environment. Outside of his teaching and research commitments, Dr. Wilder is an active member of the ABA community, currently as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. In the past he served as the Associate Editor for the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and on the editorial boards of three additional professional journals. Dr. Wilder is a former President of the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis and the Organizational Behavior Management Network. This year, he received an award for outstanding scientific contributions to behavior analysis from the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis. 

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Christian Sonnenberg, Ph.D.

Systems Informant

Dr. Christian Sonnenberg is the Assistant Dean of Online Programs for the College of Business and an Assistant Professor in Information Systems. He earned his B.S., M.S. in Software Engineering, and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Florida Institute of Technology. Dr. Sonnenberg is passionate about introducing students early to technology in the business environment. Each year, he runs the Student Innovation Challenge, a hands-on competition that explores the use of technology for rapid prototyping, programming apps, and product design. Business freshmen create innovative concepts with the use of Raspberry Pis and present their prototypes to compete for cash awards. In his classes, Dr. Sonnenberg engages students in a variety of high demand, extremely marketable business technologies, such as PTC and SAP, and has also been instrumental in incorporating these tools into the online curriculum. Previous to joining Florida Tech, Dr. Sonnenberg worked as a software engineer for over ten years at Harris Corporation where he worked in a number of areas including directional wireless networks, cellular interrogation systems, and satellite image processing applications.

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Albert Bleakley, Ph.D.

Brilliant Builder

Dr. Bleakley received his bachelor of science degree from West Point, his master’s in civil engineering from MIT and his Ph.D., also in civil engineering, from Florida Institute of Technology. As an Army Corps of Engineers officer for 30 years, he has managed design and construction contracts in countries all over the world. He has also overseen environmental clean-ups, earthquake, hurricane, and flood disaster recovery including New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. Dr. Bleakley was instrumental in helping to develop the Construction Management program here at FIT. He and the other construction management faculty use over 100 years of combined industry experience to bring real-life examples, case studies, and projects to the classroom. He has enjoyed his career in construction management and wants his students to enjoy learning about it, too! Expect to be engaged his classroom with demonstrations, interactive questions, in-class problems, and group discussion. Be prepared to take interesting field trips to construction sites where students experience the work and get to talk with industry professionals on the job. Our construction management degree produces students into effective leaders in the construction industry!

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Alan Leonard, Ph.D.

Microbial Growth Guru

Dr. Alan Leonard is a professor of Biological Sciences and received his Ph.D. from Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. He is interested in the genetic regulation of cell growth and the complex molecular machinery that is required. His NIH-funded research is strongly focused on the control of bacterial chromosome replication, a mechanism that is similar in all types of cells. Understanding these regulators is not only a basic goal for cell biologists, but the studies in bacteria may lead to the identification of new targets and designs for antibiotics. Dr. Leonard teaches a general undergraduate course in Microbiology, as well as graduate courses in Cancer biology, Microbial biotechnology, and Prokaryotic cell growth regulation. His goals for the undergraduate course are to make students aware that microbes impact every aspect of their lives, and to share his fascination with these organisms in hands-on lab classes and lectures that are both informative and entertaining. Dr. Leonard’s research students have the opportunity to present their work at scientific conferences and are co-authors on manuscripts.

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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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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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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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John Deaton, Ph.D.

Neural Navigator

Dr. John Deaton earned his Ph.D. in applied experimental psychology at the Catholic University of America and his B.A. in psychology from San Diego State University.  Dr. Deaton is currently the Professor and Chair of the Aviation Human Factors program as well as the Director of Research for the College of Aeronautics. Before coming to Florida Tech, he was a NASA astronaut candidate and has over 700 hours of flight time logged on various Navy aircraft as well as experience with experimental aircraft. This deep understanding of how pilot safety is so ingrained with how efficiently pilots can integrate and respond to aviation technology is brought into the classroom and into the lab for an exciting blend of engineering and psychology.  Dr. Deaton is the director for the Center for Aviation Human Factors (CAHF) lab where he mentors students, secures sponsored research and teaches human factors courses. 

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Richard Aronson, Ph.D.

Marine Paleontologist

Professor Rich Aronson is Head of the Department of Biological Sciences. He grew up in Queens, New York and was interested in marine biology by the time he was nine. He received his A.B. from Dartmouth College in 1979 and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1985. Funded by the National Science Foundation, Dr. Aronson’s research program combines paleontology and ecology to reconstruct the response of marine communities to environmental change in deep time. He brings this information to bear in predicting the impacts of climate change on contemporary coral reefs and seafloor communities in Antarctica. He has dived from remote islands of the Indo-Pacific, to Scotland, to the ice-covered Antarctic seas. Dr. Aronson has also done several stints as a NOAA saturation diver, living in underwater habitats for a week at a time to study Caribbean reefs. His energetic teaching style is peppered with humorous stories about his travels. Rich is also very active in outreach. He visits K‒12 classes, works with journalists, and produces short videos on climate change and other environmental issues.

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Michael Freund, Ph.D.

Electrochemistry Expert

Dr. Freund’s research involves fundamental electrochemistry and its application in sensing, electronics and energy conversion. His academic career has included positions at Lehigh University, the Beckman Institute at Caltech and the University of Manitoba where he was Professor and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair. During his career, he has developed an educational approach that exposes students at all levels to hands on research in the laboratory that prepares them for strong, independent careers in science and engineering. In this manner, he has trained over 55 students and researchers in his laboratory who have gone on to careers in industry, government laboratories and academia. The research by Dr. Freund and his group members has resulted in innovative discoveries including the development of one of the first sensor arrays modeled after the mammalian olfactory system; the development of unique conducting polymer sugar sensors; and the introduction of new membranes for artificial photosynthesis. This work has appeared in over 100 articles, has been cited nearly 3,000 times and has resulted in 27 issued US patents. 

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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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Julia Grimwade, Ph.D.

DNA Diva

Dr. Julia Grimwade, who received her B.A. degree from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. from State University of New York, Buffalo is a professor and chair of Florida Tech's Premedical Biology program, as well as the advisor for all premedical programs on campus. Dr. Grimwade and her students spend most of their time in the lab studying DNA replication in bacteria trying to identify the fundamental mechanisms involved with cell growth to better understand growth in all organisms on the planet. These insights could lead to developing more novel antibiotics. Her research, published in several journals, continues to expand the knowledge base for molecular biology, including DNA replication and bacterial growth regulation. With fellow professor Dr. Alan Leonard, Dr. Grimwade has secured more than $1 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, enabling Florida Tech students to continue world class research.

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Matthew Ruane, Ph.D.

Global Educator

Dr. Matthew Ruane received his B.A. in History & Political Science from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, his M.A. and most of the work for a Ph.D. (ABD) in History from the University of Delaware, and his Ph.D. in Higher Education & Policy Studies from the University of Central Florida. His research is equally wide-ranging, from pirates to WW1 doctors, as well as on the role of foundations in higher education. Dr. Ruane teaches many different courses from western mythology to military history, along with the western civilization and U.S. history surveys. Dr. Ruane, according to one of his students “talks WITH his students, not AT them, (thus) keeping them engaged,” ensuring that they “always receive the important information and understand why it is significant.” A graduate of two East-West Center “Infusing Institutes,” Dr. Ruane has begun to infuse Chinese, Japanese and South Asian topics and issues into his existing courses to provide students with a more global perspective to their education. 

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James Brenner, Ph.D.

Hydrogen Hero

James Brenner received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware and went on to receive his M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. Currently, Brenner is researching hydrogen fuel cell technology. Brenner and his students are working on the development of an array of porous carbon templates. These arrays are to act as a novel gas diffusion layer for hydrogen cells, a technology that has been under-researched and under-developed, until now. The cutting edge research Brenner and his students are conducting has the potential to impact the practicality of hydrogen fuel cell use in personal vehicles. Brenner's teaching methods have garnered him multiple awards, including the 2011 Kerry Bruce Clark Award for Excellence in Teaching, six teaching awards from students and one teaching award from the College of Engineering.

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Wanfa Zhang, Ph.D.

Political Expert

Dr. Wanfa Zhang is an internationally known expert on world politics. An associate professor of political science in the School of Arts and Communication, his research focuses on great power politics and quantitative study of interstate conflict. A popular guest speaker on international and Chinese politics in the United States and China, Dr. Zhang has also chaired best-paper award committees and is a sought-after reviewer for esteemed academic journals. He earned his PhD in political science from the University of Alabama in 2009. Previously he taught at the prestigious China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing. He believes that challenging the conventional thinking of his students and getting them to think critically are vital to his teaching. He constantly involves his students in his research projects so that they acquire not only direct understanding but also hands-on experiences of social scientific research. Currently he is conducting an ambitious decade-long research project tracing college students’ perception of good governance and the redistribution of power in the international system in the 21st century.

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