Program Director and Professor of Practice, Michigan Technological University
Rick holds a dual role at Michigan Technological University. He is as Professor of Practice in the Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MMET) and Director of the Enterprise Program, housed in the Pavlis Honors College (PHC). Since 2015, Rick has led Enterprise – an innovative multi-year, interdisciplinary, project-based, and industrial-sponsored program – available to undergraduate and graduate students from all majors. The program’s scope includes a portfolio of 25 teams, 900 students from 35 majors, 38 faculty involved in advising and instruction, and annual support from 40+ external partners and supporters. Additionally, Rick serves on Michigan Tech’s Corporate Council, which facilitates corporate engagement and holistic corporate partnerships across the areas of research, recruitment, student projects, technology transfer, and philanthropy. From 2006-2015, Rick worked as the Sponsored Projects Manager for Michigan Tech’s Enterprise and Senior Design Programs, securing more than $6 million in externally-sponsored projects for these programs.
As a professor of practice in the Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology, Rick’s teaching responsibilities and research interests include continuous improvement (Lean and Six Sigma), quality engineering, product development, and design methodologies. Since 2008, Rick has also served as the faculty advisor to Michigan Tech’s Supermileage Systems Enterprise, a multidisciplinary team who develops energy-efficient vehicles for the SAE Supermileage and Shell Eco-marathon vehicle design competitions.
Prior to Michigan Tech, Rick spent 12 years in multiple industry roles spanning the automotive, commercial vehicle, and consumer products sectors. His educational background includes a BSME from the University of Toledo, an MBA from Bowling Green State University, and a MSME from Michigan Technological University.