Mike grew up in southwest Kansas and started as a soda jerk for the family business when he was 10. He progressed to overhauling engines, delivering milk in a stand-up drive manual transmission truck, and expanding the business into packaged ice. He then pursued the B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Kansas. Mike joined the U.S. Air Force where he tested bombs, missiles, and aircraft avionics in Florida. Beaches, sailboats, and fresh seafood became popular indulgences as this Kansas boy embraced Florida’s offerings. He left the Air Force for Colorado to work in on ballistic missile defense while starting and running a popcorn business.
Yearning for the academic environment, Mike decided to pursue the Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He then spent four years at Vanderbilt teaching engineering and computer science while performing research in metal additive manufacturing, virtual prototyping, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, and thermal analysis. He also led and conducted evidence-based teaching workshops, teaching as research, learning communities, learning through diversity, and mentoring programs. Mike moved to Oregon Tech in Portland, Oregon in 2016 where he teaches mechanical and manufacturing engineering and technology and leads research efforts at the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC). Mike is the principal investigator on several research projects covering numerous aspects of metals manufacturing.