Thinker Experts

People

Creating graduates who are ready for today’s challenges

Team

ABOUT US

The THINKER program is home to award-winning, internationally recognized faculty, staff and students, all of whom are committed to the growth and success of the THINKER project. In addition, many professional organizations, national foundations and industry partners are providing support and active participation in the program.

NSF RESEARCH TEAM

Laine Mears

Principal Investigator

Mears is a Professor and BMW SmartState Endowed Chair of Automotive Manufacturing in the Automotive Engineering department at Clemson University. He teaches and conducts research in manufacturing quality estimation, Intelligent Machining Systems, manufacturing process design and control, and manufacturing equipment diagnostics, at CUICAR.
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Amy Apon

Co-Principal Investigator

Apon is a Professor and C. Tycho Howle Director of the School of Computing. Her areas of research interest include cloud computing, performance modeling and analysis of parallel and distributed system, data-intensive computing, emerging parallel architectures, and impact of high-performance computing to research competitiveness.
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Josh Summers

Co-Principal Investigator

Summers, Professor in Mechanical Engineering and named College IDEaS Professor at Clemson University, co-directs the CEDAR Group (Clemson Engineering Design Applications and Research). His areas of interest include collaborative design, knowledge management, and design enabler development with the overall objective of improving design through collaboration and computation.
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Debi Switzer

Co-Principal Investigator

Switzer is a Professor of Education and chair of the Department of Education and Human Development in the College of Education at Clemson University. Her interests in motivation, assessment, and research design include the instructional benefits of virtual worlds and other technologies.
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Danielle Herro

Associate Professor

Herro, Associate Professor of Digital Media and Learning at Clemson University in the College of Education. Danielle’s research includes work on assessing collaboration for students working in computational thinking activities and STEAM instruction. She also focuses on investigating the intersection of games, identity and social practices, and the efficacy of teacher professional development towards integrating STEAM instructional units and providing equitable participation for students.

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Mary Beth Kurz

Associate Professor

Kurz is an associate professor in Industrial Engineering at Clemson University. Her teaching and research interests include optimization for assembly-related tasks (scheduling, sequencing, line balancing), using exact techniques, heuristics, and metaheuristics.
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Kris Frady

Assistant Professor

Frady is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education Department of Educational and Organizational Leadership and Development and the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences Department of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University. Her research interests include economic development, policy, and industry factors impacting education, leadership and workforce development.
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Nathan McNeese

Assistant Professor

McNeese is an assistant professor and director of the TRACE Research Group in the School of Computing at Clemson University. His research interests include the study of team cognition and technology, human-machine teaming, the development & design of human-centered collaborative tools and systems, and better understanding teamwork in health care.
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Dr. Marissa Shuffler-Porter

Associate Professor

Shuffler is an Associate Professor in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences at Clemson University. Some of her research interests include teamwork, team dynamics, leadership, team and leadership development, virtual teamwork, geographic dispersion of teams, multicultural team leadership, and artificial intelligence and technology in teams.
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Dr. Gregory Mocko

Associate Professor

Mocko is an associate professor in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences at Clemson University. His research interests include the study of engineering design processes and tools, computer aided engineering design and analysis, information and knowledge management systems, functional modeling, requirements and customer needs analysis..
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Carol Beckham

Program Coordinator

Beckham, with more than 20 years of experience in continuing education, has a track record of helping organizations find solutions to process and employee challenges. She has worked with many of the Upstate’s employers helping them connect with educational resources (through training design and implementation, consulting, and coaching).
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Thinker Fellows and Scholars

Sydney Begerowski

THINKER

Hometown: New Baltimore, MI
BS in Psychology
In Progress: MS and PhD Industrial Organizational Psychology

Kaitlyn Conway

THINKER

Hometown: Damascus, MD
BS in Mechanical Engineering, LeTourneau University
MS in Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University
In progress: PhD in Mechanical Engineering

Lauren Jacques

THINKER

Hometown: Manchester, NH
BS in Food Science and Nutrition and
Minor in Mathematics at University of Vermont
In Progress: MS in Industrial Engineering

Flanagan Waldherr

THINKER

Hometown: Elmhurst, IL
BA in Physics, Mathematics
In progress: PhD in Automotive Engineering

Jacob Biddlecom

THINKER

Hometown: Charlotte, NC
BS in Mechanical Engineering
MS in Mechanical Engineering
In progress: PhD in Mechanical Engineering with emphasis in fracture mechanics (FRAME Lab)

Scott Kerner

THINKER

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
BS in Mechanical Engineering, Penn State Behrend
In progress: MS, Automotive Engineering – Manufacturing

Geoff Musick

THINKER

Second Year THINKER Student
Ph.D. Student in Human-Centered Computing (2019 – Present)
MS in Education, Instructional Practice (2014 – 2016)
B.S. Biochemistry (2009 – 2013) Lipscomb University

Lucas Morand

THINKER

Second Year THINKER Student
BS Mechanical Engineering, Clemson
MS Mechanical Engineering, Clemson
In Progress: PhD Mechanical Engineering

Lauren Mims

THINKER

Second Year THINKER Student
Hometown: Wellington, OH
BS in Physics
MS in Automotive Engineering
In progress: PhD in Automotive Engineering

INDUSTRY ADVISORY BOARD

Kavit Antani

Kavit Antani

BMW

Jay Blankenship

Jay Blankenship

Commerce Department

Bill Dammers

Bill Dammers

JTEKT

Kurt Goodwin

Kurt Goodwin

Good Wind LLC

Andy Henderson

Andy Henderson

PRAEMO

Diego Tamburin

Diego Tamburin

Microsoft Azure