AnnMarie Thomas

Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship

apthomas@stthomas.edu

(651) 962-5509

M.S., Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
Other, Ocean Enginerring, MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

See publications in UST Research Online

AnnMarie Thomas, Ph.D., is an associate professor in both the School of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) and the Opus College of Business (Entrepreneurship.) After receiving degrees in engineering, with an emphasis on robotics and design, from MIT and Caltech, AnnMarie has focused her research on design process and prototyping, particularly with an emphasis on K-12 collaboration and the interface between art and technology. In 2012, AnnMarie served as the founding Executive Director of the Maker Education Initiative non-profit, laying the groundwork for the national Maker Corps program. She is the author of "Making Makers: Kids, Tools, and the Future of Innovation." As the founder/director of UST's Playful Learning Lab, AnnMarie is the creator of Squishy Circuits (which led to a startup company founded by one of her former research students) and a frequent collaborator with companies (such as Autodesk, the Alinea Restaurant Group, and Disney), museums (including MN Children's Museum, the NY Hall of Science, and Science Museum of MN), and libraries.

Fall 2017 Courses
Fall 2017 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
ENGR 171 - 01 Engineering Graphics & Design - T - R - - - 0955 - 1135 OSS 230
Description of course Engineering Graphics & Design : CRN: 40095 4 Credit Hours
Through a combination of lectures, hands-on computer lab time, and design projects, students will learn to read, and create engineering drawings and use computer-aided design (CAD) terminology and technology. Topics covered will include the engineering design process, rapid prototyping, principles of projection and introductory methods of representation and constructive geometry.
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
ENTR 490 - 01 Technology Prototyping - T - R - - - 1525 - 1700 MCH 115
Description of course Technology Prototyping : CRN: 42873 4 Credit Hours
This hands-on class will provide a fast-paced introduction to a variety of technologies. Students will be introduced to computer programming, 3D design, and electrical circuits. Through a variety of projects, lectures, and assignments, students will learn the basics of creating working prototypes of their ideas in both hardware and software. No prerequisites. Course counts as an elective in the Entrepreneurship minor and major.
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
J-Term 2018 Courses
J-Term 2018 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
Spring 2018 Courses
Spring 2018 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
EGED 531 - 01 Engineering Design - - - - - - - -
Description of course Engineering Design : CRN: 22170
Through a combination of lectures, hands-on computer lab time, and design projects, students will learn to read, and create, engineering drawings and use computer-aided-design (CAD) terminiology and technology. Topics covered will include the engineering design process, rapid prototyping, principles of projection, and introductory methods of representation and constructive geometry. This class is designed for K-12 educators. We will teach a variety of software packages, including at least one commercial package typically used in industry and at least one package that is freely available. Strategies for incorporating engineering design projects into the K-12 classroom will be discussed.
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
ENGR 171 - 02 Engineering Graphics & Design - T - R - - - 0800 - 0940 OSS 230
Description of course Engineering Graphics & Design : CRN: 20895 4 Credit Hours
Through a combination of lectures, hands-on computer lab time, and design projects, students will learn to read, and create engineering drawings and use computer-aided design (CAD) terminology and technology. Topics covered will include the engineering design process, rapid prototyping, principles of projection and introductory methods of representation and constructive geometry.
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
ENTR 490 - 01 Environmental Sust Innovation M - W - - - - 1335 - 1510 MCH 110
Description of course Environmental Sust Innovation : CRN: 21816 4 Credit Hours
An elective course designed to introduce students to the role of environmental sustainability in product development. This course will look at ways that a wide variety of companies have adopted environmentally sustainable practices, and we will practice using methods such as life cycle analysis and whole system thinking. Students will learn and use an array of design thinking techniques. All students will be expected to complete a final project in which they work in a team to write a proposal for a business based on sustainable principles. Prerequisite: ENTR 200 or ENGR 150 or Instructor Permission.
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
Academic and Professional Positions
  • Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas - Opus College of Business, Saint Paul / Minneapolis (2015 - present)
  • Director, UST Center for Pre-Collegiate Engineering Education, Saint Paul (2014 - present)
  • Director, Playful Learning Lab, Saint Paul (2013 - present)
  • Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas - School of Engineering, Saint Paul (2012 - present)
  • Co-Founder / Co-Director, UST Center for Pre-Collegiate Engineering Education, Saint Paul (2009 - 2014)
  • Executive Director/Founding Director, Maker Education Initiative, Sebastopol (2012 - 2013)
  • Assistant Professor, University of St. Thomas - School of Engineering, Saint Paul (2006 - 2012)
  • Research Assistant, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (2001 - 2006)
  • Teaching Assistant, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (2006 - 2006)
  • Faculty, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena (2004 - 2006)
  • Research Assistant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (1997 - 2001)
  • Teaching Assistant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (1998 - 2001)

Professional Service
  • Disney Imagicademy Advisory Panel,

Publications
  • Thomas, A., & Abraham, J. (2010). Numerical simulation of circular synthetic jets with asymmetric forcing profile. Open Mechanical Engineering Journal, (4), pp. 1-7
  • Abraham, J., & Thomas, A. (2009). Induced co-flow and laminar-to-turbulent transition with synthetic jets. Computers and Fluids, (38), pp. 1011-1017

Books and Chapters
  • Thomas, A. (2014). Making Makers: Kids, Tools and the Future of Innovation. Maker Media
  • Thomas, A., & Fontichiaro, K. (2014). Squishy Circuits (21st Century Skills Innovation Library: Makers as Innovators). Cherry Lake Publictions
  • Thomas, A. (2013). Design, Make, Play: Growing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators. In Margaret Honey and David E. Kanter (Ed.), Squishy Circuits, Ch 8 (pp. 119-137). Routledge

Research Interests

Presentations
  • "Creative circuits with deaf students" ASEE - American Society of Engineering Education, Iowa City, Iowa, June 01, 2014
  • "Science and engineering practices in food science and chemistry" ASEE - American Society of Engineering Education, Iowa City, Iowa, June 01, 2014
  • "Stories to inspire very young engineers" ASEE - American Society of Engineering Education, Iowa City, Iowa, June 01, 2014
  • "A comparison of design education across two fields: Lessons from industrial design and mechanical engineering" ASEE - American Society of Engineering Education, Vancouver, British Columbia, June 01, 2011
  • "Exchange: Using squishy circuit technology in the classroom" ASEE - American Society of Engineering Education, Vancouver British Columbia, June 01, 2011
  • "Daring young engineers on the flying trapeze: Using circus arts to teach dynamics" ASEE - American Society of Engineering Education, Vancouver, British Columbia, June 01, 2011
  • "Roles in the design process: A survey of engineering and industrial design educators" ASEE - American Society of Engineering Education, Vancouver, British Columbia, June 01, 2011
  • "Development and assessment of an engineering course for in-service and pre-service K-12 teachers" ASEE - American Society of Engineering Education, Vancourver, British Columbia, June 01, 2011
  • "Certificate/concentation in engineering for P-12 educators" ASEE - American Society of Engineering Education, Vancouver, British Columbia, June 01, 2011
  • "Teacher competency in engineering education: A professional development approach." Engineering and Design Education Research Summit, Seaside, Oregon, October 01, 2010
  • "Windmills in trigonometry class" ASEE - American Society of Engineering Education, Louisville, Kentucky, June 01, 2010
  • "Bridging the digital divide one tweet as a time: Twitter-enabled devices for family communications" ACM Conference on Computer Human Interactions, Atlanta, Georgia, March 01, 2010
  • "Squishy circuits: A tangible medium for electronics education" ACM Conference on Computer Human Interactions, Atlanta, Georgia, March 01, 2010