In 2009, Professor Ropp stood up the Aviation Department's Hangar of the Future Research Laboratory. The highly collaborative, multi-disciplinary lab develops technology innovations related to aerospace manufacturing and air vehicle Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul processes. His student research teams have won and placed twice in FAA's National Design Competition for Universities for projects related to novel airport and air vehicle operational safety and efficiency designs. They have been invited presenters at high profile venues such as AirVenture Oshkosh air show, Oshkosh, WI., the American Association of Airport Executives NextGen conference in Denver, CO and various research symposiums. His students and the lab have been highlighted in the popular press, listed in Popular Mechanics magazine as one of the Top 25 “Bold and Innovative” solutions for the future of aviation. Hangar of the Future was also featured in Aviation Week & Space Technology in 2012. In Fall 2013, Professor Ropp and his Hangar of the Future undergraduate research team were invited presenters at the 32nd Annual Pathfinder Awards banquet at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.
Professor Ropp has served on the Federal Aviation Administration's Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) Institute through the Joint Planning and Development Office in Washington, D.C. He has worked along side JPDO members from FAA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Departments of Defense, Commerce, Homeland Security, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, providing subject matter expertise and guidance on implementation of new technologies and processes impacting global aviation efficiency and safety. Internationally, Professor Ropp is routinely sought for his expertise to research and speak at industry, academic and regulatory venues on his teaching techniques and technology innovations for aviation maintenance and safety-risk management systems. He brings these experiences directly back to the classroom, challenging students to leverage their learning, seeking unique solutions to real world problems using cutting edge practices and technologies.
FAA certificated mechanic with airframe and powerplant ratings
FAA certificated private pilot
Recent Publications, Conference Proceedings & Presentations:
Hartman, N., & Ropp, T. (2013). Examining the use of model-based work instructions in the aviation maintenance environment. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Product Lifecycle Management, PLM13, 8th - 10th July 2013. Nantes, France.
Ropp, T.D.; Thomas, E., Lee, S.; Broyles, A.; Lewin, P.; Andreychek, C. & Nicol, J. (2013). Creating hybrid adaptive air vehicle technical work instructions using Augmented Reality and 2D Barcode visualization technologies. White paper. Hangar of the Future Research Laboratory, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. June 2013.
Borsa, R., Dillman, B.G & Ropp, T.D. (2013). Exploring the impact of ADS-B NextGen technology requirements for general aviation. Proceedings of 17th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology (pp. 214-219). Wright State University. Dayton, OH. May 6 – 9, 2013. Paper and Poster session.
Ropp, T., Hedden, J.B., Mick, P., Davis, J. M., & Austin Jr., S.W. (2012). Incorporating advanced aircraft technologies into an Aeronautical Engineering Technology curriculum. Journal of Aviation Technology and Engineering, Vol. 2: Iss. 1, Article 5. http://dx.doi.org/10.5703/1288284314863
Lu, C-t., Schreckengast, S., Ropp, T. D., & Dillman, B. (2011). System safety study; Pedagogical aviation action research. The Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education Research. (JAAER), 20(3), 17-23.
Ropp, T., Whittinghill, D., Bowen, E., Hansen, R., and Holmes, J. (2011, June). Work in progress: Incorporating pervasive computing concepts into an aircraft maintenance job task card system. Paper presented at the American Society of Engineering Education annual conference and exposition, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Dubikovsky, S., Ropp, T. D., & Lesczynski, T. (2010). Developing next generation research competencies through collaborative student design and advanced manufacturing projects. International Journal of Applied Aviation Studies (IJAAS), 10(1), 219-225.
Ropp, T. D., & Dillman, B. G. (2010). Standardized measures of safety: Finding global common ground for safety metrics. Technology Interface Journal, 10(3). Available online: http://www.technologyinterface.nmsu.edu/Spring10/
Ropp, T. D. (2009). Implementing safety management systems for aviation into an aviation technology curriculum. Technology Interface Journal, (10) 2. Available online: http://www.technologyinterface.nmsu.edu/Winter09/
Johnson, M. E., & Ropp, T. D. (2009). Safety and process improvement using PFMEA in aviation courses and laboratories. Aviation Technician Education Council Journal (ATEC), 31(2), 10-17.
Ropp, T. D., Dubikovsky, S., & Johnson, M. (2009). Using peer and team performance assessments as learning tools on collaborative student projects. Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education and Research (JAAER), 18(3), 48-55.
Woo, I., Kim, S. Y., Maciejewski, R., Ebert, D., Ropp, T., & Thomas, K. (2009). A context-preserving interactive visualization system for technical diagrams. Computer Graphics Forum, 28(3), 943-950.
Professor Ropp routinely engages with global aerospace and air transportation companies. He is known for involving students directly in a variety of hand-on process, safety and technology integration projects where students themselves present to industry leaders and at conferences, demonstrate prototypes, submit for patents and publish their findings. He also invites industry leaders into the classroom to talk first hand about current state of the industry.