Professor Ropp has over 18 years experience in industry, working and managing technical operations and educational development in risk-sensitive high-technology industries. His research focus areas are: Technology innovations for Advanced Aerospace Manufacturing and Next Generation air vehicle lifecycle management; Safety Risk Management for aerospace and airport surface operations. 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. (2008-2010) as a safety working group member, and has researched and presented on safety risk management systems around the world. He has developed and deployed safety management systems, quality management system and human factors leadership training in several industry sectors including work with the U.S. Navy’s Undersea Weapons facility at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and some of the largest aviation MRO and Air Carrier organizations in North America.
Professor Ropp heads the Hangar of the Future Research Laboratory at Purdue, focusing on novel technology innovations for air vehicle MRO and advanced aerospace manufacturing processes. His award winning and highly collaborative undergraduate and graduate student research teams are routinely published, are invited presenters at conferences and technology demonstrations around the industry, and have patent disclosures on key projects. His student teams have have won and placed in FAA National Design Competitions on air vehicle/airport operation technologies impacting safety and efficiency, and in February 2015 were co-winners of Boeing's Information Technology National Design competition for their design of a software application for man-made object recognition over complex terrain using Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) point cloud data.
Ropp's Hangar of the Future lab and students have been featured in Aviation Week and Space Technology, Popular Mechanics magazine and most recently were featured on the national Big Ten Network in January 2015. His students are also routinely invited to demonstrate their project work and talk to new students and families during recruiting days on campus.
FAA certificated mechanic with Airframe and Powerplant ratings.
FAA certificated Private Pilot.
2015 - Boeing Information Technology Case, National Design Competition Co-winner. Engineering, Operations and Technology. March 2015. Hangar of the Future team won with their software application design using "point cloud” Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) data to detect man-made objects over complex terrain.
2014 - Outstanding Faculty in Undergraduate Learning Award – Dept. of Aviation Technology.
2012 - Nominee: Dwyer Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching for Dept. of Aviation Technology. Nominated by AT Student Council.
2012 - FAA National Design Competition for Universities - 3rd place, national student team faculty research advisor. Coordinated Dept. of Aviation Technology undergraduate student design team on innovative in-ground taxi-runway signage and concept design paper.
2012 - Good to Great Award. Purdue University College of Technology Dean’s Forum. April 13, 2012. Award for commitment to excellence and demonstrating impact in the field of work.
2010 - FAA National Design Competition for Universities - 1st place, national winning student team faculty research advisor. Coordinated Dept. of Aviation Technology undergraduate student design team on development of autonomous aircraft tug at high density airports. Provisional patent with students.
2010 - Department of Aviation Technology. Outstanding Non-tenured Faculty nominee award for Dept. of Aviation Technology, 2010. Prior awards 2008 and 2009.
Recent Publications, Conference Proceedings & Presentations:
Leasure, M., Ropp, T.D., Chia, J., & Appold, E., (2015). Inspection, maintenance and repair strategies for civilian UAS operations. Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) magazine. Accepted for review, Spring 2015.
Ropp, T.D., Anne, A., Davis, J.M., (2014). Incorporating 3D printing as an introduction to digital manufacturing in an aeronautical engineering technology curriculum. Aviation Technology Education Council (ATEC)Journal, Vol. 36: Iss. 2, pg. 1.
Anne, A., Garcia, E., Deng, K., Morrissette, J. & Ropp, T.D. (2014). Using Augmented reality in advanced aerospace manufacturing and maintenance. Purdue University Research Roundtable Poster Session. Purdue Memorial Union Ballroom. Nov. 11, 2014.
Ropp, T., Minkel, A., Dobson, J. & Reed, J. (2014). Visual Electronic Cumulative Threat and Operational Risk - “VECTOR”: Threat Management System for Aerospace Operations. Purdue University Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium, April 8, 2014.
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.