About Us

Active Learning Products (ALPs) is the result of considerable efforts of a number of individuals. In many ways, ALPs has evolved as a multi-act play with a number of lead actors. These actors have provided the philosophical and content underpinnings:

Professor Dan Jensen

Dan Jensen
One of the original founders of ALPs, Dr. Jensen received his B.S. in Mech. Eng (‘85), M.S. in Eng. Mechanics (`88) and Ph.D. in Aero. Eng. (`92), all from the Univ. of Colorado at Boulder. His industrial experience includes Texas Instruments (mechanical design), Naval Research Labs (Ph.D. work), NASA Langley funded post doc and consulting at Lockheed and Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and MSC Software. He taught at Univ. of the Pacific for 4 years and now teaches at the USAF Academy. His research focuses on development of innovative design procedures and on advancements in engineering education.

Department of Engineering Mechanics,
United States Air Force Academy,
Colorado Springs, CO;
telephone: 719-333-7946;
e-mail: dan.jensen@usafa.edu.

Professor Kristin L. Wood

One of the original founders of ALPs, Dr. Kristin L. Wood is currently a Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing and Design Division at The University of Texas at Austin.  Dr. Wood completed his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering (Division of Engineering and Applied Science) at the California Institute of Technology, where he was an AT&T Bell Laboratories Ph.D. Scholar.  He received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science (Magna cum Laude, minor in mathematics) from Colorado State University.  Dr. Wood joined the faculty at the University of Texas in September 1989 and established a computational and experimental laboratory for research in engineering design and manufacturing, in addition to a teaching laboratory for prototyping, reverse engineering measurements, and testing.  He was a National Science Foundation Young Investigator and is currently the “Cullen Trust for Higher Education Endowed Professor in Engineering,” “University Distinguished Teaching Professor,” the Manufacturing and Design Division Area Coordinator, and the Director of the Manufacturing and Design Laboratory (MaDLab).  Dr. Wood has published more than 200 refereed articles and books, and has received three ASME Best Research Paper Awards, three ASEE Best Paper Awards, an ICED Best Research Paper Award, the Keck Foundation Award for Excellence in Engineering Education, the ASEE Fred Merryfield Design Award, the NSPE AT&T Award for Excellence in Engineering Education, the ASME Curriculum Innovation Award, the Engineering Foundation Faculty Excellence Award, the Lockheed Martin Teaching Excellence Award, the Maxine and Jack Zarrow Teaching Innovation Award, and the Academy of University Distinguished Teaching Professor Award.  He is currently supervising a number of graduate students on projects related to product design, development, and evolution.  Such projects include design innovation, advanced manufacturing processes, such as Solid Freeform Fabrication, methods in product development, design for manufacturing and tolerance methods, machine-system design, design for product flexibility, design transformer theory, reverse engineering, and design teaching and learning methods for kindergarten through graduate levels.  Example applications of this research include the development of unmanned aerial vehicles, micro-electro-mechanical systems, and flexible consumer products.  Dr. Wood annually teaches a number of outreach short courses in Design Technology and Engineering for America’s Children (DTEACh), he was the conference and committee chair for the annual ASME International Design Theory and Methodology (DTM) Conference, he was an Associate Editor for the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, he served as an invited panelist for the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Innovative Manufacturing Research Centers, he serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Product Development (IJPD), and he was a founding Board Member of The Design Society, an international organization.  Beyond these academic pursuits, Dr. Wood annually carries out a number of consulting projects with a variety of companies, focusing on intellectual property, design process assessments, systems design, and methods in creativity and innovation.

Career Goal: 
The current and near-future objective of Dr. Wood’s career is to develop design strategies, representations, and methods that will result in more comprehensive design tools, innovative manufacturing processes, and design teaching aids at the college, K-12, and industrial levels.

The University of Texas,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
M/C C2200, ETC 4.146B,
Austin, TX 78712-1063;
email: wood@mail.utexas.edu
Kris Wood

Dr. Kathy Schmidt

Kathy Schmidt
Dr. Kathy Schmidt earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from The University of Texas at Austin. She manages the Faculty Innovation Center (FIC) for the College of Engineering. The FIC inspires innovative teaching through the selective and sensible integration of technology. Schmidt has more than eighteen years of experience in designing technology-based instructional materials in higher education and the private sector. Prior to joining the FIC, she was the instructional design specialist for UT's Center for Instructional Technology. Before working at UT, she was employed at a federally-funded educational research laboratory, a software engineering company and as a part-time lecturer for the College of Education. Since the fall of 1999, she has taught a master's level instructional design course that is offered fully online by the University of Texas at Brownsville. Her publications include two chapters in Higher Education in an Era of Digital Competition (Atwood Publishing, 1999) as well as various articles and conference proceedings.

University of Texas at Austin,
Cockrell School of Engineering,
1 University Station C2200,
Austin, TX 78712 – 0292;
email: k.schmidt@mail.utexas.edu

Dr. John Wood


Dr. Julie Linsey


Mr. Austin Talley  

Austin Talley is a graduate student in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Austin, a Cockrell Fellow, and a licensed Professional Engineer.  His research focus is in design methodology with Universal Design and engineering education.  He has received his B.S. from Texas A&M University and M.S.E. from The University of Texas at Austin.  Contact: Austin@talleyweb.com

University of Texas at Austin,
Cockrell School of Engineering,
1 University Station C2200,
Austin, TX 78712 – 0292;
email: Austin@mail.utexas.edu