The world around us is always advancing and engineers are one of the forces behind that. As a result, there is a large demand for engineers. At County College of Morris (CCM), Professor of Engineering Thomas Roskop is committed to training and meeting the demand for young innovators.
Coming into education mid-career, he began teaching math but wanted to put his skills to use. â€śI was a math professor with a desire to give back to the engineering community,â€ť Roskop remembers. â€śI wanted to help create colleagues with who I could collaborate in the future.â€ť
At CCM, Roskop teaches various courses in the Mechanical Engineering Technology and Engineering Science programs in the state-of-the-art Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center.
Students have the opportunity to consult and collaborate with Roskop and other engineering professors on different projects such as the High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) program. HUNCH participants are high school students who are enrolled in the Engineering Technology: Design and Prototyping Shared-Time Program â€“ a joint program with Morris County Vocational School District. High school junior and senior students take college classes at CCM while actively contributing to the manufacture, design, and prototyping of various materials astronauts need on the International Space Station. The students also are able to add â€śNASA Contractorâ€ť to their resumes.
Additionally, engineering students at CCM have access to different labs including 3D Printing, Electronics, CNC Prototyping, and Robotics. The department also has partnered with an organization to provide youth around the nation and the world with 3D-printed prosthetic hands that are free of cost and produced by students, faculty, and volunteers.
Engineering often sounds daunting, but Roskop recalls an adage from one of his mentors. â€śIn Jeopardy, youâ€™re supposed to know the answers to the questions,â€ť he says. â€śIn Wheel of Fortune, you get clues along the way. Sometimes you have to pay for them, other times you get them by chance. If you recognize enough clues and connect them, youâ€™ll know the answer; thatâ€™s engineering.â€ť
Roskop joined the CCM faculty in 2014 and brought a diverse background in multiple fields such as mechanical design and forensic engineering. At one point in his career, Roskop was challenged with developing medical equipment such as designing future medical implants. He was born and raised in New Jersey and currently consults as an engineer in addition to teaching at CCM. He is a self-proclaimed â€śConnector of Dots.â€ť
â€śAlmost everything you need is out in the world,â€ť explains Roskop. â€śWhether itâ€™s a solution, an idea, or an inspiration. My job is to get students to see the dots and encourage them to connect them.â€ť