Engineering - Faculty | Benedictine College

Faculty - School of Engineering

Dr. Darrin Muggli

Professor and Chair of the School of Engineering

Dr. Darrin Muggli

Dr. Muggli graduated with a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of North Dakota in 1992. Subsequently, he worked for two years as a Process Engineer for Koch Engineering Co. in Wichita, Kan. He entered graduate school at the University of Colorado in Boulder where he earned his doctorate in 1998, specializing in catalysis.

Dr. Muggli was a faculty member at the University of North Dakota from 1999-2009. During that time he was awarded over four million dollars in research funding, published 30 peer-reviewed articles, and has given numerous research presentations. He holds three patents, received a university-wide award for excellence in undergraduate teaching, was voted 2007 Professor of the Year in the School of Engineering, and received a 2009 award for excellence in teaching, research, and service.

Degrees
BS in Chemical Engineering, University of North Dakota, 1992
Ph.D in Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado, 1998

Dr. Patrick O’Malley

Associate Professor, School of Engineering

Patrick O'Malley

Dr. O’Malley earned his doctorate in 2012 from the Catholic University of America. He specialized in laser Doppler vibrometry- a technique for making vibration measurements using a laser beam. He has published his research in peer-reviewed journals and presented work at numerous conferences. He participated in research at Catholic University developing an acoustic imaging system for detection of roadside explosives, an apparatus for detecting buried landmines based on their vibration signature, and characterization of a Caribbean seelpan vibration pattern.

During his time in Washington, O’Malley also worked for a contractor at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center where he was on the analysis team for Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 instrument and UVIS instrument. Other projects at NASA included analysis of the ICES at failure and development of robotic satellite servicing capability.

Degrees
BME, Mechanical Engineering, The Catholic University of America, 2006
MME, Mechanical Engineering, The Catholic University of America, 2007
Ph.D, Mechanical Engineering, The Catholic University of America, 2012

Dr. Scott Newbolds

Associate Professor, Engineering

Dr. Scott Newbolds

Dr. Newbolds has taught at Benedictine since 2012.  His classes focus mainly on structural design, engineering mechanics, and engineering materials.  He has served co-advisor to the concrete canoe team and ASCE student chapter.  Additionally, Dr. Newbolds has served as advisor to the engineering mission trip.  His research interests are in concrete materials, corrosion of steel in concrete, and the integration of Catholic teachings and the engineering profession. 

Dr. Newbolds started his career as a Project Engineer for the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) in 1995. While working in the INDOT Research and Development office, he received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2006.  In 2009, he began work as the Director of Site Operations for the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES). Dr. Newbolds is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Indiana.

Degrees
BS in Civil Engineering, Purdue University, 1995
MSCE in Civil Engineering, Purdue University, 2000
PhD in Civil Engineering, Purdue University, 2007

Dr. Charles Sprouse

Associate Professor, Engineering

Charles Sprouse

Dr. Sprouse earned a physics degree from Benedictine College in 2007. He then began engineering studies at the University of Kansas, and following a bachelor’s degree in 2009, he joined the doctoral program and earned his Ph.D. in 2016. During the course of his engineering studies, he worked in consulting engineering and collaborated with some of the world's leading automotive/transportation research organizations. Dr. Sprouse's research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, presented at academic conferences, and he has moderated for academic panels. His research areas include diesel particulate filters, organic Rankine cycles, waste heat recovery, adaptive information displays for automotive applications, materials testing, artificial intelligence in transportation, advanced pavement systems, and environmental stewardship. He began teaching part-time at Benedictine College in 2011 and returned to his alma mater on a full-time basis in 2013.

Degrees
BA in Physics, Benedictine College, 2007
BS in Mechanical Engineering, University of Kansas, 2009
Ph. D. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Kansas, 2016

Dr. Scott Blonigen

Dr. Scott Blonigen

Assistant Professor, Engineering

Dr. Blonigen joined the Benedictine School of Engineering in 2015.  His teaching responsibilities include the freshman introduction to engineering course and the chemical engineering senior design and process controls courses.  Dr. Blonigen is the faculty advisor for the Benedictine student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). 

Before joining the Benedictine faculty, Dr. Blonigen spent over 20 years doing process and product development work for companies including Kraft Foods, Nestlé, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Mead Johnson Nutritionals, and Hills Pet Nutrition and consulting work for the Battelle Memorial Institute.  Dr. Blonigen is a licensed professional engineer (Ohio).

Degrees
BS, Chemical Engineering, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 1986
MS, Chemical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, 1989
Ph.D, Chemical Engineering, Iowa State University, 1994

Michael W. Berry

Assistant Professor

Mike Berry

Mike studied Civil Engineering at Kansas State University, with a specialization in Water Resources. After graduation in 1981, he joined the engineering consulting firm of Professional Engineering Consultants, P.A. In Wichita, Kan. Mike spent thirty-six years at PEC working on the design and construction of a variety of drainage, grading, paving, utility, and land development projects. While at the firm, he held a number of leadership positions, including sixteen years of service on the Board of Directors of PEC. Mike is licensed as a Professional Engineer in the states of Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, and is also a Professional Surveyor in Kansas. Mike’s outside interests include contributing his voice to liturgical music groups, and bicycling.

Degrees
BS in Civil Engineering, Kansas State University, 1980
MS in Civil Engineering, Kansas State University, 1981

Dr. Peter Merkle

Associate Professor, Engineering

Dr. Peter Merkle

Dr. Merkle graduated with B.S. degrees in chemical engineering and management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984. After working in the chemical industry, he pursued graduate study in environmental science at SUNY Stony Brook, conducting research on atmospheric deposition of pollutants to marine ecosystems. He earned his doctorate in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, specializing in catalytic filtration of drinking water. In 1995, he joined Sandia National Laboratories and was assigned to the Department of Defense from 1998-2002. Returning to Sandia, he worked for the next ten years in domestic and international security technology programs. In 2012, Dr. Merkle joined the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University as Associate Professor (Civil Engineering), conducting research on aquaponics technology. He holds two patents and is a Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Degrees
BS, Chemical Engineering, BS in Management, M.I.T. 1984
MS, Marine Environmental Science, SUNY Stony Brook, 1991
Ph.D, Civil Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1995

Dr. Megan Paciaroni

Associate Professor, Engineering

Dr. Megan Paciaroni

Dr. Paciaroni comes to Benedictine from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO where she was an associate professor in the Engineering and Physics Department. Dr. Paciaroni was very involved in development of undergraduate research opportunities at Fort Lewis, and hopes to bring that expertise to School of Engineering at Benedictine College. Her research interests include laser diagnostics in combustion systems.

Degrees
BS, Optics, University of Houston, TX Electro 1987
MS, Electrical Engineering, State University of New York at Binghamton, NY 1993
Ph.D, Electrical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden CO Engineering Systems 2004

John Modlin

Assistant Professor, Engineering

John Modlin

John joined the Benedictine Engineering faculty in 2021. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri – Rolla (now Missouri S&T). After a few years in industry, he returned to school and earned his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University. John worked in the electric power industry for 33 years, holding multiple positions in engineering and management, before retiring in April 2021.

John’s work experience has included energy conversion, thermal cycles, fluids, controls, rotating machinery, water treatment, and extensive project management. He is a registered Professional Engineering (PE) in Missouri and certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute.

Degrees
BS in Mechanical Engineering, University of Missouri - Rolla, 1985
MS in Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 1989

Andrew Downs

Assistant Professor, Engineering

Dr. Andrew Downs

Dr. Downs earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 2010 where his work focused on additive manufacturing of passive microwave circuits and antennas. After graduation, Dr. Downs worked as a nuclear engineer for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington. Tiring of the rain, he returned to the Midwest to work as a project engineer for Interstates Control Systems in Sioux Center, Iowa. Four years later, and unable to neglect a call to teach, Dr. Downs entered graduate school at Iowa State University.

While at Iowa State, Dr. Downs helped develop an improved method of multi-mode dispersion compensation for ultrasonic guided wave NDT (nondestructive testing). Dr. Downs’s research interests are many, but he has a particular interest in wave phenomena – both electromagnetic and elastic. Other interests include, reconfigurable and ultra-wideband antennas, sensor design and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Degrees
BS, Electrical Engineering, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, 2008
MS, Electrical Engineering, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, 2010
PhD, Electrical Engineering, Iowa State University, 2021

Sean Bauer

Lab Manager, Engineering

Sean Bauer

Sean Bauer is a 1986 graduate of Benedictine College, with a BA in Physics. Sean has been working in the Benedictine College Physics and Engineering Labs since 2009. He has over 25 years of experience working as an engineer for a small manufacturer of electronic instruments in Atchison, Kansas.

Degrees
BA in Physics, Benedictine College, 1986

Location