Montana State University

College of Engineering

Montana State University
P.O. Box 173820
Bozeman, MT 59717-3820

Tel: (406) 994-2272
Fax: (406) 994-6665
Location: 212 Roberts Hall

Program Director:

Julian Collins

TEAMS Advisory Board 2008-10

Joel Cahoon

Joel Cahoon, Professor, Civil Engineering and Associate Director of University Honors, Montana State University

Water resources engineering

Mary Leonard

Mary Leonard – Assistant Professor, Science Education, Montana State University

Developing science understanding through model-based inquiry in the elementary grades

Dr. Mary Leonard brings an extensive background in science to MSU. A native of Helena, Montana, Leonard received bachelor degrees in biology and computer science from the University of Montana. She earned both a master’s and a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to pursuing her educational goals, Leonard served 20 years in the military, with seven years of active duty including in Desert Storm. After active duty, Leonard worked in the corporate world in Atlanta for five years in global telecommunications doing research and development related to software engineering. While in the reserves and working on her doctorate, she taught in the ROTC program at the University of Dubuque in Iowa. Upon retiring from the army as a lieutenant colonel, she continued conducting post-doctoral work at Wisconsin focusing on learning in science, technology, engineering and math K-12. She teaches elementary science methods classes and educational psychology/adolescent development. Her research focuses on developing science understanding through model-based inquiry in the elementary grades.

Rob Maher

Rob Maher, Professor and Department Head of Electrical & Computer Engineering Department and Affiliate Professor of Music Technology Department of Music, Montana State University

Dr. Rob Maher joined the Montana State ECE faculty in August, 2002. He holds a BS degree from Washington University in St. Louis, an MS degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois-Urbana, all in Electrical Engineering. His research and teaching interests are in the area of digital signal processing, with particular emphasis on applications in digital audio, digital music synthesis, and acoustics. Dr. Maher became ECE Department Head on August 1, 2007. Dr. Maher was a faculty member with the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, from 1989-1996 (tenured in 1995). He joined EuPhonics, Inc., of Boulder, Colorado, in 1997, and was named Vice President of Engineering. When EuPhonics was subsequently acquired by 3Com Corporation in November, 1998, Dr. Maher remained with 3Com-U.S. Robotics as Engineering Manager for Audio Product Development until July, 2001. He also started a successful audio software engineering consulting company (2000-present), and he has been an Adjunct Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering with the University of Colorado-Boulder (2001-2002). Dr. Maher is a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society, a Senior Member of IEEE, and a member of ASA, ASEE, Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Sigma Xi (MSU chapter co-chair).


Karma Nelson – Education consultant; EdD.

Karma’s previous professional background includes over 30 years teaching at the middle, high school and university levels in Alaska and Montana, serving as a school- and district-wide mathematics coordinator and providing professional development in mathematics education and professional learning communities for districts in the Northwest. She has presented at national, state and local conferences. She has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and an EdD in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in math education. Her dissertation was titled “Developing a Professional Learning Community of Mathematics Teachers Among  Two Montana Indiana Reservations”.  The study was based on her work with 24 teachers over a three-year period.

Carolyn Plumb

Carolyn Plumb, Director of Educational Innovation and Strategic Projects

Carolyn Plumb joined the Dean’s office in the College of Engineering August 1st 2004 as the Director of Educational Innovation and Strategic Projects. Dr. Plumb works on various curriculum and instruction projections including instructional development for faculty and graduate students, assessment of student learning, and program evaluation. Prior to coming to MSU, Plumb was at the University of Washington, where she developed and directed the Engineering Communication Program, which included two required technical communication courses, the Engineering and Information School Writing Center, and an ongoing outcomes assessment program for engineering writing. While at the UW, she also worked as an Instructional Development and Assessment Specialist for the School of Law.

Heidi Sherick

Heidi Sherick, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Diversity Director of Engineering Minority Program (EMPower)

Assistant Dean Sherick taught junior high biology, earth science and physical science and coached basketball, volleyball and track for five years before returning to her alma mater. She served as the Assistant Director of Alumni for four years as she pursued her master's degree in higher education administration at MSU. She has served on the MSU Orientation Staff for over 10 years and has a keen interest in student success and the transition to college. She volunteers as an adviser at Alpha Omicron Pi sorority on campus. She oversees all aspects of undergraduate education in the College of Engineering from outreach and recruitment to graduation. She administers scholarships, accreditation, academic policy, and suspensions. She also is in charge of efforts to increase diversity in the College of Engineering by recruiting, advising and supporting minorities. Sherick manages the Engineering Ambassadors, an organization that consists of engineering students from every department representing all of the programs in the COE. Ms. Sherick assists students with a variety of student life and academic issues and is always available for appointments.

Stephen Sofie

Stephen Sofie, Assistant Professor, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, Montana State University

Innovative Ceramic Processing, Microstructure/Nano Structure Engineering, Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, High Temp. Piezoelectrics, High Temp. Superconductors, Thermoelectrics, and Photoluminescent Ceramics

Julian Collins

Julian Collins, Program Coordinator of TEAMS and Program Director of Designing Our Community Program (DOC)

Julian Collins is Montana State University’s College of Engineering program director for Designing Our Community (DOC). Collins was program coordinator for American Indian Research Opportunities at MSU in Bozeman prior to joining the college. Before that, he was a full-time substitute teacher who coached football and basketball teams at St. Labre Catholic Indian School in Ashland, Mont. Collins has a bachelor of the arts degree in sociology from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. DOC partners with Native American communities in the northern Rockies and the northern Great Plains regions. These partnerships have led to MSU’s position among the nation’s most successful universities in graduating Native American students in engineering and computer science.