innovator, and inspirational leader are elements that make Phil
Rodenbeck one of the most wellrounded students to walk on our
After all, how many students have earned three patents for
Toyota Motors, have invented a novel automotive shock absorber, and
have developed an innovative new tool for project planning?
He's also had time to be a two-time winner of an Indiana
poetry contest, including grand-prize honors this year; he's been
active in Terre Haute's Poetry at the Grounds social gatherings;
and he's created an illustration that graced the cover of
Rose-Hulman's Ink literary magazine.
"Phil is a rare breed. Everyone who works with Phil becomes
better at what they do, because Phil has the ability to inspire
others," proudly states Corey Taylor, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of
English and Ink's faculty advisor. "Rose- Hulman was fortunate to
have Phil (as a student) for several years."
Rodenbeck arrived on campus from Valparaiso, Indiana in
2006 and remained to earn bachelor's (2010) and master's (2012)
degrees in mechanical engineering. Along the way he also completed
an internship and co-op at the Toyota
|Technical Center, where he invented
three now-patented technologies: a magnetorheological elastomer
wheel assembly with dynamic tire pressure control, a
magnetorheological coil spring, and a dynamic shock absorber.
His Rodenbeck Project Tower, developed with assistance from
Engineering Management Associate Professor Terry Schumacher, Ph.D.,
provides a 3D graphical tool that represents project tasks in a
style that's currently unavailable through PERT or Gantt
And, finally, he turned an undergraduate capstone design
project into an ingenious graduate initiative that earned this
year's Outstanding Graduate Thesis Award. His design of a
cost-effective semi-active damper, completed under the guidance of
Vice President for Academic Affairs Phillip Cornwell, Ph.D., has
caught the attention of the automotive industry.
"Phil was a fantastic student," says Cornwell. "I use the
term 'advise' very loosely in relating my assistance with his
master's thesis project, because he was extremely self-motivated
and needed very little advice. He is incredibly creative and
Rodenbeck's engineering talents are now being used at
Parametric Solutions Inc. in Jupiter, Florida. He continues to
write poetry in his spare time.
"When you slice it all apart, everything I do is creative
problem solving," he says. "If you give an engineer a novel
problem, you will get a novel idea. Taking something from your mind
and making it real so that it can help someone-that's the creative
process behind an engineer."
And, the creative gifts behind Phil Rodenbeck.