Our Team

The Renaissance Foundry Research Group is comprised of a dynamic group of scholars that are interested in innovation-driven learning techniques as applied to multiple intersections and diverse disciplines. Our quest has always been to improve student learning leveraging the most effective practices in active learning, inquiry-guided learning, problem-based learning in combination with contemporary applications of theories centered on effective team performance and social learning strategies. It is through this shared interest that we have propelled Foundry research to the various contexts, learning environments, and applications featured. As such, our core team is constantly integrating new partners, collaborators, and researchers into our investigative practices. Below, the RFRG core team and collaborators are featured.

The Core Team

Pedro E. Arce, PhD

Pedro E. Arce is the holder of M.S. and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from Purdue University and a Diploma in Chemical Engineering from the Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Santa Fe, Argentina. He is Professor and Chairperson in the TTU Department of Chemical Engineering and a University Distinguished Faculty Fellow. His research interests include engineering education and technical projects including nano-structured hydrogels and a variety of
catalytic systems. Dr. Arce is a founding member of the Renaissance Foundry Research Group that received the Thomas C. Evans Instructional Paper Award from the ASEE-Southeast Section in 2014 and the companion ASEE Zone II Best Paper Award in 2015.

J. Robby Sanders, PhD

Dr. J. Robby Sanders is an Associate Professor at Tennessee Technological University in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tech in 1995, and he obtained his Master of Science and PhD degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1998 and 2001, respectively. His research interests include innovation-driven learning at the interface of disciplines, clinical diagnostics and new therapeutics for diseases of the lungs, development, utilization, and characterization of soft gel materials, and wound healing. He is a founding member of the Renaissance Foundry Research Group.

Andrea Arce-Trigatti, PhD

Dr. Andrea Arce-Trigatti holds a PhD in Education with a Learning Environments and Educational Studies concentration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is currently on the Faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Tennessee Technological University. Her research centers on cultural studies in education, issues in multicultural education, and collaborative learning strategies.  As a founding member of the Renaissance Foundry Research Group, she has helped to develop and investigate the pedagogical techniques utilized to enhance critical and creative thinking at interdisciplinary interfaces. 

Stephanie N. Jorgensen, PhD

Dr. Stephanie N. Jorgensen holds a PhD in Engineering with a Chemical Engineering concentration from Tennessee Technological University. She is currently on the Faculty in the TTU Department of Chemical Engineering. Her research interests focus on engineering education as well as the development and validation of mathematical and physical models for better understanding of species transport through healing wounds and predicting the effects of facilitated wound closure techniques (e.g., suturing, etc.) on resultant scarring.  She is currently a contributing research member of the Renaissance Foundry Research Group.