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Carlton Cross, PhD

Professor, Electrical Engineering

Dr. Cross has been teaching at Walla Walla University for 27 years. And yes, he is in fact the son of the professor that the School of Engineering is named after.

Because he grew up around engineering, it became a way of thinking, starting with the analysis and repair of a cuckoo clock. Then he moved on to more complicated things, though he admits that some of them never got put back together.

Electrical engineering has a mathematical appeal to Dr. Cross—it uses math to describe very accurately things you can't explain any other way. He enjoys precision and dislikes approximations.

He also likes to be involved in things that people need, such as better energy and communication systems. Fuel cells, for example. And cell phones, a real masterpiece of technology—but keep that thing turned off while in class!


School of Engineering faculty are willing to go the extra mile to make sure you succeed. And, unlike many nationally ranked universities where the professors are too busy chasing prestige to teach, our professors do the teaching themselves instead of leaving it to underqualified teaching assistants.

In addition, class sizes are small at WWU, and you get really generous individual contact with professors who are expert teachers. This makes a huge difference in how well you understand what you're taught. (Ask any current engineering student.)

Douglas M. Logan, PhD, PE


Dr. Logan started reading Popular Electronics in third grade, built radio kits in fourth grade, tried to build an oscilloscope in seventh grade, and started sketching computer designs in eighth grade. But he didn't realize he wanted to be an engineer until he was a junior in high school. After graduating as an EE from WWU, he took graduate degrees in Engineering—Economic Systems and went into the electric power industry. He joined the School of Engineering at WWU to bring his decades of industry experience to bear on Christian education.


Larry Aamodt, PhD, PE

Electrical Engineering

In fourth grade, Dr. Aamodt built a crystal radio receiver with a spark-gap transmitter in a box, and used it to communicate clandestinely with a fellow student across the room during class. He was destined to be an engineer. Later in life, he designed his own house. Engineering gives him the chance to solve interesting problems, to apply what is learned through science in solving those problems, and do creative design. Learn more about Electrical Engineering


Bryce Cole, PhD

Civil Engineering

Growing up, Dr. Cole never wanted to be an engineer. But he did like digging holes in his parents' garden. Now he expresses his lifelong fascination with dirt by teaching Soil Mechanics. Civil Engineering was the only choice for him, because it deals with things people need to live, rather than toys or gadgets. "To me, engineering is using historical data and knowledge to find solutions that work for today." Learn more about Civil Engineering


Jon Cole, PhD, PE

Civil Engineering

Dr. Cole has taught at Walla Walla University since 1964. He teaches Surveying, as well as Geology and Soil Mechanics, Hydrology, and other classes relating to environmental engineering. His passion is using engineering to improve our stewardship of the Earth. Learn more about Civil Engineering


Carlton Cross, PhD

Electrical Engineering

Dr. Carlton Cross enjoys the contributions of his field of Electrical Engineering—from the abstract math that describes electricity to the practical devices that generate or use it (everything from fuel cells to cell phones). Before teaching at WWU, he worked at Bell Labs on a team designing a secure voice communication system. Learn more about Electrical Engineering


Rob Frohne, PhD, PE

Electrical Engineering

Dr. Rob Frohne got into engineering through antenna design. Growing up, he was a ham radio fanatic in rural Alaska, and improved antennas meant he could talk to more people. To him, engineering is using science to improve lives. As an example, a $20 circuit he helped design and build one Christmas vacation saved Adventist World Radio Asia $60,000 annually on their electric bill for years afterward. Learn more about Electrical Engineering


Qin Ma, PhD

Mechanical Engineering

During his undergraduate education in China, Dr. Qin Ma interned at a power plant, and it was the technicians and engineers there who opened his eyes to the vast possibilities in the field of engineering. Now, as an expert in ceramic coatings that improve the lifespan of turbine blades, Dr. Ma has seen how, through constant research and improvement, engineers make things better every day. Learn more about Mechanical Engineering


Curt Nelson, PhD, PE

Electrical Engineering

Dr. Nelson's interest in solving problems led him to engineering. He has been involved in research as well as embedded systems and integrated circuit design. He enjoys interacting with students in the classroom and laboratories. More recently, he has helped form a student chapter of Engineers Without Borders on campus. Currently the group is helping design and build schools in Honduras. Dr. Nelson believes that engineers have the skills and opportunities to make a difference in the developing world, particularly in providing education for children. To quote a friend, "There is nothing more sustainable in our world than education." Learn more about Electrical Engineering


Donald Riley, MSME

Mechanical Engineering

Don Riley wanted to know how things worked from a very young age. He tried to build a steam engine in the first grade, and was at least successful in making steam! For him, engineering is creating something new and better that solves a problem. Sometimes new and better isn't necessary—Don's well-engineered 26-year-old HP calculator is still just as good as the day he bought it. Learn more about Mechanical Engineering


Brian Roth, PhD

Aeronautical Engineering

Dr. Brian Roth celebrates the education he received at the WWU School of Engineering by returning as a faculty member after earning his MSE at Purdue and his PhD at Stanford. "The teaching here is of the highest caliber," he says. "I turned down a job offer from the best undergraduate aeronautical engineering program in the country in order to teach at WWU. I chose WWU for its unique blend of excellent academics, supportive faculty, and Christian perspective."


Melodie Selby, MSCE, PE

Civil Engineering

Growing up, Melodie Selby had never really heard of engineers or knew what they did. One day, she read that a properly aligned car on a properly designed road driven at the correct speed would follow the road without the need to steer. That got her attention and a few years later, she ended up at Walla Walla taking civil engineering. She's still looking for a self-driving car. In the mean time, the problem solving skills she learned in engineering have come in handy in everything from cleaning up a nuclear waste site, to protecting water quality, raising children and politics. She teaches transportation engineering, environmental engineering and water and waste water treatment. Learn more about Civil Engineering


Samuel S. Sih, PhD

Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Sih became an engineer to make a contribution to society. For him, engineering is creating things which are useful and help people live better and happier lives. For example, while teaching here, he supervised a student's senior project—building laboratory equipment to measure the coefficient of performance and refrigeration tonnage of air conditioners. This device has proven itself useful in WWU's HVAC technology course for years. Learn more about Mechanical Engineering


Ralph Stirling, MSEE

Mechanical & Electrical Engineering

For Ralph, engineering means always trying to find a better way to do something, and never being satisfied with the old way of doing things. His favorite class to teach is Manufacturing Systems. "I can watch students learn to make all their previous skills come together with the material I present and build very complex systems that actually work," he says. Learn more about Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering


Louie Yaw, PhD, PE, SE

Civil Engineering

Louie chose Civil Engineering because he likes to create things for use by civilization on a larger scale than usually done by other disciplines. He's fascinated by trying to anticipate all the possible ways that a building can collapse—and then apply engineering knowledge to create a safe design. He also gets a kick out of his own personal engineering projects, such as creating an automatic water leveling device for a horse trough out of plumbing parts, or making his own snowshoes. Learn more about Civil Engineering