Our Stories: Dr. Nathir Rawashdeh

This is part of a series of short introductions about College students, faculty, and staff. Would you like to be featured? Send a photo and some background info about yourself to computing@mtu.edu.

Dr. Nathir Rawashdeh, Assistant Professor, Applied Computing

Nathir Rawashdeh with his robot disinfector, Paul-22
  • Affiliated Assistant Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Years teaching at Michigan Tech: 2
  • Years teaching overall: 12
  • Member, Data Sciences research group, Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC)
  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Kentucky, 2007
  • MS, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2003
  • Faculty Profile

Classes Dr. Rawashdeh Teaches

  • Programmable Logic Control (PLC)
  • Digital Electronics
  • Analog Electronics
  • Image Processing
  • Automatic Control Systems
  • Instrumentation and Measurement

The “coolest” class you teach, and why:

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), because every factory in the world is controlled by PLCs.

The importance of your class topics to the overall understanding of Computing and your discipline: 

Computing is the way of the future. And in all disciplines we rely more and more on sophisticated design, modeling, and control software. The Digital Electronics course is key to the overall understanding of computer systems. We discuss the building blocks of computers, and programmable logic controllers apply computing solutions for automation programming and industrial communication.

Your teaching philosophy: 

  • I believe in the social connection between teacher and student because it enables them to learn from each other, and more than just technical material and information.
  • In today’s changing world, courses and delivery methods must be constantly updated to maximize learning in a wide sense. When teaching online, I always turn on my camera and teach from the classroom.
  • I interact actively with students, and when I see that they need a break I tell them a story from my professional or personal experience. In the labs, I am almost always engaged with students, helping them solve problems.

Labs you direct and their general focus:

  • In the Programmable Logic Controllers labs (for introductory and advanced level courses), students learn how to program industrial controllers and interface with sensors and actuators.
  • In the Digital Electrics lab, students learn the building blocks of computers and program FPGA boards, which is the fastest programmable hardware possible.

Research projects in which students are assisting: 

  • An ECE PhD student is working on sensor fusion for autonomous driving in the snow.
  • I plan to hire a graduate student this summer to implement indoor simultaneous location and mapping of a mobile robot.
  • Recently, an undergraduate EET student helped me build a virus sterilizing mobile robot that uses ultraviolet light. Read a news article, view photos and a YouTube video here.
  • In personal research, I also work on image analysis and industrial inspection research.

Other cool things your students are doing:

  • Recent senior design projects include a gesture controlled robotic arm and a PID control system based on a levitating ball.
  • See more projects on my lab website: https://www.morolab.mtu.edu/students.

Interests beyond teaching and research:

  • I am married and have four children. The eldest is studying Environmental Engineering at Tech.
  • I like cars and ground robots, painting, swimming, and playing soccer.
  • I speak three languages and have lived in four countries, in each for over a decade.