Jeff Elsbecker
[email protected]
Digital Modeling & Fabrication Lead Instructor

Jeff Elsbecker worked for decades as a commercial product designer and model maker, first in a corporate design department, then through his own design firm. His primary fields were home furnishings and toys. Many of his designs were top sellers. Through this experience he developed a sound understanding of a wide range of manufacturing techniques. He also creates one-of-a-kind sculpture.

Prior to joining IYRS Jeff committed most of his energy to teaching as an adjunct professor at the college level. He was an instructor in the industrial design department at Wentworth Institute of Technology covering design, model making, and manufacturing materials and processes. At Endicott College he taught classes in sculpture, 3D design, drawing and professional practices. He also spent two years working with high school students at FabNewport. In college Jeff studied metalsmithing and sculpture, receiving his MFA from Rhode Island School of Design and BFA from the University of Northern Iowa.

At IYRS he is the facilitator for a team of talented adjunct instructors who work closely with our students while continuing to be active leaders in their fields.

“A mentor of mine says, ‘It takes three generations to make a farmer.’ I’m thrilled to be at IYRS where our creative new program incorporating modern digital tools lives in deep connection with generations of thoughtful craftsmanship.”

2018-2019 Adjunct Faculty

Seth Wiseman
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Digital Modeling & Fabrication Adjunct Instructor

As the managing instructor of the Digital Modeling & Fabrication program at IYRS, Seth Wiseman was integral in the successful launch of the inaugural fall 2017 class. Seth came to IYRS having earned a degree in Building Science & Industrial Design, and co-owns designwise, a boutique design studio based in Boston. After leading the development and launch of the Rhode Island Mobile Maker Lab [Powered By IYRS], Seth set his sights on the development and implementation of the ambitious and fast-paced curriculum of Digital Modeling & Fabrication.

Jim Owens
Solidworks and Fabrication Technologies

Jim Owens has used digital tools to develop and build integrated systems for almost two decades. Jim learned the value of rigorous modeling when designing his first combat robots with Rhino 3D in middle school. Today he leverages Solidworks’ modeling and simulation products in tandem with a diverse set of digital manufacturing tools to rapidly design, prototype, test, and iterate upon novel electrically functional textile systems for the US Army and Navy.

Jim is the founder and Principal of Nautilus Defense, an engineering firm specializing in mission critical integrated systems. Nautilus has supported the development, production, installation, and maintenance of maritime domain awareness and search and rescue satellite aided tracking systems on six continents. Jim regularly delivers integral technical and operational trainings for these systems to customers around the world.

Jim serves as the Engineering Industry Standards Co-Chair for the Rhode Island Department of Education’s Career and Technical Education programs and on the Steering Committee of the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network.

Dean Robinson
CAM, CNC Operation, Fabrication Technologies

Dean Robinson has had a strong career in product design and development for such industries as information technologies, consumer products, marine hardware, toys, architecture, packaging, and medical devices. His education includes degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Florida Atlantic University and Industrial Design from Rhode Island School of Design.

Whether with a corporation, small design firm, or school, Dean has always gravitated toward opportunities where analog and digital machine tools were part of the creative process. He was instrumental in designing yacht hardware and furling systems for Hood Yacht Systems. For many years he has worked as a consultant in product design and development. Dean has created, patented, and is manufacturing Snappytables, a furniture design which he markets for small living spaces and recreational settings.

For 16 years Dean’s work has also included involvement as an adjunct faculty member in the Industrial Design Department at Rhode Island School of Design, coaching students in skills and exploration with hand and machine tool processes in a variety of materials.

“Making things is the essence of invention and worthy product development.” Dean is an avid sailor and classic yacht restorer.

Shawn Wallace
Physical Computing

Shawn Wallace is a creative coder and hardware hacker whose primary work has been in making technology more accessible and convivial. He is currently technical lead for Unruly Studios, a startup that creates interactive games that empower children with creative problem solving through active play.

He was an editor at O’Reilly Media and Maker Media where he worked on hardware and software books for makers, and wrote Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and books on making graphics with Perl. For ten years Shawn has designed open hardware microcontroller modules and kits at Modern Device and was the local guru for the Fab Foundation-organized Fab Academy, a distributed education experiment. He has created new mobile musical instruments for iOS and Android devices including the apps Fluxly, Noisemusick and Doctor Om. For years he was the managing director of the AS220 art space and director of the AS220 Fab Lab, Printshop and Media Lab in Providence, RI.

Past Adjunct Faculty Members

  • Kipp Bradford | Design Principles II
  • Tom Lemaire | Machine Shop Principles
  • Toni Shannon | Computer-Aided-Design
  • Matt Stultz | Rapid Prototyping
  • Liz Welch | Design Principles


2017-2018 Artist in Residence: Jack Mauch

With the continued growth of digital fabrication in power and accessibility, so grows the need for flexible, inventive problem solvers, whether craftspeople, designers, artists, or the like. Jack Mauch was selected as the inaugural Artist in Residence for the 2018 Digital Modeling & Fabrication program. In addition to supporting IYRS students through their capstone projects, Jack was tasked with fostering a period of intense research to uncover creative and/or innovative opportunities to leverage technology, both software and hardware, in design for manufacturing practices.