Ben R. Campbell, Ph.D.
Academic Outreach & Impact Coordinator - SEMS (Dean, SEMS)
Coordinator, University Honors Program (Honors Program)
Professor of Engineering (Engineering)
412-397-5474 phone (M)
412-397-2593 fax

My Website
LinkedIn Profile

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Engineering, Robert Morris University, 2008
  • Master of Science, Electrical Engineering, Penn State University, 2003
  • Bachelor of Science, Physics with Honors, Penn State University, 2003
  • Minor, Business, Penn State University, 2003
  • Minor, Mathematics, Penn State University, 2003
  • Minor, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Penn State University, 2003

Professional Background

  • Faculty website:
  • In 2005, Dr. Campbell was accepted for Robert Morris University's inaugural Engineering Ph.D. cohort and earned his degree in 2008 after successfully defending his dissertation concerning quantitative quality measurement methods for laser machining processes under the guidance of Dr. Murat Tiryakioglu (RMU) and Dr. Vladimir Semak (PSU). Dr. Campbell also spent five years studying at Penn State University which earned him a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Physics with Honors, and Minors in Business, Mathematics, and Astronomy & Astrophysics. He also was awarded the Langhorne H. Brickwedde Recognition Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics.
  • Ben Campbell joined Robert Morris University as an Assistant Professor of Engineering in the fall of 2011 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018. Initially he led the biomedical engineering program and then transferred to advise mechanical engineering and develop RMU's mechatronics minor. He has initiated research projects with students to use EEG equipment for neural interface device control, developed modifications for prosthetics to allow them to operate touch screens, partnered with industry to secure over a quarter million dollars of funding to research into using lasers to weld plastics, and facilitated a collaboration between three engineering clubs to build a life sized and customized functional replica of an astromech robot from a popular movie franchise. He has served as the Chair of the University Graduate Curriculum Committee and been a Liaison Officer for the Faculty Federation.
  • Dr. Campbell spent the first eight years if his career as a Laser Engineer at the Penn State Electro-Optics Center specializing in laser micromachining research. He has over 20 publications and has presented his work at several international laser conferences. Dr. Campbell has performed research for government funded investigations into ultrashort pulse laser-material interactions, and has also generated business with industrial partners to use lasers for innovative manufacturing processes. His sponsors and research partners have included: the Office of Naval Research, Sandia National Labs, Army Research Lab, Raytheon, General Atomics, Tyco Electronics, Aerotech, Johnson & Johnson, ExOne, Piezokinetics, Precision Therapeutics, Mecco Marking, Photomachining, Ibis Tek, Dynamic Eye, Exotic Metals Forming, Carnegie Mellon University and more. As a demonstration of his laser micromachining capabilities, Dr. Campbell laser etched the entire Gettysburg Address on a Lincoln penny. He also directed an intern to write the Declaration of Independence on a Nickel. His hobby of defacing currency with lasers has led to the formation of the company "Laser Coins" to produce and sell keepsake coins with meaningful messages inscribed by lasers, with the initial product offering being the Gettysburg Pennies.
  • For the 2012-2013 academic year, the Penn State Department of Electrical Engineering awarded Dr. Campbell the Early Career Recognition Alumni Award. One award is given out annually to a PSU graduate from the EE department who within 10 years of graduation has "demonstrated outstanding technical excellence as an individual resulting in significant accomplishments (and) shown great potential for continued success in their field." Dr. Campbell was also recognized by Pittsburgh Magazine in their November 2013 issue as one of the 40 people under 40 in western Pennsylvania for their "passion, commitment, visibility, diversity and overall impact on the region." The 40 winners were chosen from over 220 nominees and honored at the 15th Annual 40 Under 40 Awards celebration. In 2014, The Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh awarded Dr. Campbell the J. Kevin Scanlon Award for "Dedication in Enhancing Science Education" due to his numerous local efforts supporting STEM education. In 2018, the nonprofit PGSS Campaign won the Carnegie Science Center Leadership in STEM Education Award. Dr. Campbell is the Vice President of the PGSS campaign and a founding member of the organization. In 2022, Dr. Campbell's research collaboration that he leads between RMU and MECCO was recognized with the Carnegie Science Award for Exemplary Educational/Corporate Collaboration.

Area of Expertise/Research

  • Laser Welding, Mechatronics, Touch Screen Interactions, Ultrashort Pulse Laser-Material Interactions, Laser Micromachining Applications, Advanced Optical Systems for Laser Beam Delivery, Science/Engineering Education, Atmospheric Propagation of Lasers, Robotics for Manufacturing, Science of Music, Space Science, Smart Phone Applications, and more...


  • B.R. Campbell "A flipped classroom approach for engaged learning using arduino and LabVIEW" 2019 Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges 35 (3), 157-172
  • B. R. Campbell, (2019, June), Design and Delivery of an Electro-Optics Summer Camp for Secondary Students (P12 Resource/Curriculum Exchange) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32590
  • D.L. Cellante, S. Mishra, B.R. Campbell, M.A. Hansen, G.A. Buxton, (2017). The perceptions of middle school teachers about the integration of STEM+C: A focus-group approach.  Issues in Information Systems, 18(1), 58 – 63.
  • B. R. Campbell, (2017, June), Inspiring Future Engineers: Teaching Basic Electronics to Create Theremin-Based Musical Instruments Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28537
  • B.R. Campbell, J.J. Voelker, and C.S. Kremer "An Analysis of Engineering Education Standards and Outcomes Achieved by a Robotics Summer Camp Experience" 2015 International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy Vol.5 Iss 4. 
  • A.J Trapp, S. Acharya and B.R. Campbell, "Using Software Engineering Best Practices to Create an App to Test Touchscreen Compatible Prostheses" 2014 International Journal of Engineering Research and Innovation Vol.6 Iss. 2
  • B.R. Campbell, J.A. Palmer, and V.V. Semak, “Peculiarity of metal drilling with a commercial femtosecond laser” 2007 Applied Surface Science 253 pp. 6334-6338.
  • V. V. Semak, B. R. Campbell, and J. G. Thomas “On the possible effect of pedestal pulse on material removal by ultrahigh intensity laser pulses” 2006 J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 39 pp. 3440-3449.
  • V. V. Semak, J. G. Thomas, and B. R. Campbell, “Drilling of steel and HgCdTe with the femtosecond pulses produced by a commercial laser system” 2004 J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 37 pp. 2925-2931.


  • 2023 - "Laser Marking and Welding Plastics Workshop" at the Penn State Innovation and Emerging Plastics Technologies Conference
  • 2023 - "Laser Marking and Laser Welding the Automotive Plastics PA6, PA66 and ABS" at SPE AutoEPCON
  • 2022 - "Industrial Applications of Lasers for Marking, Cutting and Welding Plastics" at the Penn State Innovation and Emerging Plastics Technologies Conference
  • 2022 - Guest Lecturer for Penn State's Undergraduate Physics 444 Seminar Class (16 times annually)
  • 2022 - Invited Speaker at PA Governor's School for the Sciences Opening Ceremony (10 times annually)
  • 2021 - Invited Speaker at the Westinghouse Science Honors Institute (14 times annually)
  • 2019 - "Shear Strength of Transmission Laser Welded Polyamide" at the SPE Auto EPCON
  • 2018 - "Advancements in Fiber Laser Workstations for Plastic Welding Applications" at ANTEC
  • 2017 - Invited Speaker at Georgia State University
  • 2017 - Invited Speaker for the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Department of Physics
  • 2015 - Invited Speaker for Penn State's Silicon Happy Valley Conference
  • 2015 - Presenter at the First Year Engineering Education Conference
  • 2014 - Presenter at American Society of Engineering Educators Conference
  • 2013 - Presenter at the PA Gifted Educators Conference
  • 2012 - Featured Presenter at the National Conference of Governor's Schools
  • 2011 - Guest Speaker for Penn State's Electrical Engineering Graduate Colloquium