Digital Modeling & Fabrication Faculty

Jeff Elsbecker | 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 industries were home furnishings and toys and 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 was a collegiate adjunct professor in the industrial design department at Wentworth Institute of Technology where he taught design, model making, and manufacturing materials and processes. Prior, Jeff taught sculpture, 3D design, drawing and professional practices at Endicott College. He also spent two years working with high school students at FabNewport. 

“A mentor of mine says, ‘It takes three generations to make a farmer.’ I’m thrilled to be at IYRS where our Digital Modeling & Fabrication program incorporates modern digital tools while living in deep connection with generations of thoughtful craftsmanship. We are creating the next generation of designers and builders.”

Jeff has a BFA from the University of Northern Iowa and MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Lauren Lake | Adjunct Instructor

Jim Owens | Adjunct Instructor  

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. At IYRS, Jim's focus is teaching students Solidworks and various fabrication technologies.

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 training 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 | Adjunct Instructor 

Dean Robinson has had a strong career in product design and development for industries including information technology, 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 manufacturingSnappytables, a furniture design which he markets for small living spaces and recreational settings.

At IYRS, Dean focuses on teaching students CAM, CNC machining, fabrication technologies. Dean has also spent 16 years 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.

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

Frank Sisneroz '18 | Program Instruction Assistant

Frank Sisneroz is the Program Instruction Assistant for both the Marine Systems and Digital Modeling and Fabrication Programs. He is also the Coordinator for IYRS' short-term workshop programs. Frank was a union electrician before graduating from the University of California at Irvine. Prior to starting his career in the maritime industry, Frank worked in health insurance as a program coordinator. He moved to Rhode Island from southern California, enrolled at IYRS shortly after, and graduated from the Marine Systems program in 2018. At IYRS, Frank completed his externship at Hunt Yachts and then was hired by Hinckley Yachts in the jet boat division as a traveling service electrician. Frank is a certified Marine Electronics Installer and is certified by the American Boat & Yacht Council inMarine Electrical, Diesel, and Marine Systems. Frank’s passion for sailing and service to others is what drives his enthusiasm and desire to help students achieve their educational and professional goals.

Shawn Wallace | Adjunct Instructor 

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 through creative problem solving with active play. At IYRS, Shawn's focus is teaching students physical computing.

Shawn 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.

Seth Wiseman | Adjunct Instructor 

Seth is an engaging and knowledgeable instructor with degrees in Building Science & Industrial Design from Appalachian State University, as well as an Master of Architecture from RISD. He is the founder of Designwise, a boutique architectural design studio based in Boston and a co-founder of ConForm Lab, a design consulting company focused on specialty projects at the intersection of design, computation & manufacturing. Seth is an Associate Architect of the AIA actively pursuing licensure.