Ron McKean

Welcome to Ferris State University's College of Engineering Technology!

Ferris State has the largest College of Engineering Technology in the nation and enjoys a rich history of providing quality technical education. Our philosophy of coupling theory with hands-on application provides a huge learning advantage. Our reputation for excellence attracts thousands of motivated students who, like you, desire a rewarding and stimulating career in technology.

We take great pride in our graduates who have risen to a prominent status in their fields and have contributed greatly to our communities.  Leading corporations rely on our graduates to not only implement new technologies but to be innovators in a world-wide market. 

I welcome you to explore our diverse Bachelor of Science degree offerings and encourage you to contact us for information that can transform your life.

Ron McKean, Interim Associate Dean of Operations Biographical Information

Ferris State University
Johnson Hall 200 
1009 Campus Drive 
Big Rapids, MI 49307


BS Electrical Engineering Lawrence Technological Institute
MS Electrical Engineering University of Michigan


Professional/Academic Affiliations

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE)
  • Tau Beta Pi
  • Red Cross - Volunteer - Trainer

Major Accomplishments with the Dean’s Office

  • Co-Chair and Steering Committee member for Higher Learning Commission self-study.
  • Restructure of CET into four schools with directors and program coordinators.
  • Completed Series in University Supervisory Training and Leadership Series
  • Initiated team for development of a BS Energy Systems Engineering degree.
  • Annual Michigan Energy Conference at Ferris State University
  • Rebuild Michigan Community Partnership Grant
  • Established team to create energy partnerships government, industry, and other institutions of higher learning.
  • Creation of the Energy Coordinator position
  • Creation of the Director position in CET’s Corporate and Professional Development
  • Formation Corporate and Professional Development in the College of Engineering Technology
  • Faculty Development Award funding over $270,000 in past 5 years
  • Funding support for student projects.
  • Updated and consolidated CET Tenure policy.
  • Established a marketing position within the college.
  • Increased the number of externally accredited programs in CET.
  • Several major facility renovations.
  • Enhanced partnerships with US and international academic Institutions
  • Delegation to Hubei Polytechnic (Xiaogan) and Three Gorges Universities (Yichang)

Major Accomplishments with EET & CNS Department

  • Successful teaching of numerous electrical, electronic, computer, networking, and software courses.
  • Successful record of student advising
    • Proposed and implemented the B.S. in Computer Networks and Systems
  • Worked with a well qualified staff of EET & CNS department faculty to grow and enhance programming of associated curriculum.
    • Developed and implemented several new CNS courses
    • Developed and enhanced the ASIET, BSEET, and BSCNS curriculums and courses
    • Developed and maintained a healthy enrollment in department programs
    • Established Computer Networking Certificate
    • Established Computer Networking Minor
    • Established Industrial Control Minor
    • Incorporated accelerated CIS minor into CNS
    • Incorporated of accelerated Homeland Security Minor into CNS
    • Incorporated accelerated CNS to MBA path (in – process)
    • TAC-ABET re-accreditation of the BS EET program
    • Established and maintained a healthy contributing Advisory Committee for CNS
  • Established Cisco Networking Academy and incorporated the curriculum into the CNS program.
  • Established long-term sponsorship of the CNS Networking Laboratory
  • Awarded educational partnership with QNX Software Systems
  • Achieved several hundred thousand dollars in cash and in-kind for CNS/EET programs from industry and university sources.
  • Managed the renovation of the fourth floor of Swan
  • Established CNS Lab ($30,000 awarded from university)
  • Orchestrated the recycling of used FSU computers into hands-on computer and networking labs.
    • QNX in Education – Educational Partnership; QNX Software Systems, Jan. 2005
    • Project Lead the Way Instructor Trainer
    • Awarded Ferris Foundation Exceptional Merit Grant (Co-writer w/ Clare Cook) - ($4800)
    • Awarded Market Funds for EET and CNS programs 1997 - $1,500, 2003 - $3000
    • Awarded Timme Grants (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006)

Major Accomplishments External to University Employment

  • External Reviewer Northern Michigan University
  • Academic Advisory Committee – ABET
  • Several successful interdisciplinary projects ranging from electro-optical analytical instruments to automated manufacturing systems. Principle Investigator/Project Engineer for the development of a DNA Imaging System.
    • Investigation into new scanning microscopy technologies.
    • Project Engineer for the development of a unique perifused cell culture system.
    • Project Engineer for the development of an electro-optical instrument for immunodiagnostic assay analysis.
    • Project Engineer for the development of a semi-automated interferometric system to characterize micrometer sized internal confinement fusion targets.
  • Participant in internal confinement fusion research.
  • Promotion to leadership positions at KMS Fusion and GSE.
  • Co-author of several successful DOE, NSF, grants.
  • Successful operation of contracting/consulting company.
  • SBIR DOE Phase 1 (1987)and Phase 2 (1988) Image Acquisition System for the Analysis of Fluorescence from Stained DNA Gels ($550,000)
  • Patent: Image Acquisition System for the Analysis of Fluorescence from Stained DNA Gels (4,960,990 exp.)

Committee Participation (summary)


  • ABET Academic Advisory Committee (2010-Present)
  • West Michigan Higher Education Consortium (2009-Present)
  • West Michigan Higher Education Consortium
  • E-Learning Management Advisory Team
  • Energy Efficiency Behavior Change Committee
  • HLC Steering Committee and Criterion 3 co-chair
  • Diversity and Recruitment Taskforce
  • University Governing Ideas Taskforce
  • Advising Task Force
  • Ferris Foundation – Gifts and Grants Selection Committee
  • Honors Program Committee - CET Rep
  • Presidential Search Committee
  • University Assessment Committee
  • University Health Advisory Committee

Michigan University College

  • College Curriculum Committee
  • Computer Technician Search Committee
  • CET Masters Degree Committee
  • Novell Network Committee
  • Promotion Committee


  • Academic Program Review Committee
  • Department Curriculum Committee
  • Faculty Search Committees
  • Program Review Panel
  • Student IEEE Group Advisor
  • Tenure Committees

Student Advisor

  • ISA Student Advisor
  • IEEE Advisor
  • Newman Group RSO Advisor

Registration/Orientation Assistant ( Summer 1996 - 2001)

Presentations, Publications and Reviews (summary)

  • Globalization – Opportunity or Threat ; Ferris State University Globalization Initiative, September 2009
  • Diversity in Engineering and Engineering Technology at Ferris State – Michigan College Deans, July 2009
  • Rebuild Michigan Community Partnership Grant - Energy Efficiency and Cost Reduction Initiative, Mecosta County Chamber of Commerce, (with Tom Crandell), Sept. 2008
  • Ferris State/Community Energy Efficiency and Cost Reduction Initiative – Presentations to Big Rapids City Council; Mecosta County Chamber of Commerce; Rotary Club, 2008
  • American Society of Engineering Educators Annual Global Conference - “The Evolution of a Technical Curriculum”, Oct., 2006
  • American Society of Engineering Educators Annual National Conference – “The Evolution of a Technical Curriculum”, June 2006
  • American Society of Engineering Educators Annual National Conference – Paper Reviewer, 2006
  • National Academic Advising Association Conference; Las Vegas, Oct. 2005
  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences - “New Directions in Criminal Justice: The Interdisciplinary Approach”, Mar. 2004
  • TRENDS Conference Presenter - “Curriculum Development for Today’s Digital Technologies”, Nov. 2001
  • Prentice Hall,Upper Saddle River, NJ - Text book Review - STRUCTURED C FOR ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY by Adamson, Antonakos, and Mansfield, - (1999)
  • American Society of Engineering Educators North Central Section Conference – “Computer Networks and Systems: A New Bachelors Degree at Ferris State University”, Apr. 1996
  • Microcontroller Design & Application Seminar (4days), Aug. 92
  • Image Acquisition System for the Analysis of Fluorescence from Stained DNA Gels – Phase 2 Final Report 1990
  • Image Acquisition System for the Analysis of Fluorescence from Stained DNA Gels – Phase 1 Final Report 1987
  • Presentation and tours as Faculty, Chair and Interim Assoc. Dean for guests, recruitment, industry, and related activities.

Conferences and Seminars (summary)

  • West Michigan 2011 Economic Outlook; Grand Rapids, Dec. 2010
  • TRENDS Conference; Grand Rapids, Oct. 2010
  • ABET Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD, Oct. 2010
  • ASEE National Conference, Nashville, TN, June 2010
  • Michigan Energy Conference, FSU April 2010
  • Energy Futures Conference, Dearborn, Mar. 2010
  • West Michigan 2011 Economic Outlook; Grand Rapids, Dec. 2009
  • West Michigan Association of Energy Engineers, Dec 2009
  • ASEE National Conference, Austin, TX., June 2009
  • Michigan Energy Conference, FSU, April 2009
  • Wisconsin Energy Conference, Milwaukee, WI, 2009
  • ABET - Summer Commission Annual Meeting 2006, 2009
  • Higher learning Commission Annual Conference, Chicago, IL April 2008
  • Michigan Energy Conference, FSU April 2008
  • Economicology Conference, Grand Rapids, March 2007
  • ABET – IDEAL Assessment Leadership Training, Baltimore July 2007
  • NextEnergy - Reduce Energy Conference, May 2007
  • SEE 2007 National Conference; Honolulu, HI, June 2007
  • ASEE 2006 Global Conference; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil October 2006
  • ASEE 2006 National Conference; Chicago, IL June 2006
  • Higher learning Commission Annual Conference, Chicago, IL April 2006
  • Scanning the Future Virtual Seminar; FSU Mar. 2006
  • VoIP Guest Lecture; FSU, Jan. 2006
  • Fourth Entrepreneurial Initiative of Southeast Michigan featuring the 21st Century Jobs Fund Informational Tour – Automation Alley; Troy, Jan. 2006
  • West Michigan 2006 and 2007 Economic Outlook; Grand Rapids, Dec. 2005
  • QNX Seminar – Virtual On-Line; FSU, Dec. 2005
  • Allstate Guest Lecture; FSU Nov. 2005
  • Michigan Community College Emerging Technologies Initiative; LMCC, Oct. 2005
  • National Academic Advising Association Conference; Las Vegas, Oct. 2005
  • Best Practices in Reducing College Student Suicide: A Law and Policy Perspective; FSU, Oct. 2005
  • Academic Freedom – Video Conference; FSU, Sep. 2005
  • Michigan Cisco Academies Conference, HFCC; Dearborn, Oct 2004
  • MMISSG Meeting (Mid-Michigan Security Group); Midland, Oct 2004
  • ASEE Annual Spring Conference; Kalamazoo, Apr. 2004
  • National Instruments Technical Symposium for Measurement and Automation; Livonia, Dec. 2003
  • National Instruments – Measurement Studio; Grand Rapids, Nov. 2001
  • TRENDS Conference; Traverse City, Nov. 2001
  • Summer University; FSU, 2002 - 2005
  • Summer Planning Summit; FSU, 2002, 2003

Educational / Training Experience (summary)

ABET - Institute for the Development of Excellence in Assessment Leadership - IDEAL Scholar, Baltimore, MD 2007

Banner Training(2005-2006)

  • MYFSU 101 -How to Navigate MYFSU
  • BAN 101 -Chart of Accounts/Navigation
  • FIN 101 -Queries Web Service
  • PURCH 102 -Approvals Web Service
  • FIN 102 -Direct Pay Approvals Web
  • FIN 201 -Queries Internet Native Banner
  • NAV 101 -Student Navigation
  • REG 102 -Class Scheduling
  • ADM 101 -General Learner
  • ADM 102 -Educational Background

Cisco Networking Academy Instructor Training; Davenport College, July, 2003, 2 weeks

Cisco Networking Academy Instructor Training; Davenport College, July, 2002, 2 weeks

Diversity Training - Diversity in Higher Education; FSU, Apr. 1998

Embedded Systems Spring Conference; Chicago, IL, Apr. 2000

  • IAR Toolkit, C-SPY - IAR Systems Software Inc.
  • Open Software Technology - emWare Inc.
  • Windows CE Real - Time Operating System - Microsoft Corp.
  • QNX Real-Time Operating System – QNX Software Systems Ltd.
  • Embedded Systems Spring Conference; Chicago, IL, Mar. 1999
  • USNET Operating System - US SOFTWARE
  • Windows CE Real - Time Operating System - Microsoft Corp.
  • QNX Real-Time Operating System – QNX Software Systems Ltd.
  • Embedded Systems Spring Conference; Chicago, IL, Apr. 1998
  • Attended various hardware, software, and operating system presentations.

Ferris State University - Supervisory Training,

  • HR and University Policies and Search Committees 2009
  • Bullard Plawecki/PERA, 2009
  • Embracing Cultural Change, 2009
  • Corrective Action, 2009
  • Performance Appraisal Training, 2009

Ferris Connect Training

- Ferris State Summer University, July/Aug. 2000
- Ferris State Summer University, June 2002
- FRS Training; Ferris State, Apr. 2002

Industrial Network Seminar by Allen-Bradley (Rockwell Automation);
Grand Rapids, Apr. 1999

  • Half day seminar covering industrial networks, devices, and operating systems.
    - Supervisory Leadership Training – Ferris State, 2009 - 10
    - Linear Control Systems (EE826); MSU-GR, 1995
    - Macro-Media Flash Course; FSU, Mar. / Apr. 2005

Mixed Signal Design Techniques Seminar by Analog Devices; Grand Rapids, May 2001

  • Review and design techniques for modern analog, digital / analog conversion, and digital signal processing applications. (1 Day)
    - National Instruments – Measurement Studio Hands-On Seminar; Grand Rapids, Nov. 2001
    - Project Lead The Way – Master Teacher Training - Rochester NY , Apr. 5-8, 2002
    - Prospects Database Training; FSU, Jan 2006

TechOnLine University

  • Embedded and Real Time Systems – ½ hrs, Nov. 2005
  • Data Networking Hardware 6: Switches - 2.5 hrs, Feb. 2001
  • Data Networking Hardware 5: Concentrators and Hubs - 1.0 hrs, Apr. 2000
  • Data Networking Hardware 3: Data Link - 1.5 hrs, Feb. 2001
  • Data Networking Hardware 1: Basics - 1.5 hrs, Apr. 2000
  • The Evolution of Java Technology for Embedded Devices - .75hrs, May 2001
  • Embedded and Real Time Systems - 0.5 hrs, May 2001
  • Writing Device Drivers Under Unix and NT - .75 hrs, May 2001

Voice over IP by Nortel Networks; FSU, Apr. 2001

  • Theory and Implementation of Voice data on the network.
    Video Networking by Nortel Networks; FSU, Oct. 1999
  • Demonstration and discussion of multimedia video network capabilities.
    WebCT-Introduction to WebCT ; FSU, 2000
    WebCT-Preparing for Your First Semester; FSU, 2003
    Website Development Course; FSU, Jan. 2002
    Wind River - Real time operating system seminar - on-line, May 2002
    Windows NT Basic Training by ON RAMP Training; Grand Rapids, Jan. 1998
  • A two day course covering the operation, theory, installation, administration, and troubleshooting of NT operating systems and networks. (2 Days, 1.4 C.E.U.)
    Windows Server & Visual; Grand Rapids, May 2003 

Contracting and Consulting (summary)

AVL Information Systems Inc., Big Rapids/Fort Gratiot, MI (May-Sept 2000)

  • Developed operational specifications and software for a remote GPS (global positioning system) device with wireless network access. Software was written in ‘C’ to control the devices computer, access and format GPS data, and orchestrate network communications.

BioPhotonics Corporation, Ann Arbor, MI (1990-94)

  • Development and support of microprocessor based imaging systems. Work involved Electronic circuit design and development of real time, embedded system software.
  • Supply programmed microcontroller devices for existing camera control products.
  • Wrote Electronic Design sections for a proposal to develop an innovative DNA detection system. This proposal eventually resulted in a 3 year, $500,000 project for BioPhotonics (sponsored by the Department of Energy).
  • Provide consultation and an instrument development proposal to Difco Corp.
  • High resolution/high sensitivity ccd digital camera design for biological applications.
  • Design circuitry for a microprocessor based fluorimeter.
  • Develop high speed parallel communications software for image file transfer applications.
  • Developed image capture interface software for existing product.

GSE Corp., Farmington Hills MI (1995)

  • Review current product line in industrial scales and inventory systems.
  • Develop a proposal based on input specifications for new product designs.

IA Inc., Ann Arbor, MI (1997 - 2000)

  • Assisted in writing the SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) grant proposal to develop a field diagnostic and detection device. The instrument used proprietary laser/chemical methods to produce detectable signals that could be used to determine the presence of viruses. Contracted to design the hand-held microprocessor EPI (Early Predictor of Infection) instrument. Efforts required hardware and software design, documentation, prototype development, computer simulation, and specification.
  • The contract also required design, simulation, prototyping and manufacture of an ultra sensitive detection circuit. The circuit was required to discriminate pico-amp variations of signals from precision silicon photo-detectors. Other challenges associated with this design included its extreme low noise and drift specifications. The design was prototyped and later produced for laboratory application.

Optrand Inc., Plymouth, MI (1999)

  • Provide a design analysis for a complex signal conditioning circuit. Utilized a PSpice based schematic entry and analysis package to evaluate circuit response to sensor excitation.
  • Located possible source of design flaws.
  • Suggest design improvements for future products.

Versus Technology, Traverse City, MI (1998)

  • Analyze network control processors and related circuitry to diagnose design errors in a wireless network product.
  • Located design errors and provided corrections.

Sherman Cambell/Technology Transfer Center, Big Rapids MI (1993)

  • Design, fabricate and deliver a low cost microcontroller based measurement device
  • Provide complete CAD based documentation.