Dr. Timothy Philpot was an all-around well respected man, who had many accomplishments, but one of the most prominent was how he changed the way introductory engineering mechanics courses are taught.
Before Dr. Philpot became the caring teacher and faculty member, he completed his Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering at the University of Kentucky in 1979, a Masters in Civil Engineering at Cornell University in 1980, and then he received a Doctorate in Civil Engineering at Purdue University in 1992. Between Dr. Philpot’s Master’s and starting his Doctorate program he worked at R.J. Brown & Associates. He helped develop engineering plans for ocean floor pipelines and software for the company.
After achieving his Ph.D., he then moved on to become an Associate Professor at Murray State University for 13 years, where he started his project on MDSolids, an instructional software for mechanics of materials. In 1999, he moved to teach at Missouri S&T as an Associate Professor, where he quickly became involved on campus. He became a freshmen advisor to many civil engineering students, the advisor to the Steel Bridge Design Team, and created MecMovies, animated instructional media to help students learn mechanics of materials, which was finalized in 2006. Philpot went on to write “Mechanics of Materials: An Integrated Learning System.” This textbook is not only used at our small campus, but also on campuses around the world. As a result, Dr. Philpot is known by many engineering students and professionals. Between writing the book and giving students a whole new platform of learning mechanics of materials with MDSolids and MecMovies, it is easy to say he has made a difference in the world.
When talking to current students it was apparent how Dr. Philpot had instilled lasting memories in those who got to take his classes or had him as an advisor. Whether it was a recent student,
“I only knew Dr. Philpot for a week in Mechanics of Materials, but he was a really great teacher and explained difficult concepts really well.”
- Molly Waller
a one class student,
“I had a class with him. He was a super helpful teacher and would have taken another class with him in a heartbeat. Literally, he was so level-headed, very ‘for the students’ type of attitude, super involved in the department, very fair man.”
- Emily LaPreze
or an advisee,
“Last summer at steel bridge nationals, we had Dr. Philpot’s name on our display since he was our advisor, and there were several people from literally all over the world that recognized his name from using his textbook. I thought that was awesome that he has helped so many people learn. Another awesome memory is when he hosted a steel bridge bonfire at his house and he joined in playing volleyball with us.”
- Michael Janke
“I first met Dr. Philpot freshman year as my freshman engineering advisor. I got to know him a lot better in the coming years through Steel Bridge since he was our advisor. I also had him as a Mechanics of Materials teacher and currently, he was teaching my Steel Design class. As an advisor for bridge, he would always help us with any questions we ever had and would come to our regional competition. Some of the best memories the team and myself have, is that he would have the team over every fall to play volleyball and have a bonfire. It was a lot of fun and Dr. Philpot would even play with us. He and his wife Ginger were so kind towards our team and loved having our company at events similar to this. As a teacher, he was one of the best I have ever had. He explained everything so clearly and gave lots of examples and real world applications. He was one of the most patient, humble, helpful, and brilliant professors I've ever met. His kindness and willing to help others made him one of the beloved professors of the civil department.”
- Jonathan Kuchem
Dr. Philpot made a lasting impact on the students at Missouri S&T and beyond and will be dearly missed.