Joseph B. Tipton, Jr. (Joey) is an engineering educator and a specialist in computational fluid dynamics (CFD).
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering with Magna Cum Laude honors from the University of Tennessee in 2002. Tipton was also an Honors College scholar and led a team of undergraduate researchers who were selected to fly on NASA's KC-135 "Vomit Comet" through the Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunity Program. He played Tuba with the UT Pride of the Southland Marching Band and was president of the campus Christian Student Center.
Tipton relates with his students who are facing the struggles of balancing life with a demanding engineering curriculum. His inability to prioritize and say “no” led to burn-out during his senior year. School fatigue and interest in mission work led to a year-long sabbatical in Central America. Tipton caught the teaching bug in Honduras while volunteering with students in elementary, GED, and college classes. Armed with this new passion, Tipton returned to the University of Tennessee to pursue graduate studies with a UTK College of Engineering Ph.D. Fellowship. He earned a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in May, 2006 and a Doctoral degree in Mechanical Engineering in August, 2009.
In his doctoral research and dissertation Tipton focused on numerical modeling of liquid metal evaporation in a capillary pore. This included a unique coupling of nano-, micro-, and macro-scale physics and was published in the Journal of Heat Transfer and International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer.
Tipton currently works in the fusion energy field through the Higher Education Research Experiences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (HERE at ORNL) program. He specializes in the design, simulation, optimization, and verification and validation (V&V) of cooling systems for high heat flux components. You might think of this as modeling an automobile's cooling system (on steroids). His work has been applied to components for the Wendelstein 7X and ITER fusion experiments and published in numerous journal articles including Fusion Engineering Design. One of the Grand Challenges from the National Academy of Engineering is to “provide energy from fusion”. Tipton is proud to contribute a small part toward the effort to make this ultimate renewable energy resource a reality.
Tipton worked at the University of Evansville in Evansville, IN for 6 years as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. In 2015, he joined the Lipscomb University faculty as an Associate Professor in the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering. Tipton enjoys teaching courses that span the curriculum with a focus on thermo-fluid systems. He has taught Introduction to Engineering, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Introduction to CFD, Instrumentation & Measurement, Programming & Numerical Methods, and has advised over 9 senior design projects.
Engineering education is both a challenge and passion for Tipton. He is active in the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and applies evidence-based research in cognitive psychology to the classroom. Accordingly, he is making his classes places of active learning instead of passive lecturing. Beyond just learning, students are shaped by their college experience as they make decisions and form habits that will profoundly impact the trajectory of their lives. Tipton believes he has a spiritual calling to walk alongside his students as a positive Christian influence. He wants his students to think Christianly about engineering and about their careers.
Tipton lives in Nashville with his helpmate of ten years. They are blessed to have multiple small sons - both human and canine. In what spare time remains, Tipton enjoys walking, reading, flying R/C airplanes, and gardening.