Faculty Profile‎ > ‎


Benjamin R. Campbell, Ph.D. 

            Ben Campbell joined Robert Morris University as an Assistant Professor of Engineering in the fall of 2011.  Dr. Campbell spent eight years prior to that 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.  In 2011, Dr. Campbell was awarded his first research grant from the National Science Foundation in the amount of $300,000 for the "Fundamental Study of Pulse Length Dependency for Laser Ablation and Melt Formation" for laser machining applications.  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.    


            Dr. Campbell has served for many years on the faculty for the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Science (PGSS) at Carnegie Mellon University.  During that time he taught courses in Laser Technology, the Science of Music, and led student research projects designing and building electronic musical instruments.  In 2005 he was given the PGSS award for Exemplary Service.  Since the loss of State funding for the program in 2009, Dr. Campbell has helped to lead efforts to restore the program.  He serves as the Vice President and sits on the Board of Directors of the PGSS Campaign and has personally met with the Governor of Pennsylvania and the heads of the State Legislature to discuss the future of the program.  In 2013, the PGSS Campaign succeeded in reinstating the Governor's School at Carnegie Mellon with a combination of alumni donations, state support and corporate sponsorship.  For his efforts in this and other areas of achievement, he has been recognized as one of Pittsburgh Magazines's 2013 40 under 40 honorees.  In 2014, the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh awarded him the J. Kevin Scanlon Award for the Promotion of Science for his volunteer efforts in science education.


            In 2005, Dr. Campbell joined 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.  In 2003 he was awarded the Langhorne H. Brickwedde Recognition Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Research.  The Penn State Electrical Engineering Department honored him in  the 2012-2013 school year with the Early Career Recognition Alumni Award, given to one alumni each year for making an impact in their first 10 years after graduation. 

      Dr. Campbell is or has been a professional member of IEEESPIE, BMES, ASEE, NCOGS, and LIA.  He has been invited multiple times to speak at the Westinghouse Science Honors Institute, and for guest lectures to college students at Penn State (Physics 444 Seminar and EE 590 Colloquium), University of Pittsburgh, University of Connecticut and Robert Morris.  He also visits K-12 schools to talk with students about careers in science and engineering, with recent visits including Freeport Area Schools, Allegheny Valley School District, Fox Chapel School District, and Pine-Richland School District.  Dr. Campbell also serves on the special projects committee for the Pine-Richland's STEAM  (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Advisory Panel.  In 2010, Dr. Campbell was named the World Champion of the SPIE Khet tournament, for his skill at playing a laser based strategy game, Khet.


      Since coming to Robert Morris University, Dr. Campbell has taught Introduction to Engineering, Dynamics, Circuits and Electromagnetics,  Analog and Digital Electronics, Signals and Sensors, Biomedical Engineering Principles,  Design & Manufacture of Biomedical Devices and Systems, Engineering Practice, Engineering Proposal Development and Experimental Methods for Engineering Management.  For his first three years at RMU he supported the Biomedical Engineering program as an adviser for over 70 students.  Dr. Campbell was also the faculty adviser for a student chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) and Engineering World Health (EWH),  both of which he helped form at RMU.  He has also initiated undergraduate research projects involving neural interface technology, creating prosthetic which are touch screen capable, and STEM education. Currently, he is supporting the mechanical engineering program and manages the Mechatronics Minor for RMU.  Dr. Campbell has recently won a research grant from MECCO, a laser marking company, to explore and develop a new product opportunity pertaining to Laser Welding.