Patten comes to WMU from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, where he served in several capacities including professor and program coordinator for manufacturing, professor of mechanical engineering, and professor of manufacturing engineering technology.
During his tenure at UNC Charlotte, Dr. Patten developed the manufacturing engineering technology program and as part of the program established the Computer Integrated Manufacturing Laboratory that housed the university's CAD/CAM and robotics facilities.He also started the inter- and multi-disciplinary precision engineering program at UNC Charlotte and was instrumental in the design of the Cameron Applied Research Center which includes the Center for Precision Metrology.
Patten facilitated the purchase of approximately $2 million in equipment for the initial outfit of this facility. Patten received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. His areas of specialization include manufacturing, machining, precision engineering, nanotechnology, metrology, machining simulations, CAD/CAM, computer integrated manufacturing (CIM), quality and process control.
In addition to this duties as chair of the department, which has programs located at the Muskegon and Battle Creek regional centers, Patten is also the director of the newly established Manufacturing Research Center (MRC). The MRC is a multi-disciplinary operation within the College. It supports manufacturing industries by providing opportunities for collaboration with faculty and students and serving as a resource
and partner to our constituents. The MRC emphasizes applied research in engineering and applied sciences.