About Us

Sechel Ventures owns and operates OnlineEngineeringPrograms.com (OEP). The mission of Sechel is to provide rich and informative content that addresses specific educational questions in fields with good to excellent career outlooks, such as engineering.

On OEP, the Sechel editorial team will be building out responses to frequently asked questions about online engineering education, addressing basic educational questions (Engineering 101), more detailed questions on the process, requirements, and steps to become an engineer (Becoming an Engineer), and a comparison of different branches of engineering (Specialization vs Specialization) in the FAQ. In addition, the team will provide a listing of programs by branch, doing a deep dive into several top programs and profiling each one’s professors and value propositions.

Experts Interviewed on onlineengineeringprograms.com

Alex Fielding
Alex Fielding

Alex Fielding is the co-founder and CEO of Ripcord, a robotics company on a mission to take the world paperless. He began his career as an engineer for Cisco Systems and Apple, where he worked on multiple generations of macOS and PowerBook.

In 2001, Fielding co-founded Wheels of Zeus with Apple’s co-founder, Steve Wozniak; it was sold to Zontrak in 2006. Today, Fielding sits on the boards of the CodeWarrior Foundation and the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) and is on the advisory board of Astra Space.

Ashok K. Goel, PhD
Ashok K. Goel, PhD

Dr. Ashok K. Goel is a professor of computer science and human-centered computing in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology, where he teaches classes in knowledge-based artificial intelligence, computational creativity, and cognitive science. He is also the director of Georgia Tech’s Design & Intelligence Laboratory, and the chief scientist for Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities.

In addition to his widespread involvement in academic journals, conferences, and initiatives, Professor Goel pioneered the development of Jill Watson, an AI-powered teaching assistant. His current research projects explore design thinking and systems thinking in scientific modeling, visual thinking on intelligence tests, and analogical thinking and meta-thinking in human-robot interaction. Notably, he’s the author of two recent influential papers in the Journal of Thoracic Imaging: "Augmenting Interpretation of Chest Radiographs With Deep Learning Probability Maps" and "Deep Learning Localization of Pneumonia".

George Crabtree, PhD
George Crabtree, PhD

Dr. George Crabtree is a senior scientist and distinguished fellow at Argonne National Laboratory; distinguished professor of physics, mechanical and electrical engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and director of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR). He received his BS in science engineering, his MS in physics, and his PhD in condensed matter physics.

In the course of his distinguished career, he's published more than 440 scientific papers on topics that range from energy policy to next-gen battery materials to sustainable energy. He’s led Department of Energy (DOE) workshops on energy storage, co-chaired assessments of the DOE’s applied energy programs, and testified before Congress about the challenges and opportunities associated with sustainable energy. In 2018, Crabtree's team at JCESR received the Secretary of Energy's Achievement Award for its work in the future of next-gen batteries.

Jason Corso, PhD
Jason Corso, PhD

Dr. Jason Corso is an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan. His primary research focuses on high-level computer vision, with an emphasis on video understanding for physical engagement with the environment by agents (e.g., robots).

Dr. Corso has published on a large number of problems in this space, but his primary areas are video segmentation and video action recognition. His company, Voxel51 LLC, seeks to expose video understanding in a commercial setting.

Kara Kockelman, PhD
Kara Kockelman, PhD

Dr. Kara Kockelman is the Dewitt Greer Centennial Professor of Transportation Engineering at the University of Texas and a leading expert on autonomous vehicles and traffic engineering. Among her many honors, she has received the Beijing Overseas Talent Pool Award, the Google Research Award, the James Laurie Prize in Transportation Engineering, the Walter L. Huber Research Prize in Transportation Engineering, and the Young Researcher’s Award from the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Statistical Methods.

Dr. Kockelman has authored or contributed to more than 175 academic papers, books, and articles. She holds a bachelor's, a master's and a doctorate in civil engineering, as well as a master's in city planning—all from the University of California, Berkeley.

Karen Horting, CAE
Karen Horting, CAE

Karen Horting is the Executive Director and CEO for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), a position she’s held since 2014. In her prior role as Deputy Executive Director, Horting oversaw the Society’s professional development, K-12 outreach, the annual conference, and international expansion.

Prior to joining SWE, Horting worked for both the New York Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She currently serves on the Leadership Circle of the 50K Coalition, the FIRST Robotics Board of Directors, the Automation Federation Board of Directors, the STEM Ed Coalition Board of Directors, and the Association Forum CAE Working Group.

Leilei Duan, PhD
Leilei Duan, PhD

Dr. Leilei Duan is a lecturer with the Spatial Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California. She earned her PhD in design, construction, and planning from the University of Florida. Prior to joining the faculty at the Spatial Science Institute, Duan was an instructor for 3D modeling, visualization, and simulation at the University of Florida. Her current research and teaching interests include the application of GIS in urban planning and other aspects of GeoDesign.

Duan has presented her research at numerous conferences, including those of the Geodesign Summit and the American Association of Geographers. She is also the founder and administrator of the GeoDesign Wiki website

Michael Todd, PhD
Michael Todd, PhD

Dr. Michael Todd, a Professor of Structural Engineering at UC San Diego, is a leading researcher in the structural health monitoring of civil, mechanical, and aerospace engineering projects. As one of the pioneers of “smart structures”—self-measuring systems which send performance feedback—his adeptness with both hardware and software have made him a leading structural engineer internationally today.

Dr. Todd received numerous awards, including the Alan Berman NRL Publication Award (1999), NRL Patent Awards (2003 and 2004), the Fifth International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring’s Professional of the Year (2005), and the Von Liebig Entrepreneurship Award (2005). He’s a member of UCSD’s OUT List—an organization of LGBTQ faculty and administrative professionals—as well as a member of QuEST, an LGBTQ engineering society based in San Diego.

Peter Hosemann, PhD
Peter Hosemann, PhD

Dr. Peter Hosemann is a professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California Berkeley, where he is also the department chair. He received his MS and PhD degrees in material science from Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria.

Prior to joining the Department of Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley, Dr. Hosemann was a graduate research assistant and a post-doc at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His research features experimental material science for nuclear applications, with a focus on the structural materials used for nuclear components.

Ruth Charney, PhD
Ruth Charney, PhD

Dr. Ruth Charney is the President of the American Mathematical Society (AMS). She is also the Theodore and Evelyn Berenson Professor of Mathematics at Brandeis University, where she researches geometric group theory.

A past president of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), Charney has served on various AMS committees since 1993, and in 2017 completed a five-year term on the Board of Trustees. She is a fellow of both AWM and AMS.

Sha Viswanathan
Sha Viswanathan

Sha Viswanathan is a 14-year veteran at Microsoft, currently serving as a software engineering manager in the company’s cloud and AI division. He studied electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and moved to Seattle to start his career at Microsoft. His first five years at the company were spent in research and development of Internet of Things (IoT) when the concept was still in its formative stages. Now, Viswanathan hires and manages teams of engineers that have worked on projects that integrate AI into Windows and other Microsoft products.

Steven D. Fleming, PhD
Steven D. Fleming, PhD

Dr. Steven D. Fleming is a professor of the practice of spatial sciences in the Spatial Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. He earned his BS in computer science from West Point, his master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College, and both his master’s and his doctorate in geography from the University of Georgia. His research and teaching is focused on four areas: the applications of geospatial technologies for national defense; emerging terrestrial, airborne, and space-based image collection systems; online and blended training using mobile devices; and the dynamic mapping of coastal regions.

A retired colonel in the US Army, Fleming has command, staff, and combat experience, twice deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom. Prior to joining the faculty at USC, Fleming served as deputy head of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at West Point. In addition to his role at USC’s Spatial Science Institute, Fleming is also a research professor with the USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies, a DoD-sponsored research center that works in collaboration with the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL).

Tricia Hatley, PE
Tricia Hatley, PE

Tricia Hatley is the 2020-2021 President of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). She serves on numerous committees within the organization. Tricia is a past President of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, where she served in numerous leadership roles and is now a member of the Oklahoma Society of Professional Engineers.

Additionally, she is a Principal and Vice President at Freese and Nichols, Inc (FNI), an engineering, architectural, and environmental firm with offices throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina. She has been with FNI for 27 years, and prior to that, she worked at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

Vincenzo Piuri, PhD
Vincenzo Piuri, PhD

Dr. Vincenzo Piuri is a Professor of Computer Engineering at the University of Milan, Italy, where he was the Department Chair from 2007 to 2012. He received his MS and PhD in computer engineering from Politecnico di Milano, Italy.

Dr. Piuri’s research and industrial application interests are in AI, intelligent systems, pattern analysis, machine learning, cloud computing, and digital architectures. As one of Italy’s leading scientists, he’s published over 400 scientific papers in international journals, international conferences, books, and book chapters.

Dr. Piruri has held several leadership roles at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and is also the founder and co-chair of IEEE’s Environmental Engineering Initiative, an interdisciplinary forum for the environmental engineering community. Dr. Piuri is an IEEE Fellow, a member of IEEE Eta Kappa Nu, an Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Distinguished Scientist, and a Senior Member of the International Network for Natural Sciences (INNS).

William Santana Li, MBA
William Santana Li, MBA

William Santana Li is chairman and CEO of California-based robotics security company Knightscope, which serves U.S. airports, corporations, hospitals, stadiums, and other security-sensitive sites. Li leverages his electrical engineering training, entrepreneurial prowess, and passion for robotics to create novel security and law enforcement technologies. Before founding Knightscope, he was Chairman and CEO of the Carbon Motors Corporation, developer of the world’s first purpose-built law enforcement vehicles.

Li also founded and headed Built-to-Order, Model E Corporation, and Greenleaf Health. He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a master's of business administration (MBA) from the University of Detroit Mercy.

Meet the Team

Seth Restaino
Seth Restaino Co-Founder

Seth Restaino has devoted the past 20 years of his professional career to software consulting and educational web publishing, and runs production and engineering for Sechel Ventures, which he co-owns with Barry.

Barry Franklin
Barry Franklin Co-Founder

Before co-founding Sechel Ventures Partners LLC, Barry Franklin was a VP at a Silicon Valley software company, and is presently an investor in and advisor for Impellia. Barry believes that education and lifelong learning are paramount. Barry met his wife at Carnegie Mellon University and they have two beautiful daughters. He also volunteers for various committees at his kids’ high school.

Jocelyn Blore
Jocelyn Blore Chief Content Strategist

After graduating from UC Berkeley, Jocelyn traveled the world for five years as an English teacher and freelance writer. After stints in England, Japan, and Brazil, she settled in San Francisco and worked as a managing editor for a tech company. She’s recently become interested in the underrepresented groups in STEM fields and published a piece on Women in Engineering. When Jocelyn isn’t writing about college programs and professors, she satirizes global politics and other absurdities at Blore’s Razor (Instagram: @bloresrazor).

Aimee Hosler
Aimee Hosler Writer

Aimee Hosler is a long-time journalist specializing in education and technology. She is an advocate for experiential learning among all ages and serves as the director of communications for a non-profit community makerspace. She holds a degree in journalism from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Becca Brewer
Becca Brewer Writer

Becca is building a better future on a thriving earth by fostering healing, human wholeness, and next-world building through storytelling help, one-on-one self-awareness workshops, and customized team-alignment sessions. She offers these services at a rate of $0.00 to anyone interested (contact her at [email protected] for more information). Previously to her journey as an adventurer for a just, meaningful, and regenerative world, Becca was a formally trained sexuality educator with a master of education.

Cevia Yellin
Cevia Yellin Writer

Cevia Yellin is a freelance writer based in Eugene, Oregon. She studied English and French literature as an undergraduate. After serving two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer, she earned her master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages. Cevia’s travels and experiences working with students of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds have contributed to her interest in the forces that shape identity. She grew up on the edge of Philadelphia, where her mom still lives in her childhood home.

Farheen Gani
Farheen Gani Writer

Farheen is a freelance writer, marketer, and researcher. She writes about technology, education, and marketing. Her work has appeared on websites such as Tech in Asia and Foundr, as well as top SaaS blogs such as Zapier and InVision. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter (@FarheenGani).

Johannes Stitz
Johannes Stitz Writer

Johannes Stitz is a freelance writer and researcher based in the Southwest. He’s written about various topics in engineering careers. Before turning to freelance writing, he spent nearly a decade in the arts as a booker and event manager.

Kenneth Parker
Kenneth Parker Writer

A graduate of the University of Oregon, Kenneth Parker is sometimes a musician and rarely a poet. His work spans copy editing, feature writing, and dissertation development. He researches and writes about a wide range of topics, including healthcare, engineering, and online education.

Kimmy Gustafson
Kimmy Gustafson Writer

Kimmy is a freelance writer with a passion for sharing stories of bravery. Her love for world-traveling began when her family moved to Spain when she was six and since then, she has lived overseas extensively, visited six continents, and traveled to over 25 countries. She is fluent in Spanish and conversational in French. When not writing or parenting she can be found kiteboarding, hiking, or cooking.

Laura Childs
Laura Childs Writer

Laura is a versatile writer and media specialist living in London. She's a California native and has written about arts, culture, and tech in San Francisco. A self-proclaimed data nerd, she loves telling people's stories supported by research. When not writing, Laura teaches and practices yoga. You can find more of her work and get in touch at www.lbccreative.com.

Matt Zbrog
Matt Zbrog Writer

Matt Zbrog is a writer and freelancer who has been living abroad since 2016. His nonfiction has been published by Euromaidan Press, Cirrus Gallery, and Our Thursday. Both his writing and his experience abroad are shaped by seeking out alternative lifestyles and counterculture movements.

Melissa DeCapua, DNP
Melissa DeCapua, DNP Writer

Dr. Melissa DeCapua is a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner who graduated from Vanderbilt University. She has a background in child and adolescent psychiatry as well as psychosomatic medicine. Uniquely, she also possesses a bachelor’s degree in studio arts, which she uses to enhance patient care, promote the nursing profession, and solve complex problems. Melissa currently works as a design researcher at Microsoft where she guides product development by combining her clinical background and creative thinking. She is a strong advocate for empowering nurses, and she fiercely believes that nurses should play a pivotal role in shaping modern health care. For more about Melissa, check out her blog www.melissadecapua.com and follow her on Twitter @melissadecapua.

Nina Chamlou
Nina Chamlou Writer

Nina Chamlou is an avid writer and multi-media content creator from Portland, OR. She writes about aviation, travel, business, technology, and education. You can find her floating around the Pacific Northwest in diners and coffee shops, studying the locale from behind her MacBook.

Rachel Drummond
Rachel Drummond Writer

Rachel Drummond is a freelance writer, educator, and yogini from Oregon. She’s taught English to international university students in the United States and Japan for more than a decade and has a master’s degree in education from the University of Oregon. A dedicated Ashtanga yoga practitioner, Rachel is interested in exploring the nuanced philosophical aspects of contemplative physical practices and how they apply in daily life. She writes about this topic among others on her blog (Instagram: @racheldrummondyoga).

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