PhilMiller - 1.jpg

Phil Miller, DIG Director

Phil Miller is the Director for the Deason Innovation Gym at SMU.

Phil has a BS in Physics from UCONN and a PhD in Polymer Science from Cornell University. He's worked as an inventor, manager, and Design for Six Sigma Master Black Belt in industry for the past 30 years. He holds over 10 patents and has a passion for innovation. In his spare time, Phil runs marathons and Ironman triathlons. He's the author of, a website for self-coached runners.

Contact Phil at


Beatriz Manrique, Lab Technician

Beatriz Manrique is a Sophomore Electrical Engineering student. She has participated in and helped run summer camps and other projects in the DIG. Beatriz has a strong understanding of circuitry and electrical components. She is better at reading code and looking at the logic than I am at typing lines of it. 

Although wires are fun, Beatriz also enjoys soccer, reading, and drawing.

Beatriz most recently spent her summer teaching the next generation of engineers here at SMU. 

jt headshot.png

JT Williamson, Lab Technician

JT Williamson is a Senior Civil Engineering student with a minor in Mechanical Engineering. He has participated in two of the DIG's Immersive Design Challenges, which were the Mod Pod and the Rocket Payload Challenge. JT enjoys being in the outdoors; whether it's warm or cold. From fishing to skiing to skeet-shooting, he does it all!

JT looks forward to being involved in infrastructure, primarily dams and bridges.

  Gary Campbell   The following is placeholder text known as “lorem ipsum,” which is scrambled Latin used by designers to mimic real copy. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam sit amet nisi condimentum erat iaculis auctor. Donec ac fringilla turpis. Integer tempus, elit in laoreet posuere, lectus neque blandit dui, et placerat urna diam mattis orci. Donec eu est non lacus lacinia semper.

Sam Sheckman, Lab Technician

Sam is from Philadelphia, PA and received his BS in mechanical engineering from Drexel University. He is a graduate student pursuing his MS in mechanical engineering here at SMU, he is conducting research at the BAST Lab with Professor Min Jun Kim on Soft-Microrobotics. In addition to his research, Sam has overwhelming experience in CAD, machining, manufacturing, and 3D printing. He enjoys to investigate the capabilities of what is possible from imagination to physical application. Sam was the recipient of the 2017 NSF EAPSI Fellowship, where he had the opportunity to travel for the past summer to South Korea and work at the National Nanofabrication Center (NNFC) at KAIST.

  Janet Bennett   The following is placeholder text known as “lorem ipsum,” which is scrambled Latin used by designers to mimic real copy. Sed a ligula quis sapien lacinia egestas. Vivamus a ante congue, porta nunc nec, hendrerit turpis.

David Davila, Lab Technician

David is a Junior Mechanical Engineering student. David has been involved with the DIG since his freshman year, working on projects like the High Tech Foosball Table. He's familiar with all the tools in the makerspace specially the wood shop. You can find him making CAD models or vibing to music or both.

David spent this summer going to Meow Wolf and visiting Denver, Colorado.

matty milano.jpg

Matty Milano, Lab Technician

Matty Milano is studying to be a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Math. He is from The Woodlands, Texas. Matty chose SMU because of its nationally ranked engineering facilities and its connections in the Dallas area. He is excited to pursue his passion for creating new and innovative designs by learning more about engineering itself in the classroom and by bringing some of his designs to the real world with the help of the Deason Innovation Gym.