David Wells

David L. Wells has been Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at North Dakota State University since January 2000. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in process engineering and production engineering systems design for conventional manufacturing, electronics assembly, biomedical products and micro-manufacturing. His active research lies in orthopedics, micro-assembly, micro-machining, PCB process engineering, printed electronics, applications of RFID technologies and manufacturing engineering pedagogy. He is active in SME, ASEE, SMTA, IEEE and ABET. Prior to joining NDSU, he held manufacturing engineering and management positions in aerospace, commercial sheet metal and automotive industries for twenty-six years. He also held a faculty position at University of Cincinnati for fifteen years. He is a certified manufacturing engineer and earned the BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and the PhD in Engineering Management from University of Missouri-Rolla.


David Wells has applied for and been awarded 2 grants

  • Hydrophilic Ceramic Dental Implant

    Began December, 1969 and ended December, 1969

    The objective of the current project is a feasibility demonstration of a ceramic dental implant having a hydrophilic surface. The underlying hypotheses are ... [a] a hydrophilic surface will promote more rapid bone integration; [b] a ceramic substance can be compounded that will assimilate into the natural bone more completely than does titanium; [c] the ceramic implant will have adequate mechanical strength for service as a base for an artificial tooth. The currently-favored manufacturing process is ceramic injection molding, using spherical powders on the order of 200 nanometers in diameter, and perhaps smaller. Several ceramics are currently being studied, as are various hydrophilic surface coatings and treatments. Preliminary specifications for a test article have been defined, as have design concepts for the necessary manufacturing tooling. Research and development tasking is as follows: Product Requirements and Test Methods (Radtke); Ceramic Materials and Compounding (Brantner); Coating Materials and Surface Treatments (Verma); Manufacturing Processes and Tooling (Lanoue); Market and Enterprise Development (Wurm). Professor Wells is the overall project director. Mr. Myrick is a master tool maker, and Mr. Dailey is an expert CNC programmer. Both technicians bring decades of experience and highly creative minds to the project.

    With the team:

    • Dr. David Wells Professor, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, North Dakota State University
    • Mr. Armon Myrick Research Technician, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, North Dakota State University
    • Mr. Lewis Dailey Research Technician, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, North Dakota State University
  • A Multi-disciplinary, Multi-level Innovation-team Course (Planning Grant)

    Began August, 2008 and ended April, 2011

    Building upon previous campus experiences, a prototype will be developed and demonstrated for a course centered in innovative product, process and enterprise development. The prototype course will focus on innovations in micromanufacturing for medical and dental implants and surgical tools. Characteristics of the prototype course will include ... [a] project-oriented; [b] team-based; [c] multi-disciplinary (based in engineering, but also incorporating students from business and applicable science majors); [d] multi-level (sophomore through graduate students); [e] repeatable for credit. Three-fold course learning objectives will be defined and refined in ... [i] competencies for translating laboratory research into commercial utilization; [ii] creation and maintenance of intellectual property; [iii] technologies of micromanufacturing. Included will be competencies in identifying needs in the focus industry and in defining new products and processes to fill those needs. Students will be mentored by professors, research technicians and industry partners, as may be suitable to the topic under study, all under leadership of the Principal Investigator. In addition, serial operation of the prototype course will demonstrate its suitability for integration into degree requirements in accreditable engineering programs and in applicable majors in business and sciences. Metrics for assessing student achievement in innovation, invention and academic learning will be defined and, over the duration of the project, demonstrated. A further end-product of this project will be templates for syllabus and other aspects of course organization that are transferrable to other courses oriented to innovation-based learning in any technology.

    With the team:

    • Ms. Amy Scott Assistant Director, Sponsored Programs Administration, North Dakota State University
    • David Wells
    • Dr. Gary Smith Dean, Engineering and Architecture, North Dakota State University
    • Dr. Kambiz Farahmand Professor and Chair, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, North Dakota State University