Ian Roy



Digital Fabrication
Rapid Prototyping
Research Technologies
Design Thinking
Early Stage Startup Ideation
Social Enterprise
3D Scanning


--- Role at Brandeis ---

Ian Roy is the Director for Research Technology and Innovation in Brandeis University's Library. He is also the Founding Head of the Brandeis MakerLab and an Adjunct Professor at the Brandeis International Business School - and a Lecturer in the Anthropology Department and a Lecturer in the Engineering Department.

His group Research Technology and Innovation manages the 3 public Makerspaces in the Brandeis Library: The MakerLab, The Automation Lab, and the Digital Humanities Lab. His team works with researchers to overcome the technological hurdles they encounter in their workflows, top to bottom, and they constantly run local pilots in new technologies to address their needs. Their work touches on desktop/laptop/server break-fix, instrument machine support, digital forensics and security tools, institutional storage of Big Data, Cloud collaboration and backup in a Big Data context, and many of the new toolsets in the Maker community, including support of touch and gesture inputs, multiple displays, VR head mounted displays, Digital Fabrication (3D printing, Lasercutting, CNC), 3D scanning, robotics, drones, and embedded systems (Raspberry Pi, Arduino).

Ian and his team specialize in not only the technical aspects, but also the policy and political implications of implementing emerging technologies on campus. Ian was the project lead in developing both the Research Technology department and the MakerLab at Brandeis. He started at Brandeis in a staff role in 2012.

--- Background ---

Ian is descended from samurai and has studied Japanese sword for over 10 years. He is also a Brandeis alumnus, graduating in 2005 with dual majors in Philosophy and Economics and a concentration in Film Studies. From 2005 to 2010, he worked for a high end jeweler in downtown Los Angeles as the in-house photographer. He has a strong background in digital photography, digital fabrication, and new media marketing. He has also read and pitched around 1000 screenplays as a professional reader at a small boutique Los Angeles-based production company. He coached the Brandeis Ski Team for 2 seasons, a team on which he was a 2-year captain during his undergraduate career. He retired from Ski Coaching to coach 3D printing.

in Spring 2018 Brandeis Magazine published a profile on Ian: http://www.brandeis.edu/magazine/2018/spring/featured-stories/nerd.html

--- Hackathons ---

Ian has hosted or judged the first eleven 24-hour hackathons at Brandeis, helping create the Printathon and Codestellation brands. He is currently the staff advisor to Deis3D.org, the Brandeis 3D printing club, the Brandeis Aviation Club, the Brandeis Prosthesis Club, and the Hardware Advisor for BITMAP (The Brandeis Initiative for Technology Machines Applications and Programming).

In 2018, Ian Co-founded the DEISHACKS hackathon with Gene Miller from IBS, An Applied Social Justice Hack hosted by the Brandeis MakerLab partnered with the Brandeis International Business School. This 24-hour social design challenge focused on disequity sources our hack-challenges from the 30 or so not for profits and social enterprise organizations local to Waltham. Instead of having a single hackathon challenge, this event's theme will fuse design thinking, digital fabrication & social impact to work on real world solutions for non-profit companies. Each hackathon team will chose a design challenge from Waltham's diverse non-profit community they find compelling to focus on.

--- Teaching ---
Ian Teaches a 2 credit course with IBS: BUS295G: DIGITAL FABRICATION WITH ROBOTICS
There are 8 spots every semester both Spring and Fall.
"The goal of this course is for students to walk away with the ability to imagine a design and produce it in physical reality. Students will learn the fundamental underlying technologies in digital fabrication, 3D scanning, 3D design, and robotics. Through a combination of real world examples and hands on experiences, students will learn to take a design from concept to reality. There will be a focus on literacy of underlying technologies: how things work, what their limitations are, why they fail, and how to troubleshoot or design around those limitations. Usually offered every semester."
Ian Co-teaches a 4 credit course with Charles Golden in the Anthropology Department ANTH129A - CULTURE IN 3D: THEORY, METHOD, AND ETHICS FOR SCANNING AND PRINTING THE WORLD
There are 20 spots available every other fall semester.
"Designed to train students in the methods needed for the successful application of 3D modeling and printing for the documentation, conservation, and dissemination of cultural patrimony. Students will acquire the technical skills and engage in the ethical debates surrounding ownership and reproduction of such patrimony. Usually o0ffered every second year."
Ian Co-teaches a 4 credit course with Aldo Musacchio in the Business Department BUS233A: ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND RAPID PROTOTYPING
There are 20 spots every semester both Spring and Fall.
"This course focuses on prototyping/lean startup, minimum-viable products, design thinking, project management, and product/service development. Today, the most important skills entrepreneurs need to have are not necessarily learned in the traditional classroom environment. The work of an entrepreneur and project manager of any kind requires mastering the art of rapid experimentation/prototyping with multiple iterations to improve systems, products or services. This course is designed to allow students learn those tools in a hands-on, immersive approach, allowing students to launch one actual product or service in the course of a semester. Usually offered every semester."
Ian will Co-teach the first course in the Engineering Department at Brandeis with Physics Professor Ben Rogers in fall 2023 - a 4 credit course called ENGR11a: "INTRODUCTION TO DESIGN METHODOLOGIES"
There are 20 spots every fall.
"An introduction to the engineering design process, with a focus on human-centered design. Students work in teams to solve authentic design problems under the theme of “Design to repair the world”. Students are guided through a highly scaffolded process in which they form an idea, sketch it, and develop it through multiple iterations leveraging quick feedback loops and the Design Thinking methodology. We will start with a focus on CAM (computer aided manufacturing), and move to a focus on CAD (computer aided design). Usually offered every fall"

EDUCAUSE Presentations