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AnnMarie Thomas

Professor (joint appt)

  • Education
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology 
    Other, Ocean Engineering, MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
    Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

AnnMarie Thomas, PhD, is a professor at the University of St. Thomas in both the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the School of Engineering and the Department of Entrepreneurship in the Opus College of Business.

In 2012, Thomas served as the founding executive director of the Maker Education Initiative nonprofit, laying the groundwork for the national Maker Corps program. She is also the author of Making Makers: Kids, Tools, and the Future of Innovation.

Thomas is the founder and director of the St. Thomas Playful Learning Lab, which explores ways to encourage children of all ages to embrace playful learning. She is a frequent collaborator and consultant with companies, museums and libraries, including Disney, Minnesota Children’s Museum, Autodesk and the Alinea restaurant group. One of Thomas’ latest projects is the co-creation of a new educational initiative: the OK Go Sandbox with the Grammy award-winning band OK Go.


  • Thomas, A., & Abraham, J. (2010). Numerical simulation of circular synthetic jets with asymmetric forcing profile. Open Mechanical Engineering Journal, (4), pp. 1-7
  • Abraham, J., & Thomas, A. (2009). Induced co-flow and laminar-to-turbulent transition with synthetic jets. Computers and Fluids, (38), pp. 1011-1017
  • Thomas, A. (2014). Making Makers: Kids, Tools and the Future of Innovation. Maker Media
  • Thomas, A., & Fontichiaro, K. (2014). Squishy Circuits (21st Century Skills Innovation Library: Makers as Innovators). Cherry Lake Publications
  • Thomas, A. (2013). Design, Make, Play: Growing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators. In Margaret Honey and David E. Kanter (Ed.), Squishy Circuits, Ch 8 (pp. 119-137). Routledge

  • Disney Imagicademy Advisory Panel

  • Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas - Opus College of Business, Saint Paul / Minneapolis (2015 - present)
  • Director, UST Center for Pre-Collegiate Engineering Education, Saint Paul (2014 - present)
  • Director, Playful Learning Lab, Saint Paul (2013 - present)
  • Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas - School of Engineering, Saint Paul (2012 - present)
  • Co-Founder / Co-Director, UST Center for Pre-Collegiate Engineering Education, Saint Paul (2009 - 2014)
  • Executive Director/Founding Director, Maker Education Initiative, Sebastopol (2012 - 2013)
  • Assistant Professor, University of St. Thomas - School of Engineering, Saint Paul (2006 - 2012)
  • Research Assistant, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (2001 - 2006)
  • Teaching Assistant, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (2006 - 2006)
  • Faculty, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena (2004 - 2006)
  • Research Assistant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (1997 - 2001)
  • Teaching Assistant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (1998 - 2001)