Design analog and digital electronic circuits, dream-up firmware for embedded systems, and tinker with graphical user interfaces. Have also been known to design printed circuit boards and occasionally wander around the machine shop.
Previously, I worked at Minarik Drives as a Design Engineer bringing motor controls to life, and the University of Wisconsin - Madison Physical Sciences Lab as an engineer and technician doing very cool science stuff for the Antarctic.
I have always been interested in how things work. Most everything I own has been disassembled at one point or another. I am fascinated and inspired by what human beings can dream and then build when driven to create. Technology is great. However, I also admire simplicity. These interests may seem at odds with each other, but I view it as more of a balancing act. Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler (as a famous scientist once said). And here-in lies my passion and design philosophy: Find ways to apply modern technology to make things faster, cleaner, more affordable, easier to use, more useful and ultimately better - for everyone.
Spend time with friends and family. Listen to music. Tinker with engines, cars and computers. Cut the lawn. Research the latest battery technology. Design and build 100hp motor controls in the basement. Work on electric vehicles. Drink coffee. Sample the latest microbrew.
What is your first memory of design thinking?
During summer vacation one afternoon in grade school I decided that I was going to turn a toy “bubble mower” that I had into a “real” lawnmower. Being lucky enough to have a father with a big workshop and lots of boxes of spare parts and stuff, I proceeded to strip the inner bubble-workings out of the toy lawnmower leaving just the shell and handle. Then I melted holes in the plastic shell with a soldering iron and secured an old shop-vac motor in place. A used lawn-edger blade was secured to the motor shaft in place of the original fan. Finally a pushbutton switch was added to the handle and an extension cord gave its life to complete the wiring. When my father came home I dragged him into the back yard and proudly displayed what I had built, including a demonstration of it actually blowing grass out of the side when plugged in and wheeled around the lawn. My dad’s reaction was a combination of amazement and horror. I remember him saying something to the effect of “Wow. Don’t EVER use that thing when I’m not around!”