Education: B.S., Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1975, with option in Health Physics. 1974 Undergraduate Research Award, Society of the Sigma Xi.
B.S., Engineering Technology, Electrical, VPI&SU, 1978
May 2012: Retired from Rockwell Collins, re-started Assorted Technical Expertise consulting service, and began building Rattlesnake Ridge Research.
September 2001-May 2012 : Employed by Athena Controls (bought by Rockwell Collins in early 2008). Developed calibration methods for MEMS sensor unmanned air vehicle control systems, troubleshooting, field tests, hardware in loop simulation development, qualification tests, and about anything else that needed doing.
May-September 2001: Restarted Assorted Technical Expertise consulting service.
1998-May 2001: Employed by EMC2 (Energy/Matter Conversion Corporation) full-time as Senior Engineering Technologist. The work was primarily plasma physics research, and the technologies and skills applied included nuclear physics, high vacuum and high voltage technology, radiation safety, computer data acquisition and test control, LabTech Notebook, equipment design and construction, instrument design, data reduction, electron emitters, ion sources, Langmuir probes, photomultiplier tubes and other photometric devices, residual gas analysis, optical spectroscopy, ceramics, refractory metals, and microwave power sources. Advanced research apparatus was designed, constructed, and operated with minimal oversight and little assistance during the early phases of this work, and later shifted to training and supervision of several subordinates.
1995-1998: Independent consultant, doing business as Assorted Technical Expertise. The primary client was EMC2 (see above), with additional work in consumer product testing and legal investigations. Equipment acquired for this effort, and still retained, includes a megohm meter, electrometer, and general electronic test equipment.
1981-1995: Employed by ARTECH Corp, (later Artech LLC, and now apparently out of business), 14554 Lee Road, Chantilly, VA, 20021, as a Senior Scientist/Engineer. Responsibilities included design, fabrication, and implementation of tests and testing apparatus for a wide variety of applications. Tests performed included standard ASTM, UL, ANSI, and NFPA tests, as well as custom tests. Materials tested included steel, aluminum, titanium, inconel, nitinol, composites (graphite, kevlar, and fiberglass), wood, plastics, rubber, syntactic foam, leather, paper, concrete, and stone. Components tested included sections of automobiles, spacecraft hardware, pressure-handling apparatus, and structural components. Test technologies utilized included servohydraulic equipment, load cells, strain gages, thermocouples and RTDs, video and still photography, microscopy, electron microscopy, electronic design and fabrication, and cryogenics. Computer software was developed to effect real-time data acquisition and test control on a level of sophistication not possible with standard general-purpose commercial data acquisition software.
1980-1981: Employed by Meloy Laboratories, Springfield, VA, as a Chemist/Engineer in the Research and Development department of the Instrument Systems Division. The work included modification and performance testing of flame photometry and UV flourescence air pollution monitoring equipment, development of a catalyst for quantitative conversion of hydrogen sulfide to sulfur dioxide, writing technical manuals, and instrument calibration.
1978-1980: Employed by VSE Corporation as a technical writer. The work involved revising technical manuals for Army and Navy equipment to comply with various military standards.
1975-1978: Employed part-time while a student by Poly Scientific, Blacksburg, VA, in the Quality Assurance department. Performed various production quality assurance tests including milliohm, megohm, dielectric strength, and contact noise of aerospace slipring assemblies. Production testing and troubleshooting of aircraft navigational systems and laser rangefinding equipment was also performed. Designed and constructed specialized test equipment and cabling.
Other Activities and Interests: Member of the SIGMA Think Tank. Amateur astronomy. Life Member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, with numerous publications of science fiction, and an award-winning science fact article. An avid singlespeed/fixed gear cyclist, with two classic Schwinns, Tom's favorite ride is the Tour de Canal 184-mile off-road fundraiser..
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