Tell us about your work / research. What kinds of things do you do?
My specialization is in marine robotics and systems integration. I've worked for the past two years integrating a water property measurement system with an autonomous kayak so that it can drive around and measure water properties. I've done work ranging from building parts for the system to programming drivers and control routines to make sure it all works correctly.
What sparked your initial interest in your career?
Ever since high school, I knew that I was bound to become either an architect or an engineer. Community college ended up shifting my focus to engineering exclusively, and I specialized as a result of my passion for robotics and marine systems.
Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?
Definitely, the teachers who got me to love problem-solving. If I didn't love what I was doing, I probably wouldn't have made it this far.
What element of your work / study do you think is the most fascinating?
The coolest part about my work is the fact that even the most well-explored ponds and lakes aren't well mapped. Even if we don't measure water properties at a site during surveying, we are still collecting some of the highest resolution bathymetry ever seen at that site.
What other jobs led you to your current career?
I worked as an I.T. support technician for all of my undergrad, joined the robotics club in my major, and then helped re-form the club for the next generation of ocean engineering students coming through the program. My job as a technician helped me with troubleshooting computer related issues under a wide range of circumstances which has paid dividends.
What are your degrees and certifications?
Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering -- University of Rhode Island, 2015. Masters of Science in Ocean Engineering -- University of Rhode Island, In Progress
What are your hobbies?
I love rock climbing, hiking, and video games. Cooking is also quite a bit of fun but it's hard to find time during the year to cook a big meal!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career like yours?
Learn how to solve problems well above all else. It doesn't matter if you become a systems engineer, computer scientist, ROV pilot, scientist, or boat captain: you will need to solve problems, and you may not have the luxury of it being a problem you've solved before. Focus hard on the steps you take to deconstruct a problem and analyze why each step is important to the overall process. If you can do that then you will be well rewarded for your efforts when it comes time to find a career.
How did you get involved with the Nautilus Exploration Program? How did you get on the ship?
I learned about Nautilus through lab work and proximity to the ISC throughout undergrad and had the fortune of going out last season as a navigator in training/mapping watch stander.