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About me

I suppose for the purpose of credibility, some biographical notes are appropriate. I received an S.B. degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from M.I.T. in 1979. We had a senior design project that required us to design a transportation system to carry enough mass to build a solar power satellite. Everyone else was calculating how many space shuttles it would take while I designed a giant light-gas gun. Fortunately, the professor was open minded. While still an undergraduate, I started doing research work on composite materials. From college, I went into the Air Force and started at the A.F. Foreign Technology Division where I had the undeserved title of "National Expert in Foreign High Speed Air Breathing Propulsion". While the title was silly, It gave me a great excuse to learn everything I could about scramjets, combined cycle engines and the like. I also got to read lots of design studies on air-breathing space launch vehicles. I managed to get a transfer to the A.F. Materials Laboratory to work once again on composites materials. Along the way, I got an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the AF Institute of Technology.

From the Air Force, I went to Grumman Aerospace where I was part of an advanced development team that focused on composite structures. My contributions were primarily in analysis methods and computer codes. The Grumman group was a great example of a multidisclinary team. Later, I joined Materials Sciences Corporation, a small defense contractor. Ultimately, I became Vice President and Technical Director of MSC. MSC was involved with many non-aerospace applications of composites, particularly marine structures. I retired from MSC in 2009 and moved to Maine. After nearly 30 years of composite structures, I had a desire to learn more about other technologies, including returning to my original passion for space flight.

I began using Mathematica as soon as the first version was released in 1988. I had been working with earlier main-frame based computer algebra systems, so the idea of doing derivations on a personal computer was very appealing. Mathematica and composites went together very well because all of structural engineering had to be rederived for anisotropic materials.

When not delving into spaceflight, I'm a musician and try to maintain a 220 year old house.