I earned my BSEE degree from the
University of Wisconsin, graduating with honors with a 3.9 overall grade point average, and a 4.0 grade point average in all my engineering,
mathematics, and science courses. I was an active member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society and served as chapter
president during my senior year. I was also invited to join the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. During my junior and senior years I
earned money as a tutor specializing in mathematics and science courses.
After graduation, my first employer,
Hughes Aircraft, awarded me a full fellowship grant towards an MSEE degree. This was a work/study program that meant performing
my assigned work tasks during the day, then taking graduate school classes in the evening. I earned the MSEE degree with a digital
signal processing specialty with a 3.6 grade point average. It was an immensely rewarding, yet draining, experience that taught me
much about time management!
Summary of capabilities
|My diverse work experience has enabled me to become fluent in most aspects
of product development processes and medical design controls, including:
- System requirement definition and refinement, documentation, and flow down to subsystems.
- System architecture definition and documentation (block diagrams and text descriptions).
- Product risk management planning, execution, and documentation per international consensus standards.
- Project management including scheduling, budget, team leadership, resource allocation.
- Embedded control and user interface software architecture and coding using LabVIEW.
- External standards compliance, including electrical, physical and biological safety.
- Requirement management tools including DOORS, Requisite Pro, and RMTrak.
- Verification and validation test planning, execution, and documentation.
- Structured alternative comparisons using trade-off analysis techniques
Honors and published presentations
Four phases of career growth
1985 - 1994 Detail digital design
I learned how to integrate detailed digital electronic designs into very large scale communication systems
during my 8 years at Hughes Aircraft in Aurora, CA, and then ESL in Sunnyvale, CA. Both these companies followed hierarchical, efficient, and well
oiled design and test procedures that were essential to create a room full of communication equipment. I learned early on the importance of starting
with complete and correct requirements, then creating a detailed schedule, and commencing design work only after those tasks were completed.
While at Hughes Aircraft, I was offered the opportunity to teach an evening course in digital design and Boolean
algebra as an Honorarium Instructor at the University of Colorado. This involved selecting the text book, creating a full semester lesson plan, creating
and grading weekly homework assignments, and creating and grading mid term and examinations. Teaching the class fully cured any stage freight I may
have had, and facilitated refinement of my preparation and presentation skills.
1994 - 1996 Field Application Engineer
During my first eight years following graduation, many people involved in either engineering
design or engineering sales told me that I had a rare blend of technical aptitude and effective communication skills. Following the suggestions of some, I
decided to switch from design to field application engineering, first for Siemens semiconductors, and later for Advanced Micro Devices. This career phase,
while not my favorite, taught me how to extract functional and performance requirements from engineers who may not have been familiar with thinking in those
terms. I had to learn what they expected to create in order to guide them to the most appropriate solution I could offer. In addition to learning
the art of gentle interrogation, I gave numerous technical presentations that built on the speaking skills I developed as an Honorarium Instructor at the University
1996 - 1998 Silicon system architect
While I always received positive feedback on my Field Application Engineer work, it
was not as inherently satisfying as design. This was a time of proliferation and fast growth of silicon chip companies, and I was located in the heart
of Silicon Valley, so I looked for an appropriate opportunity. The first such opportunity was to create the functional architecture for Lattice Semiconductor
's 5000 family of programmable logic devices. This role introduced me to the need for evaluating and reconciling mutually exclusive demands from the
marketing, silicon design, and programming software groups. My calm, data-driven, rational approach to controversy resolution resulted in a very successful
product family that included architectural innovations.
As the 5000 family effort wound down, it was time to look for another silicon system
opportunity. My MSEE degree is in digital signal processing, so the offer from Integrated Device Technology to work on their next generation, fully digital
network communication chip seemed like a perfect match. Despite making good progress on the architecture and simulations during the first year, IDT
management decided to postpone the project before it got to the silicon design phase.
This was in the late 1990s, when the dot-comm bubble was near its peak, and my
formerly 40 minute Silicon Valley commute had degraded to a 1.5 hour, twice daily exercise in frustration. In a wonderful example in serendipity, Nellcor
Puritan Bennett, a medical company in my home town of Pleasanton, advertised a career fair right when I learned that the IDT project was going to be postponed.
This turned out to be one of the most significant events in my career.
1999 - 2009 Medical system design
The most satisfying, productive, and successful portion of my career has been the last
decade I spent designing medical devices Not only is the technology interesting, but the feeling one gets from knowing that you have created something
that will improve peoples' lives is unmatched in any other industry. I have worked for mega-corporations and very small startups. Most of the
companies I've worked for have been well-run for the most part, but I've also seen a dysfunctional culture derail the development of a product that would have
improved the lives of thousands of people.
What all these companies have in common is the need for documented development
processes that cover the entire product cycle from concept phase, though design, test, and launch, all the way to end of life. As a project manager and
system engineer/architect, I have been intimately involved with creating and following these procedures. I have seen procedures that work efficiently and
productively, and procedures that bog a project down with valueless burden. As a result, I have developed a feel for the optimum balance between
documentation and design activities. Project documentation must be sufficient and the design robust. Time and effort spent in excess of those
targets only delays product launch and adds unnecessary product cost. The last ten years have provided a clear sense of "sufficient" and "robust".
In addition to documentation and design, I have also accumulated a considerable body
of experience with external standards that can be used to demonstrate various aspects of the design to the FDA, such as electrical and mechanical safety,
software robustness, and freedom from unreasonable risk. I have managed the efforts of contractors and external test facilities intended to demonstrate
the safety of one or more aspects of product design and implementation.
The most recent addition to my product design "tool box" is control system and user
interface software design using National Instruments' LabVIEW professional development system. I learned to write LabVIEW code after joining Sanarus
as the Principal System Engineer for their Visica 2 cryoablation product. With support from Cal-Bay Systems and National Instruments engineers, I wrote
all the embedded machine control code as well as all user interface code in additional to creating the control system architecture, selecting and qualifying
components and doing the electrical design.
My work on Visica 2 earned the Humanitarian of the Year award from National Instruments
in addition to runner up honors in the Graphical System Design at their 2008 annual NI Week convention. Visica 2 was also awarded runner up honors in the
medical device category by the Wall Street Journal's in their 2008 Technology Innovation competition.