Hello! My name is Daniel Smith, and I'm an engineer.
I have always loved computers, technology and programming. From a young age, I used to take apart old computers or radios just to see what was inside and figure out how they worked. In middle school I started attending computer camps over the summer, where I learned to program. My first programming language was Visual Basic 6, and I stuck with it for way to long. I also built my first computer around 12. It was a 433 Mhz Celeron with 64 MB of RAM, a 6 GB HD, and a 15“ CRT monitor.
My favorite programming website was Planet Source Code, and every day I would check the latest code uploads for something cool to tinker with. From there I began to branch into other languages, like C++ and PHP. I took a Visual Basic 6 class my freshmen year of high school (2004), but I spent most of the time working on my own projects. One of my biggest projects in high school was D++.
I did a lot of work with technology in high school, and on the side I repaired computers for neighbors. Mostly spyware and virus removal, networking, operating system installs, and basic computer training. This was fun for me, and usually how I funded my own computer parts. I was able to gain a lot of troubleshooting experience from solving various types of problems. During the summers in high school, I would work for my school's IT department, fixing and installing computers and networking equipment. I learned a lot about networking, and I eventually ran Ethernet cables all over my house to set up a home network.
In high school I also did several science fair projects that used neural network models I developed in C++. I was a finalist at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in 2005 (Indianapolis) and 2006 (Phoenix).
I was really excited to attend GT for school. I originally selected Computer Engineering as my major, but ultimately decided that I liked building devices and working with hardware more than just programming. I changed my major to Electrical Engineering, and got a lot of experience with various clubs and internships. I was a member of our IEEE student branch and hardware team, where we developed a lot of cool autonomous robots. I was also the Chief Engineer for WREK Radio for several years, where I lead a massive project to install a new FM broadcast antenna and increase the transmit power up to 100kW. I also joined the amateur radio club and got my general class license with the call sign W4DSS.
During my early undergrad years, I was a co-op at the Georgia Tech Research Institute where I got my first hands-on experience with real-world engineering research.
In the summers of 2010 and 2011, I interned at ViaSat, a satellite communications company, where I developed a new digital satellite beacon receiver.
In grad school, I worked at several different labs at GTRI. One project I worked on was a system to electronically seal and secure shipping containers. For another program, I developed systems to wirelessly hijack RC airplanes.
I graduated with my MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering in December 2012.
Currently, I work as a research engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. I love it! I generally design hardware and firmware for for a wide variety of custom military radar systems. I also deploy and operate some of these systems in various radar test exercises over land, air and sea.
In my spare time, I also like to work on various hardware and software projects at home, which I usually try document on this website. My current technical interests include microcontrollers, Raspberry Pi, RFID, antenna design, RF engineering, radar, wireless sensors, and audio engineering.