Elizabeth and I were both born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. In fact, we lived within a few miles of each other and our parents still do. We, also, went to the same middle school. Despite the proximity, we didn't meet until our first day at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. We both majored in engineering and because we were both part of Tech's Integrated Undergraduate Engineering Program pilot class, we had basically the same schedule our first two years.
At the beginning of our sophomore year, E and I were assigned to work together on a project. She had previously viewed me as the "frat boy" (Pi Kappa Alpha) who came to class late and slept on the front row but it didn't take long to realize that we had a connection once we started spending more time together. I know it sounds terribly romantic, but it worked for us. After we graduated, I went to The University of Texas in Austin, Texas and E went to work for United Space Alliance (USA) at Johnson Space Center in the Clear Lake Area of Houston, Texas. About a year later (August 17, 2002), we were married at First United Methodist Church in Shreveport and E joined me in Austin.
Elizabeth's degree is in industrial engineering. She started at USA right out of college and trained there for about a year to become a flight controller for the International Space Station. She didn't complete the training because we married and she joined me in Austin but she met some new people and made some good connections (more on that later). In Austin, E worked for NetQoS, a small network performance company run by a couple of LA Tech engineering alumni. After working there for a while, she got a call from her old NASA boss who said he wanted her to come back to do the same job she was doing before but this time she would actually work for NASA. This is a big honor and not something she could pass up. E quickly completed her flight controller certification and in late 2007, became the Assistant for Management Integration for the Expedition Vehicle Division. Late in 2009, E moved back to the ODIN group to be their group lead.
My undergraduate and master's degrees are in mechanical engineering. While completing my master's at UTA, I worked at the Robotics Research Group. I worked on interface and control software for serial arm robots. When I graduated, I started at Neptec, a small NASA contractor. I started out doing analysis work for Neptec's space programs and I still do some of that, but I primarily work on research and development projects. I'm developing algorithms and software for exploiting 3D sensor data for space and defense applications. I, also, do some business development work.
Currently, Elizabeth and I live in the Clear Lake Area in Houston. We bought our first house in September of 2004 and did quite a bit of work on it, so it will show up a lot in the archives. We moved into our current house in August, 2009. With two young kids now, we don't get as much time to do projects but we still enjoy it and will occationally post our updates. We have two kids, Jackson Dean and Audrey McKenzie, who are 21 months apart. We, also, have a beagle named Bailey. We regularly attend Gateway Community Church and participate in a life group. This is basically a Sunday school class that isn't at the church and isn't on Sunday.