My undergraduate degree, in physics (minoring in history and psychology), was at Michigan State University, starting Fall, 1962, where I designed part of the cyclotron the summer of my freshman year, and continued to work on software for the cyclotron group (my advisor, Henry Blosser, was the head of it) for the rest of my time there. I wrote the second video game in the world, the other being done at MIT at about the same time in 1963. I also worked as a computer operator at nights to pay for flying lessons in the MSU flying club, where I obtained my private pilots license in 1964. After graduation (June, 1966), I started grad school in physics, but started working for IBM Components Division in Fishkill, NY, January, 1967.
At IBM, I designed their first memory chip, with two other people. It was probably the first completely computer design and manufacturing project of any kind in the world. During that time, I obtained my instrument rating, commercial pilots license, sea plane rating and glider license. I left IBM in January, 1969, to go back to grad school, and went to UMass, Amherst, in physics. I obtained my airplane, instrument and glider flight instructor ratings in 1969 while at UMass. I worked part time as an airplane flight instructor while in school, and spent the summer of 1970 as a full time glider flight instructor at Sugarbush Airport in Vermont. I switched to Zoology after a year, and did an M.S. on seagull soaring flight aerodynamics. My Ph.D., from the Zoology Department, awarded in 1979, was on bat flight aerodynamics and functional anatomy.
I started teaching at Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center, VT, in August, 1977, teaching physics and zoology. I initiated and taught Spacecraft Software (for our Software Engineering MS degree, with Peter Chapin), Spacecraft Technology I & II, Intro. Zoology, Anatomy and Physiology, Ada, Advanced Ada, Operating Systems and Pascal; and taught Calculus and non-calculus based Physics, Modern Physics, Introductory Chemistry and BASIC computer programming. Starting 2004, I have applied for 21 NASA grants, and have received 30, totaling about $650,000. This has resulted in the construction of a CubeSat that was launched in an Air Force Minotaur 1 rocket in November, 2013. It was in orbit and operational for 2 years and two days, before reentering the Earth's atmosphere on November 21, 2015, and is still the only successful satellite of any kind launched by a college on the East coast of the United States. I have just applied for a grant to work on a spacecraft software system with Peter Chapin and our students and a NASA Jet Propulsion Lab partner, that will be an asteroid fly by mission. At about the time of my first grant, my son, Jack Brandon, was born, and is now 13 years old. He has traveled with me to technical conferences in Europe (York, UK; Venice, Italy; Porto Venere, Italy; Stockholm, Sweden; Berlin, Germany; Paris, France; Madrid, Spain; Pisa, Italy; Vienna, Austria; and Jerusalem, Israel). He accompanied me to the launch of our CubeSat from Wallops Island, VA in November, 2013.