Wow! Hello! I am so excited that you made it here!
My name is Richard and I am an enthusiastic engineer, scientist, and leader. As a patented inventor with over 5 years of hands-on experience conducting research in a lab, 7+ years leading and working on engineering project teams, and practiced project planning, management, and organization I produce rapid results to aggressively drive deadlines.
Excelling at the front end of projects and endeavors, I leverage a steep learning curve to pickup and run with new techniques and technologies. I thrive in fast-paced high-intensity environments, leveraging my breadth and depth of experience and expertise to create solutions with lightning speed. Uncertainty and unknown do not faze me. I enjoy pursuing things that I do not know whether I can do, causing me to push the bounds of my knowlege and experience to reach new heights.
Man. That sounds like a sales pitch. I've tried selling myself like that but will probably never be as smooth as I've seen some sell themselves as.
You cool if we start over?
Hi, I'm Richard.
I've been so fortunate to have done some pretty cool things. Don't be surprised when I don't look like your typical technical person. Through hard work and constantly challenging myself I have developed technical and social skills that come together in a unique blend that enables me to take on some of the most ambitious assignments and thrive through structure as well as uncertainty.
In 2007 I realized that it was too easy to get promoted while flipping burgers and bagging groceries. All you have to do is the job you're told to do. I don't mean what you see people do, I mean what they are told to do: "If there's down time, clean or prep or study the company literature." So many people just stand there and play on their phone, chat, or zone out. I decided that if I could apply myself to college like I did to serving customers, I could succeed at it.
Since then I have pioneered research projects, demonstrating increased efficiency for LEDs with a simple mixing of polymer-grafted nanoparticles into the LED encapsulant (super simple to implement in preexisting LED manufacturing processes). Had all sorts of fun in research labs, working both with the chemistry as well as on the engineering side. I lead a team to invent and patent an active sports body armor, fixed StemCulture LLCs PLGA particles, and numerous other projects.
In fact, my work history spans from cleaning toilets for an elementary school district to conducting surface characterization on III-V semiconductor nanowires at NASA AMES ASL, from bagging your groceries to inventing and patenting an active sports body armor made from electroactive polymers, from putting PTO’s on Peterbilts to fixing a company’s PLGA particle for therapy delivery such that their IP didn’t have to change (a problem they were struggling with for several years). I consider myself a “full stack” engineer and scientist. I will teach myself whatever I need to know in order to complete projects, solve problems, or push progress forward.
This past year I have focused on building the flagship Engineering Design program and Motwani Makerspace for StreetCode Academy. They provided me with their hope and resources and I, with a team of awesome volunteers, built, scaled, and served over 150 students, expaning from 2 to 4 nights a week. In fact, now that we have advanced students, this summer we will be installing custom firmware on a DJI Mavic Air and automating it to build towards competing in the drone games, along with several other advanced projects.
I see every challenge as an opportunity to find or create creative solutions. If I don't know the answer, I'll figure it out.
You can see how my experience spans a variety of different areas. For each project I have developed in-depth expertise in each while also keeping breadth. I am far less interested in being pigeonholed into a specific "area of expertise," and, instead, I draw on my diverse background of experiences and knowledge to solve new and novel problems.
I view collaboration as the pinnacle of progress and I strive for synergy in all of my interactions. While I have excelled at independent engineering and research work, I love working with people. I have lead and worked on teams in almost every project that I have worked on, job that I have worked at, and activity that I have participated in. Together we can achieve far greater results than individually.
Another aspect of me and my social nature is that I learned to communicate with people on very different levels. As a tutor, I made sure to get to know each of my 120 students (across 4 classrooms) on a personal level, and then I matched my communication style to theirs. I also took what I learned about them from our conversations and my observations to determine the best way to give them purpose and meaning to the concepts they were learning. The combination and success of these two practices gained me an invitation to continue tutoring and also to branch out to several different classes, as the instructors specifically requested me. I leverage these experiences and habits to build intimate, efficient, and effective engineering teams. Each person on the team has purpose to what they are doing, each one feels a sense of ownership and connection to their work and the project as a whole. A common compliment I have gotten from presentations, technical talks, and casual conversations is that I have a knack for clearly communicating complex concepts to the layperson as well as techical one.
This website is my pet project while I am helping my sister start up her art teaching business, volunteering at a local school, consulting, and pursuing my own career in high tech science and engineering. It has also been an exercise in rapidly producing a minimum viable product and then interating based on feedback. So please come back soon to see updates as I continually add more projects and refine my layout.
At any moment in life we can ask ourselves, "Well, what do I do next?"
For me, that's simple: Build cool stuff to push science technology forward.
When My mentor sent me a screen shot of André's challenge to show some creativity, I jumped on it and hopefully have, at a minimum, shown that at some level.
Thank you for stopping by, especially if you made it this far (I am far better at spoken word than written).
I am an enthusiastic engineer, scientist, and leader.
My work spans from cleaning toilets for an elementary school district to conducting surface characterization on III-V semiconductor nanowires at NASA AMES ASL, from bagging your groceries to inventing and patenting an active sports body armor made from electroactive polymers, from putting PTO’s on Peterbilts to fixing a company’s PLGA particle for therapy delivery such that their IP didn’t have to change (a problem they were struggling with for several years). I consider myself a “full stack” engineer and scientist. I will teach myself whatever I need to know in order to complete projects, solve problems, or push progress forward.
Excelling at the front end of projects and endeavors, I leverage a steep learning curve to pickup and run with new techniques and technologies. Through thriving in fast-paced high-intensity environments and leveraging my breadth and depth of experience and expertise I create solutions with lightning speed. Uncertainty and unknown do not faze me as I enjoy pusuing things that I do not know whether I can do, causing me to push the bounds of my knowlege and experience to reach new heights.
It took me:
- 3 years to increase LED efficiency through a novel nanocomposite
- 1 year to build and scale an engineering design program for StreetCode Academy
- 2 months to fix StemCulture's core technology and provide them with a development roadmap for scaling manufacturing.
- 1 month to set up and calibrate NASA AMES ASL Phi 5100 X-ray Photoelectron Spectrometer
- 6 weeks to get a Roland DGA CNC mill up and running.
- 20 minutes to register and make www.andreprager.com