Tom Swanson

4-year hardware design engineer with 8+ years of hobby projects. Started 2 LLCs. Software enthusiast with firmware and web development experience.

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Name Tom Swanson
Current City Minneapolis, MN
Email trswany@gmail.com
Website trswany.com
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Full-stack experience, hardware to UI

I have experience with technologies at every point along the hardware and software spectrum. Whether your 0805 ceramics are losing capacitance due to DC biasing, or your web applications are suffering from a jQuery/IE incompatibility, I can dive in and debug your problem. I build RESTful APIs, design low-noise power supplies, bring up AWS VMs, and patch C compilers. I start with a system-level view of any project and then dive deep to turn requirements into products.

Work experience

MultiTech logoElectrical Engineer, Hardware Development Group
MultiTech Systems, Inc
June 2016 – Present

In 2016, I took an opportunity to join MultiTech’s hardware development group. I have helped design, build, and certify several new RF products (especially the new LoRa xDot product). I have also helped to maintain and improve existing products such as Conduit, SocketModem, and rCell. I get involved in requirements discussions, component selection, schematics, PCB layout, FCC and CE certifications testing, and customer support. MultiTech has an on-site PCB assembly production line, so I’ve had the unique opportunity to work directly with manufacturing engineers.

logo-osiiHardware Design Engineer
Open Systems International, Inc
May 2012 – May 2016

I began working for OSI immediately after graduation. OSI brought me on as one of three hardware design engineers. I had the opportunity to work on all aspects of the product lifecycle from new product research and requirements development, to design and implementation, to product maintenance and manufacturing, and to obsolescence management. I interfaced with many different groups (Purchasing, Sales, Customer Relations, Field Services, etc) and had the opportunity to manage several projects.

urlStudent Engineer Intern
Trane Company (Ingersoll Rand)
May 2010 – May 2012

I worked as an intern at The Trane Company during my junior and senior years of college. I wrote and performed procedures to test HVAC control systems. After a few months, I started revising test fixture hardware and implementing new features in the Visual Basic automated test program. I was able to work closely with software and hardware developers and participated in CCB meetings. Trane Company kept me on through the school year and extended my internship for two full years.

Entrepreneurial Ventures

logo_200x37Co-Founder and Developer
SensorForge, LLC
January 2016 – Present

In late 2015, I and 3 co-founders started researching opportunities for cloud-connected IoT sensor solutions. We are currently in development on our first product, a wifi-connected industrial temperature and humidity sensor. We are exploring new IoT and web-application technologies that we can leverage, and we are developing processes that will allow us to quickly and efficiently deploy new custom sensor solutions. Our goal is to improve our customers’ efficiencies and decision-making processes by providing them with the information they need.

Visit sensorforge.com

KickSize_Logo_smallCo-Founder and Developer
KickSize, LLC
January 2015 – December 2015

In 2015, I and 2 co-founders developed an online shoe-sizing service to improve the online shoe-buying experience. We researched shoe sizes, gathered shoe data, and created an algorithm that recommended a shoe size based on the sizes of a customer’s existing shoes. We then created a plugin for online shoe-store websites and marketed this to shoe retailers. A customer in Minneapolis has been using this plugin to reduce shoe returns and improve consumer confidence.

Visit kicksize.com

Education

MN Board of AESLAGID logoProfessional Engineering Licensure
Minnesota Board of AELSLAGID
October 2016

In 2016, I completed my 4 years of work experience and successfully passed Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam. I am now a licensed professional engineer in the state of Minnesota. Although not required for many engineering positions, professional licensure will allow me to take on additional responsibilities as required.

UMN_LogoElectrical Engineering, BSEE
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
August 2008 – May 2012
Cumulative GPA: 3.98

I majored in electrical engineering at the University of Minnesota with a focus on computer architecture and software development. I was on the Dean’s List for 7 out of 8 semesters (I was left off for one semester due to confusion with a summer class). I graduated on time with high honors.

Hobby Projects

I have been building and tinkering in my free time since my Dad bought me logic-gate ICs at age 7. Every project develops a new skill, and I’ve put together a decent collection of electronics and software projects.

I taught myself assembly and C in middle-school. I programmed a few simple programs on the Atmel STK500 development kit using our Windows-98 PC.

In high school, I started configuring Linux servers and learning about networking and internet routing. I went through 6 Linux distributions on our home computer (Fedora, Arch, Slack, Gentoo, Ubuntu, and Debian).

After getting my first Linux server set up, I taught myself web design and hosted a website and phpBB forum out of my basement. The forum was hosted on dial-up and was only accessible when we were dialed into our ISP.

As a freshman in college, I started designing circuit boards. I had my first circuit boards printed in December 2009. After getting the hardware assembled, I started teaching myself about embedded development and real-time operating systems.

After freshman year, I continued building projects. I installed version control, set up remote repositories, and started developing a code base that sped up future developments. I learned about power supplies, manufacturers’ reps, IDEs, SDKs, and more.

Recently, I’ve moved onto web technologies and starting companies. I continue to teach myself new technologies with every new project.

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2003
Learned ASM and C
Microcontroller Programming

Taught myself assembly in order to use STK500 development kit. Subsequently learned C and started programming simple programs on our desktop computer.

2005
Linux Home Server
Slack Linux Server on 600 MHz, 64MB Compaq

Hosted website and phpBB forum out of basement over a 56kbps dial-up internet connection. Friends could only access the server when we had the internet turned on.

2009
Wiremic
Ethernet Microphone Adapter

High-quality digitization of microphone audio. Transmitted via Ethernet to CoreAudio driver on Mac. Used FreeRTOS and lwIP TCP/IP stack running on ARM microcontroller.

2010
MeshNet
802.15.4 Sensors

Attempted to build a mesh of sensors using an Atmel 802.15.4 module. Hardware was successful but I underestimated the amount of software required to build a working mesh network stack.

2011
EETool
USB-Connected Digital Multimeter

Designed a high sample-rate DMM that was capable of measuring line voltages. Communications were isolated from the analog circuitry for safety. I designed a simple FIR filter in software and optimized to meet timing requirements.

2012
TempSensor and CloudConnector
Cloud-Connected Temperature Sensors

Built a 802.15.4-to-Ethernet gateway device, a battery-powered temperature sensor, and some web technologies to make temperature measurements available via my website.

RC Car w/ Traction-Control
Senior Design Project

Designed and built a remote-controlled car from scratch with the help of our senior design team. I wrote all of the software, including the embedded C traction-control algorithm and the Qt telemetry UI.

2015
Modular IO
Modbus RS485 IO Modules

Designed and built relay-output and binary-input modules that connected to a PC via and RS485 adapter. Investigated potential sale of these modules as test and industrial control equipment.

Hobbies

I love trying new things, so I’ve picked up a decent range of hobbies. My current favorites are running and cycling. I recently bought a new bike (a Giant Defy 5), and I’m hoping to ride in some centuries over the next few months.

I also spend time disc golfing, rock climbing, skiing, trap shooting, using my ham radio, and board gaming. Send me an email if you have any recommendations for new hobbies; I’d love to give them a try!