Who is this wise guy, anyways?
Hello, my name is Sheldon Cooper, BS, (not) MS, MA, PhD, ScD, and thank you for visiting my gSite. Alright, let's get started. [Source, if you didn't get the joke]
In all seriousness, I am Steven T. McDermott, but you probably already figured that out. I have legally owned Magnethead494 Computer & Web Services for over 5 years, but I have been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember. I was building websites and building/modifying/repairing computers for profit in middle school and my skills have only proliferated since then, now including Arduino and RasPi-based solutions, electronic circuit design, audio/video installations, security system and network infrastructure, the highest ranking Amateur (HAM) Radio License, and so much more.
Along my career path, I have picked up many skills which complement each other in many cases, particularly when designing or troubleshooting items, or simply performing data processing. These include the full Microsoft Suite (including Access, OneNote, and Lync/Teams), the Adobe Creative Suite (Acrobat Pro, Bridge, Fireworks, Dreamweaver, Photoshop), Sony Vegas video editing software, and Pro-Engineer CAD software. Additionally, I have a 3D printer, allowing me to design and print items in a single workspace, transitioning from 2D to 3D to printed.
I have a Bachelor of Science in University Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington. This degree plan is effectively (but not exactly) three minors rolled into a single major. My major core fields of study were Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science Engineering, and Information systems. Due to the amount of engineering, I also have a very high content level in Mathematics, including Calculus 1/2/3 and Differential Equations.
For more detailed information, please see my resume by clicking here.
My first time to the racetrack was a few weeks old. My father has been racing since the early 80's. I grew up in racing, going to the track week in and week out, until we left California to inhabit Texas in 1996 and stopped racing in 1998. The hiatus ended in 2010 with the purchase of a 1968 Camaro. Every year we improved some thing or another, and by 2013, we had reached the absolute end of the string in trying to make that combination work. We purchased a brand new dragster that year, and moved as many things over as we could. The photos below can tell the rest of the story from there.
My father has been the pilot of both, I am merely the assistant that tries to understand the how and why behind the STEMy things. I am slowly working on building myself a vehicle to pilot, but it is a long and bumpy road.
Outside of motorsports, I carry an interest in many STEM categories, notably robotics and radio communications. I have worked or contracted with NASCAR, INDYCAR, and Ford Motor Company (Ford Bronco Prototype Team), among other entities.
From my Sophomore to Senior years of high school, I was a member of our high school's robotics team in the (original and now defunct) NT BEST organization. NT BEST stood for the North Texas division of the Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology program run by Texas Instruments. Being of a high school containing only 70-80 students per grade, I was pretty much the only real active member, with 1 staff member sponsor and 2-3 kids that would come and go as they could.
Every year had a different theme, and you were given a box of re-usables and a box of consumables. There were really only 2 main rules:
1) You can only use what you are given for re-usables or consumables. Cannot provide your own parts (although one team did get smart and would melt down materials to re-cast new parts, while others would break out a welder)
2) Must fit within a 24" x 12" x 12" shipping box
This was a great program for it's time. The North Texas division folded up when the three regional principals, Philip Sipe, Ted Mahler, and Steve Marum, retired from Texas Instruments; the few remaining schools were moved into Dallas BEST and Fort Worth BEST . I am not sure how the program runs these days.
In 1993, BEST began with one site, North Texas, and its 14 schools and 221 students. In 2002, BEST was organized at 19 sites (called hubs) in Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, and involved more than 450 teams and thousands of students. The 60 top-placing teams from the hubs advanced to the Texas BEST Championship in November at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
While at college, I was drafted into a summer research project and tasked with working on some Radio Frequency tasks. Things led to things, and I ended up getting my HAM (Amateur Radio) operator's license. I have since 'leveled up' to the highest ranking currently available. I have also received certifications for Emergency Management as well as Storm Spotting/Reporting.
I have made contacts with several different countries, though my primary use is domestic communications.
Also while in college, I was a photographer and journalist for NASCAR and INDYCAR. I can positively assure you that the politics within are just a crazy as they seem to the outside world.
One of the moments in college that I did not appreciate at the time, but now do, was that I was a part of the Ford Bronco Concept Team (as well as other concepts that didn't quite make it). I was one of the first people to ever draw the Bronco's interior in CAD (Computer Aided Design). Somewhere there exists an actual interior photo, I had it at one point but cannot locate it at the time of writing.
Left, Below: The bronco concept was based on an F-250 standard cab, which has the rear wall cut out and spliced to the rear segment of it's bed. The entire floor was removed from the bed, along with significant chassis modification to go with the body splice.
Right, Below: A removable fiberglass topper was then made to go over the rear section of the body, thus enclosing the vehicle. The topper took 4 people to safely remove, which exposed a metal roll-cage to meet safety requirements for the back seat passengers.
Left, Below: One of the two concepts that did not quite make it, was a VIP edition F350 triple cab. A factory-stretched chassis was used as the base, while the crew cab had the rear wall removed and a new rear cab portion grafted in. Similar to the bronco, the bed was shortened then fused to the body.
Right, Below: The other concept that did not make it was a factory upgraded military/police-edition F-550, using recycled military axles and wheels and minimal factory trimming. While this concept did not gain factory production sponsorship, the contractor was awarded a full-time contract to produce this type of vehicle for military and emergency services use.