Chris Campbell, electrical engineer

Engineering Background and Science Fundamentals

Engineering background

Two degrees from Georgia Tech: a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering.

20+ years of intense experience in system, project and operations engineering

Advanced mathematics (calculus, trigonometry, statistics, etc.), basic mechanical structures (statics, kinematics), signal analysis (non-linearities, harmonic distortion).

Specific experience in communications engineering (especially RF and satellite), data communications protocols (IP, SNMP, obscure old serial formats).

Many years of experience in architecting, building and maintaining a massively complex monitor and control (M&C) system used to monitor business critical transmission assets and control news gathering assets.  See the employment history page for details.

Technology experience: Monitor and Control Systems

  • 15 years of intense experience building a mammoth M+C system
  • Monitoring: systems that must be trustworthy, no false positives or false negatives
  • Control: systems that do what you tell them to ASAP, and provide feedback
  • Integration of equipment from dozens of vendors, 100+ models of gear
  • Extreme uptime requirements, upgrade rollout planning, engineered redundancy
  • Operator issues: cognitive loading, clean UI design, alarm management
  • M+C basics: alarm assertion, acknowledgement and logging; trending/reporting of parameters

Technology experience: Data Communications / Computing Systems

  • Communications over RF and wireline
  • Communications engineering: dB, Shannon, link budgets, crosstalk, PHY, etc.
  • Extensive experience in design, implementation and test of IP data networks. TCP/UDP, DNS, multicast/IGMP, ARP, DHCP, troubleshooting at physical, link and transport layers.
  • Vast, direct experience in SNMP specifications, interfaces and troubleshooting
  • Serial data protocols: ridiculously familiar with serial data interfacing (sync and async), including RS-232, RS-422, RS-423, RS-449, RS-485, RS-530 and V.35.
  • 25+ years of practical experience with computing, including various Linux platforms (including Ubuntu, Red Hat, CentOS) and Unix-like platforms (Solaris, QNX).
  • Experienced with XML, PHP, Perl and programming languages in general

Technology experience: RF Engineering

  • Closely involved with many RF chain buildouts
  • Implementation of C-band and Ku-band satellite RF systems, including converters, amplifiers (from 0.8 Watts up to 3000 Watts) and a range of fixed and motion-controlled antennas (from 0.95m VSATs up to 11m Gateways).
  • Digital modulation types (QPSK, 8PSK, QAM, DVB-S2)
  • Integration, installation and operation of two-way satellite voice and data networks, typically $1M to $3M in scale. Projects were worked from simple block diagram down to finest implementation and configuration details. Technical lead for each project, directing small team of in-factory technicians and overseas field engineers.
  • Software tools typical for engineering: AutoCAD, spreadsheets, document creation

Technology experience: Video Compression and Transport

  • MPEG transport streams (broadcast and backhaul)
  • high speed data interfaces: SDI, HD-SDI, ASI, Multicast
  • compression algorithms (MPEG2, MPEG4/H.264, JPEG2000)
  • studio systems (playout, event triggering, tally)

Science fundamentals

I have the general literacy in physics and chemistry that one would expect from getting through Georgia Tech.

In particular, my chemistry literacy has stayed fresh by virtue of my personal interest in two fields:  battery technology and astrobiology.

I am comfortable with the jargon of science and data analysis — SI units, isotopes, hysteresis, and so on.

Personal interests in engineering and science

  • Astrobiology / exoplanets:  CHNOPS, molecular oxygen, biological precursors
  • LHC / CERN and particle physics
  • space launch systems and market
  • space propulsion technologies including both classical chemical rockets and solar electric propulsion (SEP)
  • robotic exploration of the solar system, both current and planned missions; methane on Titan, perchlorates on Mars, brown gunk on Pluto …

Professional society memberships

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) since 1994
  • IEEE Power Engineering Society (PES) since 2009
  • IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS) since 2016
  • Assoc. of Energy Engineers (AEE) since 2018
  • SMPTE (TV/film engineering) from 2002 to 2018
  • SSPI (satellite professionals) from 2006 to 2018, member of local chapter’s board

Professional societies provide me with the bigger picture, and as I transition into the energy / power sector I will be seeking out more such organizations with which I can expand my knowledge and get more involved with the local community of engineers in the field.  IEEE membership is particularly valuable as it gives me access to the standards documents that not only provide specific design guidance, but also provide general background on technologies, and I fully expect I’ll be studying the standards docs relevant to the technology niche I settle into.

In 2001 I became a state-licensed Professional Engineer (Georgia PE027026), and I have officially maintained that license in the years since.  However, I have not practiced as a PE, and I do not think it would be appropriate for me to leverage it at this point (e.g. be the PE of record that signs off on power designs).  Instead, I see the license as objective evidence for you that I am a dedicated engineer, eager to get the work right and certainly to take public safety seriously.

I have an OSHA 10-hour certification, have a NABCEP PV Associate certification, and am pursuing a NABCEP PV Installer certification. I have already completed a 40-hour course in Advanced PV System Design in pursuit of the latter certification.

I am somewhat familiar with the academic research process (grants, papers, posters, journals, conferences) mostly from following planetary science (e.g. the LPSC, AAS DPS and AGU conferences) and watching how those research projects and missions play out.

I have a conversational knowledge of German; I lived in Germany for a year as a teenager (attending German high school) and have a couple dozen German relatives that I’m close to.

I’m ready to undertake a crash course in your specific technology and the related scientific underpinnings.  I’ll devour industry journals to understand jargon and trends, and will seek to attend conferences (on own dime and time if necessary).

If there’s a certification that is a must-have for your position, let me know and I’ll look into it.