Dan has been working at the University of Colorado Boulder for a little over 5 years and came to the CU Engineering school after seeing a neighbor of his build fantastic things with the resources available to students in the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory. After getting a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering here at CU, Dan heard about a job opening with the ITL Program and jumped at the opportunity. Recently Dan switched his role here at CU to become an Instructor with the Engineering Plus program, and is enjoying the new challenges that come with this role change. Prior to Dan’s time at CU, he worked in a variety of roles and industries. Directly out of college, Dan worked with a strategic business consulting firm and with an internet startup. He also received a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering with a focus on transportation safety, and worked for many years as a professional engineer examining the circumstances surrounding automobile collisions. This work enabled Dan to see every state (except Alaska), and work in places from Washington D.C. to Munich, Germany. It was through this work that Dan was able to visit Colorado, and eventually decided to move and stay!
What is your motto?
My personal motto is “This circus only comes to town once!” I use this as a playful reminder to myself to embrace life, its challenges, and its joys along the way.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m usually up early, 5-5:30 am or so. Sometimes this is by choice, sometimes it is not - my wife and I have a 2 year old son. After a cup of coffee from the MoccaMaster and playing with my son who is an early riser like me, I will come to work and start on my day’s projects. These days I’m working with students about math related topics or helping them develop engineering skills. After a full day here, I’ll head home and have a couple hours of family time before we eat as a family and fall asleep.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, which coworker would you want to organize your rescue party, and why?
I’d have to say Mo Woods (ITL Product Design & Instrumentation Engineer). It might take him a little time to get a solution, but his ideas are often filled with whimsy. After a couple weeks/months on a desert island, I’d love to get picked up by some crazy contraption from the Mind of Mo! It would be well worth a day or two extra on the island!
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
A close friend of mine was very sick. He, his family, his best friends and I were all sitting at a table enjoying a dinner, sharing laughs while also realizing that the end was close for our friend. After dinner he said, “If you haven’t figured it out, this right here is what life is all about. Not the crazy nights. Not the money in the bank. This right here. This time with family and friends.”
What do you most like to do to unwind?
I love nothing more than exercising in the woods. Whether this is mountain biking, snowboarding, trail running or hiking, nature brings me to my happy place. As much as I love being in the woods by myself, this experience is made better when I can share it with my wife, Lisa. We are both very happy that our son LOVES to be outside as well.
Which TV show do you never miss?
I love The Masked Singer. Don’t tell anyone. :)