Hi. My name is Mark Millar, I am an aerospace engineer based in Northern Ireland. I started engineering at a young age with my love of Lego and working for father who did not want me to become a couch potato.
I studied engineering at the University of Ulster where I completed a Masters in Engineering with specialisms. After completing my degree I went on to do a Ph.D. in nanotechnology, which was based on Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) films for high temperature automotive applications. This was a small step away from engineering and was done mostly to see if someone with dyslexia could do it, and because I thought it would be cool to be a doctor.
On completing the Ph.D. I got a few job offers, but alas not the teaching job I would have liked. I settled on aerospace consultancy job where I build computer models to determine the effects of tolerance variation in large-scale assemblies. I have come to enjoy this work as I get to work with most of the major aerospace companies, which is somewhat cool.
I have had an interest in computers for a long time, starting with my commodore 64. However, my computing knowledge did not start advancing until I was doing my degree when I wanted to become more than a system user and gamer. I started slow becoming familiar with ubuntu 6.10 Linux after previously being scared away by suse and incompatible hardware. After a few year learning on ubuntu am now a Arch user and am system admin for a few self run servers servers.
This interest in computing grow over the years as a distraction from the Ph.D. which I had little interest in by the end. I starting learning html, I used LaTex to write my thesis and started my first scripting language python. All was well but without any practical need for the languages things dwindled.
Roll on the arduino, the little microcontroller that linked my two worlds together. This little device resparked my interesting coding and has allowed my to make devices controlled from computers. Starting with a multiWii quadrocopter and moving onto a robot/rover after a series of sensor and home monitoring/automation projects.
The lust to gain more control and usability over these projects resulted in me learning C++ and PHP. Though it was PHP that has given me the control I was looking, the power of the web! It allowed me to control my projects from anywhere in the world and to develop this site, which was build from scratch using PHP.
My interest in computing is bolstered by my other nerdy love of science fiction. I like most film genres and own hundreds of DVD’s, but Sci Fi has always been my favourite. With Aliens being top of the list.
Last but not least my vice, gaming fps gaming. My slow advances in practical computing is largely due to my gaming addiction. It started with 5 hours a night of rainbow six rogue spear, moving onto counter strike source gaming DAYS, COD MW2 for a few hours and now battlefield 3. I have now got some control over my addiction and try to play less than 10ish hours a week, LOL. Unless I play civ, then whole weekends can disappear.
Umm I seeing a trend everything is indoors. This is mostly true but I do venture outside on occasion to go hiking with friends and I enjoy archery when I have time. Drinking and eating get me out also. I love good food, and the missus likes to go somewhere new at least every month for nice food.