Résumé of Donald S. Hall, Ph.D.
Interest in the engineering application of my formal training in theoretical physics has led to a career where I have worked mainly in the following general areas:
• scientific computing, including both numerical analysis and physics modelling,
• design and construction of supervisory control and data acquisition systems, and
• software development for computer-aided engineering applications with particular emphasis on user interface design.
I have been responsible for all stages of projects from planning and scheduling, through software development, hardware specification and acquisition, construction, implementation, testing, documentation, and field use. Projects have been completed successfully both on my own, and managing small project teams. Because systems I have designed and built have been routinely used both in experimental nuclear reactors and in CANDU reactors, I am used to working to high levels of industrial standards and quality control. Some of these projects are highlighted below.
SELECTED WORK EXPERIENCE
Development of iPhone and iPad Software I have recently been developing an app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The application, Mental Health Scales, is described on the Apps & More mobile applications site.
Development and Distribution of Macintosh Scheduling Software For sixteen years I developed and distributed Script Timer, a Macintosh scheduling application. Included in the development were specialty scripts such as Track Timer for scheduling and controlling the iTunes music program, and the exploration of novel ways to use the software such as in a low cost alternative to an automatic electronic carillon. Script Timer runs in Macintosh OS X up to and including macOS 10.12 (Sierra) and has numerous advantages over the cron command that is used for scheduling in the underlying Unix based layer of OS X.
Y2K Analysis of Legacy Engineering Software Apps & More was contracted to assess PDP-11 based engineering software with respect to its Year 2000 compatibility. The feasibility and cost were analysed for:
• a total rewrite of the software for a modern computer platform,
• an upgrade of the PDP-11 system to make it Y2K compliant, and
• modification of public domain software to meet the client's specific requirements.
Application of Object Oriented Program Design to Engineering In the middle of the 1990s I explored the use of object oriented software design techniques in engineering problems. A highly graphical prototype user interface was developed to allow the user to build a graphical representation of an engineering system from a library of components. This graphical representation was designed to be used by a number of other modules doing engineering calculations. All development was done in the C++ language.
Knowledge Systems Engineering (Atomic Energy of Canada) When Atomic Energy decided to explore the potential benefits of the developing field of Artificial Intelligence, I was chosen as a founding member of the group tasked with introducing the technology to the company. We explored the use of expert systems by comparable industries, surveyed available tools and technology, and recommended those to be pursued by the company. We also identified potential applications of expert system technology within the company and worked to develop them.
Appletree (RARE) The Knowledge Systems Engineering Group was contracted by RARE (Risk Analysis and Reliability Evaluation) to develop a computer-aided risk analysis package known as Appletree intended to be the first stage of an $800,000 joint R&D project between RARE, a large multinational computer company, and one of the major players in the Canadian A.I. field. I was chief software architect for the project. The features of this graphical user interface for fault tree analysis are still considered state of the art.
Travelling Flux Detector for CANDU Reactors( Atomic Energy of Canada) I developed and perfected a microcomputer-controlled Travelling Flux Detector system that was used to provide the first detailed internal neutron flux map of an operating CANDU reactor. The system consisted of two microcomputers (one diskless to work in a reactor environment) and a heavily shielded winch that lowered a miniature fission chamber into the reactor. Emphasis was placed on developing an easy to use interface for both control and initial examination of the data.
Data Acquisition for Experimental Self-Powered Flux Detectors (Atomic Energy of Canada) I assembled and programmed a microcomputer-based data acquisition system to monitor experimental detectors in the NRU research reactor. The system has been routinely used to collect data on a long term basis, but could also automatically sense a rapid reactor shutdown and increase the data collection rate, without the loss of crucial initial data points, for later analysis of the dynamic characteristics of the detectors.
Computer Assisted Tomography (CAT) (Atomic Energy of Canada) I was in charge of project management, software design, and construction of a new microcomputer-based industrial CAT scanner used to examine the internal conditions in pipe-like objects. I was also the author of the tomographic image reconstruction software used for this and a similar scanner.
Intelligent Artificial Vision (Atomic Energy of Canada) I was project manager for the Intelligent Colony Counter, a system designed to automatically count microbiological colonies in a Petri dish using a unique algorithm. I codeveloped this algorithm with another physicist.
Development of Novel Self-Powered Flux Detector Designs Through Monte Carlo Simulations of Radiation Transport (Atomic Energy of Canada and Queens University) I modified and expanded an existing code into an efficient, accurate, and easy-to-use tool for predicting the behavior of proposed detector designs.
Ph.D. Theoretical Physics, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada 1978
M.Sc. Theoretical Physics, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada 1974
B.A.Sc. with great distinction in Physics, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada (4.0 GPA) 1972
In addition to two academic theses, I have produced twenty-six publications, ranging from technical specifications and user's manuals to scientific and engineering papers. Sixteen of these have been in refereed journals or presented at conferences with refereed proceedings.
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