Human, engineer, and now a website!
This site is a work in progress. I just pushed it for early release because I really don't like the old one. Deal with it. The old one is available at old.bennahill.com.
Greetings! I am a computer engineer interested in problem solving and design on all levels. I recently completed my M.Eng. work with McGill's Integrated Microsystems Lab, with focus on sensors and embedded systems design in resource-constrained (power, hardware resources, space, etc.) environments. Soon (February 2014), I will start at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory working in a similar domain.
I love the process of designing and building things. Some of the more involved projects to this nature are detailed in my portfolio, but generally span electronics and software design, woodworking, metalworking, and musical instrument design from a healthy mix of academic and hobbyist perspectives.
I did both my B.Eng. and M.Eng. studies at McGill University in Montreal, QC in computer engineering and electrical engineering respectively. My interests are centered around embedded system design/modeling, sensor fusion, and acoustics. Some publications and more about this are available on my CV.
The free software/hardware movements have taken a special place in my heart. Not only did they help me as a hobbyist in a field of expensive development tools to not be completely broke, but they have provided the freedom to modify them and the ability to trust the environment in which I do work. I am indebted to the community for its efforts and try to give back wherever possible. For some of these contributions, check my GitHub page.
I am a Linux user and try to use and promote free software and hardware wherever practical.
When Not Engineering
This challenging and mildly self-destructive activity caught my attention back in early 2011 and never let go. I try to go a few times each week but have been fighting with tendinitis in my left biceps tendon from some foolish bouldering adventures in my first year. I'm always looking for more people to climb with. This winter aims to expand further into ice climbing.
My interest in ocean kayaking developed around the dawn of this fine millennium when it was discovered to be entirely reasonable to catch fish from one. Since then, it has become a mainstay of my warm-weather activities. At some point in 2011, I was planning a summer trip from New Brunswick to Miami but I managed to hurt myself and start working before I got too far.
The kayak has a softened presence in the water compared to motorboats and is still stable enough to manage large fish. Apparently, kayak fishing has taken hold as an effective and cheap way to get to the fish in the last few years, but I'm proud to say I got this going long before it was cool. My dream is still to land a tuna from a kayak.
Hiking & Mountaineering
I love to explore the great outdoors in any season and wander the mountains for a few days. I am partial to the Presidential Range of the White Mountains as it is close to home and as big as hills get on the east coast, but would like to travel a bit more. It's tough to find large enough chunks of time, but I hope to get out to explore the Rocky Mountains and the Andes when time, money, and enthusiastic companions permit.
So in October 2006 I adopted a wonderful cat, named Fidel. He's a large Maine Coon who has made his rounds on the internet for his exceedingly bizarre behavior and demeanor. He is included in this site because he's been a hilarious constant in my life since adopting him.