CV: Senior Research Scientist


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Contact information
Candidate Profile
 Date Submitted:31-07-2012
 Last Modified:01-08-2012 (07:18)
Job information
 Current job:Senior Research Scientist
 Employment Term:Permanent
 Job location:Anywhere
 Date available:within a month
 Industry:, , Launch Systems, Consulting/Engineering Services, Space Tourism
 KeywordsJava Graphics UI, Astronomy

Software design and development for scientifically-oriented applications, with particular emphasis in computer graphics, visualization, and multimedia technologies


·         Over 15 years’ experience designing, developing, and delivering custom software products within a demanding, scientific research and development context

·         Highly skilled in the visualization of scientific and other data, design and development of graphical user interfaces, and computer graphics programming in two and three dimensions

·         Strong physics and mathematics background, directly applicable to graphical programming (discrete mathematics, linear algebra, coordinate transforms and projections, multi-dimensional spatial and temporal representations) as well as analytical and computational methods in physics and engineering (Fourier transforms, mathematical statistics, numerical integration)

·         Involved in wide range of production-quality software projects (both small and large) primarily relating to two- and three-dimensional graphical programming, data and image analysis, data and process visualization, as well as data acquisition, database design and implementation, laboratory instrument control and automation

·         Broad understanding and experience with web-based, distributed systems, and other Internet application delivery methodologies, including TCP/IP, HTML, XML, CSS, Flash, JavaFX, and Java applets

·         Adept at understanding customer perspective and requirements, particularly for problems in the physical sciences, and translating into manageable software solutions

·         Practical experience in preparation, production, and distribution of informational products (including interactive visualizations, animations, multimedia presentations) that communicate techniques and operation of scientific instrumentation for a technically sophisticated audience.

·         Considerable aptitude at teaching at a post-secondary level, and in outreach, communication, and imparting scientific principles and concepts appropriate for general audiences at all levels of educational achievement

·         Skilled at developing highly detailed three-dimensional graphical models that realistically depict scientific instruments and their constituent parts

·         Extensive experience with both analog and digital media production equipment, including routers, distribution amplifiers, audio and video converters

·         Familiar with the use and care of professional video cameras, analog and digital photography, audio capture, projectors, and large-format printers

·         Responsible, highly focused, detail-oriented, and committed to quality work and robust products

·         Strong desire to learn and apply new techniques and technologies, and developing the mastery for understanding and solving technical problems


Technical Skills


Programming Languages

Java (through J2SE7), Visual Basic (through 6.0), C/C++; experience with FORTRAN, Smalltalk, Visual Studio .NET, COBOL, Modula-2, and 80x86 Assembly


Graphics and Visualization Programming

Java Swing/AWT, Java2D, JavaFX 2.1, JFreeChart; experience with NASA WorldWind, Keyhole Markup Language (KML), Interactive Data Language (IDL), Maya Embedded Language (MEL), Adobe Flash and ActionScript, Visio object code library.


Software Methodologies

Graphical User Interface (GUI) design and development, Object-Oriented analysis and design; experience with Unified Modeling Language (UML), Java Native Interface (JNI)


Integrated Development Environments

NetBeans (through 7.2), Eclipse, JCreator Pro, TortoiseSVN; experience with Concurrent Versions System (CVS) and Visual Source Safe (through 6.0)


Database and Enterprise Architectures

Relational (MS Access, SQLServer) and Object-Oriented Database Design, Structured Query Language (SQL), Java Database Connectivity (JDBC); experience with Object Serialization and Streams, Remote Method Invocation (RMI), Parallel and Distributed Systems


Internet Client Development and Utilities

Java Applets, HyperText Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS 2.1), JSoup, Extensible Markup Language (XML)


Multimedia Production, Presentation and Image Manipulation

Adobe CS3 Production Studio (PremierePro, AfterEffects, SoundBooth, Flash), Nikon View NX2, Office 2010 Picture Manager; experience with Adobe Photoshop, GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), Google Picassa, JASC Paint Shop Pro


Visualization, Animation, and Modeling Tools

Google Sketchup (through 8.0), Visio and PowerPoint (through 2010); experience with Autodesk Maya, Kitware Paraview and Visualization Toolkit (VTK), Accelrys Insight II


Operating Systems and Tools

Windows (through 7), Linux (including KDE); experience with Solaris, IRIX, and VAX/VMS



Relevant Work Experience


Senior Research Scientist                          

             November 1996 – July 2012 

Battelle Northwest; Richland, Washington

  • Senior software developer within the Instrument Development Laboratory (IDL) and the Molecular Sciences Computing Facility (MSCF) Visualization and User Services (VisUS) group; both within the U.S. Department of Energy's Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), on the campus of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). 
  • Supporting and enabling scientific research (chemistry, biology, and physics) through development, deployment, and maintenance of custom software applications.
  • Domain areas focus on the design and development of graphical user interfaces, numerical data analysis, and interactive computer-based presentation of data and theoretical physical processes.
  • Additional work with instrument control and data acquisition, full-scale, multi-faceted laboratory automation, database design and data management, motion control, and Internet-based instrument control.


Executive Director (Volunteer)                 

                    April 1996 – present 

Alliance for the Advancement of Science Through Astronomy (AASTA); Richland, Washington

·       Non-profit organization, registered with the State of Washington, and in full accord with Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

·       Responsible for implementing the group's objectives—to refurbish the 40-year-old 0.8-meter research quality telescope, to enable its use in science education and research, to develop tools and resources to significantly improve scientific literacy and appreciation, and to provide for increased opportunities in science education at all levels.

·       Numerous presentations to community service organizations, schools, and public as a whole; hosted hundreds of visitors to the observatory site over twelve years of its operation; developed and maintained Internet-based informational material; and provided interviews with local television, radio, and newspapers.

·       Regular and frequent collaborations and coordination with regional institutions, including the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), Pacific Science Center (Seattle), Columbia Basin College (Pasco, Washington), Whitman College (Walla Walla, Washington) and Heritage University (Toppenish, Washington)


University Instructor

August 1995 – March 1996

Central Washington University; Ellensburg, Washington

·       Taught university-level undergraduate computer science courses in 80x86 Assembly Language programming, COBOL, and Modula-2.  Devised and fulfilled curricular objectives, wrote and delivered lectures, and conducted laboratory exercises for the classes taught.

·       Participated in faculty meetings to help guide the direction of the computer science offerings within the department.



College Instructor (Part-time)    

June 1993 - September 1994

Big Bend Community College; Moses Lake, Washington

Yakima Valley Community College; Yakima, Washington

  • Taught introductory course in Astronomy
  • Conducted outdoor observing sessions to highlight key concepts


Research Associate

Summers 1989, 1990

Los Alamos National Laboratory; Los Alamos, New Mexico

  • Participated in the development of a high-speed, two-dimensional photometer
  • Responsible for field-testing at Blue Mesa Observatory in southern New Mexico


Graduate Teaching and Research Assistant

August 1987 – June 1992

New Mexico State University; Las Cruces, New Mexico

  • Assisted department faculty in teaching and research activities
  • Developed and delivered tests for astronomy courses; conducted associated lab exercises at the university’s campus observatory
  • Collected data for faculty-directed research at department observatories

Representative Projects


GVL Stewardship

  • Responsible for refurbishment and day-to-day maintenance of EMSL’s Graphics and Visualization Laboratory (GVL)
  • Arranged, installed, configured equipment and software for enabling both digital and analog video production capabilities
  • Implemented and meticulously documented hundreds of signal connections between dozens of components including digital and analog routers, distribution amplifiers, patch bays, source selectors, video tape recorders, computers, signal converters, and audio and video monitors
  • Configured, operated, and gained familiarity with media production equipment, including professional video camera, digital photographic camera, wireless microphones, as well as photograph and poster printers
  • Specified, installed, configured, and maintained high-end visualization workstations including a dual-boot (Windows/Linux) with 46-inch stereographic flat-screen monitor
  • Maintained legacy systems (SGI workstations, analog stereographic projector); ensured clean, well-maintained space for all facility users
  • Developed and presented informational material (posters, seminars, brochures, web pages, other documentation) to highlight capabilities and to guide the EMSL research community in efficient and effective use of the facility and equipment



EMSL Visualization Capabilities

  • Designed and developed framework (in JavaFX 2.1) for production and delivery of short (2 to 5 minutes) video products for training scientists in the use of the EMSL’s massively parallel high-performance computer system (“Chinook”)
  • Conceived and developed graphics library (copyright pending), based upon and extending Java2D; enables rapid development of simple, cross-platform, physical and mathematical, interactive visualizations, suitable for inclusion in Java applets and applications
  • Collaborated with computing and networking staff to configure, test, and demonstrate a video conferencing system; actively promoted a permanent installation within the Graphics and Visualization Laboratory


Analysis Software for XPS Data

  • Designed and developed software application (J2SE6 with JNI) for the rapid analysis of data from X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) instrumentation
  • Performs nearly instantaneous characterization of surfaces of laboratory sample material (chemical composition, layering, contamination, vertical distribution)
  • Translated broadly-conceived user requirements, material from journal articles and other literature, theoretical constructs, into an operational application
  • Designed and developed object model, user interface, fully implemented functionality
  • Includes expert system framework, HTML report generation, and example-based batch processing
  • Software presented and well-received at professional conferences, both regionally (Richland, Washington; Eugene, Oregon) and internationally (Ankara, Turkey; Beijing, China; Gyeongju, Republic Of Korea; Matura, Trinidad)


Observatory Refurbishment

·         Guiding refurbishment of the 0.8-meter telescope towards the production of a professional-quality astronomical instrument that can be used for research, education, and public outreach

·         Designed, developed, and implemented real-time control software of the telescope and its associated systems; includes extensive graphical user interface, calibration utilities, integration with electronic versions of catalogues of astronomical object, libraries for reduction of astronomical positions, and calculation of planetary positions

·         Supervising activities of several core volunteers, and dozens of others, with widely diverse technical and non-technical backgrounds


ECCE User Interface Software

  • Extensible Computational Chemistry Environment (ECCE) is an enterprise-level collection of graphical applications for specifying and submitting computational chemistry models, and reviewing the computation results through a visual interface
  • Core contributor to the translation of existing user interface elements (windows and dialogs) from UNIX/Linux X-Windows Motif toolkit to wxWidgets




  • IN-SPIRE is a cross-platform, Java application for the analysis and visualization of large volumes of textual information
  • Implemented extensive redesign of user interface; collected disparate top-level tools in single-window interface, and redefined as child tool windows within JDesktopPane container; included buttons, menus, behaviors, interactivity as specified by project design requirements; implemented tool windows (JInternalFrame) for viewing, managing documents returned by semantic query


Laboratory Sample Tracking

  • Development of a Java-based prototype for a laboratory-wide “cradle-to-grave” sample tracking system
  • Includes 100% Pure Java client applets, server, administration tools, and underlying relational database.
  • Integrated with laboratory’s existing system for tracking research space access requirements and permissions, as well as the internal network authentication system


Mass loss in O- and B-type main sequence stars

  • Independent research into the physical characteristics of hot, massive stars (surface temperatures ~50,000K; mass ~50x solar) as part of graduate work
  • Developed software to evaluate surface gravity in massive binary systems (two co-orbiting stars), to investigate the contributions of distance variations for systems with significantly elliptical orbits and the potential for observational signature of mass-loss effects due to gravitational variability
  • Collected and analyzed spectra on several potential candidate systems during three separate observing sessions, over a total of 15 nights, using the 0.9-meter Coudé-feed spectrograph at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) near Tuscon, Arizona


Additional Projects

  • Custom automation system for chemical separations, involving control and integration of autosampler, pump systems, valves, and XY-stage, for infusion into heterogeneous collection of mass spectrometers; efforts culminated in R&D 100 Award.
  • Research and development of early Java-based distributed architectures for remote control of laboratory instruments; successfully demonstrated client/server implementation over a 3,000-mile geographic separation
  • Development of interactive virtual tour of the Hanford Site facilities using satellite imagery and graphical controls and annotations
  • Control system, object model, and fully-featured user interface for a custom ion trap mass spectrometer;
  • User and programmatic interfaces for applications involving the management of scientific data; featuring tree and list views of archive, drag-and-drop transfer, and interaction with low-level libraries through Java Native Interface


Education, Training, and Certifications


Bachelor of Science, Computer Science (Scientific Computing Option)

December 1995

Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington

GPA:  4.00 (A = 4.00)



Master of Science, Astronomy (Physics Minor)

June 1992

New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico

GPA:  3.28 (A = 4.00)


Bachelor of Science, Physics

May 1986

Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington

GPA:  3.29 (A = 4.00)


Object Oriented Analysis and Design

August 1998

Learning Tree International (Course 323)



Planning and Managing Projects

September 1998

Integrated Project Systems



Adobe Premiere Pro CS3

Adobe After Effects CS3 Professional

April 2008

Sterling Ledet & Associates



Sun Certified Programmer


Java 2 Platform Standard Edition 1.4

August 2008

Java 2 Platform Standard Edition 5.0

September 2008

Professional Memberships


American Astronomical Society (AAS)

ACM Special Interest Group in Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH)

Service and Community Activities


Speakers Bureau, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

  • Presented topics in Astronomy and Computer Science to service organizations, community groups, and to general audiences
  • Helped fulfill laboratory’s outreach goals within the community


Graduate Student Council, New Mexico State University

Astronomy Department Delegate (1990-91); Council President, (1991-92)

  • Represented and communicated interests of the graduate student body to university faculty and officials
  • Directed and managed an overhaul of the council’s by-laws, to improve clarity and efficiency

Notable Publications and Presentations


Swanson KR. “A Java Class Library to Enable Graphics and Visualization Software Development” EMSL Seminar Presentation (2012); PNNL-SA-88484


Hu D, A Tolic, NG Williams, DF Hopkins, LM Markillie, HS Wiley, BJ Tarasevich, Y Xie, C Mihai, KR Swanson, MC Perkins, G Orr. "Cellular Fate of Nanoparticles Investigated in Alveolar Epithelial Cells using Super Resolution Fluorescence Imaging", NSF Workshop on Nanomaterials and the Environment (2011); PNNL-SA-88887


Lea AS, KR Swanson, JN Haack, MH Engelhard, DR Sisk, DR Baer, JE Castle, SM Tougaard.  “Near Real-Time Data Analysis and Other Approaches to Enhancing Information from XPS”, Poster Presentation, 13th European Conference on Applications on Surface and Interface Analysis (2009); PNNL-SA-66325


Glass KA, KR Swanson. "When Good Code Goes Bad", Internet Video Training Series (2009); PNNL-SA-67691


Swanson KR, RE Gephart, AR Felmy. "Hanford Interactive Virtual Tour", Internet Video Presentation (2009); PNNL-SA-68241


Lea AS, KR Swanson, JN Haack, JE Castle, SM Tougaard, DR Baer. “An Application for Near Real-time Analysis of XPS Data”, Surface and Interface Analysis 42:1061-5 (2009); PNNL-SA-68239


Showalter MA, KR Swanson, ER Vorpagel, KS Lang.  “Chinook: Evolution of a New Supercomputer at a National Scientific User Facility”, Internet Video Presentation (2008); PNNL-SA-63082


Swanson KR. "Reinvigorating EMSL's Graphics and Visualization Laboratory", Invited Speaker, IDL Seminar Series (2007); PNNL-SA-58360


Mikheev V, RN Lee, OB Egorov, NS Laulainen, SE Barlow, KR Swanson. "Nucleation Sensor Combined with Gas Chromatography", Poster Presentation, 24th Annual AAAR Conference, (2005); PNWD-SA-7418


Livesay EA, R Zhao, K Tang, ET Johnson, V Kery, BS Hooker, GA Anderson, KR Swanson, RD Smith. "A Fully Automated Multi-Column HPLC System for High Throughput Proteomic Analysis", (Poster Presentation) Methods in Protein Structure Analysis/Mass Spec Workshop, (2005); PNNL-SA-42357


Hopkins D, M Alexander, K Swanson, M Buschbach. "Control System for an Inexpensive and Configurable Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer", Scientific Computing and Instrumentation, April 2004, 18-20; PNNL-SA-40943


Anderson G, M Belov, M Wingerd, H Udseth, K Swanson, K Tang, D Prior, M Buschbach, E Strittmatter, R Moore, R Smith, “An Automated High Performance Capillary Liquid Chromatography Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometer for High-Throughput Proteomics”, Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 15:212-232 (2004); PNNL-SA-38749


Swanson KR, NC Anheier Jr, RE Gephart, RE Leber, AC Rither. "A New Mission for the 0.8-meter Telescope at Rattlesnake Mountain Observatory", Poster Display, 201st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (2003); PNNL-SA-37396


Swanson KR, MA Wingerd, GA Anderson, ME Belov, HR Udseth, DC Prior, MA Buschbach, K Tang, RD Smith, "Automation of a Bruker 9.4-Tesla ICR Mass Spectrometer and a High Resolution Capillary LC System", Poster Display, 50th Meeting of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (2002); PNNL-SA-36539


Barlow SE, AE Taylor, KR Swanson. “Analytic Potentials for Realistic Electrodes”, Conference Paper, AIP Conference Proceedings: Non-Neutral Plasma Physics IV: Workshop on Non-Neutral Plasmas 606:519-24 (2002) PNNL-SA-35167


Barlow SE, AE Taylor, KR Swanson, "Determination of Analytic Potentials from Finite Element Computations", International Journal of Mass Spectrometry 207:19-29 (2001) PNNL-SA-33566


Auberry KJ, PK Jensen, KR Swanson, RD Smith.  "A Software-Controlled LC-MS/MS System for Automated High-Throughput Proteomic Studies", Poster Presentation, 49th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics (2001); PNNL-SA-34433


Mack JA, KR Swanson, DF Hopkins, JM Price.  "On-Line Chemistry Using Java and the World Wide Web", Poster Presentation, NORM 98 - Professional Analytical Chemists in Industry (1998); PNNL-SA-29706


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