"Growing up I've always loved engineering," he said. He nurtured his own interest in inventing and problem-solving throughout high school and has since gravitated toward prosthetics--a field that will require him to earn a master's degree.
In the meantime his working on a bachelor's degree in biology at Utah State University, and working part-time at the AT Lab. He learned about the lab from his wife Marcy, who did work there as part of her special education coursework.
"When I got married and I started school here, she said, 'Dan, you should go volunteer at this place I know.'"
She knew of his love of tinkering. He was a mechanic for a summer with his brother. He built a wooden fridge--patterned after an old-fashioned ice box--for his dad in wood shop during high school. And when his parents decided to build a house while he was in high school, he drew up the blueprints.
"That was a big learning curve," he said.
Marcy was right when she introduced him to the lab--he enjoyed it. After volunteering for a semester, he received an invitation from lab coordinator Clay Christensen to work there part-time. Now he is there, helping the lab handle an ever-growing workload.