I’m currently a full-time R&D engineer on laparoscopic surgical tools. My career path has been more circuitous than many but looking back I would change very little. My degrees are in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan, but I’m now more of a Mechanical/Electrical guy.
I did remodeling full-time for 3 years while on hiatus from “official” engineering, and still hold a builder’s license in Michigan. Several projects have (and do) focus on efficiency improvements for this type of work. I also started (and shuttered) a laser cut lake maps business in this period (video) (photos)
From fall 2015 to spring 2017 I focused exclusively on mechanical projects. The standing desk was the most notable one. I also improved dramatically in machining and welding, skills that have been crucial to my current R&D work. YouTube is often mocked for silly videos but has an an incredible amount of machining, welding and electronics knowledge available.
I am also assisted by my brother Eric, who also enjoys projects and went to trade school for machining and CNC equipment.