Joe Gibson



I am a computer engineer, hiker, programmer, hockey player, scientist, brewer, classical guitar player, language learner, space nut, and traveller.

I currently work for NASA as a software engineer in the SSCO on the Restore-L and ARM missions.

On the side I contribute to RFCx, a non-profit that protects rainforests with real-time data on illegal deforestation.

In the past I've worked on the ATLAS detector at CERN, at NASA on the BETTII balloon project, and at L-3 Avionics Systems.

I have lived in various places, including Michigan, Washington D.C. and Geneva, Switzerland. I love culture, travel, and learning new languages; I'm fluent in my native English and Spanish, intermediate in French, and a beginner in Russian.


microamps is a blog about computer science, security, and engineering

science, sécurité, et ingénierie


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  • Work experience

  • NASA

    Goddard Space Flight Center - Washington, D.C.

    Software Engineer, SSCO: ARM, RRM3, and Restore-L Missions
    Code 560: Electrical Engineering Division
      Flight software in C and C++ on embedded Linux
      FPGA design in VHDL
  • RFCx

    Rainforest Connection - San Francisco, CA

    Software Engineer
    Project Necromancer

    RFCx is combatting illegal deforestation by using repurposed Android phones to listen for the sounds of chainsaws, engines, and other sounds in the rainforest. Data is collected and transmitted in real time to a server which performs analysis of the audio using DSP algorithms to determine the presence of loggers

  • CERN

    European Center for Nuclear Research - Geneva, Switzerland

    Research Assistant, ATLAS Experiment – Large Hadron Collider
      Research in QCD (Quantum Chromodynamics) and proton-proton collisions
      Wrote software in C++ and Python on SLC6 (Scientific Linux CERN 6)
      Co-developed the C++ program Spectrum to plot experimental data, theory predictions, and PDF (Parton Density Function) convolutions
      Created file format for Spectrum to parse data, grid and PDF configurations
      Interfaced with ROOT, APPLgrid, LHAPDF, and FastJet QCD libraries
  • NASA

    Goddard Space Flight Center - Washington, D.C.

    Computer Engineering Co-op, BETTII Project
    Code 665: Astrophysics, Observational Cosmology Laboratory
      High-altitude far-infrared balloon observatory for star formation and active galactic nuclei
      Interfaced with stellar image processing software in C and C++ in a Unix environment
      Developed StarTracker software for Star Cameras - captures stellar images and determines BETTII's position in space
      Implemented an RS-422 communication network with a shared circular buffer in C
      Created an FPGA RS-422 receiver using LabVIEW
      Created, installed, and managed libraries, makefiles, and projects in Linux
  • L-3 Communications, Avionics Systems

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Computer Engineering Co-op, Test Software
      Designed software to configure, test, and qualify avionics instruments
      Developed GUIs for Windows in C using LabWindows/CVI
      Architected software; designed model diagrams using UML
      Interfaced with a number of avionics instruments including standby indicators, magnetometers, etc.
      Tested units under environmental conditions (temperature, pressure, magnetic field interruption, etc.) and analyzed test data
      Used the ARNIC 429 protocol to communicate with air data computers, avionics instruments, and standby indicators
  • Custom Electronics, Inc.

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Computer Engineering Co-op, Test Software
      Programmed 8-bit Microchip microcontrollers in C using MPLAB X
      Wrote code in CRBasic for freshwater scientific instrumentation buoys
      Interfaced with a variety of scientific instruments including digital cameras, weather transmitters, and solar radiometers using RS-232, SDI-12 and RS-485 serial communication
      Designed a series of eight electric guitar effect pedals
      Schematics and productions PCBs designed in Altium Designer (through-hole and surface-mount)
  • Education

  • B.S.E Computer Engineering

    Grand Valley State University - Allendale, MI

    GPA: 3.957


      ASEE CEED National Co-op Student of the Year: 2014
      Academic Excellence Award in Computer Engineering: 2015
      Oustanding Co-op Student: 2015
      Oustanding Senior in Computer Engineering: 2015
      Dean's List
      FIRST Robotics Engineering Scholarship
      Award for Excellence Scholarship
      Faculty Award of Distinction Scholarship

    Extracurricular Activities

      Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society: 2013 - 2015
      President of Spanish Club 'La Tertulia': 2011 - 2014
      President and Co-Founder of Brewing Science and Technology Club: 2013 - 2015
      Vice President of Hardware, Computer Science Club: 2012 - 2015
  • Relevant Courses

      Operating Systems
      Data Communications
      Data Structures and Algorithms
      Software Engineering
      System Programming
      Structured Programming in C
      Java I and II
      Digital Systems
      Embedded System Design
      Design of Microcontroller Applications
      Integrated Circuit System Design
      Probability and Signal Analysis
      Statistical Modelling for Engineers
      Engineering Measurement and Data Analysis
      Circuit Analysis I and II
      Electronic Circuits I
      Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing
      Calculus I, II, and III
      Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
      Engineering Physics I and II
      Senior Engineering Project I and II


Programming Languages

Embedded C (AVR, ARM, and PIC Microcontrollers)

Hardware Description Languages


Software Skills

  • git Version Control
  • OS X and Linux
  • Unix Terminal (make, gdb, ssh, etc.)
  • ARM Assembly Language
  • FPGAs (VHDL, Active HDL, LabVIEW)
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Perl, Bash, Awk, Sed
  • JavaScript, jQuery
  • Objective-C (iOS and OS X with Xcode)
  • Android Apps (Android Studio)

Hardware Skills

  • PCB Schematic Design and Board Layout (Altium, Eagle, KiCad)
  • SPICE Simulation (LTspice)
  • Space Systems and Sub-orbital Telescopes
  • Ruggedized Computers
  • Avionics Systems
  • Oscilloscopes, Multimeters, and Function Generators
  • Embedded System Design
  • Regulator Design
  • Robotics (FIRST Robotics team captain)

Basic Knowledge of...

  • Time- and Frequency-Domain Circuit Analysis
  • Electromagnetic Physics
  • Cosmology
  • Particle Physics











  • Language, travel, and culture
  • Classical, Spanish flamenco, and jazz guitar
  • Mountain climbing, hiking, and backpacking
  • Brewing chemistry and technology
  • Member of NASA Zymernauts Brewing Club


years of experience


years coding


lines of code written