Retired 2007 from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory after nearly 30 years, working on Mars Rovers and Landers in the later years. Mechanical Engineer.
Built first guitar in 1972 (not very good). On-and-off instrument hobbyist while working at other things for a living. Built some hammered dulcimers, performed many sadistic experiments on hapless cheapo fiddles.
Played guitar starting about the mid-'60's, converted over to fiddle about 1980. Some banjo, mandolin, and hammered dulcimer playing, but not much. Presently play old-time fiddle, for fun and an occasional contradance.
Member of Southern California Association of Violin Makers (SCAVM) and Violin Makers Association of Arizona International (VMAAI).
Familiar with FFT and acoustic spectral responses, vibration modes, and all that; probably not of critical importance to building top-notch instruments, but I still have enough curiosity so that I just gotta figure out how fiddles work.
Intermdeiate maker... first one in 2009, and making about 3 per year now, with R&D taking up quite abit of time. My goal is to build instruments that professional musicians would want to play... and maybe win some awards at VSA competitions.
A large part of my R&D time is spent on wood properties... measurement wood properties and thermal processing to "improve" the properties.
Non-instrument items: played a lot of volleyball until age and a hip replacement put an end to that; windsurfing for over 20 years, registered over 40 mph at a speedsailing competition; ex-member of Professional Bowlers' Association (good enough to be a memeber, but not good enough to make money).