Michael Spencer

Mechanical Engineer

Engineer/manager with over 18 years experience in product development and R&D

About Me

  • Name: Michael Spencer
  • Location Greater Houston Area (South)
  • Nationality: US Citizen
  • Email: mr.maspencer@gmail.com

Career Summery

I am an experienced mechanical engineer accustomed to fast paced technical enviornments. I currently design jet engine test stand products for Atec, Inc. The prior 9 years were spent developing a miniature Mass Spectrometer and adapting the technology for OEM customers. I had to balance managing a small team on top of doing the design work and meeting very tight, often impromptu, deadlines. I have been doing R&D and product development for 12 years. I am very proficient in all things computer related (hardware and software). I have designed products ranging from the size of a dime to the size of a space station.

What I Do ?

Experienced mechanical engineer and technical leader specializing in technical and product development of products ranging precision instrumentation to Space Flight Hardware. Qualifications include CAD development, 3D Printing/Prototyping, Simulations, Programming, and Team Management. Knowledge of aerospace design standards, space station design, and mechanical systems design and installation for aviation. Highly motivated with great work ethics and a good overall attitude. Effective communicator, team leader, and motivator in teamwork environment.

  • Product Design
  • Research and Developement
  • Data Analysis
  • Getting Stuff Done!!



  • 2001-2004

    Bachelor of Science In Mechanical Engineering

    Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

    I completed Mechanical Engineering program from the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. My Senior Project was designing a subsea tool for Dril-Quip.

  • 1999-2001

    Associates of Science in Mathematics

    Grayson County College, Denison, TX, USA

    Calculus III Award, Graduated Cum Laude


  • 2017-Present

    Mechanical Engineer - Lead

    Jacobs - Contracted to NASA, Houston, TX

    Contracted to NASA JSC for design of Electrical Enclosures, Exercise Equipment, High Pressure O2 Generation Test Bead, and Lab Management.

  • 2017

    Sr. Mechanical Engineering

    Atec, Inc., Stafford, TX

    Design of Jet Engine Test Facilities for military/commercial engines. Structural analysis via FEA and hand calculations.

  • 2016

    Subject Matter Expert

    Checks and Balances – Contracted to Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, OH

    Design and Develoment of Next Generation Chemical Detector (NGCD) - asc.army.mil

  • 2013-2016

    Mechanical Engineering Manager

    1st Detect Corp (subcitary of Astrotech Corp. - fromerly SpaceHAB), Houston, TX

    Formerly took over as Mechanical Engineering Manager. Added to my responsibilities full control of personnel management, budget management, and direction of the Mechanical Team.

  • 2010-2013

    Lead Mechanical Engineer

    1st Detect Corp (subcitary of Astrotech Corp. - fromerly SpaceHAB), Houston, TX

    Promoted to Lead Mechanical Engineer. Began aiding in the hiring process, assisting with department budgeting, and mentor to younger cross-discipline engineers.

  • 2007-2010

    Mechanical Engineer

    1st Detect Corp (subcitary of Astrotech Corp. - fromerly SpaceHAB), Houston, TX

    SpaceHAB (at the time) had an unfunded SAA (Space Act Agreement) with NASA to put an air cabin monitor on the Space Station. I was brought on to handle the mechanical aspects of the design. The project dwindled down to a few people. With the man power I had to quickly pick up knowledge from other disciplines (Chem and EE) and become an expert in Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry.

  • 2006-2007

    Mechanical Engineer

    Bigelow Aerospace, Houston, TX

    At the Houston facility we were in charge of the conceptual designs, structural analysis, and initial mockups. I aided in the structural design and analysis of the core, designed for the inflatable section, and designed a window to interface with the inflatable section.

  • 2004-2006

    Mechanical Engineer

    Chelton Aviation, Denton, TX

    We were responsible for the initial installation of the companies AP3C autopilot system into a specific aircraft type and acquiring a certification to sell it to customers with that type of aircraft. I was responsible for preparing all documentation for the FAA as well as testing the autopilot system in the air.


CAD / Graphics

Prototype Modeling

18 yrs

PDM/Enterprise PDM

9 yrs

Windchill/Enterprise PDM

5 yrs


1 yrs

Adobe Photoshop

9 yrs


2 yrs


14 yrs


5 yrs


3 yrs


2 yrs

SIMION Simulation

9 yrs

OS / General Software


22 yrs

Microsoft Office

22 yrs

Qt Creator

11 yrs

Apache Web Server

4 yrs

VM Ware

5 yrs


11 yrs

Microsoft Visual Studio

11 yrs


14 yrs

Microsoft IIS

1 yr

Oracle Virtual Box

8 yrs

Programming Languages / Data Management

Ansi C/C++

14 yrs

Qt Libraries

11 yrs


6 yrs


6 yrs


1 yr


6 yrs


9 yrs


9 yrs


7 yrs


3 yrs


3 yrs

Microsoft SQL Database

3 yrs

Example Work

Stability Image

SAMPLE 1: Ion Stability Calculator

This app started out as a C++ Windows Application. As we started getting more systems built I wanted to make something more portable to the different computers. This also made it easier to change on the fly for both bugs and features. Doing this version gave me a chance to learn HTML 5. It is based off of Mathieu Equations. In this case the Mathieu Equation is determining the stability of an orbit of an ion. In the case of a 2D ion trap there is stability in the cylindrical z direction and stability in the radial direction. The red lines left to right represent a beta (B) from 0 to 1 for the z motion. Anything below 0 and above 1 would represent an unstable orbit, however 0 and 1 themselves are barley stable . The same goes for the blue lines except for the fact that it represents the r direction. The x axis is a q value that is determined from the mass of the ion, RF electrical characteristics, and geometry of the trap. The y axis is an a value that is determined from the same except using DC electrical characteristics instead of the RF.

SAMPLE 2: Ion Simulator

This is a very stripped down version of the windows application. It was designed solely to be an example of what I did in the full scale application. The windows version has a few more views to give various different information on the performance of the trap (Spectrum, Ion Ejection Location, Electric signal, etc.). This web app utilizes WebGL for the bases of the simulation. It takes it a few seconds to load the files that it uses for determining the fields. The simulator was created in order to save time on simulating various different geometries and fields applied to the trap. A commercial product SIMION is typically used for this. The problem we had with it was the timing of each simulation was extremely slow. For an initial time estimate it was about 36 hours using SIMION and was around 10-15 minutes for ours. To be completely fair, SIMION was single threaded and mine was multi threaded (thanks to the software team for setting this up for me). To make it fair we opened 6 instances of SIMION and spread the ions between the 6 instances of SIMION and got the same simulation down to about 6 hours (still too long). Again using this application does take some know how of ion traps, but the web app will get the point across.

Stability Image

SAMPLE 3: CAD (Coming Soon)

I would love to show past models, assemblies and drawings that I have worked on for the past 9 years, but those are company proprietary.  I will have to resort to making something up for myself.  At 1st Detect we had to deal with some very tight tolerances.  The problem with shrinking the trap is that any imperfection in the surfaces caused field differences that the ions saw.  This would cause an unsymmetrical field and have higher order resonant points.  For most parts standard tolerencing was sufficient, but on the trap we also maintained fairly tight GD&T in order to ensure that all the traps were as similar as we could get them.


Years of Experience


Patents Awarded


Patents Pending