Neil has worked as a marine engineer, including Chief Engineer aboard ocean-going vessels and as a field service engineer for several firms specializing in industrial reciprocating engines for propulsion and electrical generation systems. He graduated with honors from the California Maritime Academy with a degree in Marine Engineering Technology and earned a Master of Arts in sociology from Loyola University in Chicago.
Neil is a highly skilled mechanical designer with considerable work in a wide range of apparatus, from diesel engine components to mounting devices for prosthetic heart valves. Neil’s approach to design often enhanced procedures as well as devices. After a very short time in the industry, Neil was promoted to lead Research & Development at Fogarty Research, a medical device think tank. Neil supervised four inventors and brought several devices from initial conception, through the FDA regulatory process, distribution to surgeons, and use in patients. Neil designed and fabricated many prototypes earning him more than 30 patents in the USA, Europe, and Asia.
He earned a Master of Arts degree studying the sociology of science, technology and innovation. While completing his studies, Neil was an adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology; teaching courses for engineers and architects studying innovation, technology, and the role and responsibilities of engineers in society.
During his sociological studies and pursuits in the medical field, Neil never lost touch with his roots in industrial engines. He always dedicated time to marine engineering in engine rooms at sea; whether working part-time on local vessels or shipping between semesters. Neil also worked as an adjunct professor at the California Maritime Academy, serving aboard the 25,000-horsepower medium-speed diesel engine-powered training ship and its previous steam turbine-powered training vessel. He taught classes to cadets in diesel engineering, steam and diesel power plant operation, maintenance, and watch standing.
Neil served as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and holds an unlimited horsepower U.S. Coast Guard License as a 2nd Assistant Engineer for both steam and motor-powered vessels.