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Staff Spotlight: Meet David Strout

David Strout with a bee-covered frame from a beehive.

Staff Spotlight: Meet David Strout

  1. ​​Name, job title, and location: David Strout, Maker Hub Manager. Maker Hub is on the 1st Floor of Lauinger, room 106A.
  2. What do you do—in 10 words or less? I help people learn how to make things!
  3. Where are you from? Natick, Massachusetts
  4. Do you have any hobbies? I have too many hobbies, but some of my favorites include photography, beekeeping, disc golf, and ultimate frisbee.
  5. What are you reading/watching/playing/listening to/learning right now? I’m currently addicted to a podcast called Critical Role in which a group of voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons. It’s great to always have in the background since each episode is about 4 hours long! I’m also trying to learn how to use the video editing software After Effects so I can start adding interesting visual effects to videos I create.
  6. If you could magically have a ticket to any place or event, what would it be and why? I would love to explore Indonesia. My dad grew up in Jakarta, and I’ve always wanted to see where he grew up. We actually had plans to meet him over there (my partner and I were travelling around New Zealand at the time) for about a month of travelling and exploration, but unfortunately the timing with a small global pandemic didn’t work out.
  7. What is one room or feature you would want to include if you were building your dream house? A shop! In fact, if I could transpose the Maker Hub into my house I absolutely would. I’ve always been a big maker (most specifically woodworker) so some form of a makerspace is a necessity.
  8. What is your favorite fall activity? Anything having to do with apples. Going apple picking, eating a fresh apple cider donut, sipping warm apple cider while sitting around a fire. The more I think about it, I think apples just signify having a good time with friends.
  9. In this role, you'll be helping other people bring their maker projects to fruition, but what's the favorite project you've made? Picking a favorite project is challenging, but if I had to choose I would say the latest beehive that I built. Knowing that I was moving to DC, I designed it to look like the White House and am calling the bees the Beeden Administration! The hive is an original design of mine that took several years to iterate towards, and I actually 3D modeled the entire design on my computer before I began cutting any wood. I really enjoyed how this project combined my engineering knowledge and my artistry to produce a functional and beautiful result. If you’re interested in learning more about this hive, I created a short YouTube video discussing some of the hive features.
  10. If you didn’t work in your current field, what would you be doing? My background is actually in environmental engineering, so I guess I would be doing that! I studied engineering in college and then worked as a water systems engineer for a few years before deciding to move to DC. During the pandemic I even passed the Environmental Fundamentals of Engineering Exam and began accruing hours to become a licensed Professional Engineer. But then I found this Maker Hub job which sounded way more fun and interesting! I also think the Maker Hub provides such a wonderful environment for exploring the intersections between engineering and other disciplines like entrepreneurship, design thinking, and art.