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Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Los Angeles, 2018-present

  • Electronics lead for the development of a relativistic particle time of flight system

  • Architected high bandwidth, low power, 12 layer mixed signal data acquisition board using a Zynq 7000 SoM and specialized fast sampling ASIC

    • Expert knowledge/experience with DRS4 switched capacitor array ASIC

    • Contributed several improved revisions of board design (Altium Designer), including procurement of PCB fab and assembly with multiple domestic vendors

    • Lead and worked with small team of firmware engineers to develop custom ASIC control, DMA engine, data acquisition and packetization Verilog and VHDL code

    • Lead and contributed to software development (C, Python) for board DAQ and calibration modes as well as continuous monitoring (temp. and env. sense)

    • Extensive debugging experience fixing defects: rotated parts, I2C bus out of spec, large caps on clock lines, power on sequencing, reset sequencing, etc.

    • Familiar with Xilinx tools/work flow, building with Vivado and debugging with hardware server/manager and ILAs

    • Implemented git VCS system (GitLab hosted) for all aspects of development: Altium project, firmware and software and created Confluence workspace for troubleshooting

  • Supervised, debugged, optimized and characterized silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) preamp.

  • Construction of automated moderate throughput electrical and optical test stand for SiPM preamps (wrote Arduino sketches for stepper motor control and Python code for lab instrumentation control)

  • Consultant for design of isolated multirail (analog, digital and medium voltage) power distribution board

  • Contributed software for analysis of muon pulse data (lab testing source)

  • Contributed Geant4 code (C++) for the time of flight geometry

  • Contributed code for realistic response of time of fight electronics for Geant4 simulations

Grad. Student/Research Assistant, Case Western Reserve University, 2012-2017

  • Data acquisition system for Pierre Auger surface detector stations embedded in the Telescope Array (super giant cosmic ray air shower arrays)

    • Construction of custom SBC (RPi + adapters) for communication, control and continuous DAQ for surface detector (RS-232)

    • Implementation of comparator circuit for custom triggering of adjacent station for high rate showers (“local trigger”)

    • Contributed software for real time comparison of UTC microsecond timestamps between Pierre Auger and Telescope Array events (C, Python)

    • Contributed software for unpacking binary data and generating calibrated signal outputs and analysis of outputs (Python)

    • Contributed software for simulating events observed in with field with the CORSIKA and Auger Offline frameworks (C++, Python, bash)

  • Characterizing and quantifying the uncertainty of a large parameter space (32) galactic magnetic field model for use in arrival direction studies of ultrahigh energy cosmic rays

    • Modification of “CRT” (C++) numerical B-field solver to allow parameter sampling

    • Modification of “CRPropa” (Python) B-field solver to allow parameter sampling: more powerful framework that includes turbulent fields

    • Sensitivity analysis for a publicly available set of Pierre Auger arrival directions (Python)

    • Maintained several Dell PowerEdge blade servers in mini data center to help with high compute demand

Dept. of Energy Internship, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Summer 2011

  • Using ALTAIR radar data to characterize micrometeoroid orbits

    • Wrote MATLAB code to extract trajectory from radar range-time plots

    • Fit mixed 2D Gaussians to characterize orbit populations

    • Contributed code for beam and atmospheric effects to generate debiased flux map

NSF REU, Bucknell University, Summer 2010

  • Analysis of X-ray light curves from active galactic nuclei

    • Diagnostic tests: power spectral density, log-normal fitting, time reversibility, Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests (Python)

Faculty sponsored research, Rochester Institute of Technology, Summer 2009

  • Studying AGN nebulae kinematics

    • Continuum subtraction and fitting of mixed Gaussians to hydrogen spectral emission lines (Igor Pro)

College of Science Summer Research Scholar, Rochester Institute of Technology, Summer 2008

  • Studying AGN nebulae kinematics

Technical Skills


  • Compiled languages: C, C++, make, CMake

  • Python Scientific: numpy, scipy, matplotlib, pyroot, lmfit, astropy Machine learning: scikit-learn, pandas

  • Scripting: bash, tcl

  • Analysis: R, Matlab, Mathematica, ROOT (particle physics)

  • Operating systems: Linux (Debian/Ubuntu), Windows

  • Revision control: git, subversion

  • Laboratory instrumentation: SCPI, GPIB

  • Misc/other: HTML & CSS, LAMP stack, nginx, AWS & cloud, sysadmin, MediaWiki

Electronics design

  • Schematic capture, layout & routing, BOM and CAM file generation (Altium Designer)

  • Manufacturing: PCB fab and board loading with multiple domestic vendors

  • Simulation: LTSpice

  • High bandwidth analog signals (500 MHz)

  • Digital systems


  • Mechanical

    • Mill

    • Lathe

    • Vertical saw

    • Drill press

  • Electronics

    • THT soldering

    • SMT soldering: iron/heat gun

    • Cable crimping

      • Coax (LMR-200, RG58)

      • Lugs for power cable

      • Quick connect

Hardware experience

  • Electronics

    • Discriminators and comparators

    • Analog front ends: instrumentation op-amps, transimpedance amplifiers

    • Serial communication: I2C, UART

    • GPS receivers and timing modules

    • Function generators, pulse generators, frequency counters

    • Oscilloscopes: Tektronix, USB (Picoscope)

    • Zynq 7000 SoC

    • Spartan 7 FPGA

    • Raspberry Pi, Arduino

  • Particle physics detectors and methods

    • Scintillator

    • Water Cherenkov

    • Photomultipliers: Vacuum tube based (PMT), Silicon (SiPM)

    • Coincidencing

  • Computing

    • Networking: routers, switches

    • Web hosting: nginx, mediawiki

Peer Reviewed Publications

Journal Articles

  • Phase I of Auger at Telescope Array (Auger\@TA) in-situ surface detector cross-calibration, Pierre Auger Collaboration, Telescope Array Collaboration, in prep. for submission to JCAP

  • Cosmic antihelium-3 nuclei sensitivity of the GAPS experiment, N. Saffold et al., Astroparticle Physics, 130:102580, 2021

  • Cosmic-ray antinuclei as messengers of new physics: status and outlook for the new decade, P. von Doetinchem et al., Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2020:035, 2020

  • Pierre Auger publications:

  • Nicmos Polarimetry of Polar Scattered Seyfert 1 Galaxies, D. Batcheldor, A. Robinson, D.J. Axon, S. Young, S. Quinn, J.E. Smith, J. Hough, D.M. Alexander. The Astrophysical Journal, 738:90-98, 2011.


  • Recent Progress on the GAPS Time of Flight System, S. Quinn et al., Proc. of 36th Intl Cosmic Ray Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

  • GAPS: A New Cosmic Ray Anti-matter Experiment, S. Quinn et al., CIPANP 2018 Proceedings, 2018.

  • Auger at the Telescope Array: toward a direct cross-calibration of surface-detector stations, S. Quinn et al., Proc. of 35th Intl Cosmic Ray Conference, Busan, KR, 2017.

  • Auger at the Telescope Array: Recent Progress Toward a Direct Cross-Calibration of Surface-Detector Stations, S. Quinn et al., Proc. of 2016 UHECR Conference, Kyoto, JP, 2016.

  • Initial result of a direct comparison between the Surface Detectors of the Pierre Auger Observatory and the Telescope Array, R. Takeishi et al. Proc. of 34th Intl Cosmic Ray Conference, The Hague, NL, 2015.

Pierre Auger Internal Documents

  • A Monte-Carlo study of arrival direction uncertainty for the highest energy Herald events using the JF12 model, S. Quinn and C. Covault. Pierre Auger internal letter (GAP), 2016, 012, 2016.


  • APS FGSA Travel Award 2016

  • CWRU Graduate Dean’s Award for Instructional Excellence 2013

  • Astronomical Society of New York Research Paper Prize 2011

  • RIT Department of Physics Distinguished Research Scholar 2011

  • Julia A. and Charles F. Cala Nathaniel Rochester Society Scholarship 2009

Contributed Oral Presentations

  • Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics: Auger\@TA: current progress and future plans (2016)

  • Ettore Majorana Center Int’l School for Cosmic Ray Astrophysics: The turbulent galactic magnetic field (2014)

  • 217th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society: Non-linear Variability in 3C390.3 (2011)

  • Los Alamos Nat’l Lab 11th Student Symposium: Investigating the Origin of Sporadic Meteors (2011)

  • Astronomical Society of New York Spring Meeting: Detailed Nebular Diagnostics for the Host Galaxy of E1821+643 (2011)

  • Dept. of Physics (RIT) Capstone Presentation: Exploring the Nebulae of an Interesting Active Galaxy (2011)

  • Bucknell Dept. of Physics and Astronomy REU Talk: Non-Linear Variability in 3C 390.3 (2010)

  • College of Science (RIT) Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium: Investigating the Structure of AGN by Means of Comparing H$\alpha$ in Total and Polarized Flux (2009).

  • College of Science (RIT) Weekly Research Seminar: Probing AGN Inner Structure Using Polarized Light (2009), Using Spectroscopy to Detect Gas Flows Around Supermassive Black Holes (2008).

  • College of Science (RIT) Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium: Using Spectroscopy to Detect Gas Flows Around Supermassive Black Holes (2008).

Professional workshops

  • Codes in Astroparticle Research School, September 2014, Hamburg, Germany

  • Int’l School of Cosmic Ray Astrophysics 19th Course: Exploring the High Energy Universe, July 2014, Erice, Italy

  • Cottrell Scholars Collaborative National Teaching Assistant Workshop, May 2014, Atlanta, GA

Volunteer/service activities and outreach

  • The high energy astrophysics display: Programmed and created content for kiosk that allows visitors to interactively learn about cosmic rays and the Pierre Auger observatory. (Fall 2013)

  • Church of the Covenant Saturday Morning Tutoring Program, CWRU: Tutor high school students in math and physics. (Oct 2012–Jan 2013)

  • Proposal Reviewer, CWRU: Evaluated undergraduate research proposals. Written feedback was also provided to the students. (Feb 2012, 2013)

  • Rochester Roots: Assisted a local community food group with environmental research and database building to improve donor support. (September–November 2010)

Professional Affiliations

  • Sigma Pi Sigma, Physics Honor Society, May 2011—

  • American Physical Society, Early Career Member, August 2010—

  • American Astronomical Society, Junior Member, August 2010—2015