Sam DeRose  |  Freelance Mechanical Engineer

Click here to edit subtitle


I'm a lifelong engineer and designer located in the Bay Area, California. Curently I'm providing quick-turn mechancial engineering, prototyping, and small-batch manufacturing services specifically indended for small hardware-based startups and companies. 

Recent Projects

Hockey Player Tracking System

Sports Media Tech & NHL Fremont CA, 2019 - current

Provided quick-turn mechanical design on a series of products which collectively provide player tracking for televised hockey games. The most notable being a suitcase-sized device which charges and programs an array of player tracking units, and is comprised of 1200 parts. Manufactured 35 of these devices on a tight schedule and delivered on time.

Unmanned Data-Collecting Ocean Vehicles

Saildrone Alameda CA, 2016 - 2018

Saildrones are unmanned vehicles powered by the wind and sun which collect oceanographic data for months on end in brutal ocean environments. 

Designed, prototyped, and manufactured numerous components for these vehicles, everything from waterproof enclosures for electronics, injection molded housings for high-end sensors, and brushless motor enclosures, to custom composite structures, including tooling and molds.

Involved in aspects of the overall system design as well as deployments off the coasts of California, Washington, and Alaska. Worked closely with electrical and firmware engineers, composites technicians, boat builders, engineers from NOAA and sensor manufactures, and numerous suppliers. 

Other Work Experience

Content and Lab Intern

Maker Media Lab,  San Francisco, CA | May - August 2015

I generated content for Make magazine and, created 6 projects of my own design, helped setup the new Make Labs location in San Francisco, and designed and built a rustic cabin set for Maker Camp (Make’s free “virtual summer camp” which encourages young kids to start making).

Workshop Teacher

The Marin MakerspaceMarin, CA | May - August 2015

On the weekends, I taught classes and workshops at a startup makerspace. I developed the curriculum and provided materials for workshops such as molding and casting with silicone and resin, and vacuum forming with polystyrene.

Project and Kit Developer

Other Machine CompanySan Francisco, CA | May - August 2014 

Other Machine’s first product is the Othermill, an easy-to-use CNC mill for hobbyists and general prototyping. I explored new and creative ways to use the Othermill by developing projects for the company to showcase. Several of my projects are currently being sold as kits. 

Content Creator

Instructables.comSan Francisco, CA | June - August 2013 

I published new content for the website by working in Autodesk’s Pier 9 shop and at home in my garage workshop. I wrote 17 posts on everything from healthy recipes to replica movie props.

Exhibit Design & Fabrication

The ExploratoriumSan Francisco, CA June - July 2011 

I helped redesign and refurbish a Fresnel-absorption exhibit which displays the sun’s atmosphere’s absorption spectrum, and an AM radio exhibit which demonstrates the circuitry of a radio. 


Harvey Mudd College - Claremont, CA

Bachelor of Science, Engineering (focus in product design, development, and manufacturing) - May 2016

GPA: 3.83

Branson High School - Ross, CA

GPA: 3.7  - June 2012

Relevant Skills

Design Skills

Experienced in mechanical design with a number of materials: metal, plastics, wood, composite. 

User-centered design and product development

CAD/CAM Tools: SolidWorks, Eagle, Fusion 360, SketchUp

Other software: Illustrator, Photoshop

Manufacturing Skills

Machining: Mills, lathes, water jet, some CNC experience

Woodworking: Proficient in a range from rough construction to fine furniture making

Metalworking: MIG, oxy-cutting, plasma cutting, heat treating, forging, saws, shears, brakes

Composites & Plastics: Carbon fiber, silicone, urethane resins, molding & casting, fiberglass, vacuum forming

Electronics: General electronics, etching & milling PCBs, simple board design and layout, Arduino

General Crafts: Sewing, 3D-printing, laser cutting, vinyl cutting, cooking, baking, knitting, jewelry

Software Skills

Arduino, Matlab, LabVIEW, some iOS Development experience, Python

Relevant Courses

Experimental Engineering | Spring 2014

In this course I built a 5ft-tall rocket and designed a payload to record atmospheric data. The instrument package measures temperature, pressure, particulates in the air, and GPS coordinates, and logs the data to an onboard microprocessor. I used this data to construct models of these variables as a function of altitude. (see photos of the project under the "School Projects" section of my Portfolio page)

New Product Development | Spring 2015

This course focused on design and how to work with users. Each of us began by identifying user needs, and ended with a working prototype and a provisional patent. I developed an internet-connected system that helps you cook. A module mounts above your stovetop and records the temperature of what you’re cooking with an IR sensor. This data is sent to an iPhone app which gives you real-time cooking instructions based on temperature and time. (see photos and video of the project under the "School Projects" section of my Portfolio Page)

Management of Technical Enterprise | Sprint 2015

This course taught the basics of leadership and management in an engineering company. We covered soft skills such as personality profiles and communication techniques, and also more technical areas like accounting and earnings reports. The final project was to assess a company and suggest improvements. 

Enterprise and the Entrepreneur | Fall 2015

In this class we learn how to start a startup: everything from identifying a market, building a great product, communicating with users, sales, marketing, and also how to budget time and money between these categories.   

Clinic: Engineering Capstone Projects

Clinic is Harvey Mudd’s engineering capstone program in which students work for a company on a design challenge for a year. Engineers participate in Clinic for one semester of their Junior year, and all year during their Senior year. 

Drogue Parachute Deployment, Blue Origin LLCFall 2014

As a junior, I helped my team developed a safer and cheaper way to deploy drogue parachutes from the crew capsule of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket. My main contribution was designing and building a test rig which allowed the team to test and collect data on different deployment designs. The rig was secured to a concrete slab that we poured, and was then used to fire off parachute projectiles at several hundred miles per hour. The deployments were measured with numerous pressure and force sensors, and a high-speed video camera. (see photos of the test rig under the "School Projects" section of my Portfolio page)

Clinic: Advanced Secondary Infusion System, CareFusion / Becton Dickinson2015-16

As a senior, my team and I developed a more reliable way for nurses to deliver secondary IVs to hospital patients. This project required a complete redesign of CareFusion’s secondary IV system. We met with nurses to obtain feedback on preliminary prototypes, and designing our next iterations of the device. As the leader of my team, I’m looking forward to developing my leadership skills as well as my technical capabilities.

Other Hobbies and Achievements:

 - Favorite activities: running, climbing, ultra-light backpacking and fastpacking.

 - Founding member of Harvey Mudd's makerspace and hardware hackathon.

 - Climbed several of Yosemite's most prominent rock features, including Half Dome and El Capitan. 

 - Hiked the John Muir Trail in 7 days.