Keeping it short, I started in mechatronics, fell into microprocessor design for High Performance Computing (HPC) via FPGAs, and am now working in BigData software for science.
Having hung around in the grey area between hardware and software, and the "pale green"(?) area between science and engineering, for 10+ years now I'm still doing a bit of each and everything in between. Currently I'm using it all to combine the emerging tech of UASs (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) and IOT infrastructure, with BigData and HPC tools (because sensor small data grows up and wants standards and analytics surprisingly fast), to create and enable new mechanisms for science data capture and management.
I think all things open-source (hardware and software), everything embedded, and anything adding practically useful value to humanity, is cool engineering. Finally South Africa is home - and it rocks, see background pictures - but I'm currently having fun and learning loads as a PostDoc in Pasadena California USA (Funded by University of Southern California, Based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Science Standardised Embedded Data infrastructure for Drones (SSEDD). With some ESIP FundingFriday hardware money I'm working to build a software stack that will make turning any suitable off-the-shelf UAS into a scientific monitoring platform without the need for a complete engineering team. V0.1 coming to github soon, AGU 2015 Fall meeting design poster here
High throughput streaming data with Apache Kafka. See my ApacheCon BigData Europe talk slides, paper on its way.
J Wyngaard, L Barbieri, F Peterson, Standardised Science Data infrastructure for Drones, American Geophysical Union Fall meeting 2015, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for Earth Systems Monitoring, Natural Hazard Assessment, and Emergency Response II Posters
J Wyngaard, M Starch, High throughput Kafka for Science, ApacheCon BigData Europe 2015
Kiri L. Wagstaff, David R. Thompson, Shakeh Khudikyan, Jane Wyngaard, Adam T. Deller, Divya Palaniswamy, Steven J. Tingay, and Randall B. Wayth (Under review), A Machine Learning Classifier for Radio Transient Detection at the VLBA
J Wyngaard, M Inggs, J Collins, B Farrimond, Towards a many-core architecture for HPC , 23rd IEEE Conference on Field Programmable Logic and Applications (FPL), 2013