Shaun M. Gill is a maker and leader at heart. Fascinated by scientific equipment and motivated to help others, he uses his mechanical aptitude to enable colleagues and students with specialized tools, equipment, and facilities, and coach them in applied skills. Trained as a marine scientist with an engineer trapped inside, Shaun thrives wherever tools, science, and creativity overlap.
A fateful visit with the high school guidance counselor led Shaun to believe that he could not pursue his dual interests of skilled trades and science. Frustrated, Shaun chose to pursue a career in science. He immediately felt that in abandoning his skilled trades interests that he abandoned a large part of himself.
Throughout high school, Shaun worked labor and skilled trades jobs to help make ends meet and found that they satisfied his technical curiosities. He continued this pattern while earning his biology degree and also explored medical and pharmaceutical laboratory support.
Shaun's marine science career began in 2002 with acceptance into graduate school where he lobbied for the creation of an Assistant Harbormaster position. By day, Shaun turned wrenches and captained university boats, and by night, he studied marine biology. One day, that role positioned Shaun for a fateful conversation with a scientist who needed an underwater video system built. Shaun offered to duplicate the video system in exchange for a permanent key to the dormant university machine shop. For five years, Shaun utilized that shop as a conduit for integrating trades and science; it was a defining chapter in Shaun's career.
Since 2002, Shaun has supported science with tools and creativity. Proof of concept and feasibility exploration became Shaun's particular niche. He specialized in technical improvisation - which is a lot like the famous Apollo 13 (1995) movie scene known as "Square peg in a round hole". He also developed the ability to translate the languages of skilled trades, science, and engineering.
Shaun spent thirteen years working in higher education and providing specialized research and operational support, progressing from the workshop to leading day-to-day research facility operations. He has worked with dozens of amazing researchers and students across multiple institutions and is delighted to remain a technical resource for his colleagues.
Traditionally a solo builder, learning to lead interdisciplinary teams taught Shaun to appreciate and leverage the power of collective thought and talent.
In 2012, Shaun led the implementation of strategic plans and managed renovations and projects that transformed research facilities with the design and fabrication of prototype equipment that laid foundations for new research portfolios.
Subscribing to Albert Bandura's concept of 'guided mastery’, Shaun began mentoring students in the design and fabrication of their own research tools. Seeing his science students develop trade skills and creative confidence reminded Shaun of Mike Rowe's "Work Smart and Hard" campaign and that Mike got crummy advice from his guidance counselor too.
Interests in modern maker initiatives and workforce development led Shaun to a unique opportunity to establish and launch a modern manufacturing program, experiencing firsthand, the challenges of mastering modern technology and closing the skills gap. Shaun is developing this website to help share interdisciplinary possibilities between skilled trades and science.
Shaun is developing this website to help share interdisciplinary possibilities between skilled trades and science and the benefits it can creates. He is looking for ways to help with workforce development, close the skills gap, and reach across disciplinary boundaries. He is always interested in talking shop, introducing folks to tools, and instilling creative confidence in others with hopes of helping others find a path to creative engagement.
Shaun will continue to shape and share his story so that someday no one will have to choose like he did.
Shaun is an outdoor and water enthusiast currently residing on Florida's Suncoast with his wife Nicole, and two cats who shall remain nameless. You can learn more about Shaun's professional career here and can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.