Rodger Dalton

Chief Exploration Officer & Founder of Techsplorers

Dalton Family

One day when I was seven years old I found a set of small red books from a correspondence course that my father had taken at the National Radio Institute before I was born. They were filled with fascinating diagrams and schematic symbols of electrical circuits. I started reading at Book 1.

My passion for learning about electrical circuits, math, and science was born from my desire to tinker and create things of my own. I constantly pestered my parents to take me to Radio Shack to buy more parts, as the life-span of the components was rather short in my inexperienced hands. But through each burned-out LED and run-down battery, my love of science and technology grew stronger. Mom was frequently summoned to examine my latest successful creation and I was always encouraged by my family.

Since then I've enjoyed a 22-year career as an electrical design engineer working on a variety of products from mobile MRI scanners to mail processing machines with a decade of experience designing advanced telecommunications systems. I hold 9 US and foreign patents in my specialization of Gigabit Passive Optical Network, and I was privileged to work with many other talented engineers to create the 7342 FTTU, which is the market leader in world wide GPON deployment.

I continue to work as a electrical design engineer through my own consulting firm so that I can stay focused on growing Techsplorers. I am working on an exciting new product for my client Motorola that I am dying to tell you about... but it's not released to the public yet!

In addition to my love of engineering I have always had a life long passion for teaching. I paid my way through undergraduate school at NC State (BSEE '92 magna cum-laude) by starting my own business tutoring 20 to 30 students per semester in physics, math, and engineering. I also developed curricula for and instructed ECE213, the first circuits laboratory course for electrical engineering majors.

Throughout my career in industry I have always enjoyed mentoring co-op students from local universities and have taken great pride in facilitating their growth and watching their ongoing success. When I returned to graduate school at Duke University in 2003 (MSEE '06), my passion for teaching was reignited by my participation in the Techtronics after-school program founded by Dr. Gary Ybarra.

My long time friend, Dr. Ybarra has dedicated his life to furthering the cause of engineering education. He is the principal investigator for several national-scale education programs funded by the National Science Foundation and other sponsors. Dr. Ybarra also served for over a decade as the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering where he is a faculty member. His constant and abiding encouragement and support has inspired me to follow my passions and to create Techsplorers. I can never thank Dr. Ybarra enough.

The vision of Techsplorers is to inspire passion for learning in young minds the same way those old red correspondence books did for me so many years ago. By helping students to develop the confidence to experiment and tinker on their own, a groundswell of natural motivation occurs. Fueled by their innate curiosity to learn, to explore, and to understand the world around them — made fully aware of and confident in their own limitless potential — they can ride a wave of motivation that can overcome all obstacles and will carry them to boundless achievement in life.

I am living proof that this can happen. I have fostered it in and witnessed it first hand in the students I have tutored and mentored. And now, with your support and our shared vision for our children's future, we are going to expand this concept to a larger scale.

I've had a lot of fun designing circuits and I've taken great satisfaction in creating cutting edge high tech products. My engineering career in industry was immensely rewarding and wonderful. But now I clearly see that something much greater is possible. These motivated kids will collectively accomplish far more than any one man ever could in a single lifetime.

Come with me. Let's take a journey and go Techsploring together!