was raised on National Geographic and Life magazines, and the golden age of television back when those outlets were the only way for most folks to see the world “and all that is in it”. A Boomer and member of the Space Race generation, he’d taken naturally to the idea that science and a spirit of exploration could not only get us to the stars but also build a better, fairer and saner world here on earth. That was then, this is now.
Trained as an illustrator and graphic designer, he worked for Bechtel Power Corporation during the time of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. There he learned to work on monumental and international projects with a large and multi-ethnic group of colleagues. On the other hand, growing up so near to Detroit, he intentionally avoided a career with the auto industry at a time when “Opera Windows” was the most innovative thing that American cars had to offer the world.
Most of his career has been as a freelance and at the University of Michigan College of Engineering where he contributed two and a half decades helping to advance science and industrial innovation. He’s also been active with community, environmental and governmental causes and participated closely in a successful resistance against the building of a huge hazardous waste-handling enterprise near his home. That experience was a further challenge of orchestrating a wide range of neighbors, from people of the land to those in the professions, in common cause. Besides writing constantly for many private and public involvements, he’s illustrated or otherwise contributed to ten textbooks on subjects ranging from naval architecture to manufacturing engineering.
Rod lives with his wife and much of his family near Ann Arbor, Michigan, “…on the border of fantasy and reality” as his neighbors say, close enough to enjoy it but far enough away to not have to put up with it on a regular basis. After retiring from the “U” he started studying the special relationship that grandparents, unabashedly, share with their grandchildren. In a career of writing and illustrating spanning nearly 40 years, Rod has always focused on understanding over hysteria, facts in place of hyperbole, and real adventure in place of horse feathers (well, except when it comes to his grandkids of course!).