A Tri-City native has been named the 2013 Tri-Cities Engineer of the Year for his work on devices that range from radiation detectors to robotic fish.
Mitchell Myjak has lived up to his promise as a former co-valedictorian of Kamiakin High in Kennewick and valedictorian at the University of Portland, according to his nomination by the Richland Section of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
Myjak, a senior research engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, develops electronics, algorithms and systems for a variety of applications.
In the past three years, he has worked on the GammaTracker, a handheld device that is able to detect the presence of gamma rays, measure their energy and then use that information to determine the isotope and the direction from which they are coming.
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He also has worked on a robotic fish that can measure hydraulic forces and contact with structures that fish may experience as they pass through dam turbines. In another project to learn more about salmon, he's worked on an acoustic transmitter tag that's small enough to inject into juvenile fish.
Myjak began working at PNNL under a graduate fellowship in 2004 and joined the staff in 2006 after earning a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering at Washington State University.
Myjak also is a church organist and a foster and adoptive parent.
The Washington Society of Professional Engineers announced Myjak's honor at the Tri-Cities Engineers Week banquet Friday.