Mark Micire’s unique work experience and education have been able to help people in their darkest hour.
With an undergraduate and master’s degree in computer science, and a specialty in robotics, Micire designs robotics systems that help coordinate efforts at search and rescue sites. With the ability to operate such specialized equipment, the Florida native was called to the site of the World Trade Center in 2001 to aid in search and rescue efforts. The experience was life defining, prompting him to train as a certified firefighter and expand his work in robotics.
He started his own business, designing search and rescue equipment based on the specific needs and challenges of a first responder. It was during this time that he was in touch with UMass Lowell’s Prof. Holly Yanco, with whom he had collaborated on grants. It was Yanco who proposed he consider a Ph.D. program at UMass Lowell under her tutelage.
“I came to UMass Lowell specifically to work with Prof. Yanco,” he says. “The people working in her lab come out as better scientists and better people.”
“Prof. Yanco has been an incredible mentor and has shown me the importance of networking and collaborating,” he says. “She has shown me that you might have one piece of the puzzle and someone has another piece.  By going to conferences, getting published and getting your work out there, it helps to put it all together.”
Micire has accepted a job as a research scientist at Carnegie Mellon University’s NASA Ames Research Center in Calif. When he’s not working in the lab, he volunteers his time one weekend a month as a technical search specialist for FEMA.