Kevin Lacaille

I am a

About

I love to learn

astrophysicist → software engineer.

🔭 I was an observational astronomer working in the field of galaxy evolution and dynamics, where I used the world's best telescopes to look deep into space, and back in time, to a time when galaxies were younger and and more violent than they are today.

⭐ By studying their galactic dust and gas heated by exploding stars and active black holes, I uncovered how galaxies use them to fuel their star formation.

👨‍💻 I applied my knowledge in both physics and astrophysics to create innovative computer vision and image processing algorithms for aerospace and maritime technology in industry.

🛰️ Now, I develop tools to empower fellow scientists and developers to explore the Earth at with Planet Labs' tiny satellites!

I love to teach

8

Unique astrophysics projects

26

Published papers

(peer-reviewed)

811

Citations

1133

Reads

(past 90 days)

Skills

I primarily develop in Python, version controlling using git on GitHub & GitLab. I am currently learning C++, SQL, and web development! Below are the relative strengths for the languages and tools I use in my stack:

Python 100%
MATLAB 90%
C++ 40%
bash 60%
git 80%
PostgreSQL 30%

Resume

Summary

Kevin Lacaille

Innovative & enthusiastic Software Engineer with 6+ years of experience developing intuitive and user-friendly APIs, novel computer vision solutions, data science frameworks, image processing techniques, in both industry and academia.

Professional Experience

Software Engineer

Planet Labs, Remote, Canada
2021 - present
Developer Relations
  • Developing tools to enable and empower fellow scientists and developers to do amazing things using Planet's APIs and imagery.
  • Working on developing code examples and demo apps, contributing to open source developer tools and libraries, and create code-focused tutorials.
    Notebooks repo
  • Developing Planet's Python SDKs, including a Python client library and command line interface (CLI) for Planet's public API.
    CLI repo
  • Creating an end-to-end data project for Planet APIs in Python.
    Planet School
  • Maintaining documentain for Planet developer tools and APIs.
    Developer Center
  • Python: asyncio, click, httpx, Rasterio, NumPy, Matplotlib
    Web Dev: HTML, JS, CSS, Redoc, Jinja, Pelican
    Tool: git, bash, Docker, Atlassian Tools, OpenAPI, GitHub & GitLab, Jupyter Notebooks, JupyterHub
    OS: MacOS

Algorithm Engineer

L3Harris WESCAM, Burlington, ON
2019 - 2021
Advanced Processing Team
  • The lead algorithm developer for two novel infrared-based imaging systems.
  • Developed the core object detection, multi-target tracking, track to track association, and track fusion algorithms for multiple imaging systems.
  • Collaborated with multiple teams to develop a synthetic data generator, which allows for ad hoc generation of synthetic scenery, resulting in a massive reduction in labour hours spent in gathering field imagery.
  • Refactored and updated an in-house ground truth and data ingestion application, maintained the optical flow model (FlowNet2) and incorporated an object classifier (YOLOv4).
  • Lead a team of 5 for process improvement related to unit testing guidelines, code styling, code guidelines, git workflow, and code reviews.
  • Python: Matplotlib, NumPy, OpenCV, Pytorch, Tensorflow, Keras, SciPy, Scikit-learn
    MATLAB: Image Processing, Computer Vision, Signal Processing, Deep Learning
    Tools: git, bash, Docker, Atlassian Tools
    OS: Linux

Research Assistant

McMaster University, Hamilton, ON
Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
2012 - 2019
  • Developed spectral line fitting algorithms, modelled galaxy's dynamics, and used statistical analysis to uncover distant galaxies.
  • Designed algorithms to align obscured star maps to unprecedented accuracy to measure small changes in a star's luminosity.
  • Python: Matplotlib, NumPy, SciPy, Pandas, AstroPy, AplPy, PyFits, Galpak
    Tools: git, Starlink, CASA, LaTeX
    OS: Linux, MacOS

Resident Scientist

East Asian Obervatory, Hilo, HI
2016
  • Assisted in commissioning of an instrument on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT)
  • Conducted >450 hrs of scientific observations with the JCMT's legacy and prototype instruments
  • Python: Matplotlib, NumPy, AstroPy, AplPy, PyFits
    Tools: git, bash, Starlink
    OS: Linux

Education

Doctor of Philosophy (self-withdrew), Astrophysics

McMaster University, Hamilton, ON
2017 - 2019

Thesis title: "The nature of the interstellar medium of starbursts"

Master of Science, Physics

Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
2015 - 2017

Thesis title: "A sub-mm survey of far-IR protoclusters & the variability of protostars"

Bachelor of Science Honours, Physics & Math

Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
2011 - 2015

Thesis title: "Locating sub-mm galaxies within protoclusters at z>2"

Volunteering

Sketchy Run Club

Sketchy Run Club, Hamilton, ON
2020 - present
  • I help organize runs and I designed, built, and manage the club's webpage.
    Sketchy Run Club, Github repo
  • Stack: HTML, JS, CSS, Jekyll / Ruby, Bootstrap, Netlify