I am James Bevington an engineer turned mad scientist. My research question: is there life in the solar system? Currently, I address this question by sending Earth microbes to the International Space Station to understand how they respond to space flight. I also employ synthetic biology in much the same way that a curious child takes apart a toy to understand how it works. Both of these efforts cross engineering and biology requiring interdisciplinary skills which match my unique experience. My diverse training often positions me at the center of multidisciplinary teams where I can translate technical information and apply my leadership skills to apply pioneering approaches in research.