Michael Narong Smitasin
(May 1985 - Present) is an American cyber security engineer with a background in the Research & Education community. An alumnus of the University of Oregon, he also served as an IT Consultant with the School of Architecture & Allied Arts from August 2008 to January 2012. Smitasin was responsible for the implementation of asset management and technology needs assessment in the Department of Art, and the adoption of centralized task management and documentation systems in A&AA Computing Services. During 2012, he assumed the responsibilities of virtualization and storage administrator in LTD's VMware and NetApp environments, in addition to his regular technician duties. During mid-year 2013, Smitasin relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and accepted a position with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, an unclassified Office of Science facility operated on contract by the University of California in the hills behind the UC Berkeley campus. As a cyber security engineer, he is tasked with building and operating systems to protect, secure, and support the Lab's open-science mission.
Early Life and Career
Michael Smitasin was born in Portland, Oregon. His father is Vatcharachai Smitasin, a retired programmer analyst for the Oregon Department of Human Services. His mother is Gina Smitasin, an independent landscape designer. He has one sibling, Abigail Smitasin, a Managing Director with PricewaterhouseCoopers' Audit and Assurance Services in Tucson, Arizona. His father's family was Chinese, and in the late 1940s, following the rise of the People's Republic of China, emigrated to Bangkok, Thailand and later to the United States. He graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Eugene, Oregon in 2003 and the University of Oregon in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Arts.
After college, Smitasin spent a year in Corporate IT for the fashion retailer Nordstrom, Inc. in Seattle, Washington. In August 2008 he returned to the University of Oregon as an IT Consultant for the School of Architecture & Allied Arts. A year later, his position was expanded to provide support for non-standard uses of technology in the Department of Art, working closely with the Digital Arts program. In January of 2012, he accepted a position with Lane Transit District, providing support for Information Technology within Lane county's transportation agency. Shortly after his 28th birthday, Smitasin moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and began volunteering for the Internet Archive. In August of 2013, he was offered a position with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as a Network Engineer, and in 2016 was made Principal Network Engineer. In May of 2018, he joined the Lab's Cyber Security group to work on problems of large scale intrusion detection and big data analysis.
Joining the Golden Gate Running Club in March 2018, Smitasin became a regular runner, and unexpectedly ran his first race, the Urban Coyote Oakland Redwoods 10K in July 2018 where he placed 2nd overall. He would then go on to run the 2018 Alameda Running Festival Half Marathon, the 2019 Eugene Marathon, the 2019 Berkeley Half Marathon, the 2019 San Francisco Christmas Relays, and the 2020 San Francisco Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k.
5K: 00:22:02 (Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k 2020-01-12)
10K: 00:53:27 (Urban Coyote Oakland Redwoods 2018-07-28)
Half: 01:38:40 (Berkeley Half Marathon 2019-11-17)
Full: 03:37:32 (Eugene Marathon 2019-04-28)
Smitasin was introduced to Club Racing at Portland International Raceway by his uncle, Skip Yocom. After working on Rampant Racing's pit crew for several years, he participated in his first driver's school around 2006, and has since attended several High Performance Driving Events in Oregon and Washington. A close friend, Gabe McGinnis, introduced him to autocross with the Emerald Empire Sports Car Club in 2010, where he competed in the BSP class with his 1995 BMW M3. After selling the BMW back to his brother-in-law, Todd Fink, he acquired a 2001 Mazda Miata which he race-prepped and competed with during the 2012 season before selling it on to a fellow enthusiast in the San Diego area. He has since purchased a second Miata, a 2016 Mazda MX-5 GT in Soul Red.
Beginning with side-scrolling shooters such as Commander Keen and Duke Nukem in the early 1990s, Smitasin has had a long and diverse relationship with computer gaming. His first foray into the realm of 3D shooters was with Apogee's iconic Wolfenstein 3D, followed later by Doom, Quake, and Half-Life. In addition to entertainment, these also presented an opportunity to delve into the world of 3D modeling and texturing. Smitasin tried his hand at level and weapon design, contributing to a handful of community-driven modifications to the Quake and Half-Life engines. Around 1999 he was introduced to the world of MMORPGs with Ultima Online, an isometric fantasy scroller from Electronic Arts (then Origin Systems). Years of online gaming would follow: Anarchy Online, Dark Age of Camelot, Star Wars Galaxies, Shadowbane, Asheron's Call, Planetside, Eve Online, Hellgate: London, Tabula Rasa, and World of Warcraft. Smitasin is currently making his way through the Dark Souls series, with occasional breaks to play tabletop boardgames - mostly Settlers of Catan, Small World, and Dominion.