I got my start as a competitive lock picker, first learning from Barry Wels at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference in 2006. Some good friends convinced me to attend his talk on locks and lockpicking and I was mesmerized. A short time later I joined the board of The Open Organisation of Lockpickers, US, where I served for 1 year, eventually leaving to pursue my own projects. I competed in the Dutch Open and Defcon's lock picking contests for several years, winning a Black Badge in the process.
I began teaching others, starting at my local hacker space. The more I taught, the more I learned, until I developed a broad expertise in mechanical security. Over the years I've trained everyone from mystery authors, law enforcement and even toy designers. I continue to do individual and small group training right in my home in Cambridge, MA, and at conferences, universities, really anywhere in the world people want to know about locks.
I love locks as much, if not more, than I love lockpicking. A couple years ago I realized that I could spend my life constantly keeping up with every new advance in digital security, and how to bypass it, or I could turn my attention to the past and begin learning everything that happened before I first discovered locks. Today, though I do keep up on modern technology, my main fields of research relate to how different cultures have related to, changed and been changed by physical security over the last several millenia.
I'm a speaker too! From tech to history, to the cultural significance of mechanical security, I like nothing more than to talk locks with anyone who wants to listen. Here's a recent talk I gave at TEDxSomerville, titled simply "Locks are Beautiful."
You can find more of my talks on the Videos page, and if you have a conference or event you'd like me to speak at, feel free to get in touch!