About me

Picture of meDane is a Principal Software Engineer at Acquia. He has been building enterprise Drupal websites since 2008. He has led and enabled technical teams across a variety industries on projects ranging in scale from one-off decoupled sites for conferences to multi-thousand tenant multisite platforms for financial services agencies. He works with customers and partners to transform business requirements into technical solutions that exceed expectations, enjoys solving hard problems, and always aims to enable customers and partners to do the same.

Dane is also an active member of and regular contributor to Drupal and the larger open-source community. He has contributed and maintained several enterprise modules, contributed over 1000 patches, commits, or pull requests, and is currently a maintainer of BLT, an automation framework for Drupal. He has also presented at several Drupal camps, with a focus on configuration management and automation.

Prior to joining the Drupal community, Dane was a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow at Rice University and Johnson Space Center, where he researched human-computer interaction and developed haptic teleoperation interfaces for NASA’s Robonaut program. His other interests include rock climbing, traveling, and spending time outdoors with my wife Teresa.

Drupal development

Drupal, a free open-source content-management system (CMS), is one of the world's most popular CMS platforms and used by sites including WhiteHouse.gov. I have developed and currently maintain a number of Drupal projects and web sites (see below). Some of my projects are hosted on drupal.org.

I am currently a technical architect at Acquia, responsible for the technical delivery of dozens of enterprise Drupal applications.


Human-in-the-Loop Control of a Bipedal Robot with Variable Levels of Autonomy

NASA's Robonaut 2 (R2) is a highly capable dexterous humanoid robot; taking full advantage of this capability and complexity, however, requires an intuitive and efficient control system. I augmented the standard mouse and keyboard teleoperative interface with a haptic device that allows for more intuitive and efficient control. This interface takes advantage of available sensor data and R2's on-board motion planning capabilities to assist the operator in performing tasks safely and efficiently. I also designed a software and hardware interface that integrates pressure data from a tactile sensing array into ROS.

Improved touch sensing for the Haptic Creature

The haptic creature is a fur-covered robot designed to assist children with emotional and developmental difficulties. It can react to human input, such as stroking or poking, by purring, breathing, and raising its ears. I designed, implemented, and analyzed a new touch-sensing suite based on quantum tunneling composites.


Powell, D, O'Malley, MK. 2012. The Task-Dependent Efficacy of Shared-Control Haptic Guidance Paradigms. IEEE Transactions on Haptics.

Powell, D, O'Malley, MK. 2011. Efficacy of Shared-Control Guidance Paradigms for Robot-Mediated Training. IEEE World Haptics Conference.