Douglas graduated from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, in June 1979. His first job was with Texas Instruments, where he was given the honor of being the only junior engineer awarded 'key contributor'. He then started his own system design house, Advanced Electronic Packaging Corp., solving packaging problems for many of the major corporations in the United States, for over 20 years.
In 2010 he pursued the graduate program at the University of California, Riverside, investigating the packaging of microfluidics. He wished to apply microfluidics in preventive medicine. He applied a multidisciplinary approach to developing a FRET based system for measuring Kd values. Optics and its integration into microfluidics for measuring FRET, presented challenges in cost, calibration, and control.