Olin G. Lathrop
Groton, MA 01450
(firstname.lastname@example.org no longer valid)
Last updated April 2020
Note: This resume is kept at www.embedinc.com/olin.
If you are reading a copy, please check there for the official version.
Electrical engineer with 40 years of experience. Strong
background in other areas, like firmware, software, physics, and
math. Experience leading engineering teams through all development
Technical leader and contributor that is responsible for overall
architecture, coordinates engineering efforts across disciplines, and
leads and grows junior engineers.
- Looking at big picture needed for system architecture and
coordination of projects at the technical level.
- Good background in physics, math, and software to be the key
person tying together inter-disciplinary projects.
- Experience in getting products into production and "out the
- Small embedded systems and microcontrollers.
- Analog electronics, digital electronics, and board design.
- Embedded software and firmware, including assembly language.
- Speaks fluent German.
2015 to present
Chief Engineer and Engineering Manager at Jowa USA, Littleton MA. Jowa is a
worldwide company, with the USA group specializing in measuring tank
levels, primarily on cargo ships.
- Various embedded microcontroller designs related to products
that measure tank levels and draft, then interface to ship systems.
Personally designed the circuits, boards, and low levels of the
firmware. Managed others that designed the firmware higher levels,
host software, performed drafting, etc.
- Created coherent CAN-based architecture for new products going
forwards. This concept has been realized in several new products,
with more in the pipeline.
- Worked on and coordinated design of updated products to replace
old ones, from concept to setting up production. Old products
needed replacing mostly due to using obsolete parts.
- Oversaw the design and personally designed the electronics and
firmware for the new Jowa Ag-S, which is a integrated silver-ion
water treatment system.
- Key contributor to research on using electrical means of adding
controlled amount of silver to drinking water for disinfection.
Developed proprietary algorithms for the Ag-S as a result.
- Instituted HTML-based indexing of internal documentation and
drawings. It was previously difficult to find all the drawings
relating to a particular product or part.
- General technical resource in a small company. Included dealing
with issues that arose in manufacturing, diagnose and repair custom
machines when they fail, etc.
1998 to 2015
Principal of Embed Inc, a custom engineering and consulting company
specializing in embedded systems.
- Various digital closed loop control systems. These
included controlling a solenoid-driven valve to maintain a set
pressure, controlling fillament power and high voltage to get the
desired output from a x-ray tube, and motor controllers.
- Various switching power supply and power conversion
projects. Invented and developed new algorithms in this
- Various microcontroller-based motor control projects, including
brushless DC motors.
- Distributed devices on a CAN bus. Developed EmCan, a protocol layer
above CAN that provides common infrastructure for many individual
sensors, actuators, and other devices within a system.
- Small wearable tags that receive data from fixed stations via
ultrasound. Included designing low power ultrasound front end
amplifier and receiver (35 µA at 3 V with >1000 gain at 40
- Rechargeable battery management.
- Circuits and firmware where low power usage was a high
- Various data loggers, some examples: Heart rate, speed,
and other parameter during a bicycle ride. Live telemetry
from body-mounted motion sensors during a golf swing. Data
from passive IR sensors to detect a human falling within their
- Signal processing on a host computer and on dedicated embedded
signal processors. One project included automatic detection
and subsequent reduction of repetetive noise.
- High accuracy analog circuit for measuring micrometer
deflections of LVDT probes.
- Rotating LED
displays, which included transferring data and significant power
over a rotating interface. High end version contained 96
full-color LEDs requiring 75 Watts of power.
Simulator. Created the system for making the hundreds of
cockpit control and sense signals available to the master software
via a procedural interface.
- Designed fixtures and jigs for production test and
diagnostics. Worked with a external mechanical engineer to
develop a easily customizable basic platform for circuit board
testing, used several times for different projects.
- Created Embed's PIC
development environment for firmware for Microchip PIC
Includes extensive PIC assembler
preprocessor and macro library that provide features not present
in the native tools, such as symbolic global 1-bit flags, symbolic
handling of individual I/O pins, floating point, better macros,
- Created TCP/IP network stack in assembler on a PIC 18 which has
been used in several products since then.
- Created the physical products that Embed
sells. This included conception, hardware and firmware
design, and setting up volume production.
- Established relations and experience with external resources
like mechanical engineering, industrial design, driver development,
and volume production that can be called on as needed for specific
projects. This includes a excellent working relationship with
a factory in Serbia where we have had over a dozen different items
produced in volumes from less than 100 to over 1000 pieces, both for
our own purposes and for our customers.
October 2004 to April 2008
Electrical and firmware engineer for Radianse in Andover MA.
Radianse was a startup company creating indoor location systems to
track equipment, staff, and patients in hospitals. Activities
- Design of the new model 410 receiver. Receives RF
telemetry and IR signature from active RFID tags, decodes and
verifies the data, then passes it on to the main server via
TCP. Production cost below original target.
- Developed firmware for all the RFID tags, and consulted on their
- General resource as needed to help get products through
- Researched alternate algorithms for determining tag
- Co-inventor of several of the Radianse patents.
1988 to 1998
Co-founder and Principal of Cognivision Inc, which originally
provided data visualization software and related products and services
to scientists and engineers. Cognivision eventually
transitioned to a consulting company and was renamed Embed Inc (see
above). Specific experiences included:
- Custom training and consulting in computer graphics.
- Created software portability environment for high end graphics
application to run on different platforms with no source code
- Created software for automatic translation of Pascal to C as
part of the build process.
1986 to 1988
Design engineer at Apollo Computer. Key contributer to
architecture of DN10000VS graphics controller, and helped coordinate
project at a technical level. The DN10000VS was the first
commercial workstation to incorporate industry leading graphics
features such as alpha buffering, texture mapping, quadratic
interpolation, and sub-pixel addressing. Major contributer to
theory and algorithms for the advanced features, and co-inventor of
several patents relating to the DN10000VS.
1982 to 1986
Engineer for Raster Technologies, a manufacturer of computer
graphics display controllers. Major contributer to the 3D
products. Included designing instruction set, writing host
software, embedded firmware, micro-code, and hardware design of a
floating point 3D processor.
1980 to 1982
Engineer at Hewlett Packard's New Jersey Division. Designed
digital and analog instrumentation circuits for data acquisition and
process control products.
1974 to 1980
Various on-campus jobs while working towards master's degree.
Wrote operating system for a mini-computer in assembler.
Designed and built analog testbed for researching charge coupled
device (CCD) integrated circuits. System programmer for
Interactive Computer Graphics Center.
Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute in May 1980. BS in EE from RPI, May
1978. Courses focused on electrical engineering with strong
software background and experience.
- Lathrop, O., Digitally Controlled Power Factor
Correction, Circuit Cellar Ink, #174, January 2005, p. 56.
- Lathrop, O.,
The Way Computer Graphics Works, introductory book on
computer graphics published by John Wiley and Sons in 1997, ISBN
- Lathrop, O.; Kirk, D.; Voorhies D., Accurate Rendering by
Subpixel Addressing, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications,
September 1990, pages 45-53.
- Kirk, D.; Voorhies, D., The Rendering Architecture of the
DN10000VS, Computer Graphics, Vol. 24, No. 4, August 1990, pages
- Voorhies, D; Kirk, D.; Lathrop O., Virtual Graphics,
Computer Graphics, Vol. 22, No. 4, August 1988, pages 247-253.
- US patent 7,411,378, Power factor controller that computes
currents without measuring them.
- US patent 7,403,111, Location system using a first signal to
gate a second signal.
- US patent 7,053,831, Location system.
- US patent 6,730,047, Head gear including a data augmentation
unit for detecting head motion and providing feedback to the head
- US patent 6,597,359, Hierarchical space subdivision hardware
for ray tracing.
- US patent 5,109,481, Quadratic interpolation for shaded image
- US patent 5,097,427, Texture mapping for computer graphics
display controller system.
- US patent 4,857,901, Display controller utilizing attribute
Other Professional Activities
- Taught Advanced Assembler Techniques at the 2011 annual
Microchip Masters conference.
- Taught Using PIC 10Fs as Switching Power Supply Controllers
at the 2006 annual Microchip Masters conference.
- Two terms as chair of the local Boston SIGGRAPH chapter, July 1996 -
- Instructor in the SIGGRAPH course Introduction to Computer
Graphics from 1997-2000.
- Chair and instructor in the SIGGRAPH course Fundamentals and
Overview of Computer Graphics from 1987-1994.
- Chair and instructor in the SIGGRAPH course State of the Art
in Data Visualization in 1989.
photography, and other outdoor activities. Serves as
appointed member of the Groton MA Conservation Commission, Trails
Committee, and the Invasive Species Committee. Licensed pesticide
applicator in MA, and performs such work as a volunteer for the the
Invasive Species Committee. Leads hikes for the Trails Committee and the
Appalachian Mountain Club. Referees youth soccer.