Olin G. Lathrop
Groton, MA 01450
(email@example.com no longer valid)
Last updated May 2014
Note: This resume is kept at www.embedinc.com/olin. If
reading a copy, please check there for the official
Electrical engineer with 30+ years of experience. Good background
in other areas, like firmware, software, physics, and math.
Experience leading engineering teams at the technical level through all
Direct technical 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.
- Software and firmware, including assembly language.
- Speaks fluent German.
1998 to Present
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 view.
- 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
- 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, and other features.
- 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 included:
- 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. Design
included five microcontrollers for system management and control of
switching power supplies, the network interface, and decoding the data
from the analog outputs of two RF receivers. 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
manufacturing. Included writing some specifications and programs
for production test and calibration.
- 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
- Custom training and consulting in computer graphics.
- Created software portability environment for high end graphics
application to execute on different platforms without 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
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
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
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 0-471-13040-0.
- 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 motion.
- US patent 6,597,359, Hierarchical space subdivision
hardware for ray tracing.
- US patent 5,109,481, Quadratic interpolation for shaded
- 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 - July 2000.
- 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 Trails Committee in the town of Groton MA and helps maintain the
trails network in
town. Referees youth soccer.