Who is K.E.C.?
Kurt Edward Clothier was raised on a small farm in Illinois surrounded by cows and cornfields and was instilled with invaluable traits from a very young age, being taught that honesty, hard work, and finishing what you start are the foundations of success. Summers were spent clearing the area's hay fields with the "crew" Kurt managed as well as manicuring the largest estate in the county. Kurt excelled in school and activities, and was eventually crowned Prom King and voted Best All Around and Most Likely to Succeed. He also worked part time with an auido/visual company that set up and ran the sound and lighting at concerts and shows - a gig he kept throughout college.
Kurt enrolled in the electrical engineering program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, making the Dean's list all
but one semester. Many projects were completed while at SIUE including
the Mousey Power Supply, ASLOC, and those in the Mobile Robotics Class. He graduated Cum Laude, on time, and with honors and was named the Most Outstanding Senior in Electrical and Computer Engineering by his department. In addition to taking tests, Kurt worked as a Resident Assistant in the dorms, managing a wing of 48 residents and providing tutoring, conflict mediation, crisis management, and social planning services for three years. In addition to this, he had been working at 62 Sports, an event planning company, managing events, overseeing volunteer groups as well as staff members, and maintaining warehouse equipment.
After graduating, Kurt went to work for Midcoast Aviation, a local company that provided maintenance and completion services for large aircraft, serving as a liaison between the engineering and installation teams. When University Housing learned he was planning to attend grad school they offered him a position as an Assistant Hall Director, but his newly received Competitive Graduate Award specified that he was not to work on campus during his first year. During this time, Kurt was also married to his long-time college girlfriend who worked as a nurse in St. Louis. He was soon approached by one of his professors to work on a graduate project leading to Insomniac and an eventual publishing in the Hindawi Journal of Robotics. During his final year, Kurt served as a Teaching Assistant, grading papers and maintaining the control systems and Unix-based networking labs.
With his master's degree in hand, Kurt looked to start a career, but his lack of professional experience mixed with a stale economy made for tough hiring conditions. After a few months of unsuccessful searching, a decision was made to leave St. Louis while his wife pursued a career in travel nursing. The pair purchased a truck and fifth wheel trailer and began traveling the states, searching for adventure. This led Kurt to an opening as a hardware engineer at Panasonic Avionics Corporation. He was quickly hired and began working on their cutting edge and industry leading in-flight entertainment systems. Kurt did all he could to further the company, taking a lead role in completing the prototype system controller unit he was working on, but it was soon apparent that this was not the right place for him to stay.
While traveling, Kurt began taking on contracts for others in addition to continuing his own work. This involved helping others with their projects, fleshing out new ideas, building prototypes and one-offs, and developing websites. Although Kurt was a competent embedded programmer, he decided to return to graduate school at the University of Illinois for an online computer science program in order to back his abilities with fundamentals and theoretical research. While in school, Kurt took an internship at PubNub - a startup in San Francisco offering a global realtime data stream network for applications and IoT devices. Kurt was able to use his background in electronics to design embedded systems for use with the PubNub API as well as demonstrations for conferences still in use today. There, he also developed a new API, created an IoT coffee pot monitor and worked with another intern to build the robot-dance-party box. Since leaving PubNub, Kurt has been actively seeking employment in the embedded systems industry while continuing to work on his own projects.
This website has been created with the intention of providing a designated place for Kurt to store and showcase his various projects and accomplishments as well as his personal journey through life. Having an online portfolio can be a great way to introduce someone to the world, and it is for this reason that Kurt has decided to create and manage this site. Exploration of the site is highly encouraged as content will be regularly changed as new projects are created and old ones are modified.