Hi! How’s it going today? I’m Kip Ingram and I’m happy you’re visiting my “home on the internet.” I hope you find things that interest you here and will return occasionally to see what’s new. I’ll be posting about my own interests, my opinions on various things, and fun tidbits I run across online. Most of all, though, I will be trying to share knowledge and insight about things I understand well. My intellectual strengths run primarily to math, the physical sciences, and the technology areas I’ve worked in, so you’ll see a lot of that sort of material show up here.
I grew up in a small town in Alabama; my mom taught third grade and my dad taught chemistry at a small university. After high school I went to The University of Texas at Austin to study electrical engineering, and they found it hard to get rid of me. Except for a brief working stint after getting my undergraduate degree I stuck around until I earned my PhD in 1992, and afterward I remained with the University’s research staff and worked on advanced power conversion applications such as railguns, electric vehicle technology, and magnetic containment systems for controlled fusion. I left UT and moved to Houston in 1996.
I’ve held a variety of positions over the years in Houston, related to such things as industrial electronics, enterprise-grade data storage equipment, and various aspects of oil and gas electronics (both down hole tools and seismic equipment). I’ve held roles all up and down the ladder, from senior engineer to vice president of engineering, and I’ve loved it all. I thrive best in small companies that have no-nonsense, “get it done” cultures. I currently work in the data storage area, where I focus primarily on the performance aspects of the product.
My best skills in the commercial / industrial sphere relate to embedded systems (the application of small, dedicated computing systems to equipment control, data acquisition, and so forth). I’m fluent in both the hardware and software aspects of such systems. However, my graduate education brought me a great deal of “fundamental” knowledge – basic physics, loads of math, and so on – and that appreciation for understanding the foundations of things shows up in my professional work as well. I’m not happy unless I have a complete understanding of the problem I’m trying to solve, and I strive for solutions that have a very clean, organized architectural elegance.
I still spend a lot of time extending my knowledge of the basic physical sciences (physics and chemistry, primarily). Understanding how the world works matters to me, and I imagine it always will. I love sharing this sort of knowledge – seeing “the light bulb turn on” in someone’s mind is an enormous pleasure. So if you visit often you’ll see a lot of science and math show up here, especially around the most mysterious areas of physics like quantum theory and so forth.
Ok, yes – quite a strong “geek” element in my personality. I do pursue more conventional activities as well, though. I enjoy photography, and to whatever extent I have photos to share I will post them here. I love reading, both fiction and non-fiction. When I read fiction it’s usually some sort of horror or supernatural fiction. This summer (2016) I’ve been on a Stephen King binge; I probably went through two dozen of his works. King’s Dark Tower stuff roks. Probably my favorite book series of all times, though, is the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher. On the non-fiction front I enjoy history (especially ancient history), economics, and a variety of other things.
I’ve brewed beer since 2002. I never used one of the kits they sell for this – right from the start I did all grain brewing and assembled my own equipment using mostly scrounged parts (I was just starting my consulting practice and money was scarce – it had to be a shoestring endeavor). Right now I’m working on an automated brewery with pumps to transfer the liquids, automatic temperature control, and so on. I’m also interested in learning to make mead (“honey wine”).
Finally, I thoroughly enjoy movies and TV. Once again, my favorites are general horror related, but really any sort of movie or show with a good action component will get my attention. Supernatural is probably my favorite television show ever, but I’ve also been enjoying House of Cards and The Americans very much as well recently, and I can hardly wait for Game of Thrones to come back around again. Mad Men and Breaking Bad were also great favorites.
Politically and philosophically, I am first and foremost an advocate of individual freedom, limited as little as possible. I support capitalism, as the most inherently liberty-based economic system, though I’ve come to recognize that completely unfettered capitalism can lead to problems as well. Money and power tend to concentrate, and those concentrations can wind up limiting our freedom as much as a powerful government can. My own utopia would feature strong regard for and protection of the rights of individuals and an economy based primarily on small businesses, rather than the very corporation-centric society we’ve wound up with.
I’m not going to promise that I’ll never discuss controversial topics here, but I will put such posts in suitable categories so that visitors can focus on other areas if they prefer.
I think that’s enough about me, but certainly feel free to ask any questions if you’re curious about anything. Thanks again for swinging by. I really hope you’ll enjoy your visits!
Finding me online:
- On the web: right here, obviously.
- On LinkedIn
- On Twitter: @KipIngram
- On GMail: kip.ingram@(you know what)
- By phone/text: (713) 443-9504
If you want to send me private information, please encrypt it using my PGP public key below and attach the encrypted file to a regular email.