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Author: Ken Townshend
I have been blessed by God, as far as my interests and abilities. My professional degree is a BSCE (Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering). One point in my life I designed FPGA and ASICs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays, and specialized Chips Called Application Specific Integrated Circuits. God has changed my direction toward web design for the main reason that it probably integrates everything I love so much.
When I was 5 years old God had called me to help people through Music. I was classical trained when I was little, I spent all my younger years in classical piano on and off Unfortunately I suffered from super bad stage fright and was afraid I avoided it. I moved into the world of guitar when I hit my teens and got into rock and progressive rock. When I hit my college years I went to Philadelphia College of Performing Arts for music composition and orchestration. That ended with no degree.
I moved into the realm of photography and I wanted to be a fashion photographer, but ended in landscape and architecural photos. One thing I loved was photographing churches and statues of Mary, and Jesus. I only lasted one year with photography (which was half the degree. I went to Philadelphia Institute of Art which was a two year school) I got a job in a Ritz one hour photo and moved quickly up into management. I stayed happily in that position for almost 10 years, I also did some custom color work for advertising agencies like Macy's and J.C. Penney's. I started to feel a little stagnant and so I tried to move up the latter to a "Technical Supervising Manager" or TSM, kind of like a District manager of the Ritz cameras.
I went to school to become a PC Technician at Lincoln Technical Institute. I had perfect attendance and got a perfect GPA of 4.0 (My dad went to my graduation for LTI and got my tech diploma and told people there that Ken couldn't come to the ceremony because it was his first night at Drexel University, which was true) which led me to Drexel University where I got in as a part time student at night while working 40 to 60 hours a week as a Lab Manager.I decided to put in my resignation to Ritz Camera and wouldn't you know, they offered me TSM but at that time I was actually ambitious and said NO I want to be Computer Engineer. I went to college at night to get my degree. My dad was a huge advocate of education and helped support me, which I then entered the Co-op program and went full time day. My main co-op was Lockheed Martin. I helped with supporting AEIGS radar system for battle cruisers, doing DSP applications. That was an awesome experience and where I learned about programming FPGA's. I feel in love with the process of coding and developing or programming chips. I worked some weeks 120 hours and in general 80 to 100 hours.
My co-op at my third cycle was extended to a year of staying at Lockheed Martin until the project I was working was complete then I went back to Drexel to finish my degree. I got out of Drexel 1999, got out to find out, though I had exceptional reports on my performance, I didn't put in my resume until June and most graduating seniors went looking for their job in December, so I missed out.
So I went to a job fair at a company called L-3 Communications East, long story short, I got a job there. Education wise at this point I was truly fired up and passionate about computer engineering and actually entered Drexel University for my Masters in Computer Engineering. I really wanted my PhD, of course sadly in a way I never went after that, but L-3 did help push me into the higher degrees, gave me credentials and the financial support to afford it. My Masters ambition was not long because I was a work horse, and I found myself again 80 to 100 hours a week, work and school just wouldn't integrate schedule wise. I was a SME (Subject Matter Expert) at L-3 for FPGA software tools, I knew the software very well. Computers and software and I always got along. I did do many wonderful and amazing things there but at one point I was laid off. I then got a job in Pittsburgh joining a new group that was planning an FPGA based system.
When I flew into Cranberry I was so fired up in focus that I was going to quit music, for the rest of my life. Well that didn't quite happen, of course throughout my whole life technology and music o
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