Thomas receives Professional Award in Electrical Engineering

October 26, 2018

Tim Thomas was presented with the 2018 Professional Award in Electrical Engineering during the annual Speed School homecoming dinner held October 26 at the Brown Hotel.

He is the co-founder of T2 Labs, a local contract engineering firm that specializes in short range communications.

In the days since his graduation from the University of Louisville’s Speed Scientific School (’86), Thomas started his career in the late 80’s in Dallas, working at Texas Instruments.  This was the time when the IBM PC was the newest tool to advance productivity.  Being at the forefront of this technology, Tim was able to use this platform to differentiate himself from the other employees.  While others were using the PC to handle the day-to-day activities, Tim was working on the low-level functions to bring new capabilities and enhance the performance to the platform.

In 1990, after leaving Texas Instruments and returning to Kentucky, Tim was fortunate to work for Key Communications, a small company in New Albany, IN that was working with a number of new and upcoming technologies.  This not only included modems, that allowed remote devices to connect and communicate, but also Flash memory technology, 2-D barcodes as well as Smart Cards.  All of this occurred before PC networking, Windows OS or the Internet.

In the mid-1990s, Tim worked for local companies such as Universal Four Pair and VideoLan Technologies, which were startup companies working on Desktop Video Conferencing.  At that time, the technology was not cost prohibited for the home user and struggled to find its place in the corporate world.  Despite the failure of this endeavor, these jobs provided him experience with digital video switching networks, T1’s and ISDN.

After leaving the failing Video Conferencing companies, Tim started developing new communication technologies for the railroad when he joined Safetran Systems in 1997.  This work involved digital audio processing and transport as well as RF communications.

In 1999, Tim joined Stonestreet One, which was founded by a college classmate, to develop for a new wireless communication platform called Bluetooth.   Not realizing it, all of his work after Texas Instruments had involved some type form of communication.  Bluetooth would be the technology to solidify Tim’s place as an embedded communication developer.  Working with Bluetooth has allowed Tim’s work with companies such as Bose, Garmin, Nike and GoPro has contributed to the success of their products.  In 2014, Stonestreet One was acquired by Qualcomm, where Tim continued his work with Bluetooth, as well as working with 802.11.

In 2018, Tim co-founded a contract engineering company called T2 Labs, where he continue to work on the latest advancements in Bluetooth to enable companies to create great products.  Other wireless technologies, such as Zigbee, 802.15.4 and Narrow Band IOT, are also being developed to compliment Bluetooth in the ‘Smart Home’.  This has led to work with Mesh Networking, IOT-Hub development and the management of multi-technology communication systems.

Tim has always been interested in solving problems using new technologies.  What’s next?