Christopher D. Watkins
Founder, Chairman & CEO
Industrial Mindworks, Inc.
The Watkins-owned companies are outgrowths of a company that Chris founded in 1982 as a tenth-grade student. Throughout his life, his passions have run along the lines of invention and human perception and cognition. He has particular interest in the creation of totally immersive environments and the development of tools which make mathematics and science accessible to everyone. By the age of six he was heavily involved with electronics; by ten he was designing complex circuitry, human interface hardware, music/sound synthesis equipment, and high-voltage and radio transmission electronics; at fifteen he was designing and building robots. Around 1980 he began to concentrate on the interface of computer engineering, physics and mathematics, with particular focus on dynamics and fractals. This inspired his development of 3-D graphics and signal processing algorithms. He also became vitally interested in understanding human sensory perception and worked diligently to produce computer-based communication tools for students with disabilities in his high school.
Chris' high school science fair projects received industrial recognition and won top research awards: the United States Navy recognized him for significant meteorological studies of electrical atmospheric phenomena, and Westinghouse recognized his valuable research on efficient electrical component design. This research later led to the creation of power components which optimize transmission by adapting to environmental conditions. Most interesting was some of the work in eleventh grade that utilized resonance characteristics of coils at various frequencies to transmit electric power wirelessly across a room. Following high school, Chris continued his studies at The Georgia Institute of Technology, receiving his Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1989.
Throughout the past two decades, several of Chris' longstanding passions gave rise to new products. His high-frequency, high-voltage electronics and power transmission experiments produced some of the early plasma globes and solid-state, special-effect neon sign transformers. His interest in guitar and recording resulted in some of the early analog and digital special-effects signal processors and synthesizers. Interest in astronomy led to the creation of a number of image and digital signal processing algorithms. His focus on computer graphics and physics simulation yielded one of the first simulators with multi-channel surround-rendered 3-D visuals, used for training in barge handling, protocol, and crew management. A lifelong interest in optics and holography inspired his invention of real-time 3-D holographic display technologies and an experimental 3-D picture tube, as well as production techniques for high-detail multi-color dichromated gelatin holograms viewable from many angles and under a variety of lighting conditions. Due to his interest in materials and his desire to prototype all aspects of his products, Chris acquired basic skills in fiberglass construction, silicone and alginate molding, urethane and foam casting, and vacuum forming of plastics. These skills were later used to create products for the movie and location-based entertainment industries.
For many years Chris has developed PC-based computer graphics and simulation hardware and software for the training, education, medical and entertainment fields. This work required his mastery of 3D computer graphics, dynamics simulation, motion-platform control systems, electronics, image processing, programming techniques, PC hardware, mathematics and physics, robotics and neural simulation technologies. He pioneered one of the first six-degrees-of-freedom, real-time, near-photorealistic, texturing-and-shading renderers for the PC. His scientific breadth and in-depth knowledge of mathematics enables him to create concise algorithms which afford interactive, near-workstation performance of realistic graphics and simulation on the inexpensive PC.
Throughout the 1990's Chris authored a multitude of technical papers and several popular best-selling books on computer graphics, simulation and the Internet for publishers including Academic Press, Miller Freeman, Henry Holt & Company, and Harcourt Brace. He saw a need for books which combine rigorous technical material with well-written software examples - books which make technical topics accessible and interesting to engineers, academicians, hobbyists and enthusiasts alike. Several of his works have been translated into numerous foreign languages and have been adopted by university graduate programs as textbooks and supplementary texts. Chris has also been a guest lecturer for many diverse groups on the subject of technology. He particularly enjoys giving lectures and demonstrations to elementary and high school students on topics ranging from science and technology to business to philosophy.
Chris' current and future projects include intelligent toys, immersive and imaginative learning systems, low-cost 3-D holographic displays and projected-display equipment, and computer-aided tools for medical diagnosis and continuing doctor education. He hopes to inspire curiosity, problem-solving and creative thinking through his products and technical publications, which bar no expense when it comes to quality, rigor, relevance, clarity, and accessibility. He recently received US patent number 9,245,148.
BOOKS WRITTEN BY CHRISTOPHER D. WATKINS
New Business Development, Sales Director
Henly Shelton joined Industrial Mindworks, Inc. in 1999 to direct sales-and-service forces and to aid in defining project requirements.
Henly served in the United States Marine Corp from 1968 to 1969, receiving the Purple Heart, Vietnam Service with three stars, Combat Action Award, Navy Achievement Medal with Combat Ribbon, and the Presidential UNIT Citation. He received his Executive MBA from Georgia State University in 1984 and completed Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program in 1987.
As president of the USA operations of Finnish manufacturing company Kajaani Automation, Inc., Henly sold and serviced intelligent sensors and controls for the pulp and paper industry and led sales forces to acquire 90% marketshare. He was also founder and president of In-line Measurements, Inc., a systems integrator and consulting firm specializing in intelligent sensors and controls. Within two years the company was profitable and was sold to the industrial systems company ABB. Most recently, Henly was president and CEO of SalesMedia, Inc., an Atlanta-based company which develops electronic commerce software for the life insurance industry.
Paul Kingston - in memory of the passing of an outstanding patriot and honest chap
New Business Development
Paul Kingston was born in England and educated at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. He served as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm for 22 years and became involved in training management early in his career. He served on various aviation-capable warships in the Royal Navy, French Navy and the United States Navy and in training roles with the navies of Brazil, Iran, and Australia.
Paul saw combat in South Yemen and Aden and developed expertise in training combat units for high states of tactical readiness and operational execution. He was the youngest peacetime commander of an operational aircraft unit onboard a Royal Navy warship. His all-weather special operations flying skills were effectively applied in training roles with the Royal Navy and other NATO allies.
Early in his military career Paul was trained in international diplomacy and the overseas sale of military equipment. He was then appointed to a position with the Royal Air Force flying in support of NATO armies in Germany, which involved monitoring operations of the East and West Germany border in cooperation with the British Frontier Police. Due to his diplomatic training and extensive international experience in over 60 foreign countries, Paul was appointed to senior staff positions with the Royal Navy and United States Navy. He was responsible for the training and operational standards of aviation-capable ships around the world, which involved further liaison with foreign diplomats and military personnel from various cultures.
Towards the end of his flying career, Paul was liaison officer to the simulation and training industry in the procurement of multi-million dollar training equipment for use by NATO armies and air forces. In 1984 he founded Kenray-IMC to provide business services to high-technology and training equipment companies. Within one year he had contracts with Boeing, American Airlines, British Petroleum, and several other companies in the USA, UK and Asia. He is currently creating trade shows to foster international business in air transport, aerospace, military and commercial simulation and training, and entertainment. Industry leaders consider these shows a good platform for developing international business relationships and alliances and also value their focus on real industry issues such as safety and the use of military high-technology in commercial markets.
Paul assisted Industrial Mindworks, Inc. in identifying and securing contracts for military and commercial simulation and in creating alliances for product distribution and strategic industrial partnering.
Vincent P. Mallette - in memory of the passing of a true scientist and physicist
Researcher, Science Writer
From 1970 to 1988 Vincent Mallette was a research scientist at The Georgia Institute of Technology School of Physics, where he created large classroom physics demonstrations and public science shows for recruitment and entertainment. He worked briefly for the high-tech company Ionic Atlanta but has spent most of his life educating people about science in a dramatic and entertaining manner. He has given over 300 lectures and demonstrations from New York to Birmingham and is an important figure in Georgia education.
In 1991 Vincent spent three months as scientist-in-residence at Fowler Elementary School where he worked closely with teachers to improve science and math education and to help students achieve regional science fair recognition. At the request of the Atlanta School Board, Vincent critiqued and amplified the Atlanta Public Schools' master lesson plan resource, the Elementary & Middle School Science Curriculum. He also served on the SciTrek exhibit committee creating new demonstrations, improving old ones, and conducting teacher training and enrichment programs like "Light, Color, and Sound," which called upon his special interest in human sensory perception. For Georgia Tech's two-week SummerScape course, he developed and taught "The Hidden World" using hands-on demonstrations to show kids how science illuminates that which escapes the unaided senses. From 1990 to 1993 he created and presented science demonstrations and activities for local pre-college students through Georgia Tech's Dean's Office, and in 1998 he directed Clark-Atlanta University's outreach support program supplying science curricula and equipment to disadvantaged students and schools. One of the few recognized by Westinghouse in his science fair days, Vincent also enjoys helping students with their projects and manned the science hotline Sci-Line.
Vincent has made several network television appearances including ABC News and CNN, who recently commissioned him to reconstruct the physics of Princess Diana's fatal accident. Atlanta TV presentations include a 100-year retrospective on the light bulb and a superconductivity program featuring the floating magnet demonstration.
Vincent has been published in The Physics Teacher, American Journal of Physics, and Physics Today; he wrote a two-part series on human vision for Optics & Photonics News. For juvenile magazines such as Smithsonian's Time Machine, he has contributed science history articles on topics from Edison's movie-making and Columbus' navigation to the history of the erector set. In 1995 he co-authored Stereogram Programming Techniques with Christopher D. Watkins, and in 1996 he had published The Science of the Summer Games, a book exploring the role of science in Olympic sports which was originally commissioned by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Some of Vincent's writings and radio show transcripts can be found on the Inwit web pages.
For Industrial Mindworks, Inc. and Inwit, LLC, Vincent created educational writings, curricula, demonstrations, toys and games, and explored every avenue to enlighten and inspire kids of every age!
BOOKS WRITTEN BY CHRISTOPHER D. WATKINS