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Principal Firmware Engineer

A principal firmware engineer with more than 20 years of progressively increasing responsibilities in developing operating systems for leading computer, printing, defense and automation companies. Personally created more than 1,200 state-of-the-art firmware and software applications for sophisticated automated equipment. Created design innovations that saved $50 million in productivity improvements.

Expertise includes outstanding design, programming, cost reduction, automation, analytical, customer relations, leadership and diagnostic skills.


Zebra Technologies, Inc., Camarillo, California 1999-Present

Firmware Engineering Manager (2003-Present)

Manage the Firmware Engineering Department with six engineers producing embedded software for the largest specialty label printing company serving the automotive, pharmaceutical, postal, medical, financial, retail distribution, warehousing, defense, transportation and shipping industries with sales of more than $700 million.

  • Spearheaded the firmware development effort for a new family of desktop label printers with 16 models that will replace all existing models. This new line represents 30% of future printer sales, is due for release in the first part of 2007, and will feature enhanced performance and connectivity, including a series of wireless (802.11b/g and Bluetooth) models for the first time.
  • Participated in the design of a universal development platform that had every conceivable printer feature combination for the design of next generation printers. This platform was a principal tool in creating the company's next generation of printers to be released in 2007.
  • Created, implemented and maintain a suite of key indicators, summaries and technical notes covering procedures, shortcuts and specifications that are available on an Intranet site for all company engineers, executive staff, and marketing and tech support employees. This site has become a regular resource for development, debugging and education within the company.
  • Architected a protection protocol that prevents accidental corruption of flash memory during any anomalies such as electrostatic discharge occurring within the printer. This feature has been included with all new printers, preserved company goodwill and eliminated wasted warranty-covered service calls.
  • Continually support firmware changes to 30 existing models.
  • Develop custom printer firmware for special applications.
  • Created a testing protocol consisting of firmware enhancements and new PC application software that tests a print cycle without using labels, saving technician time, labels and handling. This procedure is more accurate, eliminating human error and providing permanent documentation of tests. One of its unique features is that it provides information as to what is wrong with the printer.

Sustaining Firmware Engineering Manager (2001-2003)
Sustaining Firmware Engineering Supervisor (2000-2001)
Sustaining Firmware Engineer (1999-2000)

Managed four engineers in debugging and modifying firmware for 15 existing printers, representing 25% of the company's sales.

  • Designed software that updated new bar code types to printers and provided a means to update customer printers through the Internet.
  • Created custom features for printers in the field, including a password-protected, on-demand check printing application for banks.
  • Implemented a hardware abstraction layer that separated hardware functions from higher-level firmware, permitting the migration of firmware to a new generation of printers. This application saved the company more than $1 million in development on a continuous basis.
  • Architected the conversion of the printer control language EPL2 (Eltron Printer Language 2) used for interpreting commands into printer operations from assembler to C language for the next generation of printers. This conversion was a necessary step for future generations of printers.
  • Developed a multi-buffering capability for printers that permitted a user to replace text or graphics on a label run without sacrificing performance and provided printer flexibility.

Industrial Dynamics, Ltd., Torrance, California 1997-1999

Staff Software Engineer

Wrote control and user interface software for a privately held manufacturer of automated inspection equipment considered the largest company in the world dedicated to the development, manufacture, sales and support of high quality inspection and laser coding systems for the beverage, brewery and packaging industries.

  • Created software features for the Fill Management System (FMS) that was instrumental in retaining customers, e.g., Anheuser-Busch, Proctor & Gamble, and leading food/beverage companies:
    • Learn Functions
    • Shift-Based and Production Run-Based Long Term Average Fill Level Graphs
    • Capper Monitoring
    • Dual-Rejector
    • Encoder Tracking II
    • String Segment Size Reduction
    • Code Size Reduction
    • X-Ray Demo
    • New Translations
    • Sampling Improvement
    • User Interface Improvement
    • Function Printout Improvement
  • Made several significant code-base and environmental improvements to the software, including:
    • Eliminated questionable and/or erroneous conditions introduced by previous programmers.
    • Participated in determining the extent and causes of year 2000 vulnerability with solutions.
    • Aided translators, ensuring that translations were of an acceptable length.
    • Added a glossary of acronyms to the string file, ensuring accurate translations.
    • Automated the checkout, build and release processes.

Acer America, Inc., San Jose, California 1991-1997

Staff Software Engineer

Developed numerous proprietary end-user applications and utilities from concept to release, both individually and in teams, for a personal computer company with $575 million in sales. Enhanced the ease of use of Acer's consumer PCs, reducing the need for technical support calls. Examples:

    • Acer "CPR", a hard disk recovery system on a bootable CD capable of restoring the hard disk regardless of its condition (short of physical damage)
    • A "register-by-modem" application written in Visual Basic
  • Implemented a NT 4.0 Intranet web server with a MS SQL Server 6.5-based management database accessible via standard web browsers.
  • Developed a ROM-based monitor/debugger program written in C and assembler.
  • Wrote BIOS and diagnostics software for Altos UNIX-based PCs.
  • Developed a Windows NT video device driver containing assembler and C components for a MIPS microprocessor-based system.
  • Implemented bug fixes and enhancements on Phoenix and Acer BIOS used in Acer's x86-based personal computers.
  • Guided the preparation and performance optimization of personal computers submitted to technical publications for review. Developed automated methods for performing multiple-pass benchmarks and statistical analyses of results.
  • Provided guidance and training for junior engineers. Served as the primary contact between the Engineering and Technical Support Departments.

Phoenix Technologies, Inc., Honolulu, Hawaii & San Jose, California 1989-1991

Principal Software Engineer

Customized the Phoenix BIOS, the industry standard for all PC manufacturers for specific hardware platforms. Worked directly with customers including Intel and Toshiba.

  • Added support for new motherboard components including the popular Austek cache controller.
  • Implemented internationalization of messages displayed during Power On Self Test (POST) and in CMOS setup.
  • Managed the Honolulu Engineering Department with seven engineers during its move to San Jose.

Tandon Corporation, Moorpark, California 1984-1989

Electrical/Systems Engineer

Designed and developed several generations of motherboards and peripheral cards for Tandon's pioneering line of IBM-compatible XT- and AT-class personal computers. Tandon was the first major developer of IBM-compatible personal computers. Performed both board- and IC-level development.

  • Designed several key diagnostic tools, including a BIOS emulator board and a Power On Self Test monitor.

3M Corporation, Camarillo, California 1982-1984

ATE Design Engineer

Developed a portable computerized functional test system for 1/4" data cartridge drives used in production, factory service and field service. This project involved hardware interface design and an extensive software package that performed real-time tests, generated test tapes and collected data.

Hewlett Packard Corporation, Corvallis, Oregon 1979-1982

R&D Engineer

Member of the HP-75 notebook computer design team. Designed and developed, from concept to production, the HP82163, a microprocessor-based video peripheral that allowed the HP-75 and HP-41C to drive a video monitor. This project included the development of a custom single-chip CMOS display controller IC, incorporating both digital and analog circuitry.

Hughes Aircraft Corporation Ground Systems Group, Fullerton, California 1977-1979

Student Engineer, Part-time while a student at California State University, Long Beach

Performed testing and troubleshooting of an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) display system. Designed hardware modifications and developed automated card verification procedures for use at maintenance depots.


California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, California

Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering, Magna Cum Laude

Other Courses: Java, nonlinear circuit design and digital filter design

Programming Languages: C, C++, Java, HTML, SQL, Visual Basic, Assembly and dBase

Operating Systems: UNIX, DOS, Windows and NT

Super-Job-Search is a registered trade mark by Peter K. Studner. All rights reserved.
Copyrighted © Peter K. Studner 1997-2006
Los Angeles - Burbank - Westlake Village - Irvine
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 241957, West Los Angeles, California 90024-9757
(310) 470-6688 - FAX (3