Professional ​

​Over 36 years of experience in computer engineering, software engineering, artificial intelligence, cognitive systems, innovation, management of innovation, autonomous robotics, automation, process control, and data acquisition. My current research interests lie in cognitive augmentation and innovation.

Chair, Department of Informatics
Professor with Tenure
University of South Carolina Upstate
Spartanburg, SC

​2003 - 2018


As the inaugural Chair, I have overseen the creation of a new academic department, the Department of Informatics and several degree programs:

  • BA Information Management & Systems

  • BA Health Informatics

  • BA Health Information Management - accredited track

  • MS Informatics


I have overseen the hiring of and have supervised all faculty serving in the Department (15).  In addition, I have maintained an active research and development agenda. I have published over 25 papers or articles (see Publications for details) and I have won many innovation awards (including the Grand Prize) while placing a total of 17 innovative ideas in the top ten of the New Ideas for a New Carolina annual innovation contest over a period of 6 years. (See R&D/Innovations section for details.)

Senior Researcher
Penn State University
State College, PA

​2002 - 2003

​Defined new research directions in unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) in littoral and open-ocean applications for the U.S. Navy:

  • novel modular UUVs concept (MUUV)

  • autonomous intelligent navigation and communication (CASTNet)

  • “artificial nose” concept using functional molecules on nanofibers for detection and characterization of molecular-sized concentrations of hazardous and toxic substances (SensorTape and Scentinel)

(See R&D/Innovations section for details.)


Senior Software Architect
IT Factory, Inc./ECMS, Inc.
Columbia, SC

​1999 - 2002

Designed future multi-platform products (Lotus/Microsoft) using proprietary, cutting edge technology including .Net and Websphere. Managed the team responsible for market analysis, marketing strategies and high-level product design. Architected enterprise-wide messaging and communications systems based on the Microsoft Exchange and Web Storage System platforms with Web-enabled thin-client user interfaces. Position included business requirements analysis, proposal development, high-level and detail design, senior development led, project management, and mentoring duties.

IntraWeb Services, Inc.
Columbia, SC

​1995 - 1999                                                             

Provided Web presences for local and national clients including the development of over 80 Web sites (many the first Web sites for various companies and organizations) and related promotional material. Duties included Web site design and implementation (HTML, DHTML, Javascript, VBScript), CGI programming (C++, Visual Basic, Java), ActiveX, and desktop application development. Duties also included network and server administration and management involving Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT 3.5, NT 4.0, Microsoft Office applications and both Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) and Netscape’s Enterprise Web server products. 

Notable projects include:


  • E-Ticketboard: Virtual meeting place for the secondary sports tickets market. The site puts potential buyers and sellers in contact with one another.

  • Boral Bricks:   Corporate Web site for this major brick manufacturer (Atlanta, GA).

  • Sedgwick James: Corporate web site for the local office of this major insurance and risk management company.

  • SC Film Office: Web site for the organization promoting South Carolina to the film industry.

  • Christy’s Christmas: Online shopping site for a prominent collectables merchant. This site was probably the first online shopping site of its kind in South Carolina featuring product catalogs, and shopping carts long before they were popular.

  • SC Hospital Assoc.: Web site for the organization supporting the health care industry in South Carolina. This site featured automated site update utilities allowing clerical staff to update the site without having to know anything about Web site programming or development.

  • WARQ: Web site for a local FM radio station.

  • WNOK: Web site for a local FM radio station.

  • WVOC: Web site for a local AM radio station.

  • WOLO: Web site for the local ABC television affiliate.

  • Mashburn: Web site for this construction firm.


Several dozen other projects not listed.

Graduate Student/Assistant
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC

​1991 - 1995

Dissertation: “Information Domain Modeling of Emergent Phenomenon.”

This dissertation explores the question of why a system of individual parts exhibits emergent behavior that exceeds the sum of the individual behaviors of the parts. A property called emergent capacity is defined as a measure of collective behavior arising from the complex interactions among individual components. A theoretical space, called the information domain, is formulated based on reversible, stochastic Turing machines allowing modeling, analysis, and calculation of emergent capacity. An equation for emergent capacity is presented and is validated by explaining and predicting empirical results in the fields of artificial life and complex adaptive systems.


Funded Research Projects:

Authored the following proposals winning over $268,000 in awards:

  • “EDGAR: A Graphical Interface for the Equipment Description Grammar,” Sandia National Laboratories, $58,984, June 1995 to June 1996. Work performed in conjunction with the Oak Ridge National Laboratories.

  • “Motif GUI Application Builder for GENISAS Control Software,” South Carolina Universities Research and Educational Foundation, $96,000, May 1994 to August 1995. Work performed in conjunction with the Sandia National Laboratories and the Oak Ridge National Laboratories.

  • “Enhancements to Drum Inspection Robot On-Board Computer,” South Carolina Universities Research and Educational Foundation, $20,000, January 1994 to May 1994. Work performed at the Savannah River Site, Aiken, SC.

  • “Drum Inspection Robot On-Board Computer,” South Carolina Universities Research and Educational Foundation, $93,027, January 1993 to December 1993. Work performed at the Savannah River Site, Aiken, SC.

Automation Engineer
Fluor Daniel, Inc.
Greenville, SC

​1984 - 1991

Designed and developed industrial automation and process control systems for national and international clients including:


  • Westinghouse NFD: Established communications and data exchange among several different programmable logic controllers and a central TDC 2000 supervisory computer in support of a nuclear fuel manufacturing line automation effort (Columbia, SC).

  • GE Lexan: Developed process automation and control software for a Lexan manufacturing facility (Mt. Vernon, IN).

  • Fort Howard Paper: Designed and led development of an automated package routing and inventory control system for this major paper products manufacturer using a PDP-11 microcomputer programmed in FORTRAN running on the RSX operating system. (Green Bay, WI and Muskogee, OK).

  • Kellogg’s: Designed a material handling and inventory control system for this major breakfast food manufacturer in support of a $400 million plant construction and automation system using a VAX computer, an Oracle database, and hand-held scanning and data display terminals. Developed control software written in BASIC and Allen Bradley PLC ladder logic for embedded controllers in support of the packaging area of the automated processing line. The module integrated with turn-key systems provided by Japanese and German vendors. Lead position in the design of the supervisory control computer based on the Allen Bradley VISTA 2000 (Battle Creek, MI).

  • Michelin: Assisted in the database engineering in support of an automated processing line for this major tire manufacturer using VAX computers, the C programming language, and Oracle database technology (Greenville, SC).

  • Nuclear NDE: Developed a portable data acquisition and analysis system for the non-destructive examination group in support of their testing efforts of heat exchangers in nuclear power plants. This system allowed 4-person teams compete with and out-perform 20-person teams of the group’s competitors (Greenville, SC).

  • Union Carbide: Developed critical automation and process control software for a polymer manufacturing line for this major chemical manufacturing company using proprietary a Pascal-like language (Charleston, WV).

  • Software Development Standards: Lead developer and author of the automation department’s internal software development methodology and development standards.

Programmer Analyst
Sverdrup Technology, Inc.
Arnold Engineering Development Center
Tullhoma, TN

​1982 - 1984

Designed software and hardware systems to support the Air Force’s testing of rocket, turbojet, and space-rated engines at the Arnold Engineering Development Center, Arnold Air Force Station. Notable projects include:


  • 40-channel data acquisition: Designed and implemented a 40-channel addition to the data acquisition and conditioning system in support of a rocket engine test cell.

  • Portable Test Stand: Designed and developed a portable, automated test stand based on the Fluke 1720A programmable controller and written in BASIC. This system was connected to a rocket engine before a test to verify proper functioning of the data acquisition sensors on the test article.

  • Facilities Reporting System: Designed and led the development team in the construction of an automated facilities monitoring and reporting system spanning multiple computer systems such as DEC-10, Amdahl mainframe, and various controllers. This in support of the Aerospace Systems Testing Facility (ASTF), at the time under construction and the world’s largest and most advanced enclosed testing environment for turbojet engines.


Adobe Photoshop

Anticipatory Failure Determination 


Borland C++

Bryce 2


Corel PhotoPaint

Directed Evolution (DE)



IBM Watson 


Innovation Workbench (IWB)

Java Development Studio

Java Workshop 

MS Content Management Server

MS Internet Information Server

MS Office

MS Outlook

MS Visual Basic

MS Visual C++

MS Visual InterDev

Problem Formulator

















Ladder Logic



Visual Basic


VB Script



  • Top-Ten Finalist, Perfect Pitch Contest, Charleston Chamber of Commerce, 2011. (“Reflecticles”).

  • Second Place Winner, New Ideas for a New Carolina, 2010. (“FMod”)

  • Second Place Winner, New Ideas for a New Carolina, 2009. (“EmA”)

  • Second Place Winner, New Ideas for a New Carolina, 2009. (“Effie”)

  • Grand Prize Winner, New Ideas for a New Carolina, 2008. (“Scentinel”)

  • First Place Winner, New Ideas for a New Carolina, 2007. (“Data Spritz”)

  • Second Place Winner, New Ideas for a New Carolina, 2007. (“Digital Guest Dir.”)

  • Finalist, The New Ideas for a New Carolina contest, 2006. (“Virtual Shopping List”)

  • “DevCenter,” Microsoft’s Best Development Tool of the Year Award for 2001, co-architect.

  • “Project Halo,” Microsoft’s Best Collaborative Solution of the Year for 2001, lead architect.

  • “TeamSuite,” runner-up Microsoft’s Best Collaborative Solution of the Year for 2000, lead architect.

  • Winner, Outstanding Graduate Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of South Carolina, 1995.

  • Nominee, Outstanding Graduate Student, University of South Carolina, 1994.

  • 3rd Place, student paper competition, ACM 32nd Southeast Conference, 1994.

  • Santee Cooper Environmental Scholarship, 1993.

  • “L” clearance, Department of Energy, 1992-1993.

  • Secret clearance, Department of Defense, 1982-1984.

BS Computer Engineering
Clemson University


Software engineering.

Computer engineering.

  • Foundations of Software Design, Leathrum, J.F., Reston Publishing Co., 1983. Assisted with manuscript and developed examples in the book.

ME Computer Engineering
University of South Carolina


Distributed​ artificial intelligence.

Autonomous robotics.

  • Ron Fulbright and Larry M. Stephens, “SWAMI: An Autonomous Mobile Robot for Inspection of Nuclear Waste Storage Facilities,” Autonomous Robots, vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 225-235, September 1995.

  • Ron Fulbright and Larry M. Stephens, “Robotic Inspection of Nuclear Waste Storage Facilities,” Radwaste Magazine, vol. 2, no. 6. November 1995.

PhD Computer Engineering
University of South Carolina


Distributed artificial intelligence.

Emergent phenomenon.

  • Dissertation: “Information Domain Modeling of Emergent Phenomenon”

  • Ron Fulbright and Larry M. Stephens, “A New Metric for the Information Content of Strings,” Proceedings of the 34th Association for Computing Machinery Southeast Conference, pp. 87-91, April 1996.

  • Ron Fulbright, “Exploit Corporate Knowledge,” .NET Magazine, Fawcette Publications, December 2002. Invited article.


  • Ron Fulbright, “Using Web Services to Extend SharePoint in Distributed Enterprises,” .NET Magazine, Fawcette Publications, January 2002. Invited article.