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Printable Download: Michael Barr Profile and CV

Barr Group co-founder Michael Barr is a former adjunct professor of electrical and computer engineering with many years of hands-on software design and implementation experience. Internationally recognized as an expert in the field of embedded software process and architecture, Barr has been admitted as a testifying expert witness in U.S. and Canadian court cases involving issues of reverse engineering (including DMCA), interception of encrypted signals (Federal Communications Act), patent infringement, theft of copyrighted source code (including trade secrets issues), and product liability.

Barr's software has powered millions of embedded devices. He is also the author of three books and more than seventy published articles and papers about embedded systems design. For more than a decade, he was a regular invited speaker at the Embedded Systems Conferences around the world and, at times, served as a member of the conference's advisory board and as chair for various tracks.

See Michael Barr's expert witness resume >

Education

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE), University of Maryland
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE), University of Maryland
Master of Business Administration (MBA), University of Maryland

Notable Projects

  • Taught electrical engineering and computer science courses at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University.
  • Testified as an expert witness in half a dozen jury trials, including cases of automotive product liability and software copyright infringement, at each of which his client prevailed.
  • Plaintiff's expert on-behalf of companies including Bally Gaming, DirecTV, EchoStar, and Motorola and opposite companies including Apple, Cisco, Electronic Arts, Huawei, LG, Toyota, and ZTE.
  • Defense expert for companies including Bell ExpressVu, Fresenius Medical, NDS Group, and Samsung.
  • Developed software for various products, including safety-critical mechanical systems involving closed-loop control systems and high volume consumer electronics for digital television.
  • Consulted with and trained engineers and engineering managers and executives at various companies, including makers of FDA-regulated medical devices such as pacemakers and implanted defibrillators, insulin pumps, and glucose meters.
  • Former editor-in-chief of Embedded Systems Programming magazine, which at its peak had more than 60,000 engineers as monthly subscribers.
  • Keynote speaker at the 2014 Embedded Systems Conference on the topic of Killer Apps: Embedded Software's Greatest Hit Jobs.
  • Author of the widely-followed Embedded C Coding Standard.

Skills Summary

  • Languages: C, C++, Java, assembly
  • Processors: ARM, Microchip PIC, Intel 80x86, Motorola 68k, PowerPC, and others
  • Operating Systems: MicroC/OS, VxWorks, OSEK, and RTOSes generally; DOS and Windows; Linux/Unix

Notable Publications

Patents Awarded

  • U.S. Patent No. 6,976,562: Method of Calibrating a Brake System for Stationary Equipment and Apparatus for Doing the Same
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,210,116: Method and Apparatus for Synthesizing a Hardware System from a Software Description
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,945,879: Method and Apparatus for Selecting a Hardware Representation from a Software Description

2016 Embedded Systems Safety & Security Survey

Barr Group's 2016 Embedded Systems Safety & Security Survey had participation from more than 2,500 embedded systems design engineers and revealed a number of interesting trends in the embedded industry. In this webinar, Barr Group executives Michael Barr (CTO) and Andrew Girson (CEO) discussed some of the most interesting findings.

Killer Apps: Embedded Software's Greatest Hit Jobs

Between 1985 and 1987, there were at least 6 distinct accidents where the Therac-25 radiation therapy machine delivered up to 100 times the prescribed radiation dose, resulting in injury and death. These high-profile accidents demonstrated that embedded software can be dangerous, even lethal. In the decades since, and despite increasing regulation, safety-critical system failures have continued to kill people.

As embedded software's size and complexity continue to rapidly progress, user safety increasingly relies upon safe and reliable firmware implementations. Nowhere is this more evident than in the automotive industry, where self-driving vehicles are a much-hyped and potentially invaluable part of our future.

Barr Group co-founder and CTO Michael Barr presents an engaging discussion of the past, present, and future of embedded software safety. 

The Perils of Preemptive Multitasking

 Printable PDF

Every commercial RTOS employs a priority-based preemptive scheduler. This despite the fact that real-time systems vary in their requirements and real-time scheduling doesn't have to be so uniform. Multitasking and meeting deadlines is certainly not a one-size-fits-all problem.

Portable Fixed-Width Integers in C

 Printable PDF

For embedded software developers, the most significant improvements to the C programming language made in the ISO C99 standard update are in the new <stdint.h> header file. Learn the typedef names for the new fixed width integer data types, to make hardware interfacing in C easier. And there are other benefits as well

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