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Staff Profile: Kathy Tolbert

Title: Web/Graphic Designer


How long have you worked for Flow Science?

1 year

What is the best part of your job, or why do you like working at Flow Science?

I enjoy working on the variety of projects that Flow Science requires ranging from toolbar icon designs to server-sided scripting for the website.

What is the most interesting project you are working on right now?

I've enjoyed working on graphics with the GUI group for v9.4 and look forward to the improvements planned for the next version.

Kathy Tolbert
Kathy in front of one of her amazing
geometry-inspired quilts.
What is the source of your creativity? Do you have a muse?

I look for design inspiration in the world around me. I never know when I’ll see something that can be used in a marketing design or in a quilt. Math and science also provide a wealth of inspiration. Even in quilting, a series of prime numbers in concentric circles makes a beautiful quilt design. I keep a Smith Chart on my desk as inspiration for a future quilt.

What do you do in your spare time (when you’re not at Flow Science)?

I love spending time with my family. Bob and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this December.  He’s a wonderful friend and quite a source of entertainment (who knew computational chemists could be funny?) My two children (Claire, 20, and Cole, 15) are bright, loving kids who bring laughter, joy, and a few grey hairs into my life.

I also make quilts for local charities though the local quilt guild. We provide quilts for QOV (Quilts of Valor for wounded soldiers), the New Mexico School for the Deaf where all students receive a quilt from our guild, the Girls and Boys Ranch, and many other organizations.

What was it about Flow Science that attracted you?

The scientific aspect of the work. I love using the graphics generated from our simulations in my designs. Plus, I love working with folks who get my stupid math jokes (‘What did 29 say to 28? You may be perfect, but I’m prime.’). I’m wondering now if ‘42’ would have been an acceptable answer to all of these questions. If so, I would have been finished much sooner.

What is a typical day for you? What projects occupy most of your time?

This past year my time has been equally divided between designing print materials, website development, and managing conferences. Some of the larger projects this past year have been designing the booth display and new brochures, improving the website architecture, and creating GUI help screens and icons.

How would you describe yourself?

Decisive. No wait, maybe flexible, or maybe patient. I seriously try to play nice with others while pushing myself to deliver a product that is above expectations.

What helps you get out of bed each morning?

It takes an alarm clock. I’m a night owl.

Red or Green?

Green chile. I could eat it every day.