Alumnus joins simulation industry

After graduating from TU in December 2015, Anton Ridgway (BS ’14, MS ’15) began his next adventure as a software engineer at CymSTAR. The local company provides custom simulator training systems and training system modifications maximizing the use of commercial off-the-shelf equipment.

Ridgway is an Oklahoma native who considered universities on both coasts such as the University of Southern California and Rochester Institute of Technology. Ultimately, he chose TU for its small classes and friendly campus.

Anton Ridgway“I liked how students could get to know their professors and work with them more closely,” he said. “I definitely appreciated the emphasis TU puts on involving students in research. I was prepared for my work as a graduate assistant because of my time in the Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge.”

Ridgway took courses in gaming programming, computer graphics and data visualization. In graduate school, he collaborated with a computer science professor to help coordinate global U.S. Air Force operations. The research was exciting and fun and confirmed his decision to work in the computer simulation and gaming field.

“I like the interactivity of gaming and the different sorts of experiences it offers,” Ridgway said.

For someone who grew up playing Super Nintendo games such as MegaMan and Earthbound, then learning programming and writing his own games, studying gaming in college was a dream come true for Ridgway. Starting his career amidst Tulsa’s flourishing simulation and gaming market is an added bonus.

“Tulsa is a burgeoning center for gaming in the Midwest,” Ridgway said. “It’s earning similar reputations to cities such as Austin, Los Angeles and Seattle where independent companies thrive. Tulsa’s gaming programs and the Heartland Gaming Expo are concerted efforts to support the industry.”

Ridgway is following in the footsteps of his older brother, Elliott, who also earned a degree in TU’s Tandy School of Computer Science. Elliott works at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., but returns to Tulsa often. The two brothers are building their own video game, The Idiot’s Tale, for PCs and mobile devices. They plan to debut it later this year.