|What About Bob?
|Cerious Technologies President Robert L. Grost has such a diverse background that one of the hardest questions he has to field is being asked by someone “What do you do?” The most common answer is “Inventor”.
He was born in Lansing, Michigan into a family of prodigies. His older brother started Michigan State University at age 9 and had his PhD by age 16, including being named mathematician of the year at age 11. His sister won national design contests in interior design. Robert, the youngest, sought a field that combined disciplines of engineering and the arts.
|Growing up hanging out at the physics department at MSU he made a realization early on. Acoustics was his passion and traditional engineering paths had no answers for the questions he formed. It was clear to him that a specific acoustic theory program was needed at the university level, but none existed at this time. He wrote the curriculum, courses, and teaching materials, approached Lansing Community College about starting an acoustics program and it was adopted with him teaching the calculus based classes. He was 19.
Meeting his future wife Kathy, he was informed it was time to “get a real job” where soon after he joined General Motors as Senior Project Engineer for Body Structures Corvette. There he pioneered composite structure research focusing on sandwich structures that eventually were employed in today’s Corvette introduced in 2003. This was 1984 and fiberglass/carbon fiber/sandwich composites were deemed “too radical for production”. Based on his work at Corvette he was promoted to Senior Project Engineer for Advanced Acoustic Programs directing acoustic research programs. He was 28, the youngest to ever reach this level, and had no college degree. He left GM to form Unity Audio in late 1985.
Unity Audio was a loudspeaker company that pioneered advanced materials for enclosure construction. It sold products in 16 countries and had over 70 dealers worldwide. The culmination of his work occurred in 1996 when Unity Audio displayed the first fully computer interfaced surround sound system at the 1996 Consumer Electronics Show.
Since Unity Audio, Mr. Grost has worked in IT holding the position of Senior Project Manager for New Technology/Deployment, General Motors World Headquarters and achieved a B.A. in Business Management Information Technology from Northwood University.
The past four years he has concentrated on research and development of new and radical materials for the defense industry, specializing in synthetic syntactic ceramic foams for ballistic armor applications. Realizing the application of his materials for audio applications he founded Cerious Technologies in June of 2005 to bring these materials to the consumer marketplace.