As Rinaldi explains it, he escaped from Marquette University with a degree (cum laude) in Electrical Engineering to work in various jobs in the automation industry before once again fleeing back into the comfortable halls of academia. At the University of Connecticut he once again talked his way into a degree, this time in Computer Science (MS CS). He achieved marginal success as a control engineer, a software developer, and an IT manager before founding Real Time Automation, "because long-term employment prospects are somewhat bleak for loose cannons," he says.
With a strong desire to avoid work, responsibility, and decision making (again, as he explains it) Rinaldi had to build a great team at Real Time Automation. And he did. RTA now supplies network converters for industrial and building automation applications all over the world. With a focus on simplicity, U.S. support, fast service, expert consulting and tailoring for specific customer applications, RTA has become a leading supplier of gateways worldwide. Rinaldi admits that the success of RTA is solely attributed to the incredible staff that like working for an odd, quirky company with a single focus: Create solutions so simple to use, the hardest part of their integration is opening the box.
Rinaldi is a recognized expert in industrial networks and the author of three books: The Industrial Ethernet Book, OPC UA: The Basics (an overview of the enhancements to OPC technology that allow for Enterprise communication), and a book on women and relationships — as he puts it, proof that insight into a subject is not necessarily a prerequisite for writing about it.