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IT@UofT People – Kaelyn Lindquist

Published on: February 19, 2020

Top (clockwise): Kaelyn Lindquist, developer for Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration (EASI). Kaelyn’s yarn-bomb art and her giant dragon puppet named Jargon, The Infinite.

The backbone of any successful team is its hard-working people. The University of Toronto’s Information Technology Services (ITS) division is privileged to employ outstanding individuals with diverse talents that extend beyond work-related education and skills.

In this segment, entitled IT@UofT People, we will get to know our IT@UofT team across the tri-campus community and find out more about their hidden or not-so-hidden talents and/or pursuits outside of work.

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Name: Kaelyn Lindquist

Department: Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration (EASI)

Title: Developer

How long have you worked at U of T?
I’ve been working at EASI for about five years. I am the developer for an enterprise publication tool and I program automated functional tests.

What is your secret or not-so-secret talent(s) and hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy learning new things and engage in a variety of fun projects, such as sewing my own dresses, yarn-bombing chairs at work (colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn), creating a giant dragon puppet and making electronic gadgets. The love of my life is martial arts though – right now I’m focused on Wing Chun (with Silat mixed in) and Chinese swordplay.

Can you tell me more about the giant dragon puppet?
The dragon took about two months to make and I made it for a Winter Solstice Parade at Kensington Market. I followed a template for the head from a site (Mad Art Lab) and made the rest up as I went. I used EVA foam (ethylene-vinyl acetate) for the body, vinyl fabric for the wings that I sewed to create a scale pattern, metal plates for the brows, I made flickering fire-like eyes using electronics and ping pong balls. I used bamboo poles and a frame backpack for support and for wing control. The dragon’s name is Jargon, The Infinite.

Can you give an example of one of your electronic creations?
One of my electronic creations is Sniffles, which I made at a hackathon. It’s an autonomous roaming robot that measures air quality. If the air needs cleaning, it will use a fan to draw air into itself (through a carbon filter and a dryer sheet) to release fresher air.

How and why did you get involved in marital arts and where did it first begin?
I had a lot of energy in grade school and had a natural talent for (and enjoyed) putting people into arm locks. So, my parents decided that the best way for me to expend my energy, while increasing discipline, was to sign me up for karate classes after Grade 8. I was then hooked on learning that style and various other disciplines from that point onwards.

Do you have any professional training in this field?
I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to study under numerous highly respected teachers. The disciplines that I have trained in for a significant amount of time include Okinawan karate, Judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Wu-style Tai Chi and Wing Chun.

Who/what are your inspirations?
Samurai and Japanese culture, 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Kazushi Sakuraba and Fedor Emelianenko (golden Pride FC era), Marcelo Garcia, Naruto Shippuden and my friends (whom I learn from every day).