Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Technolink Snapshot May 2018

Snapshot News from Technolink Members 

Technolink Supporting Member AeroVironment is the leading supplier of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or drones, to the United States Department of Defense and to more than 40 allies, and a leader in testing and charging systems for electric vehicle development and operation.

On March 6, the Company announced its largest-ever international contract for small Unmanned Aircraft Systems.  The
$44.5 million contract with the government of a nation in the Middle East reflects strong international demand for the Company’s family of hand-launched UAS, including the Puma AE system with its Mantis i45 sensor suite.  AeroVironment’s small UAS, equipped with advanced sensors, can be carried by troops and deployed within 5 minutes to stream live video from the sky to their operators from up to 10 kilometers away.  The company also delivers its tube-launched Switchblade® Tactical Missile Systems to the U.S. Army to help soldiers protect themselves from enemy attacks in a more precise manner than ever before.

AeroVironment recently began selling its
Quantix hybrid drone and Decision Support System (DSS) to help farmers gain an information advantage in their continuous battle against weather, pests and other uncertainties that can affect their crops.  The Company also announced recently that it had entered into a joint venture with SoftBank Corp. to develop and demonstrate solar-powered High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS) that could one-day deliver broadband connectivity from the stratosphere to customers across the globe.

In its Efficient Energy business, nine global automakers have selected AeroVironment’s
electric vehicle charging systems as the preferred solutions for their plug-in electric vehicles.  The company’s newest EV charging systems conform to European and Chinese safety standards to support drivers around the world as they switch to cleaner, more efficient electric mobility solutions.

AeroVironment’s people strive to deliver the actionable intelligence customers need to proceed with certainty.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Technolink Snapshot April 2018

Snapshot News from Technolink Members 

In response to the recent shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Technolink member Ron Williams of Talon Companies shares some thoughts on safety in the face of senseless, dysfunctional human behavior. Talon, which provides training programs in "Targeted Violence Prevention and Active Threat Response," teaches individuals how to recognize behavior warning signs, intervene using a variety of deterrence techniques, and react to an active threat situation. According to Williams, people need to be trained to observe, listen and pick up on behaviors that indicate a propensity for violence. Proper training prepares the individual to respond in a traumatic attack situation. 
Talon is also affiliated with Leatherback Gear, a bullet resistant backpack patented and designed by First Responders, that is saving lives. To learn more about it, click here
To learn more about Talon Companies, click here.


Congratulations to Technolink long-time member and supporter, Ross DeVol on his appointment as a Walton Fellow. He will be focusing his research on building economic ecosystems in Northwest Arkansas and the American heartland for the Walton Family Foundation, a family-led foundation that tackles tough social and environmental problems with urgency and a long-term approach to create access to opportunity for people and communities. 

Please take a moment to read Ross DeVol's recent essay: "Incentivize Entrepreneurial Behaviors at Universities– Especially in the Heartland."


Please join me in welcoming  Dr. Michael Yassa to Technolink. Dr. Yassa is Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior, Neurology, and Psychiatry at UC Irvine. He is currently UCI Chancellor’s Fellow and Director of the globally renowned Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.
The UC Irvine Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (CNLM) is internationally recognized. CNLM faculty use state-of-the-art approaches integrating cellular/molecular, systems and cognitive neuroscience to investigate learning and memory. Their research programs have direct impact on education, technology, and brain health.
The CNLM is hosting the 2018 International Conference on Learning and Memory, a 5-day conference that will take place April 18-22, 2018 at the Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach. This conference will feature 500 presentations including talks and symposia by the worlds foremost experts in learning and memory and  panels on the future of neuroscience, open science and open access publishing and neuroscience and education. More information can be found at

Friday, March 30, 2018

Technolink Spring 2018 Recap

Thank you to all of you who attended the Technolink Spring 2018 Presidents' Club Forum!
Our panelists were invited to ponder this year’s theme, “The Transformational Shift in Business and the Workplace.” Our visionary panelists were Steven Peterson of P2S Inc., Kevin McDonald of Alvaka Networks, Carrie Spiker of The Boeing Company, David Gallagher of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Heather Lord of Northrop Grumman Corporation and Gregg Profozich of CMTC.

We asked our visionary panelists to consider and reflect upon the major shifts they are experiencing, the challenges they present, and their thoughts and advice for the future.

And the future is bright
 In the words of Gregg Profozich of CMTC, “Technological innovation hasn’t stopped. What’s coming out of Silicon Valley, what’s coming out of here, what’s coming out of San Diego, in terms of new technologies and medical devices, software and IT, is amazing.”

Our panelists -- representative of diverse industries -- shared similar challenges. While placing value in human capital is vital, there was a realization that, now more than ever, companies –- whether they be big or small –- are connected and rely on each other to truly thrive.


No matter the industry, the largest challenge is how to retain one’s hires and how to bridge the generational gap. How to attract and retain the easily distracted millennial, in particular, who is prone to “lily-padding,” or leaving a company to gain experience elsewhere in a short amount of time?   “In Boeing,” says Carrie Spiker, “we have very different organizations and it keeps me engaged and excited about our projects –-  and excited about the innovation we are doing because it’s always different every couple of years or so.” However, Kevin McDonald of Alvaka Networks points out that small companies are having a hard time retaining employees without the same resources as big companies. “Millennials are like frogs, they jump and…won’t stay very long. Part of the challenge for small business is that, if you don’t have as broad a footprint as a bigger company to allow them to move internally, you train them in something, they post their new certification on Linkedin and in 48 hours they're poached.”

Steven Peterson offered that P2S Inc., although a smaller company, is adapting to the different patterns of learning of the younger generation. “We tell our interns and our new hires from the first month they are with the company that there are a lot of teams here that you can get involved with besides engineering. We encourage them to reach out to those individuals because we want to see them get involved in as many places as they can. I think a lot of the younger interns and new hires don’t want to have one task they can do for eight hours. They want to be involved in as many things as possible.” Peterson reports success in hiring interns at the end of the summer with this approach. David Gallagher of JPL also shared that some very innovative ideas come from their interns because, “some of them aren’t yet smart enough to know they can’t do something, so they push out in an area and it may not end up exactly where she started or he started, but it winds up being a brilliant idea.”

We learned from Heather Lord that Northrop Grumman has a unique approach to keeping their middle workers engaged and passionate. “One of the things that Northrop has that I think is really critical to maintaining the middle work force is a fabrication laboratory. People can go during their breaks, after hours, on the weekends, and create. They can 3-D print something they are working on either at work or at home. They have paint canvases and sewing machines, so it’s essentially an area where people can go and create. I think that is critical to maintaining the culture at Northrop because there are a lot of programs to maintain and motivate them.” Clearly, Northrop Grumman creates a culture and environment where people want to stay. 

Another transformational shift that presents complexities and challenges across the board is that of cyber security in the workplace.  A big challenge is communicating the importance of protecting intellectual property internally and externally through training and awareness. Big companies rely on small companies in their supply chain and demand that they comply with more and more costly security demands in order to deliver projects and products safely. Some of the smaller companies are struggling to keep up. Explains Gregg Profozich, “A small manufacturer is good at making the thing he makes. That IT stuff came along after he started making what he makes. So, that mindset, that transformation, hasn’t necessarily happened yet.  ‘I just got a 3-D data package from Boeing that I have to make this project on and it needs to be secure because they keep spending millions to keep it secure, but I’m the weak link and what does that mean?’”

Carrie Spiker of the Boeing Company replied, “It doesn’t matter how small you are. These security requirements are going to get flowed all the way down to the smallest company and I know it’s harder to implement these types of things when you don’t have the resources, but that’s the only way we can secure our data. I mean if other countries and whatnot are going to hack into these networks to steal our designs, we have to make sure it’s protected from all areas.”

Finally, the panelists shared that a key success of navigating these times is to continuously urge employees to look for and consider new revenue streams beyond the norm, beyond what one would have considered before. Innovation also means a willingness to try new approaches, and often times, it’s the younger generations arriving in the workforce who are infusing it with new ideas. “We learn a lot from the students coming out of college,” says Heather Lord. “They are the ones doing their college projects using AI and VR and we should be open to their view and ideas because they can teach us a lot.” Although the concern was raised that AI and VR might replace jobs, the panel expressed that there is still a great deal of discomfort with that from an ethical point of view.  Gregg Profozich of CMTC offered the following:  “Technology creates new jobs that we can’t envision right now. So we are sitting here and we can see what is going to be replaced, but we can’t see what’s going to be necessary because of what is going to be replaced.” STEM, for example, continues to be an important funnel in education for the future. 

Ultimately, innovation and technology is successful due to the integrity of your hires. Our human connection is what keeps us happy and creative in the workplace and a step ahead of security breaches. And, while no one is able to forsee the future, we have proven throughout history our ability as a population to adapt with each evolution. In the words of Carrie Spiker of The Boeing Company (a company that has weathered many a shift in its 100+ years), “We’ve got the crystal ball. We have 12 of them. We don’t know which one is right. Is it one of them? Is it a bunch of them? We’ve got them all going in parallel. And we are going to keep that flexibility up.”

We are pleased to share Kevin Smith's spotlight on our event in the Pasadena Star News:  "Spacecraft buses? Monetized payloads? Experts speak to seismic shifts in business and the workplace."

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Technolink Snapshot March 2018


Technolink members Jim Watson and Gregg Profozich announced that CMTC, California’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center, hosted a quarterly summit for MEP staff embedded in the Manufacturing USA Institutes. The event was held last month at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at the University of California Irvine and was sponsored by the MEP National Network. Calit2 is a Technology Demonstration Center for the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII).
The summit was attended by key personnel from the MEP National Network and personnel from the 10 MEP Centers across the country, UCI professors, UCI staff and other invited guests.
The summit provided a forum for collaboration on the transfer of 
Institute developed technologies to Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturers (SMMs) such as additive manufacturing, advanced robotics and SMART technologies have fundamentally changed how we think about design, fabrication and support in manufacturing. The challenge for MEP Centers is in the development approaches that engage SMMs in the adoption of these process and machine technologies that will increase productivity and competitiveness.
For further information, please click here


Technolink member Michel Schnaas, VP of Business Development and Strategy at  KVP International, shares how the company addresses growth through the use of technology.  For more than 50 years, KVP International has been the leading manufacturer of recovery pet collars (also known as the "Elizabethan Collar" or "Cone of Shame") in the USA. Up until a decade ago, the company fulfilled orders with a manual press on a built-to-order basis.
Today, KVP manufactures over 4 million collars per year in a variety of shapes and price points in its Chino, CA facilities. Such growth has only been possible through the proactive adoption of new technologies in manufacturing and data analytics that enable proper decision-making through capacity, efficiency, and profitability measures. Manufacturing at KVP has evolved from one manual press that would yield just over 150 units per hour to three automatic cutting presses that yield over 2000 units per hour.

Today, KVP's product line consists of over 3,000 SKUs in a variety of product categories. As part of KVP's operational strategy, KVP has set off on a steadfast path of automation and proactive use of analytics to make business decisions. 
"Product" sits at the heart of our business. It is what we manufacture, store, and sell to our customers. Before we can even ship our products, they must go through many steps along the value chain. Leveraging technology to improve and track all these steps has become an integral part of the business model and a great opportunity for KVP. 
To read the full article, click here.
To learn more about KVP, click here.


Technolink member Feyzi Fatehi, CEO of Corent Technology announces that Jim DuBois, former Microsoft Chief Information Officer, has joined the Corent team. Corent Technology is the emerging leader in Cloud Migration and SaaS enablement technologies. In addition, Corent SurPaaS automatically migrates and Cloud-enables any software application as fully instrumented SaaS for efficient delivery ‘as a Service,’ saving years and millions of dollars worth of manual design and programming effort.  SurPaaS was named the most Innovative Cloud Service and was recognized by the Gartner Group for its innovative approach for rapid delivery of conventional software as fully instrumented SaaS (Software as a Service). Corent was recently awarded a patent for its consequential invention of “Software Defined SaaS®” platform.
To learn more, click here.

Technolink member Frank Quiambao was featured on Fox11's  Good Day LA on Friday Feb 2, 2018. Frank is the Director of the National Education Safety and Security Institute (NESSI) at UCLA's Fielding School of Public  Health.  He was interviewed after the recent shooting at Salvador Castro Middle School and discussed reducing violence in our nation's schools.
NESSI Description: Utilizing an all hazards, comprehensive, integrative and whole of community approach, the National Education Safety and Security Institute, NESSI, aims to maximize and increase public health through violence and harm prevention, response and recovery in all segments of the educational system, including:  preK-12, colleges and universities, vocational institutions, private schools, as well as faith based institutions.  NESSI uses a multi-disciplinary approach to preventing school violence and harm through instruction, operational response, policy and research.


Technolink member Michael T. Losquadro announces his new role as  Senior Advisor – Campus Advancement for the California State University (CSU) Office of the Chancellor.
As the Senior Advisor – Campus Advancement, Michael provides strategic counsel to the 23 campus Presidents and Vice Presidents of Advancement to assist them in building successful advancement programs.  He conducts campus capacity studies, organizational assessments and program evaluations.  He also assists the campuses in preparing for and launching fund raising campaigns, establishing philanthropic foundations, and training and orienting new foundation board members.
Michael previously served as the Associate Vice President, Development & Campaign Operations for California State University, Long Beach and the Chief Operating Officer for the CSULB 49er Foundation, as well as the Executive Director of Development at the University of California, Irvine. Michael is a proud Titan, having earned his Bachelor of Arts in Operations Management at California State University, Fullerton. Michael also serves as a Reserve Lieutenant in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Search & Rescue Reserve Unit. 

The UCI Cybersecurity Policy and Research Institute announces an Election Hacking Conference on March 13, 2018.  For more information and to purchase tickets online, click below. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Technolink Snapshot February 2018

Snapshot News from Technolink Members 

Technolink member Lt. General Larry James shares the following announcement:  NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab is preparing to launch its next Mars mission in May 2018.  The mission is called InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) and will explore and understand the interior of Mars.  The spacecraft, pictured below, contains three extremely sensitive seismometers to measure motion of the planets deep interior, as well as a heat probe that will penetrate 6 meters beneath the Martian surface to measure the core temperature of the planet.  The spacecraft will be launched from Vandenberg AFB CA, marking an historic first as the first interplanetary mission ever to launch from the West Coast.  For more details, click here.


Congratulations to Technolink Advisory Board Members James Del Monaco and Wes McKean for their new posts as Associate Principals  at P2S Engineering.  Pictured left and second to left below, they are joined by Travis Taylor, Mike Shen and David Howard who were also named Associate Principals of the firm. As leaders in sustainability, design, project management and commissioning, they embody dedication to their clients and commitment to high quality service that are the ethos of P2S.


Congratulations to Technolink member Dr. Jeff Reed who was recently appointed to UC Irvine's Advanced Power and Energy Program as chief scientist for renewable fuels and energy storage. In his new role, Reed will lead and expand an existing foundation of research and market outreach in both renewable fuels and energy storage, working in collaboration with graduate and undergraduate students and anchor research staff. Prior to joining UC Irvine, Dr. Reed led a variety of programs, including research, development and demonstration; energy efficiency emerging technology; venture investment; and the low-emission vehicle program, and was responsible for long-range technology forecasting and strategic planning at SoCalGas and San Diego Gas and Electric (both Sempra Energy utilities). To read more, click here