Bob Carr, Senior Staff Technician

With previous work background including Pratt & Whitney East Hartford, Mechanical Technology Incorporated, and Foster-Miller Inc., Bob Carr has an excellent background in rotating machinery development, rig construction, and turbine operation and maintenance. Bob has played an important role in hardware construction and assembly for MSI’s successful ultra-low specific speed pump development for fracking and nuclear services. For US Navy nuclear applications, Bob worked on equipment in radiation areas of the USS Roosevelt, as well as on advanced magnetic bearings on the Trident-class submarine, Tennessee.   He is the lead assembler for all foil bearing development projects, accurately manufacturing both the bump and smooth foils, and performing all heat treating, micro-welding, and assembly.  For a major Navy prime contractor, Bob oversaw all machining and performed final assembly of the mag bearing unit catcher bearings. He is MSI’s primary technician for inspection and repair of installed TEI high-speed steam turbine generator sets. Bob helps design and oversees installation of complex flow loops for turbines, compressors, fans, pumps, and electric motors, including heat exchangers and large cooling tanks/sumps. He has assembled and made operational many advanced refrigeration loops for both energy and power recovery.   Along with his other talents, Bob is also an excellent machinist, fabricating aluminum and steel components in MSI’s Prototype Machine Shop.

Peter Chapman, P.E., Principal Engineer

A Principal Engineer at MSI, Mr. Chapman has been involved with development, testing, and evaluation of machinery systems throughout his career. At Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) he held various engineering positions involved in development of Stirling engines and related mechanical systems. In 1998 Mr. Chapman joined Foster-Miller Inc. (FMI, now Qinetiq North America) when MTI sold much of its technology business to FMI. At FMI, Mr. Chapman was the principal designer of foil bearings and magnetic bearings for a variety of rotating machines ranging from miniature blood pumps and micro gas turbines to energy storage flywheels and high speed blowers. Recently, Mr. Chapman joined MSI following MSI’s April 2009 purchase of the foil bearing business from FMI. He received his BSME Cum Laude from Union College. He is a Certified Category II Vibration Analyst per ISO 18436, a Licensed Professional Engineer, and holds several patents.

Jason Coppola, Project Engineer

Mr. Coppola earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from The College of New Jersey. During his time there, he took part in a program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) which brought together students from their respective majors with the goal of designing and building a non-human conductor capable of leading an orchestra, using a combination of robotics and screen-based interfaces. Jason’s main contribution was in the development of robotic movement and synchronization.

At MSI, Jason has had extensive experience with FEA software such as Pro/Engineer, Pro/Mechanica, ANSYS Multiphysics, and ANSYS Workbench. He has performed stress, modal, fatigue, and seismic analyses for various turbomachinery applications. Jason has also been an active member in the development of MSI’s active RPG defeat system. His contributions include construction and analysis of lab and field test hardware.

Outside of the office, Jason has acquired experience with field testing and data acquisition methods, including the use of MSI’s 52 channel B&K Pulse system, accelerometers, strain gauges, microphones, and optical probes. Jason has also gained experience using LabVIEW software for data acquisition as well as writing some custom code.

Richard Cronin, P.E, Senior Staff Engineer

As an MSI Senior Staff Engineer, Mr. Cronin has more than 20 years experience in the design, analysis, and testing of rotating mechanical equipment, performing FEA to minimize equipment vibration at start-up, and evaluation of equipment versus best practices and customer requirements. He is a former OEM design engineer skilled in all aspects of rotating machinery design. At Ingersoll Dresser Pump he worked in the new product development cycle for both vertical turbine and submersible solids handling pumps. He is familiar with NFPA 70 (National Electric Code) and its application to submersible pumping equipment. Mr. Cronin is skilled in AutoCAD and Pro/Engineer computer aided design packages. He also has extensive experience in Finite Element Analysis and has applied that knowledge to minimize component testing and warranty issues with new equipment. He has verified analysis work through field-testing of installed units. As a Marine Engineer with Designers and Planners in Crystal City, Virginia, Mr. Cronin worked on a number of projects for the US Navy and Coast Guard, including condenser re-tubing, turbo generator replacement, shipboard NBC wash down system, ship’s power transmission, design manual for gas turbine intakes and uptakes, condition monitoring, and sea trials with vibration measurements. He holds a BSME from the University of Maryland, three patents, and is a licensed Professional Engineer

Front Removable Bearing Housing; U.S. Patent 5,944,482; Issued 31 Aug 99
Open Bowl; U.S. Patent 5,993,153; Issued 30 Nov 99
Multi-Stage Vertical Turbine Pump with Comminution; U.S. Patent 6,089,823; Issued 18 Jul 2000

Brian Fletcher, Senior Staff Technician

Mr. Fletcher has an excellent professional background in photography, as well as experience in off-road vehicle construction, operation, and design improvements. Brian is responsible for operating MSI’s 20,000 frame/second Redlake (Kodak) high speed camera and software. Brian applies this ultra-high speed photography, for example, to document non-lethal munition impacts to determine energy-dispersal effectiveness and reliability, and to study centrifugal pump impeller flow streamlines and cavitation bubble formation and collapse.

Individual particles, fragments, or bubbles (among thousands) can be tracked in terms of trajectory and velocity. Brian has also played an important role in hardware construction for MSI’s successful RPG (Rocket-Propelled Grenade) Defeat project for the U.S. Marine Corps. funded through the Office of Naval Research.

Brian is also a proficient machinist, fabricating steel and high-strength aluminum components and assemblies. Brian also uses MSI’s 35-channel PULSE FFT analysis hardware and software to determine vibration levels and frequency spectra for pumps, turbines, compressors, and all types of turbomachinery operating in the field. On the analytical front, Brian performs 3D solids modeling using Pro/Engineer software.

Joseph Gruener, Project Engineer

Mr. Gruener received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Prior experience included Howmet Castings, where he was involved in the investment casting of turbine components. Joe’s work at MSI has included FEA analysis, machinery on-site field testing, and DoD defensive munition development. Joe has extensive experience with FEA software such as Pro/Engineer, ANSYS Multiphysics, Workbench, LS-Dyna, and Pro/Mechanica.

Joe’s biomechanical projects have included analysis of hip replacement concepts and related surgical instruments, including design optimization and in situ fatigue life evaluation. Joe has performed a large number of projects involving advanced finite element analysis for modal and forced response analysis, typically of various turbomachinery components or systems. Many of these analyses have been conducted on a wide range of pumps including horizontal barrel and split case pumps, and vertical turbine pumps as well as vertical volute style pumps.

Involvement in field testing jobs has given Joe experience on MSI’s 35 channel B&K Pulse system as well as MSI’s high speed (20,000 frames/sec) video camera. Accelerometers, pressure transducers, and proximity probes, as well as other sensors have been used by Joe with the Pulse system. Field test jobs involving this test hardware included troubleshooting of rotating machinery for either OEM’s or End Users, and evaluation of munition performance for various military projects.

Joe has been a leading engineer in the development of an active RPG defeat system. His work on this successful project has included the design and construction of lab and field test hardware. The design of these systems involved extensive use of solid modeling and finite element analysis techniques. Data from these tests was collected with a combination of the Pulse high speed data acquisition system as well as high speed video. Joe also played a key role in the planning and execution of successful testing of the system against live fired RPG’s.

Paul Guthrie, Technician Supervisor

Mr. Guthrie came to MSI with a background in electrical and hydraulic equipment, obtained while he was serving in the U.S. Navy. Following his Navy activities, Paul graduated from the Chubb Institute, where he majored in computer and networking technology. While employed with MSI, Paul has become skilled in the use of the ROMAC rotordynamics computer programs, and the ANSYS Multiphysics and Pro/Mechanica 3D finite element programs. At MSI, Paul has been involved in military projects, and was a the lead technologist in one of MSI’s nonlethal projectile projects involving magnetorheological fluid viscosity changes in the presence of variable strength magnetic fields. Most of Paul’s efforts have been in the commercial area, and have focused primarily on computer-aided analysis, and onsite modal and ODS vibration and acoustic testing of turbines and compressors at worldwide locations.

Christopher Hurrell, Technician Supervisor

Mr. Hurrell graduated from the Chubb Institute, where he majored in computer system technical support, maintenance and network administration. His computer hardware and software skills have played a key role in many projects that MSI has performed on behalf of worldwide customers. Chris’s extensive testing and analytical experiences at MSI have included on-site and remote testing of 64 high speed data channels troubleshooting a large steam turbine for a Southeast Asia power plant, 3D Finite Element Analyses using Pro/Engineer and ANSYS, rotordynamics evaluations of all types of rotating machinery using ROMAC RotorLab, and performing site ODS & impact modal testing and post-test data animations with ME’scope.

Chris participates in many of MSI’s field troubleshooting projects and assists in a variety of commercial and defense analytical projects. He has constructed various types of apparatus for laboratory tests, from biomedical equipment seal tests to nonlethal projectile tests. Along with his lab and field duties, Chris is also Assistant Administrator of MSI’s high speed network and Itanium parallel processing/ Intel servers.

Artem Ivashchenko, P.E., Project Engineer

Mr. Ivashchenko is a graduate of Cornell University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MEng in Aerospace Engineering. He also studied abroad for a semester at Berlin’s Freie Universität. At MSI, he works on a variety of projects, including pump structural and CFD fluids analysis, machinery diagnostics through acoustic imaging, and munitions development. He has good knowledge of various CAD and FEA major software programs, including Pro/Engineer Wildfire, Pro/Mechanica, and the ANSYS Workbench suite, and is also at home in the laboratory.  Artem is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of New Jersey.

While English is his first language, Artem is fluent in Russian and Ukrainian.

Travis Jonas, Manager of Mechanical Design and Manufacturing

As Manager of Mechanical Design and Manufacturing, Mr. Jonas brings 17 years of experience to MSI in the development of advanced propulsion applications including liquid rockets, hypersonics, and military gas turbine engines. Mr. Jonas’ experience base includes design and development of liquid rocket engine turbopumps for upper and main stage pump fed engines, accomplished during his tenure at Gencorp Aerojet. Mr. Jonas later served as a Development Program Engineer at Rolls-Royce/LibertyWorks where he was responsible for technical and managerial aspects of development programs for military-related propulsion.

The developmental aspects of Mr. Jonas’ career resulted in a wide breadth of proficiencies including program management, system and vehicle level integration, requirements definition, design and analysis, test, and manufacturing. Mr. Jonas has authored multiple turbomachinery related publications for AIAA, ASME, Joint Army Navy NASA Air Force (JANNAF), and Nuclear applications. Mr. Jonas received NASA’s Space Flight Awareness (SFA) Award in 2000 for his contribution in the development of the Space Shuttle’s High Pressure Fuel Turbopump/Alternate Turbopump (HPFTP/AT). The SFA is considered one of the highest awards presented to NASA and/or significant industry partners related to the human space flight program.

At MSI, Mr. Jonas performs project management, as well as finite element analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) of complex flowpaths within turbomachinery.

Mary Leland, Ph.D., Senior Software Architect

As Senior Software Architect, Dr. Leland has 25 years of experience in software development and software architecture, with expertise in the creation and combination of software components to provide customers with usable and useful integrated systems. She is currently developing software for an Air Force project to do health monitoring of turbomachinery for a NASA project that integrates off-the-shelf FEA and CFD tools with specialized component (e.g. seal, bearing) solvers, and for Air Force and Navy projects developing a visual-based sensor for missile tracking. Prior employers include Improv Technologies, Hewlett-Packard, Bell Communications Research (now Telcordia), and AT&T Bell Labs. At Bell, she co-led the User Interface Architecture and Development for a 3-tier telephony engineering application, integrating telephone network design and engineering tasks. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her undergraduate work includes a BS in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jim Netzel, Senior Consulting Engineer

As an MSI consultant, Mr. Netzel has more than forty years of experience in the design, application and troubleshooting of mechanical seals and sealing systems for rotating equipment.  This experience includes twenty years of service as chief engineer for John Crane Inc.  His project work has included all types of seals for liquid as well as gas applications for pumps, compressors and pressure vessels.  He has authored chapters for the McGraw-Hill Pump Handbook, Centrifugal Pump Handbook, and Compressor Handbook, and numerous presentations and technical papers published through the International Pump Symposium, STLE, ASME, BHRA, AISE, SAE and various trade publications.  His primary professional focus has been on improving equipment reliability.  He is a Fellow of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE), and a past member of the Board of Directors of STLE.  He is also past chairman of the ASME/STLE International Tribology Conference, and past chairman of the Seals Technical Committee for STLE.  He is a long time member editorial advisory board for three trade publications, including Pumps & Systems magazine.  He holds a BSME from the University of Illinois, and five patents in seal technology.

Keith Olasin, Senior Staff Engineer

A Senior Staff Engineer at MSI, Mr. Olasin, began his career at Picatinny Arsenal performing munitions development, and over the last 25 years has gained experience in a wide variety of analysis and test validation projects, much of this effort on behalf of Defense and Aerospace prime contractors.  Mr. Olasin has also held engineering positions at Allied Signal Aerospace, where he preformed finite element stress/vibration analyses of Hubble Space Telescope and Space Shuttle electronics; at G.E./Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Co., where he performed satellite structure finite element analyses that included coupled loads and thermo-elastic stress; at Howmedica, Inc., where he assessed skeletal-implant fatigue via combined finite element analysis and testing, as well as non-linear and super-element techniques; and at KDI Triangle, Inc., where he assessed thermal stress of microwave telecommunications equipment.  At MSI, Mr. Olasin has led MSI’s nonlethal penetrator program for the Army, and is manager of MSI’s project to develop advanced thermo-electric energy conversion modules for fire protection systems and energy recovery systems.   He holds a BSME degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a Master of Mechanical Engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology.  He is Past Chair of the North Jersey Section of ASME.

Daniel Owens, Senior Staff Technician

Dan Owens has an excellent background in off-road vehicle construction, operation, and design improvements. Dan has played an important role in hardware construction for MSI’s successful RPG (Rocket-Propelled Grenade) Defeat project for the U.S. Marine Corps. funded through the Office of Naval Research.

Dan’s hands-on work includes rig and prototype construction, and on-site testing. He is an excellent machinist, fabricating aluminum and steel components in MSI’s Prototype Machine Shop. Dan also uses MSI’s 35-channel PULSE FFT analysis hardware and software to determine vibration levels and frequency spectra for pumps, turbines, compressors, and all types of turbomachinery operating in the field.

Dan has an Associates Degree in Science.

Chad Pasho, Business Development Manager

As MSI’s Business Development Manager, Mr. Pasho combines his 20 years of technical and business background to identify and execute on market opportunities for MSI’s services and innovations.  He is responsible for commercialization of MSI’s research, and corporate partnerships.  Previous employers include Schlumberger, NextEra Energy, and Octave Communications (now Polycom).  He holds an MBA from the F.W. Olin School of Business at Babson College, and an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Charlie Prisco, Senior Principal Engineer

A Senior Principal Engineer at MSI specializing in laboratory and field testing, Mr. Prisco has 30+ years of experience in the development and test of all types of machinery and electrical equipment.  He has managed the design, manufacturing, testing, and field service start-up of gas and steam turbine electric power generator sets.  He also has experience in the design and test of standby power generators, cogeneration systems and switchgear from his prior tenures at Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI), Foster-Miller Inc., and Sulzer Turbosystems International.  At MSI, his focus is on developing new business opportunities for turbine-generators and foil bearings, and performing field service and troubleshooting activities on turbines, generators, and other plant and process equipment.  Mr. Prisco has a BSEE degree from Lowell University and holds three patents.

Timothy Shields, Project Engineer

In the analytical arena, Tim Shields has performed thermal-fluid and mechanical analysis of various sorts. He is also proficient in the lab, using advanced signal analysis methods to devise testing protocols for MSI’s various project efforts. He has experience working mechanical engineering research through from initial concept formation to prototype design, and from there to fabrication and proof-of-concept testing.

In the office, Tim is proficient using both the MATLAB and LabVIEW programming environments for engineering design analysis, and data analysis, respectively. Some of Tim’s work has included evaluating coulomb damping and stiffness characteristics of foil bearing designs, identifying (via data processing techniques) the transient behavior of electrically-coupled high speed gas turbine generators, and creating diagnostic algorithms for the detection of faults in non-rotating machinery such as valves. He also played a primary role in the development, design, prototyping, and testing of a novel high pressure, high temperature impingement jet cooling system which utilized CO2 as an environmentally benign refrigerant, for an insensitive munitions application.

In the lab, Tim has experience creating tests to explore design concepts, validate prototype functionality and simulate common failure modes in machinery. His testing experience includes hydraulics, high pressure and temperature fluid systems, rotating and non-rotating machinery, heat transfer, and energy harvesting “green” technologies. Tim has worked on successful custom instrumentation that has experienced temperatures over 1,200°F, rotor speeds over 90,000 RPM, and radiologically hot zones at a nuclear power plant.

Tim’s capabilities in both the office and lab environments allow smooth project transitions from on-paper design to demonstrable hardware. He holds a BSME from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is a Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer.

Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer

Vladimir Skidelsky, Project Engineer

Mr. Skidelsky is involved in all types of mechanical engineering projects including structural analysis (FEA), fluid dynamic analysis (CFD), and rotormachinery component/ system design. He is active in many of MSI’s turbomachinery field testing efforts as well. He is experienced in ANSYS Multiphysics and Workbench for structural finite element analysis, and ANSYS CFX and Star CCM+ for CFD analysis. He is also an expert in SolidWorks, and knowledgeable in Pro/Engineer CAD software. He is a skilled user of the vibration testing software system ME’scope for determining operating deflection shape (ODS) and natural frequencies/mode shapes.

Mr. Skidelsky has performed analyses to simulate U.S. Navy medium weight shock tests according to the 901D military specification on complex models with high element counts. Recent projects include a diesel fuel marine fuel filtration system, and a turbo-pump system for naval vessels.

Mr. Skidelsky’s design projects have included a multistage pump for difficult service, a radial gas turbine generator, a low head hydroturbine, and a hydraulic motor-gear pump system for an oil extraction application to replace current low efficiency vertical lift jet pumps. He has also been a key engineer in the testing/ analysis/ evaluation of a marine screw pump, leading to the development of automated diagnostic and predictive maintenance software for the U.S. Navy.

Mr. Skidelsky has demonstrated an interest in electro-mechanical component design with micro-processor programing, allowing MSI to utilize these evolving technologies in both condition monitoring and automation. Recently, he applied this capability as a key member of the team that successfully constructed and tested the Portable Missile Miss Distance multi-high-speed-camera system that will shortly be implemented by the U.S. Air Force to qualify MANPADS missile countermeasures, to protect both military and civilian aircraft, especially during take-offs and landings.

Mr. Skidelsky holds a M.Eng. degree in mechanical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, majoring in product development and thermal systems and a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering with a concentration in aerospace engineering from Rutgers University. In addition to English, he is fluent in Russian.

Solidworks Professional Mechanical Design

Derek Stack, Project Engineer

With over 10 years of experience as an engineer Derek Stack was formerly a lead marine engineer for the United States Coast Guard. Mr. Stack has extensive knowledge testing, troubleshooting, and servicing gas turbine propulsion and diesel engine propulsion systems. Additionally Mr. Stack is skilled the variety of his machinery application experience, with familiarity and understanding of various pumps, diesel generators, compressors and centrifuges. Derek is a Mechanical Engineering graduate of New York Institute of Technology. At MSI he has become familiar with various field testing tools, including FFT analyzers and all types of vibration, pressure pulsation, and stress detection sensors.

Lauren Weaver, Project Engineer

Mrs. Weaver has specialized in LabVIEW programing for nearly ten years, with a variety of experience with NI data acquisition hardware, including DAQmx, Field Point, and cRIO. She has developed automation software for research test setups as well as commercial systems. She also has a strong background of mechanical and electrical troubleshooting.

Mrs. Weaver assists with MSI’s machinery testing post-processing and data analysis. These results are used to identify machinery faults and are presented to customers to facilitate practical solutions. She is also involved in creating custom software products for mechanical component and system applications such as valve health monitoring, and developing predictive maintenance for light rail trains.

Mrs. Weaver holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado, is a Certified LabVIEW Architect, and works out of MSI’s Denver Colorado offices.

Certified LabVIEW Architect

Jeremy Weiss, Senior Staff Engineer

Mr. Weiss is heavily involved in troubleshooting rotating machinery problems, routinely traveling across the country to power plants and other industrial facilities to resolve machinery vibration issues. In addition to on-site testing and data collection, he is also deeply involved in post-processing and data analysis, often writing custom software routines to reduce large data sets into select graphical outputs that allow MSI engineers to quickly identify machinery faults and offer quick solutions to customers. He is an expert in data acquisition techniques for vibration applications, with intimate knowledge of DAQ hardware, data sampling methods, and time and frequency-domain mathematical techniques. He has coordinated measurements ranging from one to dozens of channels, sampling from a few Hz up to several Mega-Hz, and recording from a few seconds to a few days.

In addition to field troubleshooting of industrial machinery, Mr. Weiss is also leading the development of several software products using LabVIEW. He is packing the machinery know-how of the entire MSI staff into several software programs currently under development as part of various government-sponsored research programs. His software is used to monitor the health of common turbomachinery installations, to measure the stress and damage accumulation of bladed disks using innovative non-contacting methods, and to provide harmonic excitation to devices under test for experimental modal analysis as well as many other applications.

Mr. Weiss joined MSI part time as a student in 2005, and full time in 2008. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in mechanical engineering from Cornell University. He is a Certified LabVIEW Architect and lead’s MSI’s membership in the National Instruments Alliance Partner Program.

Certified LabVIEW Architect