Ron Amundson

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Because analog is cool!

About

The Guy

Work Experience

Owner R.H. Amundson & Associates 5/2002-present

I own and operate a virtual R-D firm, specializing in prototype development, feasibility studies, and process development. I have a team consisting of anywhere between 2 and 26 subcontractors with highly specialized experience ranging from automotive to medical product development.

From 2002 to 2005, we were a turn key firm, taking ideas, and walking them all the way through to production. In 2005, we changed the scope to only concentrate on the prototype, process, and feasablity arenas, as a narrowing of our core competence was in order to foster greater efficiency.

From 1991-2002, RH Amundson & Associates was a part time operation focusing on the installation and configuraiton of CNC machining centers.

Key skills involve basic science research, writing patent applications,and prior art research. Prototype design and fabrication, and process development.

Senior Scientist 9/1998 – 9/2001

Reported to Sensors R-D Manager. Designed embedded systems to validate R-D technology and interface with customers. Responsible for technology feasibility studies, program planning and definition, prototype development including hardware design, software architecture and coding, and mechanical design, including optical interfaces. Responsible for contracting engineering services, project budgeting and all phases of project management. Typical projects used the skills of assembly language programming, RF design, EMC engineering, low power system design, materials science, and project management. Developed a team of external subcontractors for rapid prototyping.

Wrote patent applications and technology summaries. Presented R-D status reports and long-term plans to sales and marketing staff with widely varying technical capabilities. Collaborated on company wide technology projects concerning rf engineering. Key research areas were semiconductor processing, thin film sensors, and smart sensing technology.
Software skills: IAR assembler, Atmel AVR assembler, VBA for Excel, HTML

Chief Engineer, Control Systems Engineer 1994-1998

Reported to General Manager. Contributed to 5-year business plans, responsible for yearly dept budgeting and planning. Mentored engineering staff, substantial involvement with HR activities including hiring decisions. Key role in information and business systems architecture.
Recurrent engineering activities involved product family redesign resulting in 30% cost savings and CE compliance. High levels of analog design, DFM, ATE, EMC engineering, project management, and vendor relationship management were utilized.

Worked with customers to develop product requirements documents, estimate NRE, and provided installation support. Developed and consulted on industrial and commercial thermal systems including soil remediation systems, medical devices, consumer products, and semiconductor processing equipment. Developed manufacturing processes applicable to low volume production (1-5units/year) up to medium volume (50K units/year).

Product Engineer 1988-1994

Reported to General Manager. Designed radiation thermometers using the skills of optical design, hardware design, software architecture design, DFM, and project management. Key accomplishments include: the design of a thermometry and data acquisition system for Formula 1 racing, the design of a low priced radiation thermometer with greatly improved performance at elevated temperatures. Designed data acquisition system for test lab and automated manufacturing and calibration equipment for signals in the sub microvolt range. Edited publication for “Nasa Tech Briefs” on radiation thermometry. Assisted in two acquisitions as a technical resource and was actively involved in the transition and integration of business and information systems.

Technical Skills

Skill Name Skill Level Last Used/Experience
Artax Intermediate +4 years ago / 3 years
AVR Assembler Intermediate Currently used / 12 years
BASCOM-AVE Intermediate Currently used / 5 years
C Beginner +4 years ago / 4 years
CADKey Expert +4 years ago / 6 years
Circuit Board Layout Intermediate Currently used / 5 years
EMC Engineering Expert Currently used / 16 years
Hardware Engineering Expert Currently used / 22 years
Optical Design Intermediate Currently used / 12 years
Production Automation Intermediate Currently used / 12 years
Project Management Intermediate Currently used / 9 years
Public Speaking Intermediate Currently used / 14 years
RF Engineering Intermediate Currently used / 8 years
software architecture design Intermediate Currently used / 6 years
VBA Beginner Currently used / 3 years
Visio Expert Currently used / 11 years
Visual Basic Beginner Currently used / 11 years

Education

University of MN 2001

Luther College 1992

University of Northern Iowa 1989

UW-Madison 1989

BS Physics UW-Oshkosh 1987

Patents

“Fleet Tracking System with Reporting Feature” C. Underdahl, R. Amundson patent awarded 2008
Vehicle Usage Data Tracking System C. Underdahl, R. Amundson patent pending 2003
“Interface Device and Method of use with a Smart Sensor”, W. Schuh, R. Amundson; patent awarded 2003
“Thermocouple Filter” R. Amundson; patent pending 1999

Presentations and Publications

“Starting a Small Technology Business” Bob Gasner, Ron Amundson  Se MN IEEE 2003

“Thermal Issues in Hardware Design” presentation Midwest Solutions Conference 2001

“Radiation Thermometry and Instrumentation in Racing” conference presentation Fallcon 99
Contributed to standards update for ASTM subcommittee on Radiation Thermometry 1992-1997

Development of Laboratory Demonstration Examples of Electrical Interference Reduction in Instrumentation” R.R. Knispel, R.H. Amundson 1988

Microcomputer Acquired Frequency Dependence of Phase Shift in Amplifier and Filter Behavior” R.R. Knispel, R.H. Amundson 1987

“Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Studies of Molecular Motion in N2H5 Compounds” R.R. Knispel R.H. Amundson 1986

The Company

History

Ronald H Amundson & Associates started out in 1992, as a part time venture, setting up CNC machines. In 2002, it became a full time endeavor in the arena of product development. Our specialty as one of my past subcontractors says is “doing things this side of impossible, and admitedly sometimes crossing the line”.

Virtual R-D, Prototype, and Process Troubleshooting are our specialties

Virtual R-D, prototype and process troubleshooting are our specialties. We don’t advertise to do it all, but with upfront engineering, we can keep your total costs lower, by early investigation of problem areas, before you fully commit to a new product idea or process.

Markets Served

Our concentration is on the small company or individual inventor with an idea, who lacks the internal capability to turn it into a viable product or process. Our focus is on the front end, where the opportunity to save money is greatest.

We do not propose to be a turn key do all firm. There are many fine and talented firms out there, which can take a product from an initial concept to shrinkwrap product in a retail store. However, such firms can become very expensive unless one has solid and unchanging specification upfront. Often times such firms are best suited to the expansion of an established firms market base, rather than the small company or individual inventor whose product or market may be subject to change midstream.

Virtual Team

Our team is dynamic, and can grow from a single designer or two, to over 40 members as a project demands. Unlike most turn key firms, where a regulatory and compliance team is on staff burning overhead 7 days a week, we only bring in specialists as the project and or workload demands. The same applies to other disciplines. We don’t feel a client should be paying for overhead that doesn’t apply directly to their project, yet, there are times when a specific guru is needed. As a result, we have a wide range of subcontractors on call, everything from draftsman to regulatory personal. You only pay for specialty services when they are needed, and through our Our unique approach to subcontractor services and billing, a 40% savings is not unreasonable.

A Cross Disciplinary Team

We are a virtual organization consisting of a core group who has worked together since the early 90’s. What sets us apart is our cross disciplinary skill set. Each core member, not only has a specific competency, such as hardware design, embedded software, circuit board layout, mechanical design, and manufacturing, but also has skills in the other fields.

Unlike most firms, where a hardware designer is not versed in the manufacturing, each core member can also provide complementary services. The benefit provided with a multi-disciplinary team, is that the days of throwing the design over the wall to the other guy are long gone, as well as the associated finger pointing that can occur should problems result.

In addition, we bring multiple aspects of market specific design knowledge to the table, ranging from aerospace, to industrial products, to medical products, to consumer electronics as well as our manufacturing backgrounds from low volume custom process equipment, to higher volume products where hundreth cents, and process seconds equate to serious dollars.

While one might think that applying aerospace design processes to a consumer electronics device would result in design overkill, it is often times not so much the design standards in and of themselves, as it is robust design processes and product qualification that are key. Both of these criteria can provide significantly less headaches when an early prototype goes into pre-production, as contrasted with having only a one off prototype. While one offs are fine for purposes of seeking funding, often times they do end up in limited production for market research, or even for sale. Using a on-off prototype for such purposes can result not only in production headaches, but also the potential for in field failures is significantly higher.