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The Masters of Engineering Podcast
Cool Products, the People Who Develop Them, and How They Do It. Host Jon Hirschtick chats with innovators in product development and explores what it takes to turn ideas into reality.
Mar 22, 2022
Rony Abovitz: Bringing Star Wars to Life with Magic Leap and Mako Surgical
In this episode, Jon talks with Rony Abovitz - the founder of Magic Leap, co-founder of Mako Surgical, and currently the founder/CEO of Sun and Thunder. Jon and Rony discuss raising over $3 billion in funding, the vision of Magic Leap, meeting George Lucas (yup you read that right!), and bringing Star Wars to life! Every episode going forward will be on Youtube as well: https://linktr.ee/MastersofEngineering
1 hr 6 min
Jan 14, 2022
Eco-Friendly 3D Printing: Samantha Snabes, Co-Founder of re:3D
*Inspired by her travels with the Johnson Space Center’s “Engineers Without Borders” team, Samantha Snabes has helped launch some of the largest and most affordable industrial 3D printers in the world. Her company, **re:3D**, is the manufacturer of the Gigabot, a giant 3D printer that boasts a build volume starting at 30X the size of desktop printers. The eco-friendly Gigabot sells for one-tenth the cost of typical industrial printers, can print directly from plastic waste, and has customers in more than 50 countries.* *In this podcast, Snabes shares her observations of how 3D printing is radically transforming the way we think about product design. “The vision for what you will make changes as soon as you start printing it,” she says. “Designers will often say within the first three layers, they’ve found a way to improve their idea. Just starting to see the outline of the physical form inspires new ideas.” Snabes also chats with Jon about her experiences in the Mississippi National Guard, where she serves in an emergency response unit for hurricane and disaster relief.*
Jul 30, 2021
Going Electric: Azizi Tucker, Co-Founder and CTO of XING Mobility
*Tinkering with his first CAD system as a 13-year-old boy in Oakland, California, Azizi Tucker has since devoted much of his professional life to the development of electric vehicle technology worldwide. As employee #100 of Tesla, he worked on supplier development throughout Asia for the Model S and Model Y, and later co-founded **XING Mobility**, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of modular electric battery and powertrain systems for the mining, construction and agriculture industries. He is also the founder of **Graft**, a custom manufacturer of bespoke electric motorcycles and quad off-road racing vehicles.* *In this podcast, Azizi reveals how his company helps convert commercial trucks and industrial vehicles from diesel to electric while allowing manufacturers to retain their existing vehicle designs. He also chats with Jon about the challenges of achieving more diversity in the engineering world, not just racial and cultural diversity, but a mix of talent from beyond the usual elite universities.*
Oct 15, 2020
Will Electric Air Taxis Rescue Our Morning Commute? – Sean McCluskey, Additive Lead for Joby Aviation
Sean McCluskey is the additive lead at Joby Aviation, overseeing design, manufacturing, and certification of 3D-printed components on the company’s four-passenger electric air taxi now under development. The innovative aircraft takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter, then smoothly transitions to forward flight. A pioneer in the urban air taxi market, Joby Aviation’s goal is to reduce traffic congestion and give people “more freedom to choose where they work, live, and play.” In this podcast, Sean tells Jon how battery technology, additive manufacturing, and advanced composite materials are changing the world of aviation design. Containing more than a thousand 3D-printed parts – including titanium airframe components – this air taxi could redefine the aircraft development process.
Sep 9, 2020
How the Rise Emergency Ventilator Was Built From Scratch in 21 Days: Eduardo Torrealba, CEO of Meter
Eduardo Torrealba is the co-founder and CEO of Meter, an industrial hardware startup that took on the challenge of building a more affordable ventilator in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. A typical medical device can take many months or even years to bring to market. The Rise Emergency Ventilator went from idea to deliverable mass-produced product in 21 days. In this podcast, Eduardo tells Jon how his extended team of 50 professionals – engineers, hospital clinicians, software developers, and 3D printing experts – designed, built, and tested six iterations of the emergency ventilator. He also shares how cloud productivity tools (and unsustainable 120-hour work weeks) made this amazing collaborative effort possible.
Jul 22, 2020
Reimagining How Machine Parts Get Made: Mitch Free, Founder of ZYCI and MFG.com
*Mitch Free is a college dropout who partnered with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to build **MFG.com**, the first online marketplace bringing together product designers and manufacturers. The serial entrepreneur is now seeking to improve the way every machine part in the world gets made. He’s currently the founder and CEO of **ZYCI** (pronounced “ZEE-key”), a CNC-machining, plastic molding and additive manufacturing company serving the aerospace and defense industries.* *In this podcast, Mitch reminisces with Jon about his unusual career path from refurbishing used aircraft for Northwest Airlines to running his own design software business to figuring out how to cut Ferrium M54, one of the toughest steels ever made.*
Sep 15, 2019
Pickpocket-Proof Backpacks: Sarah Giblin, Founder of Riut
Sarah Giblin is an accidental designer. While waiting to get off an airplane, she noticed a fellow passenger nervously unzip his backpack and stuff his wallet and passport in his front jeans pocket. She soon unconsciously found herself reacting the same way: “My God, is my wallet and passport still there?” And then imagined an endless queue of backpack wearers concerned that the person behind them had easier access to their valuables than they did. In this podcast, Sarah tells Jon how she developed the RiutBag, a backpack with zippers that go flush against the wearer’s back (with no zippers on the outside), and how she navigated the product development world without any design or manufacturing background.
Aug 15, 2019
Styling Iconic Sports Cars: Mark Ferri, Designer of the Corvette Stingray
Ever wonder how your favorite sports car or luxury car got its classic look? Guest Mark Ferri, a senior industrial designer for Uber, was previously a designer at General Motors for 17 years. At GM. he personally styled (using both clay models and computer design) the Corvette Stingray, the Camaro 6, the Cadillac XTS and many other vehicle exteriors and interiors. In this episode, Mark reveals the challenges of redesigning the look of iconic car brands, and offers advice to aspiring product designers who are still in school.
Jul 15, 2019
Robots That Can Touch and Feel: Dr. Bill Townsend, Founder of Barrett Technology
Barrett Technology’s humanlike robot once shook hands with Arnold Schwarzenegger, but attracting celebrity friends is not its primary talent. Barrett is a pioneer in haptic robot arms and hands, which can apply the appropriate amount of physical pressure in different situations like a human would. The technology now has medical and physical therapy applications, with the robot arm even being able to give a massage. In this episode, Bill tells Jon the secret behind his robots’ magic touch and reflects on how his engineering journey first started when he built a treehouse at age 14.