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Areas of Expertise

We have direct experience in the following areas, and would be pleased to use what we have learned to assist you in your work:

  • Using acoustic and ultrasonic measurement instrumentation, including hydrophones, scanning tanks, software. We literally, "helped write the book" on this topic. We can design, upgrade, customize, train, or audit.
  • Designing Polyvynilide DiFluoride (PVDF) sensors and transducers. We have designed both hydrophones and sources, and have intimate experience with fabricating, bonding, poling, and using PVDF. Some the hydrophones we designed and built have been working for nearly ten years with no shifts in sensitivity. Sonora currently sells hydrophones using our designs.
  • We have worked with transducers from kilohertz sonar transmitters to 50 Megahertz PVDF receivers
    and ultrasound for scanning wood or brushing teeth.
  • Specifying product design elements. Since we do not manufacture transducers, for instance, we can help customers to select the best vendors for their needs. Often, customers "know what they want" but don't know how to specify the transducer, or adequately insure it's compliance with a specification. We can work to bridge the gap.
  • Managing product design and implementation. This involves developing specifications, coordinating vendors, instituting testing procedures, and writing device master records. We have helped a number of clients, either working through their system, or bringing to bear our network of product specialists. We can coordinate any or all phases of the design and implementation, from electronic design, PCB layout and fabrication, transducers, and software, to regulatory testing and government submissions.
  • Writing Grant applications. We have generated over $2.3 million in grant funding over the years, and Dr. Schafer is currently a reviewer on both R01 and R43/R44 (SBIR) grants for the NIH. While we are not a "grant writing service", our experience can be of value to companies applying for grants or writing coherent technology descriptions for marketing or business plan use.
  • Building small businesses. Dr. Schafer has been an entrepreneur since 1985, and has built several companies to the point of acquisition by other firms. Both focus and vision are necessary, but a working knowledge of potential pitfalls is also important when building companies.
  • Managing R & D programs. Research and Development is all about asking the right questions up front in order to eventually answer the needs of the user. Our years of experience have given us the tools to understand how to move as quickly as possible from one stage to the next, without overlooking items that often come back to haunt the process later.
  • Conducting innovative research. The basis of all this technology is a fundamental understanding of ultrasound, including how it propagates, interacts with materials, and affects biological systems. We have a proven track record, in patents, grants, publications, and, most importantly, in products, that demonstrates our capabilities to conduct research and then apply it to the marketplace.
  • Making presentations on technical topics to lay audiences. Over the years, we have made presentations not only to scientific audiences, but also to non-technical ones, such as users or investors. The ability to relate difficult concepts in a meaningful way is often the key to wider acceptance of technology or a company. We are at home in the operating room, the assembly room, or the board room.
  • Conducting Due Diligence investigations. The blend of technical knowledge and business experience allows us to quickly establish both the feasibility of a new idea, as well as how well a company can bring it to market. We have advised clients about the buy/invest/partner decisions that are key to strategic growth.
  • Providing Expert Witness testimony. We have experience in both corporate patent infringement and restraint of trade issues, as well as patient injury suits (from both sides of the dispute).
  • Assisting in manufacturing scale up. We have worked on ultrasonic consumer products involving thousands of units per month. We are familiar with the design of products and processes suited to low cost manufacturing, especially in China. Our work has involved design, testing, assembly procedure development, vendor qualifications, operator training, and process control.

Copyright 2004 Sonic Tech, Inc. All rights reserved.
This page last modified April 15, 2005.