The following are examples of projects Sam has managed in his role at companies employing Sam, as an independent contractor, or as the President of Medical And Biotech Devevolments, Inc.. I every case, Sam was not only responsible for the projects’ management, but also for recruiting all the people who worked on the project.
Robotic Slide Staining
A company selling slide stainers for many years needed help in developing new products. Medical and Biotech Developments, Inc. (MBD) was hired to assist in modifying the design of one of their long selling instruments. Compared with the original, this new version was reduced in size and cost (aimed at potential labs with less need for slide staining). Once that project was successfully completed, the company requested us to recommend a more modern look for both products. After working with interested parties (including current users, European sales personnel, and marketing staff), a revised look was proposed. The revision was very well received which led to a project to implement. CAD drawings were drafted and vendors were selected to bring the upgraded designs to market. Based on the success of the previous projects described above, we were contracted to develop a larger version for their line of robotic Slide Stainers. Additionally, development of a new line of automated accessory products was developed by MBD.
Automation of a Microtiter Plate Scanner
Due to limited in-house resources, a biotech instrument manufacturer contracted Medical and Biotech Developments, Inc. to upgrade and automate a system to scan microtiter plates. For this project, MBD provided four professionals focusing on an upgrade to a cooled CCD, automation with robotic interface, industrial design, and integration to the control system. The project took 4 months to go from concept to full prototype design. Approximately every other week, all interested parties met to review the concepts, design progress, usability analysis, and regulatory impact. The project included increasing scan resolution from 96 well to the more densely packed 384 well microtiter plates.
A MEMS device feasibility study lead to a development project
A multi-national corporation contracted Medical and Biotech Developments, Inc. to study the feasibility of developing a MEMS device to be used by the general public. The device was be targeted toward running tests to evaluate the use of personal care products. The test in question was previously run on capital equipment by Ph.D. biochemists. Goals for the device included that it is disposable, intuitive to use, reliable, fool proof, safe, accurate, and inexpensive. If found to be feasible, 10,000 tests per month was the projected usage.
The study researched the technologies needed, uncertainties with those technologies, experts who could research resolving those uncertainties, possible vendors for each phase, and the estimated costs involved (including the development project, production tooling, and cost-of-goods-sold). The study found a moderate to high probability of developing a device to meet the stated goals if the chemistry could be modified to meet the requirements imposed by MEMS designs. These requirements included small fluid volumes, time constraints, fluid movements, room temperature operations. See overview on expertise page for a more complete technology listing. As requested by the contracting company, the study formulated a project plan with milestones, fixed price costs, and well defined goals.
Started-up Engineering Department
Sam and his subcontracted crew was hired as the acting Instrument Development Department by a company with many valuable patented clinical diagnostic assays, but without an Engineering Department. They felt instrumentation was needed to better commercialize their patent positions. Existing instrumentation development projects were reviewed, revised toward realistic goals/schedules, and a permanent Department manager was sought. An MBD Specialist developed an automated system to process possible cancer cell samples on microscope slides. There was neither time nor budget for in-house development so an alternate development method was sought. An instrument with similar features in a non competing industry was found and a contract was signed for the manufacturer to modify their instrument and manufacture it for MBD’s client. In this way, the goal of automating a patented process was quickly accomplished under budget. An MBD Specialist managed other developments and assisted in hiring a replacement Department Manager.
Project managed under tight schedule
An example of the numerous projects managed was the development of an automated ion separation system under a tight schedule. Although the client wanted to meet their original goal of 24 months, they had spent 6 unproductive months before employing Medical and Biotech Developments, Inc. In order to meet the client’s original schedule, an expedited plan was quickly created & approved, core staff of Specialists recruited, specifications delineated, and designing begun. Development team included groups of mechanical, electronic, and firmware engineers. Project book generated was later used as an example for other project managers for ISO 9000 compliance.
Engineered patented system
Developed the first commercially successful capillary electrophoresis system. Initial development team was Sam Burd, a part-time EE, and a part-time contract draftsman/designer. The team grew adding chemistry, and marketing departments. System was successfully developed, released, and delivered (all in 14 months). After that release, an automated version was developed. Sam Burd is the sole inventor listed on the initial instrument’s patent and co-inventor for the associated patent on the automated version (see patents page for capillary-related items). The systems included optical interfaces for detection systems, extremely tight thermal controls, and fluid handling of nanoliter volumes.
Accelerated replacement of resold apparatus resulted in sales growth
Led engineering department that developed/supported products for a catalog that contained thousands of items. Before joining the department, the majority of the instrumentation was resale (non-proprietary apparatus) from one supplier. Within 3 years, the department had successfully replaced this supplier’s line with a patented line of in-house manufactured proprietary apparatus (see patents page for gel and media-related items). Sales from that replacement line doubled in less than a year after release. Business grew 8 fold over 3 years.
This page briefly highlights a few examples of successes over the years. If these examples spark your interest, call 510-339-8409 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your needs.