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The Masters of Engineering Podcast
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The Masters of Engineering Podcast

Author: Jon Hirschtick

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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.
6 Episodes
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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.  
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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