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Technology Team

Members of the American Challenge Technical Team were chosen from among the nations premier high-technology laboratories.   They are leaders in the fields of: Fluid Dynamics, Structures, Stability and Control, Propulsion, Systems Simulation, Materials, Manufacturing, Test and Validation, Safety and Speed Record Operations.   ACT has obtained the best aerospace, hydro/fluid-dynamics, boat racing design and manufacturing expertise available anywhere in the world.   Following is a brief overview of the key members:

Ron Argust: An aerospace engineer with extensive experience in submarine, satellite, missile, and aircraft products at companies such as EDS, Hughes, Northrop, and TRW.   Performed engineering analyses of advanced technology structures using state-of-the-art Computer-Aided Design/Analysis/Manufacturing (CAD/CAE/CAM) tools.

Dr. Roger Gallington: Roger recently retired after a distinguished 40-year aerospace engineering career in government, education, and business.   The Puget Sound Engineering Council honored him as 2004 Industry Engineer of the Year.   His fundamental experiments and analyses dramatically improved our understanding of strong aerodynamic ground effect and its implications for vehicle design.   He was director of the USAF Academy Aeronautics Laboratory.   As a Division Manger and Assistant Vice President with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), he led a team of internationally recognized experts in a congressional-directed technical evaluation of high speed ground effect vehicles developed by the Soviet Union.   He helped develop the original concepts for the now-successful Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft and the Unmanned Combat Aircraft System (UCAS) program.   He is creating various plans to help guide the American Challenge technical program.

Bill Harmon: Experienced IndyCar and gas turbine design engineer, Bill worked ten years in the IndyCar field for teams including Walker Racing, Dan Gurney's All-American Racers and select IRL drivers Tony Stewart and Jaques Lazier.   For the last few years Harmon has helped design jet engine combustors for the new JSF program with Rolls-Royce Corporation, Pratt & Whitney, and Williams International.

Dave Knowlen: Director, Business Affairs, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.   Recently was Director, Technical Affairs, The Boeing Company.   Knowlen has also provided technical support and developmental expertise to several Unlimited Hydroplane teams.

Joe Kranak: Chief Engineer, 777 Airplane Validation & Testing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.   Kranak is responsible for leading the teams that perform the ground and flight testing of both the current 777 models as well as the next generation of 777 airplanes.

Dixon Smith: Chief Engineer, for the Miss Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Team and President of DSS Inc.   DSS specializes in development, research and computerized data acquisition for boat racing and aircraft racing teams.   DSS manufactured and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of all onboard computer equipment in the Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane.   Dixon is also a Captain with United Airlines.

Dale Van Wieringen: Van Wieringen has extensive background in building Unlimited Hydroplanes.   Van Wieringen developed the composite shop, tooling, and produced composite components for five complete Miss Budweiser boats.   He also designed and constructed the new Elam Unlimited Hydroplane.  During the 2001 season the boat won two of the three races in which it competed.

Bob Wartinger: Director, Advanced Information Systems, "The Phantom Works", The Boeing Company.   Wartinger is Chairman of the American Power Boat Association (APBA) Safety Committee and President of the Safety Medical Commission of the Union International Motonautique (UIM).   As a driver, Wartinger holds 105 Water Speed Records including the mile straightaway outboard record.

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