2024 STEM College Scholarship Application Open!

Applications for the 2024 Corwin Hardham Memorial Scholarship are now available. Completed applications must be received by the GTA by 5:00 pm on Friday, March 8th, 2024. This scholarship is awarded annually to Gorge high school seniors pursuing post-secondary degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). Eligible students are those from Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Skamania and Klickitat Counties who are graduating from high school, home school or receiving a GED in the spring/ summer. 

The 2024 application is now available here. Please contact Jason with questions.

GTA Member Spotlight Header

Introducing New GTA Sponsor – Allied Vision Technologies

GTA Member Spotlight headerFor more than 30 years, Allied Vision has been developing industrial machine vision cameras focusing on what counts for the customer. With a deep understanding of customers’ needs, Allied Vision finds individual solutions for every application, a practice which has made Allied Vision one of the leading camera manufacturers worldwide in the machine vision market. The product range includes 2D, 3D, and SWIR camera technology and image capture solutions for factory automation, logistics, medical imaging, and many more application areas in digital imaging.

Allied Vision logoThe company has nine locations in Germany, Canada, the United States, Singapore, and China and is represented by a network of sales partners in over 30 countries. Allied Vision is a TKH Technology Company and part of TKH Vision.

Company Mission:

Allied Vision’s service is all-inclusive and customized to the clients’ individual needs. Allied Vision’s trained consultants listen to each customer’s needs to design the best solution. This includes not just the camera but also the right lens, the right connectivity hardware, and the right software interface. The team’s job is to reliably deliver the image you need, when you need it, and how you need it!

 

Products:

Alvium camera

One of Allied Vision’s solutions is the Alvium product line, which is the most flexible line-up of digital cameras in the world. It is available in a myriad of configurations and data output format. From VGA to 25+ megapixel resolution, including UV, Visible, Color, monochrome, NIR, and SWIR via USB3, Gigabit Ethernet, 5Gigabit Ethernet, CSI2, MIPI, GMSL2, FPDlink, CoaXpress and more!

 

Alvium camera accessoriesThe Alvium Frame line offers compact size and weight, multiple lens mounts including C-mount, CS-mount, M12, bareboard and custom mounting.

Recently released Flex and Frame Alvium cameras expand Allied Vision’s range of offerings to custom lens mounts and flat flex cable outputs, and in January, 3MP and 5MP SWIR cameras will be released in the company’s Alvium and Goldeye line of cameras.

Allied Vision works with companies big and small, ranging from multi-million-dollar companies to start-ups, from OEM’s to integrators and distribution partners. The company’s engineers work in partnership with machine vision manufacturers across the medical, industrial, agricultural and logistics industries. Alvium cameras can also be integrated into uncrewed air and ground systems, including sUAS and UGV’s.

Allied Vision was introduced to the Gorge’s high-tech industry through working connections with the GTA’s sponsor companies Overwatch Imaging, Google, and Trillium Engineering. As a new sponsor to the GTA, the company seeks to work with more local companies by growing and supporting partnerships to achieve mutual success.

Questions? To learn more about Allied Vision Technologies,
contact micah.browning@alliedvision.com

 

2023 Gorge Tech and STEM Leaders Honored at GTA’s Winter Party

The Gorge Technology Alliance (GTA) held its eleventh annual awards program on December 12, 2023, recognizing the Tech Leader and STEM Educator of the Year and honoring all finalists who were nominated for the two awards.
Steve Olson accepts 2023 Tech Leader Award from Jessica Metta
 
Steve Olson and Jordan Holt, founders of SightLine Applications, were honored as the 2023 Tech Leaders of the Year. Founding the company in Hood River in 2007, Steve and Jordan have made SightLine Applications a great place to work and had the significant achievement in July 2023 of receiving a strategic investment from Artemis Capital Partners. The investment from Artemis, a Boston-based private equity firm, will help pave the way for remarkable growth and development. Steve is also a long-time leader with the GTA, serving in the past on the Board and as President for many years. Learn more at sightlineapplications.com.
 
 
 
 
 
Jack Perrin accepts 2023 STEM Educator Award from Jessica MettaThe 2023 STEM Educator of the Year was awarded to Jack Perrin, Founder and Director of Gorge MakerSpace in White Salmon, whose mission is to empower and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to explore and build their creative skills. Since 2014, Jack has been selflessly bringing youth and adult classes to the community, leading youth robotics in White Salmon, and finding new ways to reach students less represented in STEM careers like girls and Latino students. Jack is also well known in the Gorge for his STEM leadership, serving on numerous advisory committees to stay at the forefront of new STEM initiatives and opportunities to provide better outcomes for his students. As one benefit of this award, the GTA has donated $1000 to Gorge MakerSpace. Learn more at Gorgemakerspace.com.

Additional STEM Educator finalists honored included Chuck Webber, CTE/Computer Science teacher and VEX robotics coach at The Dalles High School, and Jamie Sowell, South Wasco High School’s Director of Technology and VEX robotics coach.
 
 
The GTA’s annual awards program recognizes and thanks the many companies, organizations and individuals working to advance the tech industry and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in the Columbia River Gorge. The GTA Technology Leader and STEM Education Leader of the Year awards are presented to the individual or organization who made the largest positive impact on the technology and STEM education community of the Columbia River Gorge. Nominations are accepted from across the Gorge and all finalists are celebrated at the annual Winter Party for their leadership and hard work.  

Tech and STEM Leader Award Nominations for 2023 are now open!

Gorge Tech Alliance logoThe GTA is excited to announce that we are now accepting nominations for our annual awards program to recognize outstanding achievement among the Tech Leaders and STEM Educators of the Gorge. Nominations must be submitted by November 20th, 9:00 a.m. to be considered.   The winners will be announced at the GTA’s Winter Party and Awards Ceremony on Dec. 12.   Only complete nomination forms will be considered.  Contact Jason with questions.

Tech Leader Award

Tech Leader of the Year recognizes the outstanding achievement over the last year (Oct 1, 2022 to Sept 30, 2023) on the part of an individual or company that principally provides technology products, services, or support in the Columbia River Gorge. This award will be presented to the nominated tech individual or tech company with the largest positive impact on the tech community in the Columbia River Gorge, as determined by the GTA Board of Directors.

Criteria that will be considered:

  • All technology sectors are eligible, as are sectors not traditionally characterized as technological if the individual/ company has an extraordinary commitment to innovation or using technology.
  • All accomplishments over the past year will be considered, such as successful new product introductions, community involvement, and impacts on industry trends.
  • The individual or company should be recognized as a leader in the Columbia River Gorge and should be in a position to both accept the award and to represent the tech community in the Columbia River Gorge in a positive light for the foreseeable future.
  • Individuals or companies are not required to be GTA members to be eligible.
  • Companies that are nominated must derive the majority of their revenue through provision of products or services that would be considered technology-based. Service providers, even those who provide services to companies in the technology field, are not specifically eligible, unless they have an extraordinary commitment to innovation or using technology.
  • Nominated individuals must work and companies must be headquartered in the five- county Columbia River Gorge or have the majority of their activities or revenue generated from activities (manufacturing, development, etc.) from within the region. A major division or business unit of a company headquartered elsewhere may apply, in which case they will be judged based upon the activities of the local division.

CGCC Skill Center2022 saw no nominations for Tech Leader of the Year.  Our 2021 winner was Columbia Gorge Community College’s Career and Technical Education Department, for pioneering new ways to provide our current and future workforce with the skills it needs for successful employability in industries across the Gorge. The incredible and tireless work from everyone in the department helped make the opening of the Regional Skills Center in Fall 2021 a reality.  Additional Technology Leader of the Year finalists honored were: Nick Anderson from Overwatch Imaging and Mary Kramer from CGCC.

Nominate the GTA’s 2023 Tech Leader of the Year Here!

 

STEM Education Leader Award

STEM Education Leader of the Year recognizes an individual for outstanding achievement over the last year (Oct 1, 2022 to Sept 30, 2023) for their contributions to the advancement of STEM (science, tech, engineering, and math) education in the Columbia River Gorge.   Nominations should describe (with specifics!) why the person is being nominated for such recognition. This award will be presented to the nominated individual who has made the most transformative impact through the advancement of STEM education in the Columbia River Gorge over the last year, as determined by the GTA’s Board of Directors. The winner will receive $1000 donation to their STEM program.

Criteria that will be considered:

  • The individual should be recognized as a leader in STEM education in the Columbia River Gorge through their/his/her involvement with some facet of STEM education in the Columbia River Gorge. The Gorge covers the five-county area of the GTA (Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Skamania and Klickitat Counties).
  • The individual should be in a position to accept the award and to represent the STEM education community in the Columbia River Gorge in a positive light for the foreseeable future.
  • Sally Anderson receiving 2022 awardIndividuals are not required to be GTA members to be eligible for nomination.
  • Any Individual who teaches students of all ages and all forms of education (public, private, after-school, etc.) is eligible.

 

Our 2022 winner was Sally Anderson, Hood River Valley’s Mobile STEM K-5 Educator, who coordinated to bring the STEM Fab Bus to schools throughout the district. 

Nominate the GTA’s 2023 STEM Educator of the Year Here!

Nominations must be received by 9: 00 a.m. on November 20, 2023 to be considered.  The winners will be announced at the GTA’s Winter Party and Awards Ceremony on December 12.  Contact Jason with questions. 

Employee Spotlight: Ryan Smith at Insitu

Ryan SmithOur spotlight series introduces Ryan Smith, Flight Test and Systems Engineering Manager at Insitu.

Ryan’s career grew out of his fascination with UAVs and his belief that uncrewed systems will be the future of aviation. After studying aerospace engineering at Embry Riddle in Prescott, AZ, Ryan worked for Boeing for 17 years. In 2020, he chose to move to the Gorge to work at Insitu as the natural next step in his career, stating “I loved the work I did and the teams I worked with, but I needed a change. I wanted to move to a smaller community and saw an opportunity come up at Insitu. As both a leader in the industry and a subsidiary of Boeing, Insitu was clearly the best opportunity for me.”

When asked to talk about what he appreciates most about Insitu’s company culture, Ryan had positive things to say about the company’s commitment to both community engagement and to the work/life balance for its employees.

“Moving into the area during COVID-19, I wanted to find a way to engage with the community and found the volunteer opportunities that Insitu coordinated to be the perfect way. The opportunities were often open to the whole family and the Boeing donation match went back into the organizations we worked with. My family and I love the outdoors and all the activities in the area. What we weren’t expecting is how amazing this community is. Since our first week here we’ve felt so welcome. I love the Gorge and since moving here, could not imagine myself anywhere else.”

In addition to great opportunities for community engagement, Ryan spoke of the company culture’s commitment to a healthy work/life balance.

“At Insitu, we work hard and we play hard. I think one of the best things the company does is recognize and support the need for a healthy work/life balance. This summer my family and I had the opportunity to spend 17 days running the Grand Canyon section of the Colorado River. Even though this trip took me away from work for 3 weeks with no possible contact, I was fully supported by my team and leadership. The culture of the company encourages trust and support for each other, which is critical in being able to balance the day to day or support the larger opportunities. The team here is great, and I’m happy to be here.”

When asked “What would you like to gain from you and/or your company being members of the GTA?” Ryan replied,

Ryan Smith volunteering at STEM Fair“Before moving to the area, the only company I knew of was Insitu. While I’m just starting to understand the breadth and scope of the GTA, I appreciate that there is an organization supporting STEM and its connection to industry. As it becomes increasingly difficult to attract talent, the growth of local talent who already understand the benefits of living in the gorge can really help the local industry. I am constantly impressed by the amount of talent here in the gorge. It’s great to run into other tech folks at Makerspace and at soccer and at dinner. 

Gorge Tech Alliance logo“Workwise, the GTA offers opportunity for both the collaboration and competition that are needed to help our local industry sector achieve a greatness that one company would not be able to achieve on its own.”

And in keeping with his active appreciation for community and collaboration, Ryan’s answer when asked the question, “Who would you most like to share a meal with and what would you have?” Ryan replied that he would love to have the opportunity to have lunch with Jason Hartmann to learn more about the GTA.

When asked about exciting and innovative projects in his work, Ryan spoke enthusiastically about the Integrator VTOL, which is a UAV that has been developed in collaboration with Hood Tech.  “The vertical takeoff and landing capability increases both the endurance and safety of the Integrator’s flight without sacrificing the max takeoff weight or range. There is a two-stage vertical takeoff and landing – a UAV carries the Integrator to safe altitude for launch and captures it for recovery. This piggy-back cuts out the need to carry the weight of extra batteries and motors, which increases endurance, and the freed-up space that batteries would occupy can be utilized to build in more redundancy features that increase safety.”


Insitu logo

  118 East Columbia River Way  
  Bingen,WA 98605
  Tel: 1-509-493-8600  
  Fax: 1-509-493-8601   
  www.insitu.com     

Founded in the Gorge in 1994, Insitu is a company that has aimed to become the gold standard in Group 2 and 3 Uncrewed Autonomous Systems. The company’s focus has been on providing ISR Services, Software and Fully Integrated Systems around the world. Today, the company has grown to approximately 700 employees in various buildings throughout the Gorge.

 

 

 

  

 

    

    

 

 

 

     

 

Employee Spotlight: Matthew Hamilton at Sagetech

Employee Spotlight logo

Our spotlight focus turns this month to Matthew Hamilton, Sagetech Avionics’ Chief Technology Officer.  Matt leads the technology teams of the company to create advanced avionics solutions that currently serve on unmanned aircraft platforms. Matt’s qualifications include a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Matt shared his story of how he came to work at Sagetech when he was asked why he chose to live in the Gorge to pursue his career in tech and innovation.  Prior to his employment at Sagetech, which began in November of 2015,  Matt worked at Aviation Communication Surveillance Systems (ACSS), a division of L3-Harris, in Phoenix AZ.  At ACSS, Matt worked on traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) and transponders for commercial aircraft. Matt first learned about Sagetech when his employer began working on a new mini TCAS product and purchased a Sagetech legacy transponder to evaluate it. When this program was cancelled, Matt was moved to qualification testing, at which point both he and his colleague David Day started looking for new and more interesting opportunities.  Dave reached out to Sagetech and quickly got an interview and an offer and moved to the Gorge.  Dave immediately reached out to Matt about the opportunity to work at Sagetech with him.  Two weeks later in October, Matt flew north and had a “working interview” where he helped design some of the transmitter circuitry that is still part of Sagetech’s MX Platform. During his interview Matt stayed in the former Sagetech owner’s barn (which was the former Sagetech building!), hiked Eagle Creek, and fell in love with the Gorge while the weather was fantastic.  Even though Dave was the only other person that Matt knew in the Columbia Gorge, when Sagetech offered the job, he took it. He started work in November and had to stay in a vacation rental because there was no housing available. The weather turned quickly… with snow in November and continuous rain for the next six months.

Matthew Hamilton at SagetechWhen asked to share one great thing that Sagetech does for its employees, Matt replied without hesitation, “Sagetech offers a continuing education program, which includes learning to fly, as a way to foster an aviation culture at the company. The company pays for half the cost of a private pilot’s license or any college or education/ training up to $5k/year, as long as it is in line with Sagetech’s business.”  Matt is now a certified private pilot and has found that being a pilot himself has proven invaluable in developing a user-friendly product for customers because he can personally flight-test the products.  He added, (with a grin) “There is nothing that can match the value of  real-life product testing!”

Matt was enthusiastic about his work developing innovative and progressive projects at Sagetech that will “make the skies safer by helping aircraft avoid mid-air collisions.”  The company’s Airborne Collision Avoidance System X (ACAS-X) is the next generation of collision-avoidance systems that is specifically designed to meet the needs of uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) and small UAS.  This technology is also applicable to crewed aviation (Fixed Wing, Rotorcraft and eVTOLs)  Sagetech is now designing a smaller version of their MX transponder for the less-than-55 lb. UAS market. Today, small UAS do not have transponders because “it would overwhelm the 1090 MHz spectrum.”  Instead, they can be equipped with a passive receiver and use ACAS-X to avoid collisions. For larger aircraft, the MX will get upgraded with some extra processing capability to include the ACAS-X and a UAT receiver.   Sagetech is working with many of the major advanced air mobility (AAM) players, one of the company’s key target markets.  Uncrewed cargo aircraft have also been targeted in Sagetech’s quest to make the skies safer through certified collision-avoidance systems.  Sagetech’s innovation has extended now to the development of an iOS app that will soon be available for light sport and experimental aircraft to equip with ADS-B.  

When asked to elaborate on what he and his company would like to gain as a member of the GTA,  Matt replied that  he sees the GTA as “a great recruiting tool that provides visibility to the company.” He also sees synergies between and among the Gorge tech companies that have not been leveraged yet, which the GTA could help with.

Matt Hamilton and familyMatt attributes his success at Sagetech to the amazing team of engineers that he works with, and to his  supportive wife Hauna and kids Brogan, Bella, and Brynlee. When Matt is not working, he enjoys flying to new places with his family.  And to wrap up this extraordinary interview, Matt was asked the famous question… “If you could have one meal with anyone, who would you choose, and which dish would you share?”  And in keeping with Matt’s enthusiasm for aviation, the answer came back (not too surprisingly!) that he would love to dine with Neil Armstrong and share a long conversation about aviation history over a sirloin steak.

Visit Sagetech’s website to learn more about the company and products! 

Sagetech Avionics Logo

UAV/UAS Companies in the Columbia Gorge Region Participate in ICAP Launch!

Innovation Cluster Accelerator logoThe ICAP (Innovative Cluster Accelerator Program) Launch program is run by the WA Dept. of Commerce to support the development of industry ecosystems and potential innovation clusters in Washington state, and is designed to support regional and rural economic development.

MCEDD has been awarded a capacity-building grant from WA Dept of Commerce to lead this program for the Uncrewed Aerial Systems/Vehicles (UAS/UAV) industry ecosystem in Klickitat and Skamania Counties, with inclusion of our Oregon Gorge counties/ companies as well. The program will foster learning and implementation of strategies and techniques to drive collaborative action, begin building an innovation cluster strategy, and position the industry’s networks to pursue private and public investment for collaborative projects.

MCEDD will be working closely with the Gorge Tech Alliance, UAV companies and economic development partners from July 2023 through May 2024. Let us know if you’d like to get involved! Learn more about ICAP Launch here.  

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November 2023

ICAP Launch Meeting November 2023Local stakeholders in the Gorge’s UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) sector, including representatives from industry, government and academia, met this month to begin working towards the goals of the Gorge’s UAS innovation cluster. Participants engaged in discussions about obstacles to growth and brainstormed innovative ways to collaborate in addressing these challenges. These fruitful conversations have begun building a sense of optimism and momentum for the future, growing from the enhanced cooperation and collaboration opportunities that the ICAP Launch project provides. 

Bill Howland at SightLine – our June Employee Spotlight!

photo of Bill HowlandMeet Bill Howland, an Embedded Hardware Engineer who has been on SightLine Applications’ hardware engineering team in Portland for the past five years. As a native Oregonian and Portlander, Bill counts himself lucky to live in an area where he can pursue his passion for electronics and ride his bike to work when the weather cooperates.

Bill’s interest in electronics began when he was 12 years old, taking apart audio systems and trying to build or repair his way to a better version. So when it came time to choose his career, electronics was naturally the ONLY choice! While still in college, Bill’s first job was working for BASF Temperature Sensing (formerly Engelhard Corporation), where he progressed from Electronic Technician to Engineering Technician and eventually Hardware Engineer. There he oversaw the design, assembly and testing of optical pyrometers for the RTP Radiance and Vulcan CVD systems made by Applied Materials, Inc. (world-wide manufacturing of silicon wafer processors). At times Bill was the entire manufacturing team. Bill remained at BASF for 13 years, had a brief period of home-based contract work, and then came to work at SightLine.

When asked what he appreciates most about his work at Sightline, Bill replied that, “SightLine allows employees to grow, learn, and ‘wear multiple hats’ so things stay interesting!” His outlook on learning and and creating solutions has earned him the reputation among his teammates as “THE go-to electrical genius at SightLine who many folks rely on for troubleshooting hardware, cabling, power automation, etc.” – says colleague Charlie Hayward

His personal interests have remained focused on music and his knowledge of musical trivia is at this time unrivaled! He continues to refurbish and repair vintage audio equipment and antique radios as a hobby, and his quirky humor shows clearly with his answer to the question, “Who would you choose to have dinner with and what dish would you share?” Bill’s #1 choice was to have dinner with Bugs Bunny at the LOOOONG table he shared with Yosemite Sam, and “we would have Bugs’ “Hasenpfeffer” recipe” (carrots!).


SightLine logo SightLine Applications creates onboard video processing software that is then typically integrated as an embedded system into high-end optronics systems (gimbals, UAVs, UGVs, PTZs, and more!). Bill Howland is part of the team that designs the electronic subsystems to interface various cameras to SightLine’s systems. 

Founded in 2007, SightLine has offices in both Hood River and Portland. The two offices help with the recruitment needs that require a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise. With around 40 employees in the two offices, this small company has been a core member of the GTA since the Alliance was created.

Email: info@sightlineapplications.com

Website: sightlineapplications.com

 

 

 

Announcing Our New 2023 GTA Scholarship Recipient!

Our first selection this year, Ximena Santillan, has received a full scholarship award and as a result, the Corwin Hardham Scholarship funds are now available to help another graduating Hood River Valley High School student, Andrea Lachino, to continue with her college education. 

Andrea LachinoAndrea will be the first generation in her family that attends college, and as the child of Mexican immigrants who came to Hood River as orchard workers, she appreciates the opportunities that a college education will open up in her life.

One of Andrea’s teachers describes her as, “a self-starter and a persistent problem solver, with the time management skills, habits of mind and intellectual ability to be a true asset to her future college community.” Andrea is fascinated by the creativity that computer programming offers: “I was intrigued by the fact that coding could accomplish almost anything!” One of her favorite activities in computer science class was making interactive apps because she enjoys their creative nature.

In addition to excellent grades, Andrea has been a wonderful communicator and continues to put herself in leadership roles. She has been voted for by her class and then the whole school, to represent them as an elected position in Student Government for the past three years.

Andrea’s combination of coursework, extracurricular participation and work history shows her intentions and determination to attend college in order to create a better future for herself that will realize her parents’ dreams. The GTA was pleased to select her for the annual Corwin Hardham Memorial Scholarship to fuel her future at Oregon State University and majoring in Computer Science.

Read more about the GTA’s Corwin Hardham Memorial Scholarship here.