Stratodynamics Aviation Inc. focuses on integrating advances in aviation, unmanned systems, micro-sensors and renewable energy. The company builds high-altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to explore the stratosphere for environmental monitoring.
Stratodynamics was spun out of the NASA Space Race Challenge where Gary Pundsack led the team that was awarded top prize for their use of NASA’s lightweight UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) sensing and control system. Since then, the project has evolved into a commercial enterprise to develop a semi-autonomous glider called the HiDRON™.
This November the company launched and tested HiDRON™ prototype. The first flight lasted 1 hour and took place at an altitude of 6000m; ascension rate was 10m/s. The flight program included a checking procedure of the estimated ascension rate, the stability of the command radio link and the backup Iridium satellite line, the stabilization and controllability of the aircraft after the balloon was released. Checking procedure also included the test of the influence of icing conditions on the UAV controls and the balloon detachment gear.
Founder CEO, Gary Pundsack
Gary draws on 15 years of business development and external relations experience in the commercial renewable energy sector. Seeing challenges through a variety of lenses, he is a senior leader skilled at integrating teams for high achievement goals. As a glider pilot, Gary can often be found at the airfield as he not only studies wind energy closely, he also rides it. Gary holds an MBA from the University of Guelph.
Client Liaison, Nick Craine
Nick’s understanding of marketing helps to identify and service the needs of the client. His conceptual skills have been instrumental in securing work for companies across the consumer sector in Canada, USA and the UAE. His A-game list of clients include AUDI, Verizon, Coke, Ford, TD Canada Trust, Smirnoff, and many more.
Mentor, Carlos Grodsinsky
Ph.D. COO and Sr. Vice President of Technology – ZIN TECHNOLOGIES Inc.
Chairman – Ohio Aviation and Aerospace Council
Carlos Grodsinsky’s progressive leadership experience includes IR&D, R&D and product development expertise in active/passive vibration control, radiation detection and space flight instrumentation.
Dr. Grodsinsky has managed large programs and product development initiatives within the government and industry. Dr. Grodsinsky leads ZIN’s operations and strategic growth as the Chief Operating Officer.
Most recently, he is leading the Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Council as its chairmen and is a member of the State’s legislative Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Technology Committee. Dr. Grodsinsky provided early industry, technical and expert consultation to Stratodynamics as part of the global NASA Space Race Challenge. Dr. Grodsinsky has been working within the aerospace industry for over 30 years and continues to provide strategic consultation to Stratodynamics’ management.
Dr. Grodsinsky earned a Doctorate and Masters of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics/Mathematics from Kalamazoo College.
Mentor, Grant Anderson
Mr. Anderson co-founded Paragon in 1993. From the time of inception of the company until fall 2014, he was the VP of Engineering and Chief Engineer of the company and was responsible for the design and implementation of not only many of Paragon’s technical achievements,
but also its processes of engineering rigour in a stepped approach of requirements, design, build, test and delivery. This process has been cited by many customers as unique, disciplined and highly productive. Coming from a background of not only technical but financial and managerial training, he has held diverse positions at Paragon including Treasurer/Secretary, CFO, Sr. VP of Operations, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Manufacturing.
Recognized as a leader in the life support in extreme environments field, Mr. Anderson has lead the systems and conceptual design of multiple spacecraft under contract to Lockheed Martin, NASA, Inspiration Mars Foundation and others.
Mr. Anderson holds two degrees from Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.) and Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering (M.S.) and is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of California.
Mr. Anderson’s passion for excellence drives him to support the next generation of engineers and leaders through participation in educational work outside of Paragon. A former Treasurer and member of the board of Trustees of the Tucson Waldorf School, Mr. Anderson also oversees a non-profit tuition scholarship organization which provides approximately $250,000 of scholarships to deserving children throughout southern Arizona. He is also on the Industry Advisory Board for the College of Engineering at the University of Arizona.
In his spare time, Mr. Anderson is an avid bicyclist and is known to ride solo for hundreds of miles to clear his mind. Mr. Anderson lives in Tucson with his wife of almost 30 years, Ines, and their three children.