Doug Galbraith, founder and CEO of
Separation Design Group
in Waynesburg, traveled to Washington, hard by the White House, recently to accept a 2012 Tibbetts Award from the Small Business Administration
. SDGroup, a research and product development firm, was one of only 18 companies honored from 4,000 nationwide as "beacons of promise and models of excellence in high technology."
Operating out of a 57,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art lab in a former nursing home, SDGroup's team of six engineers and research scientists draws from disciplines including chemistry, physics, computer science and mechanical engineering. Their goal: to develop technologies focused on efficient use of energy and resources with potential for commercialization.
On the day he spoke to Keystone Edge, Galbraith had just filed an application for the company's 7th patent, a hybrid electric aircraft engine. Like hybrid cars, he says, hybrid aircraft are quieter, non-polluting, require less maintenance and are more efficient than those powered by conventional fuels. The technical challenge is to produce engines capable of extended ranges; the SDGroup's device could potentially carry a small craft cross-country. To further develop the engine, Galbraith hopes to secure funding from an aircraft maker and from federal programs, such as the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, which have provided SDGroup with research grants for other projects.
SDGroup has also developed a personal, desktop oxygen generator that it could ultimately assemble and market direct to consumers and is working on a medical device that uses an oxygen generator for wound care, to accelerate healing.
Source: Doug Galbraith, Separation Design Group
Writer: Elise Vider