It came as an exciting post-holiday surprise for SATOP Texas when two local companies joined the program as Alliance Partners and immediately began work on Requests for Technical Assistance (RTAs)!

The first to join was Futron Corporation, a decision-support consulting firm, which made a major commitment to the program by signing on as a Gold-level Alliance Partner and pledging 1,000 hours in engineering support. Futron team members Joe Fuller, President and CEO, Cathy Gardner, Technical Representative and Futron employees all were part of the decision to join SATOP.

Futron wasted no time in assigning engineer Barney Roberts his first RTA. Roberts joined SATOP Senior Project Engineer Richard Smith for a site visit to a League City firm, Process Level Technologies (PLT). PLT is a manufacturer of a magnetic liquid level gage called the Mag-Gage™.

PLT now is developing a magnetic sight flow meter to replace the armored sight flow indicators. The new magnetic meter is expected to minimize leaks, be more sensitive to the environment and safer for personnel.

PLT turned to SATOP for help with the design and magnetic coupling on the turbine to indicator. When Futron’s Roberts stepped in, with a cast of engineers from Hernandez Engineering and Muniz Engineering, he quickly was able to provide valuable insight into the project, specifically advising PLT about turbine size and blade pitch.

In addition to this RTA, Gardner, along with Smith and NASA engineer Harry Erwin, has attended meetings in Waco, TX on the subject of fuel cell curriculum development. Gardner, Smith and Erwin have volunteered to conduct an independent curriculum assessment and perhaps help create a virtual training program for fuel cell technicians. “The work with the Texas Fuel Cell Technology Consortium has the potential to be very rewarding,” said Gardner. “Everyone at Futron is excited about helping this group succeed and grow to become a nationally-recognized organization.”