Jeffrey J. Spira - Technical Accomplishments
2011 - Advanced Microturbine
In 2011, I was comissioned to put together a technical team to design and develop a miniature multi fuel turbine/alternator to serve as the prime mover in a new low-cost microturbine system. We created a small efficient turbine that was able to run on propane, natural gas, kerosene or alcohol and coupled to a high-speed rare earth permanent magnet alternator, was able to generate electricity for remote locations and micro-grids. The team came up with a number of innovations leading to four patents to reduce costs and increase efficiency over existing designs.
2008 - Advanced Hybrid Drive System for the Velozzi Supercar
As the chief engineer and designer for the advanced hybrid electric drive system for the Velozzi supercar, I was able to harness brand new technology utilizing a combination of ultracapacitors and lithium ion batteries in concert to power the electric drive system. The electrical storage subsystem is recharged using a high-speed multi-fuel turbine. This marriage of advanced yet unconventional technologies results in a vehicle with 180 mph and 0-100 mph in 4 seconds performance with over 100 mpg mileage utilizing a variety of gaseous or liquid fuels. This required a far more extensive integration mechanical systems with computing power unavailable until the late 00s.
2000 - Automated Assembly Machines
The resounding success of the new steering system for General Motors required a new automated facility to be designed and developed. Special automated assembly machines were designed, built and installed to increase production more than threefold without additional labor. A series of pneumatically operated, PLC controlled machines went on-line with a capacity of over 5 million assemblies per year. This facility operated at what GM considered zero defects (less than 25 ppm reject rate) for 8 years and is still going.
1998 - Steering Subassembly Design for General Motors H-Cars and Cadillac models
Because of the success of the new, mostly plastic sub assemblies for GM and Chevrolet trucks, GM requested that a newer, more precise verson be developed for use in the company's luxury auto models. This was implemented in the H-Car (Pontiac Bonneville, Buick LeSabre, and Oldsmobile 88) in the 1998 model year. This was followed the next year with an even more sophisticated version applied to the 1999 model year Cadillacs in their power tilt and telescope steering columns.
1996 - Steering Subassembly Design for General Motors Trucks
I designed and developed a steering system subassembly for General Motor's trucks, from the S-10 to the larger pickups and SUVs. This supplanted a decades old lower steering assembly that had been serving them well in their tough truck application. This innovative subassembly integrated dozens of smaller plastic, metal, stamped, machined, and assembled components into a single plug-in subassembly incorporating plastics in ways never before used in vehicles. This new subassembly was found to be smoother, and more rugged for truck use. High shock loads no longer resulted in noisy rocky-feeling steering wheel feedback. The Brinell damaged raceways actually self-healed by use of the resiliant material. This work was done while an employee of Celtic Products, Inc, in Anaheim, California.
1993 - Vision Award for Closed Loop Water Recycling System
The Clean Air Act of 1990 made Chlorinated Fluorocarbons illegal for the vapor degreasing, so it became obvious that a closed loop water recycling method would be highly desirable for circuit board de-fluxing in electronics manufacturing. Recognizing this opportunity, I developed a new closed-loop water recycling system that converted wastewater from electronics de-fluxing machines into high-purity deionized water for reuse. It did this without the use of ion exchange resins or absorptive filter elements. For this groundbreaking work, I was awarded the 1994 Surface Mount Technology Vision Award for forward-thinking product designs. This work was done while an employee of Unit Design, in Orange California.
1991 - F-18 Autothrottle Mechanism Patent
Because of an Airbus accident resulting from an immovable throttle lever while in autopilot, engineers designing the F-18 E/F wanted a power tracking throttle lever when in autopilot that could be instantly overridden by the pilot in the event a quick reaction became necessary, for instance during a carrier landing. Was part of the team that designed and developed a mechanism making possible such a throttle lever. This was very successful and resulted in the issuance of patent #5613652. A pdf file of this patent may be downloaded here: Autothrottle Patent. This work was done while being employed by Sargent Aerospace in Yorba Linda, California.
1989 - Boeing 737 Nosewheel Steering
Completely revamped the Boeing 737 nose wheel steering system. The entire B737 commercial fleet of aircraft was grounded for an inspection because of a defect, fortunately discovered before an accident occurred. This was related to a new aluminum-forging tool being built. I was responsible for redesigning the critical forging, and developing an inspection tool to ensure that any aircraft with the defective forging was identified the next time it landed and any potentially defective nose wheel steering units replaced. Getting an inspection tool designed and building hundreds of them in a matter of a few hours, getting them FEDEXed all over the world and checking and repairing the entire fleet in about 24 hours ensured the continued exceptional safety record of this aircraft. This work was done while being employed by Sargent Aerospace in Yorba Linda, California.
1985 - Trident II Reentry Vehicle Bus Pyrotechnic Actuators
Acted as the primary designer for the pyrotechnically actuated release nuts and thrusters for the Trident II submarine launched missile re-entry vehicle bus. These mission critical components ensured each of the independently targeted warheads was released and sent on its way to their pre-planned precise targets. This system and this missile is still the front-line nuclear ballistic missile used by the Navy. While basically a fluid power system, instead of oil or air, it uses gas generated by a pyrotechnic squib to operate the mechanisms. This work was done when self-employed and acting as a consultant for Hi-Shear Ordinance in Torrance, California.
1984 Greene Tweed MSE Seal Complete Product Line Design
Designed several complete new product lines for manufacturing companies including the Greene Tweed MSE seal line. When Greene Tweed Company needed a new type of seal; they came to me to design their entire product line to meet the needs of Aerospace, Medical, Nuclear, Chemical Processing and other difficult to seal applications. The MSE (Metal Seal Energized) seal line in now one of the mainstays of this very successful advanced polymer companies. This work was done as an independent consultant in Westminster, California.
1982 - Delzone Ozone Generator
Designed the Delzone, the first ozone generator to be built by Del Industries, now Del Ozone, the industry leader in pool, spa and industrial and food processing ozone-generating systems. This work was done when employed at Del Industries in Santa Ana, California.
1980 - Chemical Processing Vaaler Award for High Temperature and Pressure Seal Design
Designed a high-pressure and temperature seal design to meet the extreme rigors of deep well oil drilling complicated by dangerous and highly corrosive Hydrogen Sulfide gas. This seal could withstand 40,000 psi of pressure and 400 degrees F of temperature. It was so far ahead of its time, Chemical Processing industry organization gave it its annual Vaaler Award for outstanding achievement in sealing design for chemical processing. The work was done when employed by American Variseal Corporation, a Shamban subsidiary in Denver, Colorado.
1978 - Lusteveco Shiplift Platform and Transfer System
I was project engineer for the world's heaviest lifting device, the 25,000 ton ship elevator in Batangas Bay, the Philippines (also world's largest fluid power hydraulic system.) This massive shiplift platform could lift 700-foot long, 25,000 dwt tankers 60 feet using 240-ton chain jacks. Once lifted clear of the water, a bogie train is rolled under the ship, it is lifted clear of the blocking using hydraulic jacks and then moved into the work yard using hydraulic gripper jacks, leaving the splatform would free to accept another ship. This made it much more useful than traditional floating drydocks or graving docks typically used for ship maintenance. This was done when employed at Hydranautics Corporation in Santa Barbara, California.
1977 - Denver Mile-High Stadium East Stands Expansion
Project engineer for the world's biggest moving land structure, the 5000-ton, 16 story tall east stands expansion of the Denver Mile High Stadium. This 500 foot long structure moved backwards and forwards on water bearings propelled by immense hydraulic jacks and grippers to hold the structure in-place while the jacks were being repositioned. This action "inchwormed" the structure along 6 feet at a time. It could be moved 165 feet in about an hour and a half and finally positioned within 1/2" of its desired position. This work was done when employed at Hydranautics Corporation in Santa Barbara, California.