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Electronics Manufacturing Legacies Span Generations

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

Insituware, developer of the first smart measurement solution for material quality control, is the result of second-generation engineer Michael Frederickson and his son Chris, who has an aptitude for science and technology.

"My dad was the product assurance division director at the Naval Weapons Center in China Lake, California, with the soldering technology branch in the 70's and early 80's," says Mike Frederickson, pointing out that Jim Raby was the branch manager during those years. "My dad introduced me to Jim and he became a mentor for me."

Mike spent many summers as a student working for Jim at Soldering Technology and was hired as an engineer after graduating from college. He eventually moved over to the Navy's new Electronics Manufacturing Productivity Facility (EMPF) in 1984 and stayed there as director until 2017.

Mike has been able to innovate in developing and executing cooperative research programs within the Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) that have delivered systems to protect our warfighters and make our country a little safer. Along the way, he was able to develop technologies in electronics manufacturing that enable the ability to affordably produce high-reliability electronics.

His son Chris took a different path, first trying his hand in the culinary world and then pursuing a degree in electronics and computer engineering. He went on to study machine learning as a post-graduate, toward the end of which his father began Insituware.

"As Insituware was taking shape, my dad would ask me questions and I was able to provide some valuable insights and guidance for the company," says Chris.

"Near the end of the master's program, I was asked to start working at Insituware. I was initially tentative about working for my dad, but it turned out to be just the fight timing and the best opportunity for me to continue learning and start using the skills I had developed in school."

"It's exciting to see [Chris] expand his interest and knowledge in materials and then come up with really innovative hardware and software solutions," says Mike. "As a parent it makes you happy to see your children have a passion about the career they chose. Though it really has not changed our relationship, I am very fortunate that I get to spend this much time with my son."

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