Garrett Poe, Executive VP Technology, Blueshift Materials
Garrett Poe, Executive VP Technology at thermal management technology supplier Blueshift Materials, will be speaking at the Thermal Management Expo 2022 Conference. Garret will be sharing his expertise on a panel about thermal management for high performance applications, and here he gives us some exclusive insight in to the topic.
Could you tell me about your role as Executive VP Technology at Blueshift Materials?
My job is to help customers solve problems in ways they didn’t think were possible. But doing that well means really understanding the goals they have whether it is re-entering the earth’s atmosphere, dealing with variable thermal issues, or redesigning an entire project because the technologies provide more choices for them. It may seem like we are just talking to our customers, but in many ways, we are digging deeper into their business strategy and looking for ways that our ability to manage thermal issues can help them grow or expand into new markets. I enjoy the customer interaction and problem solving, how the team collaborates to solve problems and how we work together in a multistep process. I like to say we are fast, focused, and flexible in the way we approach our customers’ problems. Fast in how we respond, focused on the ways we can help them solve those problems and flexible in our thinking and actions because as the world changes, markets change and goals change. High-tech, high-end systems and the challenges that come with them are by their very nature difficult. Every project is either going really fast, getting really hot, at risk of burning up, or finding ways to be stronger to survive those intense environments. The truth is, most times we are talking with customers because something is breaking, or they need something that they think doesn’t exist. My job is to help them solve that unsolvable problem.
Why is thermal management so crucial for the development of high-performance applications?
Heat just comes up as the byproduct of advances in technology. Mission designers need better performance. When we do our job well, we allow them to push the limits beyond what they think is possible. What many people find surprising is that our technologies can do more than one thing. Most people approach a co-development project or a technical problem as if it is one thing, like weight or better insulation or heat redirection, structural support. But really, it is an ecosystem and with breakthrough technologies, like our AeroZero® TPS, the net result is that we can impact and improve across a combination of properties and problems, in many cases, doing what the customer thinks is impossible.
It is very rewarding when you watch them realize how much more we unlock for them. Just last week, we saw it in three back-to-back meetings and what is wonderful working in this industry is that, like us, the customers are just as flexible and pivot their thinking, going from one project to six others we can impact. And when we make the leap from testing to actual applications, the transition with the customer is from them seeing us as a vendor to now seeing us as a growth partner. And that is a better relationship by far. When we are viewed as experts and problem-solvers, we know they are going to bring us even more unsolvable problems.
What do you consider to be the most exciting innovation(s) in thermal management technologies?
The things we are developing right now, most of which I cannot talk about! But I think what is most exciting from an impact standpoint is that we can rethink design and rethink the goals of space exploration and defense. We are removing traditional limits, recognizing that lighter, more thermally dynamic vehicles can have larger payloads, be closer to the outer shell or go faster or farther than even the most advanced designers think. That opens up new markets, new technologies and new ways of thinking.
What are you most looking forward to at Thermal Management Expo 2022?
Truthfully, I want to see who shows up. This market has always been a complex and fascinating ecosystem of its own and for the last couple of years everything has been virtual, but now I want a fresh look at where people are, how they’ve been doing and what this landscape looks like. And to just spend some time talking and bouncing ideas off of other experts.
Finally, if you were stranded on a desert island, what one item would you bring?
Well, as I said, Blueshift people are problem-solvers, so I’d bring another problem solver, especially someone like my wife. Our thinking styles tend to complement each other, and she’s helped me crack more than few tough eggs to make some omelets, so to speak.
Garrett will be speaking at the live Conference at Thermal Management Expo, providing crucial insights in to thermal management for high performance applications. To find out more about the conference agenda and register to attend for free, please click here.