Buki AghajiQuality Lab ManagerBuki AghajiQuality Lab Manager
Current Position: Buki is currently the Quality Assurance Lab Manager at Barber-Nichols, joining BN as a Quality Assurance Engineer in March of 2018. His main objective is to lead the inspection team and ultimately validate the dimensional conformance of all parts moving through the factory.
History: Buki has accumulated over 20 years of Quality leadership and technical experience. As a Quality Assurance and Process Engineer at Vestas Blades, Buki expanded his composites knowledge for renewable energy applications. Prior to that at GE Aviation, he focused on composite parts for various commercial and military programs. Buki served for 9 years in the Marine Corps as a Rotary and Fixed-wing Aviation Mechanic (Powerplant and Airframes), then as a Training and Operations Manager. He was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq in support of various Operations (OIF and OEF).
Education: Buki earned an AA in Business Administration from American Military University before pursuing a BS at the University of Maryland. He also earned a Six Sigma Green Belt Certification.
Interests: Buki enjoys playing and watching Soccer, fitness, the outdoors, and mostly spending time with his son and daughter.
Aaron BoschProduction SupervisorAaron BoschProduction Supervisor
Current Position: Aaron has been at BNI since October 2015, and began in PIC and was promoted to the Supervisor role about 3 years after starting at BNI.
History: Previously Aaron worked for Vestas Nacelles America in Brighton for 6 years. He started in purchasing and transitioned to production planning where he coordinated the assembly of 3 different Nacelle models. Here he learned hands-on experience with JIT manufacturing, Lean principles, and Kanban.
Education: Aaron earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Supply Chain Management and a minor in Economics at Colorado State University.
Interests: Aaron enjoys hanging out with his wife and 2 dogs, spending time camping, mountain biking, and tacos and margaritas.
Mike BurtonManufacturing ManagerMike BurtonManufacturing Manager
Current Position: Mike Burton is the Manufacturing Manager at Barber-Nichols, joining us in April 2019. Mike leads a diverse group including manufacturing engineers, CNC programmers, machinists, and CNC maintenance personnel. Together, they are responsible for all aspects of manufacturing process definition, production of machined components, and maintaining the manufacturing equipment at Barber-Nichols. Additionally, Mike leads the specification and implementation of new manufacturing capabilities and capital equipment.
History: Mike has over 20 years of experience with rotating equipment, holding positions in service, engineering, and manufacturing leadership at Sundyne LLC, serving the API and industrial chemical markets with custom-engineered pump and compressor solutions. Prior to Sundyne, Mike worked for Westinghouse Corporation’s Naval Nuclear Propulsion program as operations and test engineer supporting the United States Navy. At Westinghouse, Mike led testing activities on prototype submarine propulsion equipment and trained junior officers in all aspects of propulsion systems operation.
Education: Mike earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University, and completed advanced engineering and operations training at the Navy Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Florida.
Interests: Mike enjoys photography and spending time with his wife and their two schnauzers.
Mike DixonSales Engineering & Contracts ManagerMike DixonSales Engineering & Contracts Manager
Current Position: Mike is the Defense industry sales and business development lead at Barber-Nichols, with oversight responsibility for business development, sales engineering, cost estimating, and contracts for other markets.
History: Prior to joining Barber-Nichols Mike spent the majority of his career as an Applications Engineer & Manager, responsible for sizing, selecting, and quoting high-speed integrally-geared API pumps and compressors used in the Oil & Gas industry. Before that he spent several years working as an Auto Repair Technician & Advisor with a focus on diagnostics, troubleshooting, and repair of passenger cars and trucks.
Education: Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northern Illinois University
Interests: Outside of work Mike loves spending time outdoors with his wife and twin children, whether it’s a walk to the park, an afternoon at a festival, or hiking trails. When Mike has the free time it’s usually spent biking, snowboarding, or woodworking in his garage. Prior to having kids, they loved to travel the world, and they both look forward to getting back to that at some point in the future!
Jeremy GreenProject Engineering ManagerJeremy GreenProject Engineering Manager
Current Position: Jeremy joined BN in February of 2020 and is currently the Project Engineering Manager, leading teams and providing technical oversight of engineered projects.
History: Jeremy spent the first decade of his career in field service and design of industrial turbomachinery. He also worked as a Principal Advanced Manufacturing Engineer for Medtronic, managing teams and working directly as a liaison between research and development and manufacturing to develop manufacturing equipment for medium volume operator assist production lines.
Education: Jeremy earned a BS in Engineering (ME/EE) from the Colorado School of Mines and completed the McBride Honors Program.
Interests: Jeremy enjoys spending time with family and friends, time outdoors hiking and snowshoeing with his wife and dog.
Pat HicksChief Financial OfficerPat HicksChief Financial Officer
Current Position: Pat Hicks joined BN in 2017. He is currently Chief Financial Officer at Barber-Nichols. He leads BN’s administrative functions including accounting, financial analysis, export compliance, and corporate governance, and is focused on facilitating controlled growth for the company.
History: Previously, Pat was CFO at Sundyne Corp. and directed all aspects of finance for the company. Pat additionally has Fortune 100 experience with United Technologies Corp and has held numerous operating unit leadership roles with Hamilton Sundstrand in a variety of industries and locations. Pat contributes strong experience in manufacturing operations, systems, and financial analysis.
Education: Pat has an MBA from Northern Illinois University and a BS in Finance from Western Illinois University. Pat is also APICS certified and has participat
Nick HornerPMO ManagerNick HornerPMO Manager
Current Position: Nick started at BN in November 2020 as a Program and Subcontract Manager. He now leads the Program Management Team for repeat manufacturing and new development programs.
History: Prior to joining BN, Nick was the Director of Project Management and Complex Order Value Stream Manager at Sundyne. He brings 14 years of turbomachinery experience from his time working at Sundyne where he held a variety of leadership, project management, and technical roles. Nick also has experience working in the energy, oil and gas, and aerospace industries.
Education: Nick earned a BS in Industrial Technology Management from Colorado State University. He also received a certificate in Project Management.
Interests: In his spare time, Nick enjoys spending time with his wife and two girls, traveling, fly-fishing, and home improvement projects.
Rachel JaakkolaHuman Resource ManagerRachel JaakkolaHuman Resource Manager
Current Position: Rachel Jaakkola started at BN in July 2017 as the first Human Resource employee BN has had. She created the foundation for the department and then developed it into a department sustainable for a larger organization. In her first four years, the company doubled its employee base and continues to grow. In 2020 she was promoted to Human Resource Manager as more HR employees have been hired into the growing department.
History: Before coming to BN, Rachel worked at Tri-State Generation and Transmission and was part of their Leadership Rotational Program. She worked in all departments of the company while also recruiting, onboarding, and administering employee benefits for the organization. After leaving this position, she solo backpacked around 13 different countries before coming to work at BN.
Education: Rachel received an MS in Organizational Leadership with a focus in Human Resources from Regis University and a BS in Business Management with a focus in Human Resources from Colorado State University. She also holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification along with other HR-specific certifications.
Interests: Outside of work, Rachel volunteers as a Trip Leader for the Colorado Mountain Club and is a Big Sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. She enjoys traveling, hiking, backpacking, kayaking, concerts, her kitten and Chiweenie, road trips, hot yoga, improv, and finding new experiences to push her out of her comfort zone.
Matt JohnsonDirector of OperationsMatt JohnsonDirector of Operations
Current Position: Matt joined Barber-Nichols in 2014 and currently is our Director, Operations. Matt leads, directs, and oversees all aspects of production operations directly and through managers who coordinate purchasing, supply chain management, production and inventory control, manufacturing engineering, manufacturing, assembly and test, and shipping and receiving.
History: Previously, Matt contributed over 15 years working in various positions at Sargent Controls & Aerospace, growing in responsibility and ultimately holding the role of Manager, Quality & Process Engineering. He provided strategic direction for the quality management system and annual objectives as the management representative for ISO9000/AS9100. He was also responsible for all aspects of the quality management function for the facility including advanced quality planning, contract/design reviews, failure mode analysis, process capability analysis and certification, tool and part qualification, advanced quality control plans, inspection sampling plans, measurement system analysis, and internal audits.
Education: Matt earned a BS, Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona. He also has earned his Six Sigma Black Belt and Lead Auditor Training Certifications.
Lian LiQuality ManagerLian LiQuality Manager
Current Position: Lian Li is the Quality Manager at Barber-Nichols (BN) joining us in December 2018.
History: Previously, Lian worked at ValleyLab/Covidien (now Medtronic) for 12 years in various positions. She led the New Product Development Quality Team for Process Validation and New Product Quality. She also led and implemented multiple Process Improvement Projects for multiple sites within the organization. She was a Subject Matter Expert for both internal and external audits on Quality Management systems for New Products. She also held the role of Corrective Action champion and board member.
Education: Lian earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Engineering in Engineering Management from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She also earned her Six Sigma Master Black Belt and AS9100 Lead Auditor Certifications.
Interests: Lian enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, and skiing with her family.
Matt MaloneGeneral ManagerMatt MaloneGeneral Manager
Current Position: Matt Malone is the General Manager at Barber-Nichols (BN). Matt joined BN in 2015, as a Project Engineer, focused on rocket engine turbopump design and development. He was promoted in January 2018 to PMO Manager overseeing some of BN’s most strategic US Navy programs. In January of 2020, Matt became our VP of Operations and led our team to be named Colorado’s 2020 Aerospace Manufacturer of the Year.
History: Previously, Matt worked at GE Transportation as a Turbomachinery Manager, Turbomachinery Engineer, and Edison Engineering Development Program. He led the turbomachinery design and development team for locomotives, off-highway vehicles, and marine engines. He also led the development of the state-of-the-art 2-stage turbocharger system for Tier 4 locomotive to meet more stringent emission standards and improved turbomachinery reliability through physics-based root cause analysis and design implementation. He also held roles in Diesel Engine Reliability, Engineering Finance, Engineering Quality, and Wind Engineering.
Education: Matt earned an MS in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Turbomachinery from Georgia Institute of Technology and a BS in Mechanical Engineering with honors in design optimization from Pennsylvania State University.
Matt is involved in the Vistage Key Leaders Group, Colorado Office of Economic Development Grant Board, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers specifically for the Additive Manufacturing Community.
Interests: Matt is a volunteer for the Cystic Fibrous Foundation and enjoys skiing, triathlons, inventing, and world travel.
Lex McCoyProgramming SupervisorLex McCoyProgramming Supervisor
Current Position: Lex McCoy is the Supervisor of the Offline Programming Team.
History: Lex has 12 years of experience in the CNC Metal Cutting Manufacturing Field.
Education: Lex earned his BS in Manufacturing Engineering from Arizona State University. He also has an Advanced Lean Training Certificate, an Advanced NX CAM Automation, and Programming Training Certificate.
Interests: Lex enjoys Outdoor Activities including Mountain biking, Golfing, Hiking, Snowboarding, and Camping.
John McGowanDirector of Product EngineeringJohn McGowanDirector of Product Engineering
Current Position: John joined BN in July of 2021 and leads the product development teams at BN. He is responsible for developing the Engineering and Product Management strategic vision, team and process development, cross-functional business collaboration, and overall engineering execution.
History: John has over 25 years history of success in Engineering, Manufacturing, Quality, and Product Leadership roles. Previous to joining BN, John held the position of Vice President of Technology Services at GE/Wabtec Transportation.
Education: John earned his MSME, Mechanical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and also has an MBA from Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. In addition, he earned a BSME, Mechanical Engineering from Grove City College. John has co-authored several patents and received numerous awards and honors in the industry.
Interests: John enjoys time with his family, skiing, mountain biking, and hiking in the outdoors.
Trang PhamControllerTrang PhamController
Current Position: Trang Pham started at BN in January 2018 as the Assistant Controller. She helped to successfully navigate the Accounting team through their first full financial audit, ERP upgrades, and acquisition with Graham Corporation. Trang was promoted to Controller in November 2019.
History: Trang has over 18 years of experience in Accounting and Finance with the last 10 years focused on Operations and Manufacturing. She previously worked at Sundyne as a Senior Financial Analyst, FP&A, and moved up to Operations Finance Manager before joining Barber-Nichols.
Education: Trang earned a BS in Accounting from CU Denver. She also passed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam.
Interests: Trang enjoys spending time with family and friends, and loves trying new cuisines. Her hobbies include running, hiking, and volunteering.
Andrew SamborskiAssembly & Test ManagerAndrew SamborskiAssembly & Test Manager
Current Position: As the Assembly and Test Manager at BN, Andrew directs and coordinates the technician department’s activities in the assembly and test of components, products, and systems.
History: Before coming to Barber-Nichols, Andrew worked as a designer for Evergreen Research. In this role, he worked to develop, analyze, and cost the customer-facing side for a prototype home dialysis machine.
Education: Andrew received his MSME and BSME from the University of Colorado Boulder with an emphasis in Applied Mechanics and Design.
Interests: In his free time Andrew enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and two dogs in the great outdoors of Colorado
Jim SaucermanEngineering Manager -Analysis & DesignJim SaucermanEngineering Manager -Analysis & Design
Current Position: Jim Saucerman is the Engineering Manager for the Analysis & Design teams, joining Barber-Nichols in June 2021.
History: Over the past 16 years, Jim worked on rotating equipment at Flowserve Corporation, where he grew from being a Product Development Engineer to most recently being the North America Aftermarket Engineering Manager. In his roles with Flowserve, he led both design and engineering teams throughout North America, focusing on the development of products for oil exploration, refining and transportation, nuclear power generation, and the aerospace and defense business sectors. Two of his proudest moments in his career; Jim led the development of the Abeyance Seal which was developed to prevent a nuclear reactor core meltdown during a station blackout event and most recently celebrated the success of the mechanical seals that took flight on Virgin Orbit’s Tubular Bells launch.
Education: Jim earned his MBA from Redlands University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. He also holds a Professional Engineering License in the state of California.
Interests: During his free time, family is most important to Jim and he enjoys time with his wife, 3 children, and little French Bulldog. They all enjoy outdoor adventures and look forward to building their first snowman as a family in Colorado.
Jeff ShullVP Sales & MarketingJeff ShullVP Sales & Marketing
Current Position: Jeff is the Vice president of Sales and Marketing for Barber-Nichols (BN). He has been at BN since 1998. He previously held the positions at BN of Sales and Marketing Manager and Sales Engineer. During his time at BN he also led projects including the design and development of a prototype hydrogen recycle blower for integration into a fuel cell system for an automobile. Jeff is passionate about finding creative turbomachinery solutions to solve complex problems for BN’s customers.
History: Jeff previously worked at BW/IP International (now Flowserve) in a rotational engineering program that involved work in wide-ranging engineering roles at different facilities across the United States. In his last role at BW/IP, he managed one of two manufacturing cells at a new centralized facility designed to build components for all of the company’s divisions.
Education: Jeff earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma.
Interests: In his spare time, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 children along with traveling, bicycling, hiking, woodworking, and snowboarding.
Matt St.MartinProduction Supervisor – Night ShiftMatt St.MartinProduction Supervisor – Night Shift
Current Position: Matt joined Barber-Nichols Inc. on October 30th, 2017 as a CNC Lathe Machinist. He was promoted in December of 2020 to Night Shift Production Supervisor. Matt strives to provide support, structure, and enjoyment to both night shifts.
History: Matt began his career as a machinist in July of 2010 at Burris Optics Inc. He worked here from 2010 until 2017. At this company, he manufactured scopes for military, hunting, and sport shooting firearms. Initially, Matt operated manual and single-function machines and later moved to more complex, automated CNC machines. Matt has learned most of what he knows about machining from on-the-job training, self-teaching, and exploration of the industry. He has taken classes that taught him the fundamentals of the CNC programming software, MasterCAM. Matt transformed this knowledge into the ability to program and set up a focused selection of CNC Machines here at Barber-Nichols. Toward the end of his employment at Burris Optics, Matt began to find an interest in helping, training and coaching employees. This interest later developed into the acquisition of the promotion to Night Shift Production Supervisor.
Education: Completed an Associates of Applied Science in Marketing and Management from Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado.
Interests: Matt enjoys building off-road vehicles, exploring off-road trails, rock climbing, spending time with his dogs, and being creative. He is always game for a good brain teaser or a complex challenge.