Our Team

Bill Altieri, Business Advisor

Founder and President of the highly successful Boston-based investment firm TAG Venture Partners, Bill Altieri serves as an important business advisor to MagCanica. Bill's unique financial and business experience provides MagCanica with strong guidance to effectively develop MagCanica's business over the long term. His support is particularly valuable in helping to identify and evaluate new markets to enter, assess product development strategy, and make introductions to potential clients and investors.

Nader Bitar, Vice President of Business Affairs

As MagCanica's Vice President of Business Affairs, Nader is responsible for all business and legal matters affecting the Company, including managing MagCanica's business development and financial management efforts, and handling various administrative functions such as human resources, investor relations, and benefits. Nader is a seasoned California corporate and intellectual property attorney with significant experience in the high-tech arena. As such, he provides invaluable legal and business development leadership. He holds a Bachelor's degree in International Economics from Georgetown University and a law degree from the University of California at Davis. In addition to his varied educational background, Nader has over fifteen years of financial and legal experience, having worked with a number of financial institutions, law firms, and high technology startup companies.

Sami Bitar, President

President and co-founder of MagCanica, Sami holds a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Brown University and a Master's degree in mechatronics from Stanford University. Following his university studies, he gained valuable experience at the Ford Motor Company (Dearborn, MI, USA) leading the development of a series of magnetoelastic torque sensors for Formula 1 racecars and production automotive steering applications. Through his experience developing torque sensors at Ford, Sami developed a strong understanding of the issues involved in developing practical torque sensing devices for industry as well as an in-depth appreciation for what infrastructure and skill base is needed to guide a successful R&D program for this technology.

As President of MagCanica since its founding in early 2000, Sami has successfully managed the inception and growth of MagCanica from a business concept to a credible and financially sound enterprise. He has carried out both technical and business roles in a dedicated effort to continuously improve and further propagate MagCanica's technology platform. In particular, Sami has been able to raise funding, recruit a world-class technical and business team, and secure numerous contracts to fuel the company's growth.

Alvin Chak, Design & Development Engineer

Alvin joined the MagCanica team as an engineering intern while completing his B.S. degree (summa cum laude) in Mechanical Engineering at UC San Diego. While at UCSD, he gained skills and experience in research, design, analysis and prototyping through his participation in an entrepreneurial product design organization as well as being a member of a research team focused on developing ultra-high temperature carbon ceramics. Upon graduation, Alvin joined the MagCanica team as a Design and Development Engineer, combining his technical engineering skills with his personal passion for motorsport, which he developed at a young age. At MagCanica, Alvin plays an active role in designing and developing MagCanica's current and upcoming torque sensor system product line, with a primary emphasis on motorsport applications, especially in Formula 1 and Le Mans racing.

Glenn Duque, Electromechanical Assembly & Test Technician

Glenn is a United States Army veteran with over 8 years of hands-on experience as a Mechanical and Electrical Technician in the naval, aerospace, and military defense industries. After his service in the Army, Glenn went to work for Lockheed Martin in Denver, Colorado; a company that manufactures rocket engines, satellites, and space programs. At Lockheed Martin, Glenn worked initially as a Mechanical and Electrical Technician and later became a Field Engineer. After Lockheed Martin, Glenn was worked as a Test Engineer at Harris Corporation on various government warning and defense systems. Glenn moved back to San Diego to be closer to home and joined the MagCanica team, where he now plays an important role in assembly, testing, and calibration of MagCanica’s torque sensor systems. His particularly strong expertise in wiring harness assembly techniques helps to ensure that MagCanica’s systems achieve a very high level of reliability in the field. During his free time, Glenn enjoys spending time with family and friends and riding motorcycles.

Wade S. Fiegel, Electrical Engineer

Wade earned his Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Lowell in 1980. Virtually ever since then, he has worked directly with Ivan Garshelis on magnetoelastic torque sensors and a variety of other transducers and devices. His almost thirty years of work experience and hands-on approach make him a particularly valuable contributor to the team in such activities as experimental testing, sensor and module assembly, and system troubleshooting. Among other things, during his free time Wade is an avid canoe racer and serves as a local Fire Department emergency volunteer.

Ivan J. Garshelis, Chief Technical Officer

Chief Technical Officer and co-founder of MagCanica, Garshelis is recognized as one of the world's top experts in torque measurement and magnetoelastics. Among other things, he has invented and successfully proven out devices for the measurement of torque, rate-of-change (ROC) of torque, speed, and position; current threshold sensing; and the mechanical magnet. Mr. Garshelis' professional and scientific distinctions are numerous, as reflected in his publication of over 50 peer-reviewed technical journal articles (for a complete list of Mr. Garshelis' publications, click here ) and over 30 patents. Furthermore, in 1994 he was awarded the prestigious R&D 100 Award in recognition of his pioneering work in magnetoelastic torque sensing.

An expert engineer and inventor, Mr. Garshelis has several decades' experience as a designer, researcher, and senior engineering consultant across many industries. Prior to his association with MagCanica, he consulted for a number of Fortune 500 companies including General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Daimler-Chrysler, and Honeywell. Mr. Garshelis, an expert mechanical engineer and physicist, is recognized as the world's top expert in torque sensing and magnetoelastics and has authored the seminal patents and technical papers in the area of magnetoelastic torque measurement. As such, at the request of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), he authored the chapter on torque measurement in The Measurement, Instrumentation and Sensors Handbook and The Mechatronics Handbook .

James Kidon, Manufacturing Technologist

James is a United States Navy veteran with over 15 years of manufacturing experience. Prior to joining MagCanica, he worked in several machine shops and manufacturing facilities, including his own, producing complex and high precision parts for the aerospace, medical, and automotive industries. James serves as MagCanica’s manufacturing technologist, working closely with the design and manufacturing teams to ensure that MagCanica’s cutting edge products are produced to the most stringent of quality standards. Recently he has introduced in-house 3D printing capability to MagCanica’s suite of prototyping methods. His intimate firsthand knowledge of advanced manufacturing processes aids in ensuring a high level of manufacturability for MagCanica’s custom, application specific, and often complex torque sensor housings used across various industries. He also works directly on the assembly, testing, and calibration of the torque sensor systems, giving him a unique and complete view of MagCanica’s torque sensor products from initial design concept to the final shippable product. James is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys camping, fishing, shooting, and off-road driving, rarely passing up an opportunity to take his Jeep out rock crawling.

Ryan Kari, Director of Electronics

As Director of Electronics and Condition Monitoring Systems, Ryan is responsible for the development and full product cycle for all MagCanica signal conditioning electronics, and leads the design, development, and technology roadmap for MagCanica's condition monitoring programs. Having graduated from Stanford University with a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Smart Product Design and Systems Identification, Ryan's rigorous training and multidisciplinary approach help to maintain MagCanica's position as a leading developer of mechatronic systems as well as develop products for new markets and applications. Since joining MagCanica in 2002, Ryan has led the development of both MagCanica's in-house signal conditioning and real time signal processing electronics, and has contributed to the development of magnetoelastic measurement technologies having co-authored multiple peer-reviewed papers under the guidance of Ivan Garshelis. Ryan's combination of interdisciplinary know-how and a strong product focus helps MagCanica to effectively transition newly developed sensor technologies into functional products and systems.

Jenny Papp, Office Administrator

Jenny graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a minor in International Business. There, Jenny was actively involved on campus in a variety of organizations in leadership roles and volunteered off-campus weekly. After she graduated, Jenny worked in an administrative role at a leading mortgage company prior to joining MagCanica. She was drawn to MagCanica by her interest in motorsport and her passion for working in operations. Jenny performs various administrative duties at MagCanica including marketing, purchasing, accounting, human resources, facility management, travel planning, and handling shipments. Jenny brings to the team her strong organizational skills, her interest in the international aspects of business, and her experience in internal finance and accounting.

Jeremiah Peevyhouse , Design & Development Engineer

Jeremiah brings a diverse set of skills to the MagCanica team. With a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from UC Irvine and a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from UC San Diego, he has experience in the design, analysis, manufacturing, and testing of various engineering systems. During his undergraduate studies, Jeremiah interned at Disneyland where he performed structural analysis on roller coaster wheel hubs. Upon graduation he transitioned to a Quality Engineer position with Parker Aerospace, which gained him valuable experience in hands-on manufacturing, inspection, and statistical process control. Prior to joining MagCanica, he was responsible for the design and testing of various sealing systems for aircraft thrust reversers at United Technologies Aerospace Systems. As a Design & Development Engineer at MagCanica, Jeremiah puts his varied skills to use, with a specific focus on engineering analysis and developing new products while at the same time contributing to continuously improving the existing MagCanica product line.

Dominic Ryan, Electronics Engineer

Dominic began working at MagCanica as an Electrical Engineering Intern while completing his B.S. degree at UC San Diego. While at UCSD, he was trained in control theory & machine learning, circuit design, and also enrolled in a number of core mechanical engineering classes. As a member of the Energy-Efficient Microsystems research group, Dominic designed a low-noise instrumentation board for measurement via experimental bio-electrodes. For his senior design project, he co-designed a low-cost laser-based vibrometer for sonar receiver transducer applications. Upon graduation, Dominic joined MagCanica as a full-time electronics engineer, where he brings a strong personal passion for motorsport and both the electrical and mechanical aspects of sensor systems engineering. At MagCanica, Dominic’s primary role is to improve signal conditioning systems and expand the company’s electronics and embedded firmware capabilities. As such, he is heavily involved in upgrading MagCanica’s signal conditioning circuit designs, both at the analog and digital level.

Dejan Samardzic, Design & Development Engineer

Dejan joined the MagCanica team after graduating from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a Minor in Mathematics. While at SDSU, he co-authored a research paper on mixed shear theory for composite structures and was selected as valedictorian for the entire College of Engineering. Prior to his attendance at SDSU, Dejan served for six years as an engineering assistant in the United States Navy where he was exposed to various project management tools, leadership training, and dynamic engineering frameworks, principles which he continues to employ and build upon at MagCanica as a Design & Development Engineer.

Jeremy Stark, Electronics Engineer

Jeremy Stark graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Systems Engineering from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he worked in the development of laser Doppler velocimeter based particle characterization systems, and optimization of optical systems for alternative energy research. While completing his graduate work in Electrical Engineering at Boston University (Master’s and Doctorate), he worked as a lab instructor and researcher at Boston University’s Applied Electromagnetics Laboratory, where he led the development of self-cleaning solar panel systems. Jeremy joined MagCanica as an Electronics Engineer, leveraging his breadth and depth of technical knowledge to help optimize the design of a variety of MagCanica signal conditioning and processing circuits. Specifically, Jeremy is active in the continuous improvement of MagCanica’s digital signal processing and acquisition systems, associated firmware, and expanding the range of product certifications of MagCanica’s electrical subsystems for the energy and other industrial sectors.

Alexander “Sasha” Turovsky, Design & Development Engineer

Sasha started working at MagCanica as a Design and Development Engineer after graduating from the Mechanical Engineering program at Northeastern University in Boston. As a student at Northeastern, he participated in the university’s renowned co-op program and gained practical engineering experience working in diverse fields including biomedical and aerospace engineering, as well as optical research and development. For his senior design project, Sasha was part of a student team that designed and built a two-degree-of-freedom rotating test stand that was used for Johnson & Johnson’s contact lens indentation tests. He also authored a paper on the topic of planar laser-induced fluorescence. At MagCanica, Sasha utilizes and builds upon his prior experience by contributing to the design and development of current and future torque sensor system products, with a primary emphasis on system design and process optimization.

Kyle Wirtz, Test & Development Engineer

Kyle brings a unique combination of hands-on and engineering experience to the MagCanica team. For over 10 years, Kyle worked as a technician and mechanic in the marine, automotive, and power sports industries. He then complemented his practical skills by earning a mechanical engineering degree from Portland State University. Upon graduating, Kyle worked for 5 years in a biomechanical and tissue engineering laboratory as a test and product development engineer. In this role he gained valuable experience in basic research, testing, and product development. Recently, Kyle’s passion for motorsports brought him to MagCanica where he is primarily responsible for implementing, upgrading, maintaining, and optimizing the sophisticated test equipment and processes associated with MagCanica’s torque sensor technology.