Sami Bitar

Position: 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.

President and co-founder of MagCanica, Sami holds a Bachelor’s degree...

Sami Bitar

President

Nader Bitar

Position: 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.

As MagCanica’s Vice President of Business Affairs, Nader is responsible...

Nader Bitar

Vice President of Business Affairs

Ryan Kari

Position: Chief Technical Officer

As Chief Technical Officer, Ryan is responsible for leading MagCanica’s efforts to innovate its torque sensor product line as well as integrate new technologies into its product pipeline. 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 spearhead the development of products for new markets and applications. Since joining MagCanica in 2002 as a design and development engineer, Ryan has led the development of both MagCanica’s in-house signal conditioning and real time signal processing electronics as Director of 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, wealth of experience with MagCanica’s technology, and his strong product focus helps MagCanica be at the cutting edge.

As Chief Technical Officer, Ryan is responsible for leading MagCanica’s...

Ryan Kari

Chief Technical Officer

Jenny Weyland

Position: Logistics and Operations Manager

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.

Jenny graduated from the University of San Diego with a...

Jenny Weyland

Logistics and Operations Manager

Michael Callahan

Position: Senior Engineer & Data Scientist

Michael holds both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering from UC San Diego. During his undergraduate career, he joined MagCanica as a mechanical engineering intern and acted as design engineer for multiple motorsport projects. After obtaining his Bachelor’s degree, Michael worked as a mechanical engineer at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems where he supported the design of mechanical and propulsion systems for multiple Predator drone programs. After GA, Michael returned to UCSD to pursue his graduate degree and published a thesis paper on experimental robust control design methods for modal disturbance rejection on an aircraft model test structure housed by ATA Engineering. As a senior engineer and data scientist, Michael leverages his strong background in systems design and numerical analysis towards advancing the company’s current and future product offerings.

Michael holds both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree...

Michael Callahan

Senior Engineer & Data Scientist

Alvin Chak

Position: Senior 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.

Alvin joined the MagCanica team as an engineering intern while...

Alvin Chak

Senior Engineer

Pedro Chavarria

Position: Test & Design Engineer

Pedro graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering. For his final project, Pedro’s team designed a close air support fighter jet for military missions which was presented to engineers from several top defense companies including Northrop Grumman, General Atomics, and Lockheed Martin. Pedro was also a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers where he held a position as the Outreach Coordinator. In this position, Pedro planned events at local high schools to provide resources for students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics majors. After graduating from SDSU, Pedro joined Siemens where he worked on wind turbine maintenance and was trained in Advanced Rescue, OSHA regulations, CPR, and High Voltage Safety. While working in the field, he was exposed to electrical schematics, troubleshooting electrical systems, and analyzing health data of the turbines. Pedro then joined Tesla where he worked on battery prototypes to improve range and power to make Teslas more affordable. Pedro was drawn to MagCanica by his passion for motorsport and interest in joining a small company. In his free time Pedro enjoys surfing and riding his motorcycle.

Pedro graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s...

Pedro Chavarria

Test & Design Engineer

David Granados

Position: Logistics and Administrative Specialist

David graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. While attending SDSU, he interned at a local San Diego news station where he was a field producer covering high school football. After graduation, David worked for three years at Integrated DNA Technologies, first as a Logistics Clerk and then as a Material Specialist. David was drawn to MagCanica by his interest in working in sports and was excited at the opportunity to expand his logistics skillset given MagCanica’s global footprint and the time-critical nature of the company’s operations.



David graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s...

David Granados

Logistics and Administrative Specialist

Thaddeus Davis

Position: Electromechanical Manufacturing & Assembly Technician

Thaddeus started his career building ventilators for hazardous areas at Euramco Group. During this time, he grew interested in machining and changed roles within that company and soon became team leader of the CNC milling department. After 5 years in this leadership position, Thaddeus wanted a more challenging role to further develop his skills, so he transitioned into aerospace machining at Sungear. Recently, Thaddeus joined the MagCanica team to incorporate his background in electronics assembly and machining, and to continue to learn new skills as a part of the motorsport industry, which he has always been passionate about.



Thaddeus started his career building ventilators for hazardous areas at...

Thaddeus Davis

Electromechanical Manufacturing & Assembly Technician

Gary Fernicola

Position: Design & Application Engineer

Gary holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. Throughout his academic tenure, he undertook various projects, including the development of an automated robot for competitive navigation through obstacle courses and the creation of an innovative tool to enhance operational efficiency for a local small business.

 

Post-graduation, Gary garnered valuable professional experience in the fields of Building HVAC and Pharmaceutical Process Commissioning. In this capacity, he ensured the optimal functioning of facilities and utilities for prominent Life Science, Pharmaceutical, and R&D firms in San Diego. Gary’s expertise encompasses PLC Controls, DDC Control Systems, Psychrometrics, Heat Transfer, and GMP Validation/Commissioning. His tenure in commissioning allowed him to hone not only his technical skills but also his proficiency in project management and soft skills.

 

Currently a key member of the Mechanical engineering team at MagCanica, Gary actively engages in design projects. Moreover, he serves as a crucial liaison between clients, the MagCanica production team, and other stakeholders, exemplifying his adeptness in effective communication and collaboration within a professional context.

Gary holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree with a concentration...

Gary Fernicola

Design & Application Engineer

Wade Fiegel

Position: 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.

Wade earned his Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the...

Wade Fiegel

Electrical Engineer

Paul Guativa

Position: Electronics and Embedded Software Engineer

Paul graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. While at CWRU, Paul specialized in circuits, solid state devices, and computer hardware. Paul also completed several design projects including a mixed signal positional controller, helical antennae, and a phase-locked loop integrated circuit. Paul was active in many campus organizations including the CWRU chapter of IEEE and the CWRU co-op program. Paul worked his co-op at Keithley Instruments to establish a strong background in analog circuitry and low-level electrical test and measurement. He joined MagCanica as an Electronics & Embedded Software Engineer to fulfill his passion for electronic design while increasing MagCanica’s firmware and hardware capabilities.

Paul graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a Bachelor’s...

Paul Guativa

Electronics and Embedded Software Engineer

Jenna Guthmiller

Position: Project Manager

Jenna holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Humanities with a concentration in Classical Education. She also holds a Google Project Management professional certification and is pursuing a PMP certificate with the Project Management Institute. She spent the first eight years of her career as a middle school and high school teacher. After that, she pursued her favorite elements of teaching – planning and executing projects, leading teams, and facilitating great communication – in the realm of project management. Prior to joining MagCanica, Jenna worked for a project management firm as a project manager and operations consultant. Jenna now actively manages MagCanica’s engineering projects, primarily those focused on new technology development.

Jenna holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s...

Jenna Guthmiller

Project Manager

Shane Hazlewood

Position: Senior Electromechanical Technician

Shane is an experienced aircraft and aerospace technician with over 15 years of experience in the aviation and aerospace industries. Shane received a scholarship to Davis Technologies earning certificates in manual machining, CNC machining, layout skills, and CAD/CAM. After working for several machine shops, he moved into the aerospace industry, building and testing Auxilliary Power Units for Pratt and Whitney Aeropower, a division of United Technologies. His prior background as a machinist and turbine engine technician provides MagCanica with a unique skillset that Shane applies to assembling, testing, and calibrating MagCanica torque sensor systems to the most exacting quality standards.

Shane is an experienced aircraft and aerospace technician with over...

Shane Hazlewood

Senior Electromechanical Technician

Bryce Hegemier

Position: Design & Development Engineer

Bryce earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin with a Minor in Business Administration. During his studies, he competed in a variety of engineering competitions including a public transportation mobility challenge where he led a small team to brainstorm and pitch unique transportation solutions to a panel of industry experts. Following graduation, Bryce developed multiple subsea surveillance prototypes for the US Navy, where he worked with a small group of engineers to bring concepts to life from the conception stage to final demonstration while working with extremely lean timelines and budgets. During that time, he honed his skills in a number of areas including mechanical design, project management, machining and construction, test and evaluation coordination, and government contract development. Now at MagCanica, Bryce works on design projects and track support for clients as well as contributing to internal engineering, manufacturing, and business development projects.

Bryce earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from...

Bryce Hegemier

Design & Development Engineer

Brian Katan

Position: Electronics and Embedded Software Engineer

Brian graduated from The Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering at Binghamton University with both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering. As part of his undergraduate capstone project, he worked as a software design lead developing control laws for select subsystems in the Hyperloop concept, later participating with his team in the first Hyperloop Design Competition hosted by SpaceX. In graduate school, he honed his programming skills through optimal power system control system designs with smart grid applications, and upon graduation he continued to work on power distribution systems for various builds in New York City. Prior to his educational career, Brian also received professional training as an automotive technician, ascertaining safety and emissions certificates in New York. This core experience provided him with both a comprehensive understanding of as well as the passion for modern automotive technology. Brian brings a diverse and uniquely applicable collection of experience and skill set to his role as a full-time electronics and embedded systems engineer at MagCanica.

Brian graduated from The Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering...

Brian Katan

Electronics and Embedded Software Engineer

Dakota McCormack

Position: Sofware Engineering Consultant

Dakota graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and a minor in Computer Science. While earning his degree, he also worked with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department developing programming modules to teach K-12 students across Wyoming essential programming skills. Outside the university, Dakota also held an internship with an oil refinery, where he created programs to log and present sensory data. For his senior design project, he worked as the software design lead developing code for a drilling system prototype to be used on Mars. As a Senior Embedded Software Engineer, Dakota brings a unique background of software experience and passion for coding. Because of this, he is heavily involved in updating MagCanica’s existing firmware, and developing new embedded firmware capabilities for the future.

Dakota graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor’s...

Dakota McCormack

Sofware Engineering Consultant

Colin Nordquist

Position: Test & Automation Engineer

Colin graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering. While pursuing his undergraduate degree, he volunteered with Global Brigades to provide aid in building infrastructure and maintaining clean water systems that provided water for hundreds of residents in Honduras. During his senior design project he worked with Rexnord to design a test bench to investigate the onset of cavitation in flow control valves used in hydro-electric dams. Through his undergraduate degree and senior design project, Colin developed an interest in electrical and software engineering and took learning into his own hands. In the years since graduation, he has taken online courses in computer science and software engineering, learned about embedded systems programming and computer architecture, and gained hands on experience in electrical hardware design and prototyping. In his role at MagCanica, Colin supports numerous client programs as well as internal development projects involving mechanical and software engineering.

Colin graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering with a...

Colin Nordquist

Test & Automation Engineer

Jason Ochoa

Position: Electromechanical Test & Calibration Technician

Jason studied diesel technology at San Diego Miramar College, where he served as the leader of his group in many of his courses and learned the foundational aspects of working in a shop atmosphere. Jason completed the Diesel Technology program at Miramar College with a professor recommendation for a position with Achates Power. At Achates Power, Jason was responsible for the installation of several engine platforms, as well as operating and maintaining complex dynamometer test cells. He was also responsible for monitoring various engine parameters while performing innovative testing on research engines. Jason learned to perform calibrations, troubleshoot system errors, and service various types of equipment in the test cells. Jason brings his wide variety of experience with complex machinery and great attention to detail to the MagCanica team.



Jason studied diesel technology at San Diego Miramar College, where...

Jason Ochoa

Electromechanical Test & Calibration Technician

Joey Peterson

Position: Electromechanical Test & Calibration Technician

Joey is an experienced electromechanical technician who has worked across several technology fields in San Diego. His experience includes ROV assembly and testing, audio equipment quality control, and, most recently, automating building assembly lines in medical device manufacturing.  In these various roles, he has honed his assembly, inspection, and troubleshooting acumen while also learning new skills in order to further his knowledge. Joey is excited to enter a new industry and to further his skillset through his role with MagCanica.

Joey is an experienced electromechanical technician who has worked across...

Joey Peterson

Electromechanical Test & Calibration Technician

Martin Piceno

Position: Electromechanical Test and Calibration Technician

Martin is a 5-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where he attained experience working on hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, and low voltage electrical systems. In the Marine Corps he served on two deployments as an electronics technician on the UH1Y and AH1Z aircraft, attaining the rank of Sergeant and becoming supervisor for the avionics shop. After his service with the Marine Corps, Martin took his passion for engineering further, spending two years at Safran Power Units, a major gas turbine manufacturer, where he tested turbine engines, created custom electronics, performed IS0 9100 audits, and took responsibility for the company’s Engineering Data Management (EDM) program.



Martin is a 5-year veteran of the United States Marine...

Martin Piceno

Electromechanical Test and Calibration Technician

Nathan Rosado Hernandez

Position: Electromechanical Manufacturing & Assembly Technician

Nathan enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in Puerto Rico, where he served as an Avionics Technician for 5 years. During this time, Nathan worked on the UH1Y and AH1Z helicopter platforms, where he gained in depth experience in electrical and mechanical systems. After leaving the service as a Sergeant and Workcenter Supervisor, he took his acquired skillset to General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company and spent two years working as a Test and Trials Electrical Technician. In this role, Nathan was involved in the building and commissioning of two commercial cargo ships and one oil tanker for the U.S. Navy. With a keen interest in learning, Nathan came to MagCanica to broaden his skillset further and to perfect his technical skills especially with respect to precision instrumentation. While working at MagCanica, Nathan is also attending San Diego City College pursuing an Energy Analysis and Consultation degree.

Nathan enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in Puerto...

Nathan Rosado Hernandez

Electromechanical Manufacturing & Assembly Technician

Dominic Ryan

Position: Electrical Engineering Consultant

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.

Dominic began working at MagCanica as an Electrical Engineering Intern...

Dominic Ryan

Electrical Engineering Consultant

Dejan Samardzic

Position: Principal 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 Principal Engineer.

Dejan joined the MagCanica team after graduating from San Diego...

Dejan Samardzic

Principal Engineer

Neal Steward

Position: Electromechanical Test & Calibration Technician

Neal is a US Air Force veteran who served both active duty and in the California Air National Guard. He is a graduate of the Aviation Maintenance Technology program at Miramar College and holds both his FAA Airframe and Powerplant licenses. Neal is a journeyman technician who has worked at many large manufacturing companies in Southern California including General Dynamics, Solar Turbines, Hamilton Sundstrand and Pratt & Whitney in a variety of positions. Neal most recently worked at Achates Power, where he held roles as a test cell technician and as the lead development assembly technician on their 10.6 liter Magnum prototype diesel engine program. Neal brings his extensive background and valuable knowledge in assembly, maintenance, inspection, repair and testing to the MagCanica team.



Neal is a US Air Force veteran who served both...

Neal Steward

Electromechanical Test & Calibration Technician

Michael Turnauckas

Position: Electromechanical Manufacturing & Assembly Technician

Michael began his career in the technical industry working in military contracting with both CANES and ADNS. Michael then transitioned into a role with Tesla as a Test Engineer, where he worked on the research and development of their newest products. Michael was drawn to MagCanica thanks to his firm desire to “never stop learning,” and the opportunity to work on the innovative, cutting-edge products that MagCanica offers. Michael is a San Diego native who enjoys coaching both youth and high school Division 1 football, participating in combat sports, training athletes, and is very close to his family.



Michael began his career in the technical industry working in...

Michael Turnauckas

Electromechanical Manufacturing & Assembly Technician

Clay Walker

Position: Software Engineer

Clay graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. Prior to joining MagCanica, he worked as a Systems Engineer for Safran Power Units, integrating and testing auxiliary power unit systems in business jets such as the Bombardier Global 7500 and the Dassault Falcon 6X. He maintained hardware-in-the-loop real-time test benches used for firmware verification and validation. His work also required performing system level tests on location with customers to debug APU and aircraft software and wiring issues. Clay brings his experience in hardware and software testing to MagCanica, where he develops custom software for a variety of test benches used for torque sensor calibration in addition to firmware embedded in MagCanica’s torque sensor systems.



Clay graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor of...

Clay Walker

Software Engineer

Alex Yeh

Position: Electrical Hardware Engineer

Alex graduated from San Diego State University with a Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering and from UC San Diego with a Bachelor’s in electrical engineering. For his master’s thesis, he designed, manufactured, and tested a fully custom muscle oxygenation sensor. After graduating from UCSD and while studying at SDSU, he worked full-time as an electrical engineer at a renewable energy company and was responsible for designing electronics, installing solar panels and battery storage systems, and leading student interns. As a graduate student, he also worked as an IT specialist for SDSU and the California Department of Public Health. Alex’s experience in electronics hardware focuses on adding capability to MagCanica’s test and production processes, as well as new product designs.

Alex graduated from San Diego State University with a Master’s...

Alex Yeh

Electrical Hardware Engineer