Lou (aka Bud) Skriba is an entrepreneur with major career contributions to the Optical Recording Media Industry. He holds: a BA in Engineering Science, BS degree in Mechanical/Industrial Engineering, and an MBA (on scholarship) in Marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School. In his two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, he helped launch several successful small native-managed businesses. One was to export Brazil Nuts, (using low cost vacuum packaging techniques he developed), from the Amazon Jungles of Peru. It was on this project that the need for a cheap, cargo lifting VTOL aircraft concept that did NOT use aviation fuel, was fully understood and experienced.
Starting in the New Business Ventures Division of 3M’s Central Research Laboratory, he provided product development, acquisitions and joint ventures which eventually led to 3M’s new manufacturing technology for Video Discs, DVDs, and BD-RE HD media. As a research engineer he developed, on his own, the first successful samples of a radically new, breakthrough holographic recording media technology. This approach to data storage was subsequently further developed into a start-up business by Bell Laboratories (with Japanese hard-drive supplier’s venture capital) using 3Ms media approach.
Key to his Central Research Job function was to work in partnership with their key scientists to identify and define the business/profit potential of several breakthrough technologies, (thin-film spectrometry, automated microbiological research equipment, environmental protection systems to detect and prevent mercury vapor toxicity in dentistry, water pollution control systems and chemicals of his invention and startup business initiation, breakthrough thermal insulation concepts/materials used now in the space program (Multi-Layer-Insulation films, spray-on urethane insulation, hydrogen adsorber materials that can be used for hydrogen gas storage, glass bubble based composite insulation materials, and the first successful solid state lasers emitting in BLUE, zinc oxide crystals pumped by electron beams for holographic data storage systems). His first job included evaluating all Hydrogen economy technology issues at 3M.
After leaving 3M, to begin his own start-up company, he developed and caused the patenting of a digital video system for the Apple IIe personal computer which was purchased by the NAVY as a photo archive system. That led to his being selected as Panasonic’s distributor of the world’s first video disc recording format (based on recording media inventions by 3M that were first identified, evaluated and then promoted by him). That was followed by being a consultant to Toshiba, an employee of Sony, and a marketing or technology expert in several start-up companies doing various forms of digital video. He also did personal research on the quantum physics of phonon vibrations in brain and spinal columns.
Research into the generation, storage and use of hydrogen has been a 40+ year effort as a privately funded “citizen scientist” for reasons to maintain absolute control over trade secret Intellectual Property. His interest has long been to build a flying model of a Hydrogen-fueled VTOL aircraft using the ultra-light, low-cost construction philosophies of EAA “experimental” rated aircraft. SBIRs from NASA and DOE and ARPA-E were submitted to, but never funded. Key to that is his current focus on using radically new 3D printing techniques to generate cryo-temp insulation systems, large area fuel cells (potentially the skins on aerodynamic shapes like wings and turbine blades), and most importantly, the build-up of extremely light, high powered electric motors based on super-conducting materials. This has been driven by the obvious need for VTOL hover/lift for use in Public Service applications. (he is currently working with NASA/Ames/work group #4 and Johnny Doo). For the last 10 years, he has been in contact (and a joint venture) with many NASA employees, most of which were an extension of Mark Moore’s ambitions for electric powered Personal Aircraft (PAV).
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