Growing Companies

The kids today call it TMI - Too Much Information. It can be the same with businesses, which sometime find the megabytes of data at their disposal overwhelming.

But while the trendy TMI signals private, unwanted details, the digital facts available to companies can be important, profit-making or safety-related information. The problem is finding the specific needles you need in a virtual roomful of needles.

This is where Etegent Technologies comes in. It carefully mines that data, extracting valuable information and needed knowledge to help companies improve and grow.

Etegent works mainly with the military - the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy in particular - and in the aviation industry. It has two divisions: the NDI (non-destructive inspection) Division, which uses its own specialized software to organize and archive digital inspection data; and the second, the R&D Division, which uses advanced signal, image and data processing to seek out subtle, hidden knowledge and understanding in measured sensor data and complex physical systems.

Using various collection methods, such as on-board computers, visual observations, and the results of specialized testing, Etegent can perform many data-mining operations.

It can map out a 3-D image of aircraft to improve the manufacturing and maintenance processes. It can develop ways to monitor the vibrations in jet engines to discover faults before they become major problems. It can analyze the data over an entire fleet of aircraft, discovering problems and solutions.

"There's some interesting information hidden away in large data sets," said Thomas Sharp, who co-founded the company in 1996. "We're trying to position ourselves to develop techniques to wade through that data and find something people can actually use. We capture that digital data, organize it, and analyze it."

Sharp's partner in the company is Stuart Shelley, who holds a doctorate and is a former research assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati. Sharp also has a doctorate from UC, and he holds seven patents in fields including non-destructive inspection, human factors, and spacecraft dynamics.

When the company began as SDL, Sharp said, it was located in the Hamilton County Business Center with two employees. In the past 15 years, it has grown to include 20 full-time and 10 part-time employees, Sharp said. It recently changed its name to Etegent, which Sharp said is Latin for "revealing that which is hidden."

Writer: Paul Long
Source: Thomas Sharp, Etegent Technologies principal and co-founder
Etegent Technologies, Ltd.
1775 Mentor Ave., Suite 302
Cincinnati, OH 45212