William T. (Bill) Holmes


Reverse Chronological Order

Design radical VTOL and conventional flight vehicle
Situation: Maintenance cost, inefficiency and inadequacy of VTOL vehicles.
Action: Designed and patented Blade Flyer rotary wing system in which the fuel and flight control are in the hub and thick, rigid blades with camber control (flaps and slats).  Developed presentations, researched market and wrote business plan.
Result: DARPA considers the Blade Flyer a "unique and innovative rotor technology." Development funds are being sought.
Prototype integrated requirements and software development system
Situation: After examining the requirements in job listings for UML, Agile and yet-another-methodology, surveyed all the popular requirements capture methods, and concluded that they all waste time generating lots of text and artifacts to which users must adapt, management doesn't read, and developers ignore, because they are maintained as files, which are of insufficient granularity to make quick and accurate queries for pertinent information possible.  Simple changes are extremely expensive. Entire specifications must be read and entire diagrams must be examined to extract the bits of information pertinent to each participant during definition, design, programming and test.  Thanks to the absurd use of pronouns and acronyms, confusion and errors abound.  There is no connection between requirements, meta data, programs or tests that does not require human interpretation or intervention.
Action: Modified derivative document database in which requirements are captured with one sentence, paragraph, diagram element or diagram per record, and formatted with HTML pop-ups.  Meta data is similarly added with pop-ups.  Found set is exported as HTML file that is converted to RTF, WORD or PDF as a conventional specification. Software to satisfy each requirement is developed in the same system using programming layouts for each language with command and variable name (from meta data) pop-ups as appropriate.  The found set is exported as text file for compilation and execution.  Software configuration management is inherent in the system. Compare each software function with the requirement directly related thereto by way of the relational database to determine if the requirements are in fact satisfied when the software is executed.  To reuse software, search for similar requirements to find related code.
Result: Surprisingly easy and useful editor for multiple purposes that eliminates much of the typing responsible for errors
Demonstrate that legacy system extension could be avoided
Situation: Medical insurance company intended to spend a large sum to extend the life of a legacy patient appeals system until the target system, Facets had the necessary functionality.
Action: Examined Facets, and demonstrated that while the Appeals application was inadequate, the Claims application in conjunction with Workflow would do a better and more secure job than the legacy system could.
Result: Contract ended before decision was made.
Develop Successful Functional Requirements and Technical Specifications
Situation: Medical insurance company needed extensions to the system to which it was migrating, Facets.
Action: Interviewed users, examined Facets data dictionary and developed concise documents in compliance with company standards.
Result: First extension of many developed by other business analysts to be accepted by Trizetto for development.
Develop Derivative Document Database
Situation: Maintaining a product manual for each model of many similar products was becoming cost-prohibitive for Florite International.  One fundamental product change could involve changes to many manuals.  All manuals are essentially subsets of the do-all product manual.
Action: Developed a database that generates model-specific manuals from a concatenation of all product manuals so only the master manual need be maintained.  The master manual is entered one paragraph or sentence per record and using HTML pop-ups to format the text and ad links to graphics, other sections of the document and external references.  The records are sequenced using a decimal paragraph number in system, making it easy to insert text and graphics.  Searching for records based on model number, sorting by paragraph number, and exporting the found set results in an HTML file that is used as-is, or converted by scripts to Word, PDF, RTF or plain text as desired for publication purpose. Duplicating records copies a text style.  Simply replace the text.  (Subsequently realized that it is a miniature of the solid model feature-based method of enterprise integration and management defined by me for hardware product design, manufacture and support.
Result:   It is surprisingly efficient to use.  Currently use the system to generate derivative resumes.  Subsequently realized it could be used for requirements definition and software programming.
Add substance to thesis
Situation: Report on history of space robotics was inadequate for Ph.D. thesis.
Action: Invented the local and remote control of robots by way of simulators to avoid transmission delay and interruption problems.  Wrote thesis.
Result: Successful thesis.
Improve process and safety with systems
Situation: Lack of equipment made operations inefficient, difficult, dangerous and in one circumstance, impossible.
Action: Invented an implemented large spool mounting device using local components for wire carousel, and developed 26-page report of other improvements, 13 of which are patentable.
Result: Safe loading of large wire spools.
Develop cooperative document development system
Situation: Large functional specification crashed MS Word.
Action: Developed way for each author/editor contribute to database-enabled Intranet site loaded with the specification.
Result: Progress.
Design secure communications hut
Situation: Startup needed to convince potential client of value.
Action: Incorporated chain link fence into the walls and devised innovative access controls.
Result: Helped convince client of capability to design, install and maintain ATM/Ethernet network.
Improve management and reduce staff
Situation: Startup needed resource (asset and time) management system.
Action: Adapted FIMIS to the purpose. Developed various internal Web sites.
Result: Unneeded company assets were identified and auctioned. The IT Department was relieved of software, printer driver and other installations, because users could readily access the registration codes associated with software assets, and follow the procedures on the IT web site, allowing the staff to be reduced by 50%. Administrative and human resources personnel were similarly relieved of the need to repeatedly provide security and other procedures to employees, which allowed a staff reduction.
Improve facilities
Situation: Startup needed office partitions and a way to reduce cost of cooling its warehouse area, which was being used for office space.
Action: Developed innovative and inexpensive eight foot high partition system utilizing mass-produced construction materials intended for other purposes. Make skylights operable from within the warehouse, installed whole house fan in one and used misters the warehouse door to create an evaporative cooler of the space.
Result: All the partitions needed were quickly installed at the company for less than $5 per linear foot. Saved $4,000/month on air conditioner rent.
Define Tactical Cooperative Engagement System
Situation: Startup was late responding to a letter of interest.
Action: Managed one physicist to help develop a proposal involving spectroscopic sensors to locate friend, foe or injured and communication devices that displayed them on maps and helped participants coordinate their activity.
Result: $8 million sole source contract was offered, but it was declined after the company chose to focus on network technology.
Cumulate remote data
Situation: A company that makes monitoring devices that cumulate signals from flow rate, pressure, temperature and other measurement devices and includes a display for local interrogation and a modem for remote interrogation had no way to accumulate data from remote monitors at a central location for easy access by customers concerned with quality, compliance and liability, e.g. water quality at soft drink dispensers and water injection at oil wells.
Action: Developed a web site and eight related databases (FIMIS) to interact with the devices, cumulate their data, relate the data to a channel on a monitor at a location at a site maintained, managed and owned by various people who must be notified in succession if a threshold like filter back pressure or fluid level is exceeded and not corrected.  It related assets (monitor, pressure transducer, flow turbine, filter) to one another so maintenance personnel can be told in email message alerts the parts and tools to bring and the location of the problem within the facility at a physical address.
Result: Expanded the marketplace for Florite International devices.
Design theme park rides
Situation: Startup company needed funds that could be derived from a theme park venture that wanted a low-cost and expandable ride system that could be easily changed to remain attractive for decades.
Action: Designed theme park rides that use a mass-producible three-passenger, gimbaled spherical modules with video projected on interior, so ride motion and imagery could emulate any theme of the occupant's choosing, including multi-part themes and interaction with other modules. Accelerations were provided by orienting the module relative to the carousel centripetal and gravity acceleration vectors. Included a 6 g life-after-death ride.  The experience could be radically changed and even customized for each patron without changing the expensive physical structures. Patron activity was tracked, so they could continue their theme park experience at a later date, and thereby motivate their rapid return.
Result: Impressed theme park developer, but he was unable to secure venture capital.
Augment web server
Situation: Company needed various services on its Web server to attract customers.
Action: Developed the following back end databases:
Forms/surveys - Clients can create their own forms and surveys because the names of the data fields are also variables.
Forum/listserver - Users can create their own forums and upload photos for mate matching forum.
Mall - Allows store owners to manage their own stores and suppliers to manage their own product pages using a web browser; includes rental store. For customization, some field names and all graphics paths are variable data fields. Allows upload of photos and download of purchased digital data. Performs conventional credit card transactions by telephone and twice daily emails to supplier and customer notifications of earnings, shipping requirements and purchase confirmation.
Developed the following back end databases for political and historical purposes and to attract potential clients:
Letters/Articles - Users can add their letter if it does not already exist.
Quotations - Users can add their quote if it does not already exist.
Chronology - Owner can fully maintain it using a web browser and relate records to links and other records.
Result: A full-service web server and satisfied clients.
Fulfill orders
Situation: The fulfillment and sales operations of Truth Seeker Company were disjoint, causing errors and rework. Inquiries were costly and sales were slow. Truth Seeker used FileMaker for contact management.
Action: Upgraded and networked their computers. Subcontracted to have a FileMaker solution implemented for order processing and accounting.
Result: The development process identified appropriate commercial software. Operations ran smoothly and profitably with the overhead of inquiry response minimized.
Integrate enterprise
Situation: An enterprise integration project was being torn asunder by three competing contractors (IBM, ComputerVision, DEC - Matra Datavision) and their division and department advocates.
Action: Developed and presented many presentations to division personnel and potential contractors that described the product development process as it might be conducted with a feature-based solid modeling system integrated with a data management system that allowed everything from part features to parts and their aggregation in assemblies and assembly hierarchies, and systems and system hierarchies, various configurations thereof whose functions were defined in a function hierarchy, and whose deliverables (designs, analyzes, process plans, NC programs, etc.) and their locations were related to a task hierarchy of scheduled activity and people assigned to perform it, such that anything could easily be found by way of anything. Coalesced the presentations into an Enterprise Integration and Management document. Developed an evaluation method to compare that model with what was being proposed by the subcontractors. Motivated action and agreement.
Result: Division personnel agreed on needs, and a contractor (DECMatra Datavision) was selected to develop the system.
Reduce technological fear
Situation: Design engineers and managers were afraid of embracing a new technology, solid modeling, which would greatly benefit manufacturing.
Action: Expanded knowledge of solid modeling and its uses beyond that acquired five years earlier as the CAM-I solid modeling project representative. Developed a "Solid Modeling Brief" to educate division personnel.
Result: Division embraced solid modeling, and IBMComputerVision, DEC, Matra Datavision and one university formally requested copies for their internal use.
Manage tasks and products
Situation: After two years, $2 million, reams of triple-spaced imprecise requirements documents and many meetings, a corporate-wide CAD/CAM Data Management System (CCDBMS) project was going nowhere. Users were either refusing further contributions, considering it a waste of time, or using the meetings as means to vacation in San Diego.  The Data Systems Division (DSD) staff was demoralized, and the operating divisions were demanding the termination of the project to the humiliation of the newly formed DSD. The project was contractually committed an academic subcontractor, the Computer Corporation of America (CCA) in Boston Massachusetts and its Model 204 relational DBMS. Asked to be the functional manager of the eighteen member staff in San Diego and the project manager of that staff and six-person development teams at Electric Boat Division in Connecticut and the Fort Worth Division in Texas that had grown disgusted with the CCDBMS project, and embarked on independent projects.
Action: Hired staff to manage the FCS project, interviewed the CCDBMS participants, listened to the staff, and audited the subcontractor. Re-architected the system to to take advantage of the FCS, and minimize the role of CCA while utilizing their previously developed multi-database and file access technology for a Global Access Facility (GAF).  CCA was relieved.  Directed three of the San Diego staff to work with CCA.  Dedicated remainder to developing a complete Parts and Task Information (PATI) management system, including configuration management using M204 as a rapid prototyping tool with local Convair personnel to satisfy the primary intent of the CCDBMS.  Adapted the architecture to accommodate the M204 developments begun at the Electric Boat and Fort Worth divisions.
Result: Morale improved rapidly as the contractor finally had something definitive to do within its area of expertise, and the engineers and programmers eagerly engaged in the rapid prototyping process, whereby engineers learned about data management system capabilities so programmers could elicit informed requirements. Within two years the GAF displayed 3-D models assembled from 2-D data from information in PATI about files in the FCS generated by a 2-D CAD system.  Developed video tapes of the system to demonstrate the software to the divisions without the necessary equipment, and conducted a road trip to demonstrate it live to those with equipment.  (This was during the Dingle Commission investigations of defense contractors, which discovered that time cards were being altered to shift funds from under-budget projects to over-budget and other projects. When Ft. Worth decided to resist the adoption of the Convair configuration management method, and I learned that the CCDBMS project was illegally funded, I canceled the project to the relief of corporate management.  I found jobs elsewhere in GD for all of my staff.  One who recently retired called to tell me I was the best manager he ever had. I occasionally converse with DSD personnel who remained with CSC and are on global assignments with other companies.  Those familiar with CCDBMS say nothing like it yet exists, and it is what is really needed, rather than the piecemeal solutions they are asked to develop.)
Manage CAD files
Situation: The CAD File Control System (FCS) project was in deep trouble with General Dynamics (GD) Convair Division users distrustful of Data Systems Division (DSD), which was taking programming responsibilities from the users, and users were fighting amongst themselves about the requirements.  Worked with the same personnel as a Convair employee before leaving to work for Hewlett-Packard. Hired by DSD to save the project.
Action: Elicited user trust and negotiated peace while writing a pseudo code requirements document with which both the Convair users and DSD programmers were happy. 
Result: The software was so successful that it was traded for ComputerVision equipment and was the basis for their Product Data Manager. The original system is still used by General Dynamics and Hughes
Market plotters cost-effectively
Situation: The value of the Marketing department of a division was continually questioned by the dominant Engineering department. After listening to subjective reasons for which ads should be run in which magazines, suggested adding coupons to the ads, so their effectiveness could be measured. After discovering that the ad agency used (Ogilvy and Mather) also had no data to justify their multiple ad contentions, the department manager authorized a direct response marketing program.
Action: Implemented ad coupons and rewards, and had computer programs developed to track the results, provide leads and eventually correlate sales with ads.
Result: 80% of advertising dollars were spent on demonstrably high return on investment combinations of ads and magazines while 20% was reserved for continuous improvement. Engineering finally recognized Marketing as a valued contributor. The division Marketing manager was promoted to V.P. of Marketing for the entire corporation.
Acquire resources
Situation: IBM-dominated Data Systems Center division resisted acquisition of graphics and color workstations.
Action: Evaluated and selected systems, and developed acquisition plan for the GE Convair CAD department that documented need, training and implementation in monetary terms.
Result: All equipment needed was acquired and data center division eagerly hired me two years later. 
Integrate department
Situation: New devices like graphic terminals and tablets did not work well with IBM Time Sharing Option. Data flow among the various departments was disjoint. Master lines data was only indirectly used to fabricate wind tunnel models. Except for a laboratory minicomputer acquired despite its advocate missing paychecks and getting threatening telephone calls, IBM had a computing monopoly at the company.
Action: Acquired the first analytical minicomputer. Moved the graphics equipment to it, and persuaded the departments to migrate their programs to it so the programs could be interfaced.
Result: Graphic systems finally worked reliably. Interfaced programs not only reduced analysis cycle time by a factor of ten, but also motivated the departments to develop a new capability: structural flexibility tailoring, so composite wings could be designed to bend and twist favorably under load. Eventually the entire process was automated under the dominion of a vehicle synthesis program. The system was upgraded and is still in use by the Rockwell Los Angeles Aircraft Division, which was acquired by Boeing. 
Save boat yard
Situation: Manger died trying to get boats produced in confused and messy yard
Action: Cleaned and organized yard. Recovered valuable tools lost under fiberglass roving and stored all tools and supplies for easy retrieval.
Result: Happy owner and employees and productive yard. 
Build Sailboat
Situation: Contemplated world cruising.
Action: Purchased and assembled 33' Yorktown Yacht kit consisting of fiberglass deck, hull, keel halves and rudder halves. All plywood bulkheads and flooring were cut from standard sheets and bonded and glassed into place. Sailed shell from San Pedro to King Harbor where interior and exterior were completed while living aboard.
Result: Learned fiberglass lay-up, had inexpensive housing for four years and sailed the southern California coast and Channel Islands. 
Define new transportation system
Situation: National Science Foundation project needed a futuristic transportation system for its regional planning model.
Action: Researched transportation technologies and designed a portal to portal transportation system of conventional wheeled vehicles powered by high velocity composite flywheels charged with the induction generated in an integral aluminum plate floorboard by a magnetic levitation system while it is traveling on the "flyways."
Result: Applauded report. 
Design, build and test miniature attitude and speed sensor
Situation: NASA needed a small and lightweight instrument system for its remotely controlled model flight test vehicles and a Senior Project was required.
Action: Designed, manufactured and wind tunnel tested a beam and drag chute system that used strain gages mounted on a tapered plastic beam to measure pitch, yaw and velocity. Built and populated a printed circuit board with op-amps to amplify the strain gage signals for transmission to a ground station.
Result: Got an A, but hired with North American Aviation rather than NASA, so the concept was never implemented. 
Provide functional landmark
Situation: University Aeronautical Engineering Department needed a place from which to dispense soft drinks during college open house entitled Aero Royal. The department also needed a way to distinguish its area and personnel.
Action: Designed and built a kiosk consisting of a windowed center dispersal section supported two feet above the ground by cables in four eight foot high and two foot thick arrows. Designed a logo consisting of stylistic arrows forming the legs of an "A" crossed by a jet, and silk-screened them on Levi shirts.
Result: The School of Architecture was so impressed with the kiosk that it asked me to transfer to its structural engineering department. The logo is now used throughout the Aero department from shirts and hats to coffee mugs and awards. 
Design flight control system installation
Situation: NASA Advanced Design group needed a low cost method of controlling the Hyper III remotely piloted research vehicle.
Action: Designed a flight control system installation based on a B-24 aileron actuator.
Result: Flight test was successful. 
Devise paint scheme
Situation: NASA Flight Operations group wanted consistent paint scheme for a variety of aircraft.
Action: Acquired plan and profile views of all aircraft and drafted common paint scheme on all despite their different configurations.
Result: The paint scheme was adopted by the Flight Research Center and is still in use. 
Increase safety
Situation: X-15 engine tests had become so routine that the procedures were ignored. Co-op students were given turns monitoring tests from pill boxes and conducting the tests from the control room.
Action: Took control room responsibilities seriously, studied the procedures and discovered the fire water boost pumps were not being enabled prior to each test to refill the deluge tank during a fire.
Result: Pilots could exit cockpit safely during a fire at the Flight Research Center.

Prior achievements at Brand Appliance, U.S. Air Force, Rocketdyne and the National Science Foundation are available upon request.

| W. T. Holmes |