Brad Kahlbaugh

Brad Kahlbaugh

Work History

Work History
1995 - Feb 2009

Senior Project Engineer, R&D

Donaldson Company Inc

Conceived and initiated development of a new filter media concept, SynteqTM XP.Planned and led concept validation, reduced to practice, and transferred to development personnel.These front-end efforts included leading 4+ people, spending about $350K, and approximately 4 calendar years. The material is a breakthrough high performance platform filter media used in diverse applications including liquid, mist, and air filtration.SynteqTM XP created new business opportunities, sales of product using SynteqTM XP exceed $2M / year and are growing rapidly.Seven US Patents issued; two for SynteqTM XP, five for related matter.

Translated a filter media-manufacturing process concept into reality.Member of a multi-discipline team that demonstrated concept feasibility and its potential to increase performance more than 50% while reducing cost approximately 30%.Used CAD to modify a large machine, design critical components, and used Statistica to plan DOE process experiments and analyze data.Applied Fluent CFD to verify the existence of a problem condition, CFD result used to help resolve the problem condition.

Created an Access database for gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GCMS) data that reduced data analysis labor by more than 95%.Use of the database resulted in about $3M labor savings and a substantial gain in GCMS productivity.Used from 1999 to present.

Conceived, initiated development, and influenced management and Board to implement a systematic problem solving method, a global engineering productivity tool that harnessed solver optimization methods to automate engineering design.Led 11 people from two business unit-engineering groups and two consulting firms to create prototype technology demonstrators for validation and assessment.Resources expended for assessment: about $530K and 1.5 calendar years.The system is now being implemented with 5+ dedicated staff.

Applied time series analysis to 4+ years of data to develop a predictive model and decipher the relationship between filter loading and variations in relative humidity (RH).Business unit considered using a predictive model or a controlled test environment to ensure fair comparisons between tests conducted during different seasons (environmental conditions).Time series analysis produced several surprises and insights, however capital investment to control test environment was required.

Designed, built, assembled, and debugged 5+ automated test bench systems that accelerated the development of advanced filtration media, products, and models.Designed hardware, user interface, VB data acquisition and control software, Access databases, system controls, and data acquisition hardware.Developed and used statistical models based on acquired data.Worked with vendors and collaborated with various groups and experts as needed.

Used Design of Experiments (DOE) extensively to solve a wide variety of difficult problems; modeled multi-layer depth loading gradient filter media, designed nano-fiber composite gradient media, controlled fluid mixing, determined root cause of high velocity filter resistance, reduced product performance variation, modeled filter media efficiency and life for depth loading media, and more.Resolution of these problems produced a media manufacturing process, foundation for a new platform filter media, a problem solving method, and value streams from several new products and inventions.

1991 - 1995

Project Engineer, R&D


Worked on a team that completed development of a composite gradient media and filter intended for use in about 25% of Donaldson's air filtration business.  To increase throughput, evaluated the impact of design and material changes requested by manufacturing.Evaluated and made changes in material to improve performance.Made key observation of material property essential to robust high performance depth loading media, this was applied to SynteqTM XP.Production started in 1992.Thirteen US Patents issued.

Developed “Camel blanket” filter for helicopter engines; prototype to production in 3 weeks during Operation Desert Storm.Product resulted in significant improvement in turbine life and engine performance, a sale to the US Army, and much customer goodwill.This project demonstrated the feasibility of filtering helicopter turbine air which is now a $30M / year market and growing.

                                                                                                  Black Hawk Helicopter Engine Filter Test in Desert

In 1991 initiated and pioneered installation of Access relational databases on automated lab test systems to accumulate acquired data, reduce redundant testing, and facilitate statistical data modeling.Now a standard company practice.

1988 - 1991

Engineer, Applications and R&D


Team member, continued development of depth loading media composite gradient media and filter concept.  Business unit liaison, designed, built, and tested filter elements in lab and field environments.  Planned tests and analyzed data.Built an automated test bench to accelerate product development and enhance test capabilities.Product size reduced 30 to 40% with no loss in performance that provided significant economic and competitive advantages.






  Statistica – time series analysis, ANOVA, and Design of Experiments (DOE). Fluent - computational fluid dynamics, certification in 3-day intermediate course.  AutoCAD – used to design machine modifications and document experimental configurations. Image-J and Image-Pro – image analysis software. Visual Basic 6 – data acquisition and control.  Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) – Access and Excel.  DataFit – interfaced with Access VBA programs to automate and accelerate data analysis.  MS Office – Excel, Access, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook  


Innovative Senior R&D Engineer with proven success in the design, development, evaluation, and implementation of new concepts.  He is recognized for breakthrough innovations, converting ideas into products, Design of Experiments (DOE) expertise, creating significant value from innovations in materials, products, processes, methods, and productivity tools.

Brad is moving into the medical device industry where he can harness his compelling motivation to contribute to the well being of others from the development of new and useful medical devices and device accessories.US Patents:  SynteqTM XP composite gradient media    7309372, 7314497  Nano fiber composite gradient media    5672399, 6165572, 6171684, 6521321, 6872431  Composite gradient media and filter    5082476, 5238474, 5364456, 5423892, 5622537, 5669949,

    5762669, 5762670, 5792227, 5797973, 5800587, 5972063, 6019809 .



Industrial Fellow: October 2008 – January 2009, University of Minnesota Industrial Partnership for Research in Interfacial Materials Engineering (IPRIME); developed a method to section highly porous fibrous materials using a cryo-microtome. 


Symposium: Penalty Function Formulation for Product Design with Mixed Integer Models

Minnesota Center for Industrial Mathematics


American Filtration Society (AFS), member 1990 – Present

- Treasurer Midwest chapter

- Part of team that organized and hosted the 1994 AFS Conference in Minneapolis. 

  Result: $25,000 profit used to fund scholarships for graduate students at the University of

  Minnesota’s Particle Technology Lab. 

US Patents:  SynteqTM XP composite gradient media    7309372, 7314497  Nano fiber composite gradient media    5672399, 6165572, 6171684, 6521321, 6872431  Composite gradient media and filter    5082476, 5238474, 5364456, 5423892, 5622537, 5669949,

    5762669, 5762670, 5792227, 5797973, 5800587, 5972063, 6019809




Learning about foreign cultures and people


Reading about:

    - evolution of technology and science

    - military history

    - history of economic thought

    - biographies of historical figures