Kent Vilendrer (M.S., MBA), co-founder of Medical Device Testing Services, has been involved in materials testing applications since 1978. He started out with MTS Systems Corporation as a Design Engineer and worked his way up to a Systems Engineer position developing and building high speed servohydraulic systems for the aerospace, power generation and medical device industries. As a Project and Applications Engineer within the MTS Material Test Division, Kent worked closely with customers in determining their test needs and providing targeted solutions to meet those requirements.
In 1986 Kent left MTS to become the Business Development Manager of Interlaken Technology, where he played a key role in redirecting the company's focus from a consulting firm to a material test equipment manufacturing company. Kent was instrumental in the development of their Series 3000 Material Test Instruments which featured a novel control system.
Kent left Interlaken in 1990 to co-found EnduraTEC Systems Corporation specializing in the development of novel material test instruments and offering contract testing services to the medical device community. Over the next 14 years the company had many industry firsts including:
In 2004, the equipment manufacturing part of EnduraTEC was sold to Bose Corporation, and the group was subsequently renamed the Bose ElectroForce Group (now part of TA Instruments). EnduraTEC's contract testing business was retained and renamed to Medical Device Testing Services.
Kent's efforts in the material testing industry have led to the development of new test instruments, standards and protocols. He has been a member of the stent task groups for both ISO and ASTM and is involved in instrument, controls, and fixturing research and development projects on an ongoing basis. His technical knowledge base remains a critical asset to the organization and is highly valued by customers.
Kent holds a Master's of Science in Mechanical Engineering Design from Stanford University, an MBA from the University of Minnesota, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Kent holds 6 patents in materials testing, bioreactor designs, fatigue test systems and test fixtures including the original patent 5,670,708 for the 9100 Series Stent Graft Testers used by MDT and now sold by the ElectroForce Group of TA Instruments. He has several patents pending, is continuously developing novel designs, and welcomes partnership opportunities that advance the field of medical device testing.
Kathy Vilendrer (MA, MBA), co-founder and Executive Vice-President of Medical Device Testing Services, has played a key role in developing all areas of the corporation since the company’s inception in 1990. Responsibilities have included the management of Operations, Sales/Marketing, Customer Service and Human Resources. Prior to her role at MDT, she co-founded and served as President of EnduraTEC Systems until the company was sold in 2004. Her current focus at MDT is on long-term strategic planning, marketing, and staff development.
Kathy holds an Master's of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas, a Masters of Science from the University of Minnesota and an MA in Health Studies from St. Catherine University.
Sandy (M.S., PhD) is a biomedical engineering expert in regenerative medicine, bioreactors and mechanical testing. She completed her B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering in 1998 from the National Technical University of Athens and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering in 2003 from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Her doctoral thesis was focused on the development of bioreactors for small diameter tissue-engineered vascular grafts. She continued her postdoctoral training at the University of Minnesota in heart valve and vascular graft tissue engineering while consulting for ElectroForce Systems Group (ESG) of Bose Corporation on the development of the BioDynamic Test Instrument product line. Sandy joined Bose Corporation in 2005 and spent 10 years in various roles and positions. She worked as an applications engineer, market manager for tissue engineering and biomaterials, biologics business unit manager and director of market/product vision development and customer satisfaction.
Sandy has authored several papers in peer-reviewed journals, is co-inventor on tissue engineering bioreactor patents, and has presented at numerous international conferences. Sandy is very actively engaged in volunteer professional activities in the biomedical field: she is the co-chair of two task groups for standard guides for characterization of tissue engineered vascular grafts and heart valves at ASTM, is an invited reviewer of submitted manuscripts to the Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Tissue Engineering journals and Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, is a program evaluator for biomedical engineering programs for ABET, and a grant reviewer for NSF and the Regenerative Medicine Minnesota.
Calvin Chao (M.S., B.S.), Principal Engineer for Medical Device Testing, joined MDT in 2001, and plays an instrumental role in the hands on performance of the company's Test Services. Calvin's broad experience base encompasses test system design and specification. He oversees custom fixture design, testing protocol development and the many nuances of day-to-day test performance.
Calvin holds both M.S. and B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the South China University of Technology and an M.S. in Engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Platteville.
Ralph Skoe (B.S.) has over 40 years of experience developing control systems for advanced test and simulation systems. For 16 years while at MTS Systems, Ralph developed computer controllers for their material test and multi-axis vehicle simulation systems. In 1983, he left MTS to start his own company where he created new control products for the US and European test equipment markets. During this period he developed several generations of controllers for various test equipment manufacturers. At Medical Device Testing Services, Ralph provides support for test applications that require advanced control techniques.
Ralph holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota.
Kristen (B.S.) has been working with MDT since 2012 and is responsible for coordinating lab scheduling and customer communications, overseeing calibration and quality standards and ensuring well-designed test protocols. Prior to joining MDT, she worked at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory of the US Department of Energy characterizing polycrystalline optical materials.
Kristen holds a B.S. in Material Science and Engineering specializing in polymers and ceramics along with a minor in Bioengineering from Iowa State University.
Jeff leverages his strong software & design background to develop custom fixture models and test configurations for MDT. He previously worked as a Design Engineer at Barko Hydraulics, a heavy equipment group, where he helped design and manufacture material loaders. Jeff graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He completed his Senior work-study project at Graco Pump in Minneapolis, where he designed and implemented a fully automated machine that helped cut 95% of setup time in the working cell.
Waylon (B.S.) joined MDT in 2016 and is responsible for equipment calibrations, test monitoring, and test setup. Prior to joining MDT, he worked at Zimmer Spine as a PPC and Supplier Controls Engineer. Waylon holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with an emphasis in medical device design from the University of Minnesota.
Scott has worked with MDT since 2008 building custom grips and fixtures for adapting MDT’s equipment inventory to customer test programs. Scott oversees MDT's in-house fully-equipped machine shop that includes two CNC mills. Scott attended Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN and has been around the machine tool industry for over 30 years having built and rebuilt precision optical instruments that utilized air bearings with 1 millionth inch repeatability. Scott’s varied background includes machining, welding and electronic repair.
Peggy Wittenberg, Quality Manager for Medical Device Testing Services, has the lead role in maintaining the high quality testing procedures of MDT and A2LA (American Association of Laboratory Accreditation). She has completed the ISO/IEC 17025 Lead Assessor training course, a comprehensive instruction series for the ISO/IEC 17025 quality standard.
Peggy studied business at Mankato University. She joined MDT in 2006.
Steve (B.S.) has been working with Medical Device Testing since 2010. He is responsible for business development activity at MDT including quote generation and customer relations. Steve also assists in new business development in Element's orthopaedic, spine, and ancillary divisions for Element locations across the globe.
Prior to joining MDT, he held a sales and investor relations position for a managed investment fund in Los Angeles. He graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College in 2006 with a B.S. degree in Economics and a minor in French. He also holds a Certificate of Management from Stanford University.
Carlton (B.S.) joined the Element team in 2017. Prior to Element, he worked as a Design Engineer at RFA Engineering, a product development and engineering services company. Carlton worked primarily with Caterpillar client projects, both in-house and onsite at Caterpillar on various new product design teams. His designs focused on hydraulics and light component fabrications, with an emphasis on performance-based results. Carlton holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Hailey (B.S.) has been working with MDT since 2016. Her main responsibilities involve maintenance, test setup, test monitoring, and equipment calibration as well as general lab support. She is also the 5s organizational coordinator where she facilitates and plans the functional organization of lab items as well as the overall display of the lab. Hailey graduated with a B.S in Biochemistry and a minor in German from the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities where she performed research on the relationships of oxygen and cell migration to the proliferation and development of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Peter (B.A.) joined MDT in 2016 and is responsible for lab technical support including equipment calibration, maintenance, test set-up, and test monitoring. Peter holds a B.A. in Mathematics with minors in Biology and Chemistry from Concordia College. He is currently attending the University of Minnesota and is expected to graduate with an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a Math minor in May 2017. Peter’s graduate research involves using multi-photon microscopy and the fluorescence recovery after photo-bleaching (FRAP) method to study transport in tumors.
Tina (A.A.S., B.F.A.) joined Element Minnetonka as a Testing Technician in January of 2018. Prior to joining the team, she worked as an R&D Technician for Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, where she specialized in prototype fabrication. While at Tamarack, she designed a line of clothing utilizing GlideWear, a low-friction fabric technology, for children with the rare and painful genetic disorder Epidermolysis bullosa. She was also the lead fabricator of FlexForm custom wheelchair seating systems. Tina holds a B.F.A. from the Maine College of Art where she developed a series of anatomical sculptures.