Areas of Expertise



  • Ceramic stereolithography and rapid prototyping
  • Ceramic dispersion techniques: dry blending, spray drying, and rapid acoustical mixing
  • Ceramic powder processing
  • Debinding and sintering of ceramic oxides and nitrides
  • UV cure materials selection and testing
  • Ceramic to metal joining
  • Nitride Ceramic Sintering
  • Colloidal processing of ceramic powders
  • Ceramic inkjet printing
  • Ceramic injection molding
  • Aqueous gel casting
  • Glaze formulation and eutectics
  • Glaze firing scheduling and troubleshooting
  • Slip-casting process and slip formulation/mixing
  • Clay body formulation and processing
  • Vacuum hot pressing of components from 2" up to 15" x 20"
  • Pressureless Sintering Dilatometer Experiments



  • Materials selection for microelectronics packaging
  • Electronics cooling
  • Loop heat pipe technology
    • Design, assembly, and testing
  • Microchannel heat exchanger technology
  • Thermal Management of Power Electronics Components
  • Metal oxide nanoparticles


Advanced Coatings

  • Magnetron Sputtered Ceramics, Metals, Polymers, and Composite Coatings
  • Chemical Vapor Deposited (CVD) Carbides and Refractory Metallic Coatings
  • Chemical Vapor Infiltration (CVI)
  • Electrophoretic deposition


Advanced Materials and Processes

  • Shape memory alloy material and device development
  • Formulation and dispersion of resins for transparent, conductive coatings
  • Gas separation technology
  • Embedded conductors in ceramics
  • Nuclear waste disposal related materials
  • EMI shielding and metamaterials



  • Nanocrystalline magnetic material design and fabrication
  • Incorporation of nanomaterials into composite structure and devices
  • Sensors and composites for gas sensing and surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)
  • Nanoparticle surface functionalization
  • Synthesis of clay minerals and nanoparticles


Material Testing

  • Ceramic powder characterization
    • Laser particle size
    • Surface charge
    • BET surface area
    • Bulk and tap densities
    • Water and gas adsorption
  • Sample polishing
  • Grain size measurement
  • Viscosity measurement
  • UV spectroscopy
  • Simultaneous Friction and Wear Measurement
  • Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA)
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Raman Spectroscopy
  • X-Ray Powder Diffraction (XRD)


Design and Research

  • Kiln process control, data acquisition, and troubleshooting
  • Design of Experiments
  • Mechanical, Industrial, and Product Design
  • Ethnographic and Contextual Research
  • CAD (SolidWorks and Rhino 3D)
  • 3-Dimensional structural design for Hand-built Ceramics
  • Photography of 3-Dimensional objects
  • Polymer chemistry
  • Microfabrication and soft lithography

Ta&T news

TA&T Part of Team to Improve EMP Protection

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)/SCC announces the beginning of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract with Instant Access Networks, LLC (IAN) and its subcontractors as of March 28, 2016 entitled, “Accelerating Society-wide EMP Protection of Critical Infrastructure and Micro-grids”. DTRA’s request for proposals (RFP) was an invitation to small businesses to participate in a commercial R&D program to create EMP protected micro grids for critical infrastructure needed both on and off military bases and other defense critical infrastructure.  The need was explained by DTRA as follows: “An electromagnetic (EM) attack (nuclear electromagnetic pulse [EMP] or non-nuclear EMP [e.g., high-power microwave, HPM]) has the potential to degrade or shut down portions of the electric power grid important to the DoD….  Restoring the commercial grid from the still functioning regions may not be possible or could take weeks or months.” 


A key task on this contract is to demonstrate how to accelerate the adoption of EMP-protected critical infrastructure and microgrids among civilian institutions that need to operate in island mode during a prolonged power outage.   These critical suppliers to military bases include water utilities, hospitals, and emergency communications.  The final report would include proposals for additional research in the improvement of component technologies that comprise an EMP-protected microgrid such as EMP shielding, energy generation, energy storage and energy savings technology.  Those improvements can lead to performance and cost advantages that could make these microgrids competitive with grid provided power in some areas of the country and more easily funded in every location.


IAN set its own goal to gather collaborators who will fund EMP protected microgrids for water utilities, hospitals and emergency operations centers so that they don’t have to find funds out of their capital budgets.  Fairfax Water, a subcontractor to IAN in this contract, is a great example because of its critical role to many defense critical infrastructure applications in the national capital region and because of the attractive electricity rates it enjoys.  Fairfax Water supplies Fort Belvoir and the surrounding areas with 163 million gallons of water per day.  Though Fairfax Water  lies outside the base, it is essential for base operations but likely to be vulnerable to  EMP because of its dependence on civilian power grids that are not protected from EMP even though the local utility in this instance is otherwise extremely reliable.  Protecting civilian infrastructure such as Fairfax Water is just as important as protecting the critical applications on the base.


IAN developed EMP-protected microgrids that included solar, wind and diesel power generation and control rooms independently tested to exceed military standards for EMP by 1000 fold.  IAN subcontractors include Technology Assessment and Transfer (TA&T), a materials science R&D firm that will provide technical assistance on electromagnetic shielding materials and components of energy storage systems; DC Fusion/ Power Analytics that will provide support for direct current microgrids and modeling software for the design and management of microgrids; Jaxon Engineering and Maintenance who will provide EMP testing support and EMP shielding manufacturing guidance; and Fairfax Water, who will provide water utility management guidance.

Corporate Headquarters

133 Defense Hwy, Suite 212
Annapolis, MD 21401
Ph: 410.224.3710
Fx: 410.224.4678
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Dr. Larry Fehrenbacher, President
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Sharon Fehrenbacher, CEO
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Research & Manufacturing Facilities

Advanced Ceramics & Coatings
3D Printing of Ceramics
Thermal Management

1110 Benfield Blvd., Suite Q
Millersville, MD 21108
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Spinel & Optical Ceramics
215 Najoles Road
Millersville, MD 21108

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Memberships and Certifications

U.S. Small Business Administration certified
Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB)

Alliance Member of the National Center
for Defence Manufacturing and Machining

Member of the Electro-Optics Alliance