DunAn Microstaq (DMQ) is an Austin-based technology company that creates Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) solutions for the HVAC, refrigeration, and automotive industries. They have been a Sustaining (Corporate Member) of the Women’s Business Council – Southwest for three years. We asked Parthiban Arunasalam, the CEO and President, and Tammie Tang, Sr. Manager in Finance and Accounting, to share insights on the company, industry trends, and working with women-owned businesses.
For those who have never heard of MEMS, can you give a brief overview of the concept and share what DunAn Microstaq does?
Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) are systems that incorporate mechanical and electrical elements into an integrated micro device capable of a variety of tasks. With its miniaturized compact form, MEMS-based technologies are not only able to accomplish the same tasks as their larger traditional equivalents but with improved performance and cost efficiencies.
The benefits and advantages of MEMS have greatly expanded its use in many different applications, including:
• Accelerometers and sensors in automobiles
• Flow control valves in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R)
At DMQ, we strive to develop new MEMS-based technologies for flow control solutions that address the demands and needs for improved system precision, performance, and efficiency. From our patented silQflo® Silicon Servo Valve (SSV), a semiconductor microfluidic MEMS microvalve that can be incorporated in any flow control related appliance or system, to our Modular Silicon Expansion Valve (MSEV) and Universal Superheat Controller/Sensor (USHX) that are specialized in design for Heating Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) applications, our products aim to provide seamless operation to any flow control system.
How do you stay on top of the latest trends in MEMS technology? Can you share an example of one of the latest trends?
In order to stay on top of the latest trend in MEMS technology, we invest in research and development and encourage innovations within our staff members. As of October 31, 2019, DMQ has a total of 74 patents issued worldwide and 39 pending patents.
University-Industry partnership has also enabled us to explore advanced application of MEMS valve solution. To date, DMQ has funded research projects at Texas A&M University in College Station and The University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
We also value customer and end user shared experience of DMQ technology to help propel the next generation of MEMS flow control algorithms and valve design. This has enabled us to project future applications that are inline to our customer needs.
Finally, being members of industry associations, attending trade shows and technology conferences has enabled DMQ to stay current and ahead of industry trends. One of the latest technology advancements that we have promoted is an autonomous MEMS based refrigerant flow control solution for the HVAC market.
How does your company work with woman-owned businesses?
DMQ is committed in the procurement of goods and services from diverse suppliers that includes supporting woman owned business. DMQ has targeted approximately 5% of its yearly procurement of goods and services from diverse suppliers. The current coordinator for the initiative is Tammie Tang, Senior Manager in Finance and Accounting.
How does DunAn Microstaq empower women in leadership?
DMQ empowers women in leadership in two ways:
- By promoting growth and investing in staff development. DMQ invests and offers the opportunity to learn and grow by providing training, mentorship, projects and compensation that align well with staff career and company interests, goals, and plans. An example of this is our recently hired Administrative Assistant taking interest and assuming additional roles as our Sustainability and Green Initiatives coordinator through training and mentorship.
- Supporting flexibility for work and life. Jennifer O’Keefe (Engineering Manager for Quality, Reliability and Compliance) shares the following experience:
“When I became a mother, DMQ provided a very generous, flexible maternity leave plan that allowed me to focus on my new baby and changing family needs and at the same time continue to be able to successfully execute my job role. The flexibility afforded me to thrive both as a new mother and a career woman."
What are some of your company’s proudest accomplishments?
Bringing to market advanced MEMS based flow technology solution directly to our customers. The Recognition from peer reviewed industrial awards.
- DMQ’s Silicon Refrigeration Valve (SRV) Selected as Finalist at the 2019 AHR EXPO Innovation Awards, DMQ’s HC-MSEV USHC Retrofit Kit winning the GOLD at the 2018 and 2015 Dealer Design Awards, DMQ’s Modular Silicon Expansion Valve (MSEV) receiving 2015 Innovative Product Award at the Refrigeration Expo, Shanghai China.
And advancing sustainability programs within the organization that focus on the environment and staff health.