February 5, 2009

Dream leads to potential for life-saving invention

Dream leads to potential for life-saving invention
By STU MERRY
A “dream” a former Garrison man had while flying back to North Dakota from a seminar in Georgia should make testing for toxic gas a whole lot simpler.
The dream John Holtan had gave him the idea to develop a training device used to simulate real portable gas monitors and require the trainee to use higher cognitive skills not currently used in training scenarios.
Holtan’s simulator program was one of five winners at this year’s Innovate ND 30-Second Elevator Pitch Competition. The competition was Jan. 13 at the Bismarck Civic Center and was in conjunction with Marketplace for Entrepreneurs.
Holtan, a former associate professor of power plant technology at Bismarck State College, moved to Texas this past June, being hired by Mark Streifel, formerly of Washburn. Streifel is founder of Martech Media located in The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston.
Holtan said the company was originally located in Washburn, but Streifel relocated to the Houston area to be closer to his customer base, which includes energy, oil and utility industries, as well as industrial trade companies. The company’s focus is creating computer-based training for energy-related industries.
Sharing more about this dream, Holtan confided that it was occurred while on a return from a HAZMAT training course at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. He awoke from a nap with an idea to develop a simulator program. After jotting down a rough design, Holtan presented his idea to a fellow professor at Bismarck State. The idea flourished from there.
 


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