Robert Schwenke

Robert Schwenke

Innovative R&D Scientist and Engineer looking to be your next Intrapreneur

United States

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Robert Schwenke's Overview

  • Scientific & Technical Consultant at Schwenke & Associates
  • Engineering Project Manager at Osirius Group
  • Photovoltaic (PV) Packaging Consultant at SciTech Consultants
  • Senior Research Engineer at Samson Rope Technologies

500+ connections

Robert Schwenke's Summary

According to various personality, working style, and strength assessments, Robert is a visionary field marshal with a propensity for achievement, learning, deliberating, strategizing, and thinking about the future. He is empowering, expressive, open to new experiences, with an alert and questioning mindset.

So what does all this mean, exactly?

It means that Robert has the ability to craft a vision of what can be, and will tirelessly research, assimilate, learn, or invent whatever is needed to make that vision a reality...and for 15+ years he has been doing just that.

As a scientist, engineer, researcher, innovator, and visionary, Robert has been helping people find, filter, and fast track fresh new ideas and strategies to address the seemingly unsolvable. He has worked in a variety of unrelated fields and currently holds 12 patents in such diverse areas as antenna design, robotic motion, and printable sensors.

As a life-long learner and seeker of the perpetual challenge, Robert devotes a high percentage of his resources in the pursuit of self discovery, innovationalism, and entrapreneurship.

Specialties: Innovation, research and development, product and process development, prototyping, testing, evaluation

StrengthsFinder - Achiever, Learner, Futuristic, Strategic, Deliberative
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - ENTJ, The Field Marshall
Big Five Inventory - O80, C89, E79, A4, N60
Innovator Personality - Experimenter
Motivational DNA - PVI, The Visionary
JASPER - EECQ, The Visionary

Robert Schwenke's Experience

Scientific & Technical Consultant

Schwenke & Associates

Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Research industry

September 2013Present (1 year 1 month) Worldwide

Schwenke & Associates is a scientific and technical consultancy specializing in innovative solutions. Leveraging innovation and extensive multidisciplinary experiences we help clients find, filter, and fast track fresh new ideas and strategies to address those unresolvable contradictions in their product's or processes' design or operation.

We provide all the scientific and technical services to support innovative product and process development such as: innovation, R&D, technology evaluation, strategic planning, product/process development, prototyping, test/testing development, statistical/data analysis.

Engineering Project Manager

Osirius Group

March 2014August 2014 (6 months) Troy, Michigan

Brought in under contract to coordinate, manage and/or engineer innovative solutions for a variety of projects around the world (Americas, Europe, and Asia).

Activities include:
Coordinate a plastic mold and check fixture development/procurement program in Asia for a South American client (31 tools, $6.3MM USD)
Manage a die and check fixture development/procurement project in Asia for a South American client (5 tools, $190K USD)
Scientific, technical, and engineering resource for a variety of subjects including robotic motion/automation, renewable energy, manual process development, retail product design.

Photovoltaic (PV) Packaging Consultant

SciTech Consultants

January 2009September 2013 (4 years 9 months) United States

With renewable energy on the minds of global leaders, launched a consulting company that provided new PV packaging strategies and technologies to the emerging solar industry. Served in two distinct capacities; as a process engineering consultant and as a technical sales/service consultant.

Activities included; pre-sales technical assistance and product education, post-sales support services, product technical support, process troubleshooting and optimization, and design/development of reliable PV packaging products and processes.

Senior Research Engineer

Samson Rope Technologies

Privately Held; 201-500 employees; Textiles industry

October 2011June 2012 (9 months) Ferndale, WA

Brought on board to continue Samson's reputation as the world's technology and innovation leader in hi-performance rope and cordage through the research and development of exciting new technologies.

Additional responsibilities include project management, product development (Control-DPX™), and the promotion of Samson's technical reputation through publications, customer and conference presentations, seminars, and patent applications.

Senior Packaging Engineer


Privately Held; 51-200 employees; Renewables & Environment industry

March 2008April 2009 (1 year 2 months)

Recruited from the automotive industry by this thin-film photovoltaic products start-up company to lead the research and development of a packaging system capable of surpassing 25 years of service in the field.

Managed all aspects of packaging development — research, process development, equipment specification and sourcing, material evaluation and qualification, product reliability program, cost reduction, vendor relations — and provided technical and leadership oversight to manufacturing. Responsible for 46% of the product, based on COGS.

Project Engineer

Exatec, LLC

Privately Held; 51-200 employees; Automotive industry

February 2003March 2008 (5 years 2 months)

Originally brought on board this joint venture technology company to develop test methodologies for polycarbonate glazing systems for the automotive industry. Quickly rose through the ranks — test engineer, analytical chemist, engineer, and finally project engineer — for demonstrating creativity, ingenuity, and scientific and technical acumen.

Became a key member of a technology team that required chemistry, physics, engineering and innovation. Continually leveraged mathematical and analytical problem solving skills to learn specialized disciplines such as fundamental antenna design, robotic motion (physics and math), electronics, defroster design and coating technology.

Established a portfolio of 5 processes, filed over 14 patents application, over 50 invention disclosures, and secured a decisive intellectual property advantage which resulted in the first commercial use of Exatec® technologies (Exatec® defroster and fractal antenna, and Exatec® 900EL)

Applications Engineer/Analytical Chemist

NMB Technologies Corp

Privately Held; 10,001+ employees; Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing industry

January 1999January 2003 (4 years 1 month)

Launched career in engineering with this world-class manufacturer of rolling element and fluid film bearings. Served a dual roll as analytical chemist and application engineer at their cutting edge technology center.

Serving primarily the automotive industry, delivered product and functional validation and testing, design analysis, customer issue resolution, noise and vibration analysis, machine/equipment development, and technical project management.


Mofugas Motorsports, LLC

January 1996August 2002 (6 years 8 months)

Primary US importer/distributor of Whiteline Automotive products (Australia). Designed and manufactured own signature line of suspension components and performance exhaust systems for the 1991-1992 Mitsubishi Galant VR4.

Operated a part-time business for automotive performance suspension products which included a small service shop for installations and manufacturing.

Analytical Technologist/Analytical Chemist

Silgan Containers Corporation

Public Company; 5001-10,000 employees; Packaging and Containers industry

August 1992January 1999 (6 years 6 months)

Fresh out of college, started "professional" career as a physical test engineer for flexible packaging and plastic bottles for food and beverage applications. Within a year was promoted to analytical chemist for the Food Metal Division (cans).

Performed chemical analyses on a variety of food products and container related materials. Operated, maintained, and repaired all analytical instrumentation including: FTIR, GC/MS, AA, TMA, DSC, HPLC, GC, and SEM.

Created the Analytical Technologist position to serve as liaison between suppliers, customers, plants, and lab personnel to investigate and solve material related problems in the manufacture and use of food containers.

Robert Schwenke's Courses

  • Coursera

    • Global Sustainable Energy: Past, Present and Future
    • Introduction to Systems Engineering
    • Organic Solar Cells - Theory and Practice

Robert Schwenke's Languages

  • English

    (Native or bilingual proficiency)
  • Innovation

    (Full professional proficiency)

Robert Schwenke's Volunteer Experience & Causes

  • Volunteer Experience

    • National Mountain Bike Patrol : Instructor & Patroller

      International Mountain Bicycling Association
      2011 present (3 years)
    • Outings Leader

      Sierra Club
      2008 present (6 years)
    • Trip Leader, Instructor, and Past Equipment Chair

      School for Outdoor Leadership, Adventure, and Recreation
      2007 present (7 years)
  • Volunteer Interests

    • Causes I care about:

      • Education
      • Environment
      • Health
      • Science and Technology

Robert Schwenke's Certifications

  • Mountain Biking Level 2 - Basic Skills Instructor Certification

    • International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA)
    • June 2013

Robert Schwenke's Organizations

  • International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)

    Certified Level 2 Instructor, Member

    The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve great trail experiences for mountain bikers worldwide.

    Since 1988, IMBA has been bringing out the best in mountain biking by encouraging low-impact riding, volunteer trailwork participation, cooperation among different trail user groups, grassroots advocacy and innovative trail management solutions. (

  • IMBA National Mountain Bike Patrol

    Instructor, Patroller

    IMBA’s National Mountain Bike Patrol (NMBP) consists of dedicated volunteers partnering with land mangers, landowners and emergency personnel to assist, educate and inform all trail users in order to enhance their recreational experience. The NMBP program organizes and supports more than 50 volunteer bike patrol groups and 600+ trained patrollers. (

  • School for Outdoor Leadership, Adventure and Recreation (SOLAR)

    Instructor, Trip Leader, Equipment Chair (past), Member

    SOLAR is a Southeast Michigan based club with more than 400 members dedicated to the enjoyment of nature and outdoor activities. Whether you are a beginner or experienced wilderness enthusiast, we offer classes and trips for all skill levels and interests. (

  • Sierra Club

    Certified Outings Leader, Member

    The Sierra Club is America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. Inspired by nature, they are 1.4 million of your friends and neighbors, working together to protect our communities and the planet. (

  • USA Cycling

    • March 2013 to Present

    The mission of USA Cycling is to achieve sustained success in international cycling competition and grow competitive cycling in America.

  • Adventure Cycling


    The mission of Adventure Cycling Association is to inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle. We help cyclists explore the landscapes and history of America for fitness, fun, and self-discovery. (

  • Rails to Trails Conservancy


    Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., whose mission it is to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people. (

Robert Schwenke's Skills & Expertise

  1. R&D
  2. Project Management
  3. Product Development
  4. Strategic Planning
  5. Start-ups
  6. Innovation
  7. Engineering
  8. Patents
  9. Training
  10. Analysis
  11. Team Building
  12. Design of Experiments
  13. Materials Science
  14. Process Simulation
  15. Entrepreneurship
  16. Chemistry
  17. Technology Evaluation
  18. Technical Presentations
  19. Testing
  20. Small Business
  21. Photovoltaics
  22. Technology Integration
  23. Technical Papers
  24. Characterization
  25. Integration
  26. Project Planning
  27. Renewable Energy
  28. Process Engineering
  29. Product Innovation
  30. Electrical Engineering
  31. Systems Engineering
  32. Innovation Management
  33. Problem Solving
  34. Technology Development
  35. Research Projects
  36. Mentoring
  37. Tutoring
  38. Patentability
  39. Strategic Technology Development
  40. Visionary
  41. Brainstorm Facilitation
  42. Technical Standards
  43. Technical Staff Management
  44. Communication Skills
  45. Statistical Modeling
  46. TRIZ

View All (46) Skills View Fewer Skills

Robert Schwenke's Publications

  • A quantitative index for mar and scratch resistance of materials for automotive glazing applications and quantitative evaluation of damages by different scratching modes

    • Tribology Letters
    • October 1, 2004

    To comprehensively evaluate mar/scratch resistance of a material in a specific application, introduction of a quantitative index is very useful. The index depends on the properties of the material as well as on the application environment. Study of the samples, which have been used in the application environment, investigating the application conditions and figuring out their equivalent laboratory test conditions, is a necessary first step. This is then followed by quantitative evaluation of damages made by different scratching modes. Then, such an index can be formed. This paper introduces the concept of the index and describes the procedure of obtaining the index, including a quantitative evaluation of damages made by different scratching modes.

  • Testing of Scratch and Abrasion Resistance of Coated Polycarbonate for Automotive Glazing Applications

    • Proceedings of the 5th The International Conference on Coating on Glass and Plastic (ICCG)
    • July 4, 2004

Robert Schwenke's Patents

  • High Conductivity Defroster Using a High Power Treatement

    • United States Patent Application 11362490
    • Filed February 24, 2006
    Inventors: Robert Schwenke

    The present invention provides for the enhancement of the amount of heat generated in the critical viewing area of a plastic window assembly by lowering the overall resistance of a conductive heater grid and allowing a greater amount of current to pass through the grid lines, thereby, increasing resistance heating of the window. This is achieved by subjecting the heater grid to a high power treatment after forming of the window assembly that reduces the resistance of the conductive heater grid.

  • Heat Enhancement in Critical Viewing Area of Transparent Plastic Panel

    • United States Patent Application 11299015
    • Filed February 5, 2005
    Inventors: Robert Schwenke

    A plastic window and defroster assembly that enhances the amount of heat generated in the critical viewing area of a transparent plastic glazing panel. The assembly includes a transparent plastic panel and a conductive heater grid formed by printing a conductive ink with a sheet resistivity of less than about milliohms/square @ 25.4 um (1 mil).

  • Pulse Width Modulated Defroster

    • United States Patent Application 11327594
    • Filed January 6, 2006
    Inventors: Robert Schwenke

    A window defroster system that includes a heater grid and a controller. The controller includes a pulse width modulator configured to provide a driving signal to the heater grid. The driving signal has an initial heating portion and a pulsed portion. The initial heating portion provides an initial voltage that is greater than an optimal operating voltage of the heater grid, the pulsed portion provides a pulsed signal with a pulsed high voltage that is greater than the optimal operating voltage.

  • Light Emissive Plastic Glazing

    • United States Patent Application 11317587
    • Filed December 23, 2005
    Inventors: Robert Schwenke

    A window assembly having a first transparent area and a light emissive area. The panel includes a first transparent layer with an ultraviolet blocking layer and an abrasion layer. The light emissive area includes a light emissive layer that may be an organic light emitting display, an electroluminescent display, a polyer light emitting display or a light pipe configuration to receive light from a light source.

  • Apparatus and Method of Dispensing Conductive Material with Active Z-Axis Control

    • United States Patent Application 11321567
    • Filed December 29, 2005
    Inventors: Robert Schwenke

    An apparatus for printing a conductive ink onto a plastic panel including an articulatable arm having an end that opposes a surface of the panel. A nozzle is mounted via a nozzle height actuator to the end of the arm, and the nozzle is coupled to a source of conductive ink. A flow regulator, coupled to the ink source, regulates the flow rate of ink out of the nozzle and is controlled by the controller. A height sensor is configured to output a height signal relative to the surface and the controller, which is coupled to the arm, the flow regulator, the nozzle height actuator and the sensor, is configured to control the arm, flow regulator, nozzle height actuator, and speed of nozzle movement such that a conductive trace of predetermined height and width is applied to the substrate.

  • Antenna for Plastic Window Panel

    • United States Patent 7612727
    • Issued November 3, 2009
    Inventors: Robert Schwenke

    A window assembly capable of receiving wireless signals is described. The window assembly includes a plastic substrate having a first side and a second side. A coating is coupled to the first side of the plastic substrate. An antenna is located adjacent to the first side of the plastic substrate. The antenna may be located between the first side of the plastic substrate and the coating or may be embedded within the coating.

  • Busbar Designs Optimized for Robotic Dispensing Application

    • United States Patent Application 11616058
    • Filed December 26, 2006
    Inventors: Robert Schwenke

    A window defroster assembly for use in a motor vehicle includes a transparent panel and a defroster grid integrally formed with the transparent panel by means of a robotic dispensing mechanism. The defroster includes conductive first and second busbars and a plurality of conductive grid lines extending between and connected to the first and second busbars.

  • Printable Sensors for Plastic Glazing

    • United States Patent 7567183
    • Issued January 6, 2006
    Inventors: Robert Schwenke

    A system for sensing environmental conditions on a window assembly. The system includes a transparent panel and a sensor integrated onto the panel. The sensor being configured to sense environmental changes on the panel. The sensor may comprise conductive inks that are printed onto the window assembly. The window assembly may comprise a plastic panel, such as a multilayer polycarbonate panel such that a portion of the sensor overlaps the first portion on a second layer of the window. The sensor may be a resistive or capacitive sensor and may be configured to detect changes in one or more environmental conditions, such as temperature or moisture. Further, the sensor may be in electrical communication with a contoller configured to control various vehicle subsystems based on the sensor.

  • Printable Controls for a Window Assembly

    • United States Patent Application 11358526
    • Filed February 21, 2006
    Inventors: Robert Schwenke

    A window integrated control for a vehicle. The system includes a window and a control integrated onto the window. The control may comprise conductive inks that are printed onto the window. The window may be a plastic panel, such as a multilayer polycarbonate panel. Further, the control may be in electrical communication witha controller that is configured to control various vehicle subsystems, such as a keyless entry, vehicle defroster, or window positioning system based on the control.

  • Dispensing Method for Variable Line Volume

    • United States Patent Application 11923328
    • Filed October 24, 2007
    Inventors: Robert Schwenke

    An apparatus and method for printing a conductive grid onto a plastic panel, and a resultant product. A nozzle is mounted to the end of an arm, and the nozzle is coupled to a source of conductive ink. A flow regulator, coupled to the ink source, regulates the flow rate of ink out of the nozzle and is controlled by a controller. The controller is further configured to apply an initial conductive trace onto a panel and to apply a subsequent conductive trace besides or onto the initial conductive trace to vary the volume of the grid line along a portion of its length.

  • Electrical Connections for Plastic Panels Having Conductive Grids

    • United States Patent Application 12116841
    • Filed May 7, 2008
    Inventors: Robert Schwenke

    A plastic panel system including a transparent plastic panel and an electrically conductive grid. The panel includes a substrate and the grid is provided on the panel so as to overlie the substrate. Including with the grid is at least one conductive mounting location. An electrical connector, which includes a plastic portion and an electrically conductive portion, is secured to the panel by ultrasonically welding the plastic portion to the panel. As a result of the retention of the connector with the panel, the conductive portion of the panel is in electrical contact with the mounting location of the conductive grid. The electrical system of an automotive vehicle can be attached to the connector of the panel system.

  • Method of Dispesing Conductive Material with Active Z Control

    • United States Patent Application 20110262627
    • Filed July 7, 2011

    A method for printing a conductive trace on a plastic panel comprising: locating a nozzle proximate to a surface of a panel; moving the nozzle relative to the surface of the panel; sensing the surface of the panel relative to the height of the nozzle off of the panel; determining the speed at which the nozzle is being moved across the surface of the panel; adjusting at least one of the height of the nozzle relative to the surface of the panel and a flow rate of conductive ink out of the nozzle; and dispensing a conductive ink from the nozzle onto the surface of the panel to form the conductive trace. The conductive trace is formed with a predetermined width.

Robert Schwenke's Education

University of Wisconsin-Madison

MS, Chemistry


Grade: 3.58

Michigan Technological University

BS, Chemistry


Grade: 3.44

Cum Laude

Activities and Societies: Phi Lambda Upsilon - Honorary Chemical Society, American Chemical Society



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