Leader Under 40: Brady Melchior

President, Rugid Computer Inc. – BS Electrical Engineering, University of Washington


Brady Melchior, 30

President, Rugid Computer Inc., www.rugidcomputer.com

Olympia, Wash.


BS Electrical Engineering, University of Washington


Melchior works for a small company that has designed and manufactured industrial data acquisition and control equipment for 25 years. He was involved throughout the product concept, design, development, and production for the WiSI, and was the team leader. Melchior was responsible for the hardware and embedded software design and development. With a small team, the project, from concept to production, took about a year and a half. WiSI, a wireless sensor interface, is an “all-in-one radio, IP67 rated outdoor/weather-proof data acquisition and control device designed for rapid deployment.” One model “includes an integrated solar panel and super capacitor energy storage, which provides the functionality that previously required an RTU, radio, battery, enclosure, antenna, solar panel, and solar regulator. I am very proud to have had such a major role in the development,” said Melchior.

Non-work-related activity

Melchior plays soccer year-round on an open league co-ed soccer team and on an over-30 co-ed soccer team. Each team plays weekly; he enjoys the exercise and the social aspect of being a part of a team and group sport.

Engineering-related activity

About a year and a half ago, Melchior purchased two forklifts at auction to repair and resell. During his free time, he has fixed various components, including electrical wiring, the hydraulic transmission, and propane fuel system. He has found hands-on mechanical engineering to be a stimulating distraction from normal workday activities.

Interesting details

While working at Lockheed Martin, Melchior volunteered as a part of a group of young engineers who mentored a “Learning for Life” group called Exploring, a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America. Exploring is a worksite-based program that usually focuses on one career field, in this case, mentoring and promoting interest in engineering to the teenage youth. Melchior found his involvement with this program to be extremely rewarding.

During his youth, Melchior was always close to animals, as evidenced his by involvement with the Future Farmers of America, raising and showing sheep and pigs. During adulthood, he has focused a large portion of his spare time raising and training two purebred German shepherds.

Began interest

At Lockheed Martin, he was part of a team developing a new lithium-ion battery for space vehicles. As a member of a small team of software writers, he helped write the software to control the balance of charging of a bank of lithium-ion battery cells. Melchior’s background in college was embedded design, making for an easy transition to his current role in designing products for industrial data acquisition and control.

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