John oversees product development and research innovations for advanced manufacturing, materials development, and software development.
Before founding Canopy, John was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Microsphere Material Solutions (MMS). John led the technical teams to develop prototype manufacturing processes for higher strength hollow glass microspheres and foams for buoyancy and radome applications. In this role, he successfully licensed a patent portfolio for manufacturing lightweight glass foam from a Navy lab, leveraged state and federal funding to scale up manufacturing volume 50x in partnership with the University of Maryland, and secured initial sales to both commercial and federal customers. In the process, MMS raised the TRL level of the technology from 4 to 9 and the MRL from 3 to 7. This initial traction allowed Dr. Howard to secure SBIR awards from both the Navy and the Air Force (>$1.2M to date), building out additional use cases for the foam and evaluating the potential to reduce cost through additive manufacturing methods.
Dr. Howard completed his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland - College Park. His doctoral research focused on leveraging different environmental microscopy methods to identify failure modes in emerging optoelectronic materials and using the data to build predictive models of their serviceable lifetime. His PhD research contributed to 10 publications and 15 conference presentations, culminating in a best poster award at the 2019 Fall MRS meeting. Prior to UMD, Dr. Howard worked as a software engineer at NIST, building out datasets and related analytics for natural language processing evaluations. Earlier, he obtained his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst.
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