Our History

  • 1994

    Gradient Technology Founded

    Duane Goetsch begins the transition from academia at the University of Minnesota to building a commercial company focused on chemical engineering research and consulting for the US Defense Industry.

  • 1995

    First Consulting Contracts

    Duane Goetsch, along with a small team of engineering professionals and academic researchers, begin to perform independent consulting to local Minnesota firms.

    1995

  • 1996

    Gradient Technology Incorporated

    The entity is formally incorporated with the state of Minnesota where the corporate headquarters still resides today.

  • 1996

    First Contract with US Defense Industry

    The award and initiation of the first formal subcontracts the Gradient Technology entity for engineering consulting to the US Defense Industry

    1996

  • 1997

    First Corporate Headquarters Established

    Office and laboratory space in the Freshwater Foundation complex in Navarre, MN was utilized as the company’s first corporate office and research laboratory.

  • 1997

    Explosive D Research Contract

    The award and initiation of a US Navy research contract for the development of a process to Demil Bulk Explosive D. Over 1.5 Million pounds of raw, unused Explosive D remained in Government inventory in need of disposal.

    1997

  • 1998

    PBX Explosive Research Contract

    The award and initiation of a US Air Force research contract for the development of a process to demil PBXN-109 Explosive and recover the components. The program was successfully completed with a formal equipment demonstration at NSA-Crane in 2002.

  • 1999

    Explosive D Projectile System Contract

    The award and initiation of a US Army contract for the development and construction of a system to demil Explosive D Projectiles and recover the Explosive D contents.

    1999

  • 2000

    Corporate Office Relocation to Blaine, MN

    Gradient Technology relocated its corporate office and research laboratory to Blaine, MN to allow expansion of personnel and to co-locate with our system fabrication partner – Tauern Metalworks.

  • 2001

    Explosive D Facility Begins Production

    The construction, installation, and successful demonstration of the Explosive D Demil Facility at B105 NSA-Crane, Indiana are completed. This includes the startup of the US Army Projectile Accessing System and Gradient Technology’s Explosive D Conversion System to produce commercial chemicals from the demil feedstock.

    2001

  • 2001

    Gradient Technology wins Tibbets Award

    Gradient Technology is honored with the Tibbett’s Award by the United States Small Business Administration. This prestigious national award is made annually to small firms that exemplify the very best in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) achievement.

  • 2002

    Tauern Metalworks Acquisition

    The Tauern Metalworks fabrication company is acquired by Gradient Technology expanding the company’s in-house capabilities in custom fabrication and system integration.

    2002

  • 2002

    Propellant Conveying System Contract

    The award and execution of a US Army construction contract for a Propellant Conveying and Packaging System for Crane Army Ammunition Activity at B101 NSA Crane, IN. The system was designed, constructed, installed, and commissioned for operation in under 12 months.

  • 2002

    Indiana Workforce Established

    The initiation of hiring an Indiana-based workforce to support Gradient Technology’s operational site and growing project workload takes place.

    2002

  • 2002

    Organic Explosive D Demil Contract

    The award and execution of Gradient Technology’s first Organic Industrial Base (OIB) Demil Contract for 23,000 3″ Explosive D Projectiles takes place. This was the first signifiicant production-scale event for the Explosive D Facility at NSA-Crane, Indiana.

  • 2003

    NSWC-White Oak Field Demil Contract

    Gradient Technology expands into field demilitarization of discarded military munitions (DMM) at formerly used defense sites (FUDS). Gradient Technology provided the equipment, personnel, and expertise for the waterjet demilitarization of over 500 ordnance and explosive (OE) shapes at the former NSWC-White Oak facilities in suburban Washington, DC. On-site waterjet cutting allowed the US Navy to demilitarize the ordnance shapes at a fraction of the cost of alternative technologies.

    2003

  • 2003

    First Contract with a Foreign Military Group

    The award and initiation of the first formal subcontract to Gradient Technology for engineering consulting to a Foreign Military entity.

  • 2004

    Corporate Office Relocation to Elk River, MN

    The corporate office, research laboratory, and fabrication facility is moved from Blaine, MN to its current home in Elk River, MN. The facility was designed and constructed by Gradient Technology to be the long-term home for the core engineering, fabrication, and administrative team.

    2004

  • 2004

    Commercial Demil Task Order Award

    The Explosive D facility is awarded, and successfully executes, its first demilitarization task order in support of the US Army’s 5-year IDIQ Commercial Demil initiative.

  • 2004

    Bedford Recycling Partnership Formed

    A formal partnership with Bedford Recycling, Inc. for handling of MDAS scrap materials was initiated. The first MDAS material shipments for the partnership occurred from the Explosive D facility.

    2004

  • 2005

    IPI Partnership Formed

    A formal partnership with Island Pyrochemical Industries (IPI) for the global marketing and sale of Picric Acid was initiated. The first Picric Acid shipments from the Explosive D facility to overseas customers occurred.

  • 2006

    5-year Commercial Demil Contract

    Gradient Technology is awarded a 5-year Explosive D production subcontract as part of the follow-on US Army Commercial Demil Contract. Nearly 150,000 Explosive D projectiles were awarded and demiled under this contract at the B105 NSA-Crane, Indiana facility from 2006 – 2010.

    2006

  • 2006

    NSWC-Indianhead Field Demil Contract

    Gradient Technology continues its work in field demilitarization of discarded military munitions (DMM). Gradient Technology provided the equipment, personnel, and expertise for the waterjet demilitarization of over 200 ordnance and explosive (OE) shapes at the NSWC-Indian Head facility. The largest of these items included 16″ Projectiles and 2000 LB Bombs.

  • 2006

    Propellant Demil Development Contract

    The development subcontract for a large-scale pilot plant to perform demilitarization and component recovery from Triple Base Propellants was awarded to Gradient Technology. The subcontract resulted in the construction of a facility for the US Army at NSA-Crane. A successful proveout, demonstration, and transition of the system was completed in 2012.

    2006

  • 2008

    Rocket Motor Demil Development Contract

    Gradient Technology was contracted to assist in the development of the MLRS Rocket Motor demilitarization initiative at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. High-Pressure waterjet equipment was developed and successfully tested at Redstone Arsenal to segment the MLRS Rocket Motor for thermal treatment disposition.

  • 2009

    Elk River Headquarters Expansion

    An expansion was completed to double the size of the Elk River, MN corporate office, explosive laboratory, and fabrication facility. The expansion was designed and executed by Gradient Technology to accommodate the corporate growth realized in all areas of the business.

    2009

  • 2010

    Comp A-3 Explosive Research Contract

    The award and initiation of a US Army research contract for the development of a process to demil Comp A-3 Explosive and recover the components. The program was successfully completed with a formal equipment demonstration at NSA-Crane in 2010.

  • 2011

    Hawthorne Waterjet System Contract

    The award and initiation of a development and construction subcontract for an upgraded High-Pressure Waterjet Demil facility at the Hawthorne US Army Depot (HWAD) in Hawthorne, NV occurred. The program culminated with the installation, commissioning, and transition of an upgraded High-Pressure Waterjet Facility at the HWAD complex in 2014.

    2011

  • 2011

    Red Phosphorus Demil System Contract

    The US Army awarded Gradient Technology a development and construction subcontract for a Red Phosphorus Grenade Demil facility to be located at NSA-Crane, Indiana. The program culminated with the installation, commissioning, and transition of a Red Phosphorus demil process to NSA-Crane in 2017.

  • 2011

    5-year Commercial Demil Contract Renewal

    Gradient Technology is awarded a 5-year Explosive D production subcontract as part of the follow-on US Army Commercial Demil Contract. Nearly 100,000 Explosive D projectiles were awarded and demiled under this contract at the B105 NSA-Crane, Indiana facility from 2011 – 2015.

    2011

  • 2012

    Hazardous Facility Decommissioning Contract

    Commercial contract award for the execution of equipment removal of piping and vessels using remote high-pressure waterjet cutting at a hazardous commercial chemical facility in Woodbine, GA.

  • 2013

    M1122 Production Equipment Contract

    The award and initiation of a development and construction subcontract for a M1122 Manufacturing process at the CFMC Complex within NSA Crane, IN began in 2013. The initiative resulted in the design, construction, installation, testing, and transition of equipment to refurbish obsolete projectile casings and fill them with inert and explosive materials to create the M1122 ammunition item. The program was completed in 2018 which initiated US Army production operations.

    2013

  • 2014

    First Contract with a European Military Group

    Gradient Technology was contracted by a European Military Entity to complete a demil technology engineering and consulting initiative. The contract was Gradient’s first contract execution in Europe.

  • 2014

    Wood Torrefaction Research Contract

    The State of Minnesota Department of Agriculture awarded a subcontract to Gradient Technology to study the torrefaction of underutilized wood species. The initiative was completed in conjunction with the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) division of the University of Minnesota from 2014-2017.

    2014

  • 2015

    Bulk Explosive D Demil Contract

    The US Army awarded a Prime Contract to Gradient Technology for Bulk Explosive D Demilitariation. The program was executed from 2015 to 2018 at the Explosive D Facility at NSA-Crane, IN and resulted in the demil and recovery of almost 1.5 Million Pounds of previously unused and obsolete “Bulk” Explosive D powder and its conversion to Picric Acid.

  • 2015

    Hazardous Facility Decommissioning Contract

    A Government subcontract was awarded to Gradient Technology for the removal of piping and vessels using remote high-pressure waterjet cutting at several formerly used explosive buildings within NSA-Crane. The project was completed in 2017 and resulted in the complete removal of three highly complex abandoned explosive equipment networks spanning six different production buildings within NSA-Crane.

    2015

  • 2016

    16" Explosive D Demil Capability Contract

    The US Army contracted Gradient Technology to expand the capability of the Explosive D Demil System located at NSA-Crane to enable it to process 16″ Explosive D Projectiles. The development contract was completed in 2018 following the completion of equipment construction, factory testing, and shipment to Crane Army Ammunition Activity for installation.

  • 2017

    Torrefaction Pilot Plant Construction Contract

    The University of Minnesota Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) contracted Gradient Technology to design and construct a large-scale Torrefaction Pilot Plant to be located at the NRRI Facility in Coleraine, MN. Equipment construction was completed in 2019 and the installation and commissioning phase was completed in 2020. Gradient Technology continues to assist the technology development and testing of the equipment as NRRI’s development work on wood torrefaction proceeds.

    2017

  • 2017

    IR Screening Grenade Demil System Contract

    The US Army awarded Gradient Technology a prime contract to develop an IR Screening Grenade Demil facility to be located at NSA-Crane, Indiana. The program has proceeded through the installation and commissioning phase. Full production testing and then transition of the demil process to NSA-Crane is expected to be complete in 2021.

  • 2017

    MK46 Torpedo Warhead Demil System Contract

    The US Army awarded Gradient Technology a prime contract to develop a demil capability for the disposal of the MK46 Torpedo Warhead. The program has proceeded through the technology development and initial testing phase. Full production testing and then transition of the demil process to McAlester Army Ammunition Plant is expected to be complete in 2021.

    2017

  • 2017

    DRI Pilot Plant Design Contract

    NRRI contracted the engineering design of a Direct Reduction of Iron Pilot Plant to Gradient Technology. The engineering design effort was completed in 2020.

  • 2018

    Navy Projectile Explosive D Demil Contract

    The US Army awarded a prime contract to Gradient Technology for Navy Projectile Explosive D Demilitarization. The program site is the Explosive D Facility at NSA-Crane, IN and includes the demilitarization of nearly 25,000 small caliber projectiles and over 16,000 16″ Iowa-class battleship projectiles. The program is scheduled to proceed through at least 2024.

    2018

  • 2018

    Underwater Cut & Capture Demo Contract

    Gradient Technology is awarded a prime contract via the ESTCP research program to demonstrate it’s Underwater Cut & Capture Demilitarization technology for the US Army and Navy. The demonstrations were successfully conducted within a Test Tank in early 2020 and then deployed off of a sea-side pier at NSA Panama City in July of 2020.

  • 2019

    Underwater Cut & Capture At-Sea Demo Contract

    The US Navy awarded Gradient Technology a follow-on Prime Contract for further demonstration of an Integrated Underwater Demil Cut and Capture System. The technology will be demonstrated at sea during the contract which is expected to be completed in 2021.

    2019

  • 2020

    16" Explosive D Production Begins

    The construction, installation, and successful demonstration of the 16″ Explosive D Demil capability at B105 NSA-Crane, Indiana is completed and full-rate production is initiated.

  • 2020

    Illuminating Projectile Demil Development Contract

    Gradient Technology is awarded a subcontract for development of a demil capability to process and dispose of obsolete Illuminating Projectiles in support of the US Army Conventional Demil program. The initiative is expected to field a system for the US Army Organic Industrial Base to utilize beginning in 2023.

    2020