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 U.S. Defense Industry.
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.
Gradient Technology Incorporated
The entity is formally incorporated with the state of Minnesota where the corporate headquarters still resides today.
First Contract with US Defense Industry
The award and initiation of the first formal subcontracts the Gradient Technology entity were for engineering consulting to the U.S. Defense Industry.
First Corporate Headquarters Established
Office and laboratory space in the Freshwater Foundation complex in Navarre, Minnesota, was utilized as the company’s first corporate office and research laboratory.
Explosive D Research Contract
The award and initiation of a U.S. 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 and was in need of disposal.
PBX Explosive Research Contract
The award and initiation of a U.S. 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, Indiana, in 2002.
Explosive D Projectile System Contract
The award and initiation of a U.S. Army contract for the development and construction of a system to demil Explosive D Projectiles and recover the energetic Explosive D.
Corporate Office Relocation to Blaine, MN
Gradient Technology relocated its corporate office and research laboratory to Blaine, Minnesota, to allow expansion of personnel and to co-locate with our system fabrication partner – Tauern Metalworks.
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.
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.
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.
Propellant Conveying System Contract
The award and execution of a U.S. Army construction contract for a Propellant Conveying and Packaging System for Crane Army Ammunition Activity at B101 NSA-Crane, Indiana, takes place. The system was designed, constructed, installed, and commissioned for operation in under 12 months.
Indiana Workforce Established
The initiation of hiring an Indiana-based workforce to support Gradient Technology’s operational site and growing project workload takes place.
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.
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 U.S. Navy to demilitarize the ordnance shapes at a fraction of the cost of alternative technologies.
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 Defense Contractor.
Corporate Office Relocation to Elk River, MN
The corporate office, research laboratory, and fabrication facility is moved from Blaine, Minnesota, to its current home in Elk River, Minnesota. The facility was designed and constructed by Gradient Technology to be the long-term home for the core engineering, fabrication, and administrative team.
Commercial Demil Task Order Award
The Explosive D facility is awarded, and successfully executes, its first demilitarization task order in support of the U.S. Army’s 5-year IDIQ Commercial Demil initiative.
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.
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.
5-year Commercial Demil Contract
Gradient Technology is awarded a 5-year Explosive D production subcontract as part of the follow-on U.S. 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.
NSWC-Indian Head 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, Maryland, facility. The largest of these items included 16″ Projectiles and 3000 LB Bombs.
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 U.S. Army at NSA-Crane, Indiana. A successful proveout, demonstration, and transition of the system was completed in 2012.
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, Alabama. High-Pressure waterjet equipment was developed and successfully tested at Redstone Arsenal to segment the MLRS Rocket Motor for thermal treatment disposition.
Elk River Headquarters Expansion
An expansion was completed to double the size of the Elk River, Minnesota, 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.
Comp A-3 Explosive Research Contract
The award and initiation of a U.S. 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, Indiana, in 2010.
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 U.S. Army Depot (HWAD) in Hawthorne, Nevada, occurred. The program culminated with the installation, commissioning, and transition of an upgraded High-Pressure Waterjet Facility at the HWAD complex in 2014.
Red Phosphorus Demil System Contract
The U.S. 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, Indiana, in 2017.
5-year Commercial Demil Contract Renewal
Gradient Technology is awarded a 5-year Explosive D production subcontract as part of the follow-on U.S. 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.
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, Georgia.
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, Indiana, 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 U.S. Army production operations.
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 Technology’s first contract execution in Europe.
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.
Bulk Explosive D Demil Contract
The U.S. 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, Indiana, 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.
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, Indiana. 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, Indiana.
16" Explosive D Demil Capability Contract
The U.S. Army contracted Gradient Technology to expand the capability of the Explosive D Demil System located at NSA-Crane, Indiana, 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.
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, Minnesota. 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.
IR Screening Grenade Demil System Contract
The U.S. 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, Indiana, is expected to be complete in 2021.
MK46 Torpedo Warhead Demil System Contract
The U.S. 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.
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.
Navy Projectile Explosive D Demil Contract
The U.S. 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, Indiana, 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.
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 U.S. 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, 2020.
Underwater Cut & Capture At-Sea Demo Contract
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 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 2022.
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.
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 U.S. Army Conventional Demil program. The initiative is expected to field a system for the U.S. Army Organic Industrial Base to utilize beginning in 2023.
Waterjet System for UXO Remediation
The U.S. Navy procured a custom-built waterjet system from Gradient Technology to be used in ordnance remediation efforts at the former Vieques Naval Training Range, Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. The initiative supports the ongoing U.S. Navy effort to remediate the former training range and return the land to the Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
ChemBio Portable Demil System Contract
A prime contract was awarded to Gradient Technology by the Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Consortium to analyze, engineer, and then fabricate, integrate and demonstrate a portable prototype system for demilitarizing chemical and biological weapons. The program is being supported by the Government technical team at CCDC – Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
MK6 Smoke Signal Demil Development Contract
A Government subcontract was awarded to Gradient Technology to develop a demil capability for the disassembly and safe disposal of the various components within the MK6 Red Phosphorus-filled smoke signal. The prototype process will be designed, fabricated, and installed by Gradient Technology at a U.S. Army installation providing the Organic Industrial Base with a demil solution for this obsolete military item.
Underwater Cut & Capture Demo Contract
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded Gradient Technology a contract for further demonstration of an Integrated Underwater Demil Cut and Capture System. The technology will be demonstrated at a test site provided by Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Specialized Munitions Division, Munitions Range Branch.
Flechette Munition Demilitarization Development Contract
A government subcontract was awarded to Gradient Technology to conduct an engineering study to evaluate technologies and alternative processes to safely disassemble, separate, and dispose of the components within flechette munitions containing lead chromate. Based on the results of the study, Gradient Technology will then develop a demil plan and a full engineering design for equipment and processes to perform production-scale demilitarization of the items at NSA-Crane.