Scroll down for my books and technical papers.
Or click here to enjoy my RetiredColdWarrior blog posts about my military adventures.
Or pick up a few pearls of wisdom on the subject of Complex System Sustainment.
Or take a look at some of my presentation charts and videos below.
Inflight Refueling the SR-71 During the Cold War >>
My first assignment in the USAF in 1977 was flying KC-135Q refueling tankers around the world in support of the fastest manned spy plane ever built. Audiences enjoy my easy-to-follow explanations of the technology and tactics. But they love my stories of what we did when things go wrong. I have expanded this presentation recently to discuss the historical context of the Cold War since so many in my audiences were born after the Cold War was declared won. Click here for the charts and some cool links.
Click here for a video of me giving this presentation at the Hill Aerospace Museum Plane Talk in November of 2017.
How Does an ICBM Work? >>
I’ve spent 25 years as a systems engineer keeping our nation’s nuclear deterrent safe, available, reliable, accurate, and hard against nuclear attack. Why are ICBMs needed? How do they work? What’s coming in the future? I live by the rule: “If you can’t explain complex tech to others, you never understood it yourself.”
Click here [MinutemanIII] for a version of this presentation I gave during Engineers Week, February 2018.
Click here for a video of me presenting this topic at the INCOSE Wasatch Chapter in March of 2018.
And here is the USAF/Northrop Grumman video I often show at these presentations.
The Fundamentals of Complex System Sustainment >>
I have several published papers and presentations on a useful management model to keep any long-lived, complex system viable. Presentation topics include sustainment risk systems, affordable system assessment, history of long-lived complex systems and their future, and each team member a leader. Presentations vary from 1 hour on a sub-topic to a half-day tutorial on the entire subject. Click here for a sample where I discuss the fundamentals. I recently gave a 2 hour tutorial on this topic at the INCOSE Western States Regional Conference that went quite well. But I must say the most fun I have had was presenting this topic to the Los Angeles AIAA Planetary Defense Against Asteroids conference.
Oliver Evans’ Mill >>
I like to talk about complex systems. A factory is a system: machines arranged systematically in a building, dependent on a central power source, to accomplish a mission.
One of my recently added topics is the Oliver Evans’ Flour Mill. Engineer, inventor, and by my standards, genius, Oliver Evans is widely considered to have kicked off the First Industrial Revolution with his US Patent #3 Flour Mill. When President Washington signed off on the patent he immediately contacted Evans to get one for Mount Vernon. It is still there, still working, and you can find great videos about it here. It’s not just that Evans created several new machines to incorporate into existing mill designs and not just that he improved the general engineering of everything in the mill, and then wrote a book capturing all of this. He also created mills that ran systematically with horizontal and vertical transport of raw materials and products and other control devices to improve quality while reducing labor.
Oliver Evans also had great designs for saw mills, fuller mills, steam engines, and other systems. He explains in his book, The Young Millwright and Miller’s Guide, how he did it using the “true Path to Invention”. “Necessity is called the mother of invention, but, upon inquiry, we shall find that Reason and Experiment bring it forth.” To paraphrase his approach: investigate fundamental principles, come up with your best plan in accordance with those principles, compare your plan to what is being done today, and then experiment (that is, try it and see).
In one of my favorite presentations I describe a typical Evans mill and compare its features to the factory floor of tomorrow, low Earth orbit.
On the same subject, I have eBooks and technical papers available.
My second self-published e-book, “Sustainment Risk Systems” is now available on Amazon.com along with book 1. Just type “Charles Vono” in the Amazon book search bar. “Sustainment Risk Systems” assumes you have read “The Sustainment Handbook” and are now considering how you might implement this management model in your organization. At just under 10,000 words, it delivers insights on actionable first steps and incremental improvements that are well within anyone’s ability to implement.
If you would prefer not to spend $10, there is plenty of free content here at this web site. For instance, my technical papers below can accessed by a single click.
- “Fundamentals of Weapon System Sustainment”, AIAA SciTech 2016, San Diego, CA 4–8 Jan 16
- “First Steps in Implementing Weapon System Sustainment Model”, AIAA SciTech 2017, Grapevine, TX, 9–13 Jan 17.
- “Fundamentals of Sustainment: Affordable Observation and Assessment”, AIAA SPACE 2017, Orlando, FL, 12–14 Sep 17
- “Sustainment Organizations: People and Teams”, AIAA SciTech 2018, Kissimmee, FL 8-12 Jan 18
- “Best Approaches to Assessment During the Sustainment Phase”, AIAA SciTech 2019, San Diego, CA, 7-11 Jan 19
- Download Charts: SciTech 2019 Assessment
- “Mega Trends in Systems, Systems Engineering, and Sustainment”, AIAA SciTech 2019, San Diego, CA, 7-11 Jan 19
- Download Charts: SciTech 2019 History
With Justin Kugler, Made in Space:
- “Application of a Weapon System Sustainment Model to the Space Industry”, AIAA SPACE 2016, Long Beach, CA 13–16 Sep 2016.
- “The Rise of Long-lived Complex Systems”, AIAA SPACE 2017, Orlando, Florida, 12-14 Sep 17
Not my paper, but an important seminal work in the fundamentals of sustainment is included here as well. It can also be found at the Defense Acquisition University web site. Authors are USAF Colonel Rakesh Dewan and David Lindblad, TRW Inc.
On the subject of presentations, I do need travel reimbursements if your event is outside of the Northern Utah area. So, if your organization does not have a budget to cover my travel expenses, you might be able to find a local engineering society to co-host. I can help you locate them. For example, as an AIAA Distinguished Lecturer, there is a budget set aside at the AIAA National HQ to cover me. See my blog post on this subject.
If you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I can put you in touch with satisfied customers or you can see the main menu for endorsements.
I prefer free presentations and tutorials. If circumstances dictate that you must hire me for a specific purpose, my rates are $200/hour plus expenses. My focus will be to train your personnel fast so I can get back to enjoying my retirement.