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The Art of Manufacturing

A Business, Technology and Society podcast
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Manufacturing is sexy. Sounds crazy? Just wait! Every Thursday, Z Holly takes us on a behind-the-scenes look at how people who make stuff are trying to ‘make it’ in their industries. Get a sneak peek inside these risk-takers’ factories and studios — and most of all, their minds. If you’ve ever wondered how to build a brand, a business, or just a better mousetrap, tune in and enjoy. (More here: artofmfg.com)

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James Webb Space Telescope: Krystal Puga and Scott Willoughby
$9 billion and a million miles away: we get a special behind-the-scenes tour of NASA’s most ambitious and risky project ever. The James Webb Space Telescope will let us to look billions of years back in time and look at exoplanets in other galaxies. It’s pushing the boundaries of what is technologically possible. When you think of manufacturing, you probably imagine mass production, but this project is one-of-a-kind. And because it’s headed a million miles away into orbit past the moon, if something breaks, it can’t be fixed. As the vice president and program manager of the whole project, Scott Willoughby has one shot at getting it right. I was curious: how can you take risks and innovate when you’re working on something so high stakes and under such big scrutiny? So I went to Northrop Grumman in El Segundo, the prime contractor, to find out. We start with a special behind-the-scenes tour of the telescope from systems engineer Krystal Puga. And then, Scott joins us as we talk about the risks and rewards and what’s next for the program. We also learn about Scott and Krystal’s backgrounds, which will probably surprise you! Links and social handles: The James Webb Space Telescope home page: https://jwst.nasa.gov/ “Seeing Beyond” video (14:02): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=073GwPbyFxE NASA’s FAQ: https://jwst.nasa.gov/faq.html#howbig Northrop Grumman’s site for the JWST: http://www.northropgrumman.com/MediaResources/MediaKits/JWST/Home.aspx The JWST on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope Facebook Instagram: @NASAWebb Twitter: @NASAWebb   Northrop Grumman: Facebook Twitter: @northropgrumman Instagram: @northropgrumman LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/northrop-grumman-corporation/   #NorthropGrumman #Webb #JWST #JamesWebbSpaceTelescope #nasa   For more information, bios, and links, check out the show notes at http://makeitinla.org/jwst. 
Hydroswarm: Preeti Battacharyya
An underwater roboticist is determined to map the 70% of our globe covered in water. Everyone’s talking about space these days, but the most promising uncharted frontier might be under the sea. And exploring our oceans is much harder than you think.  Preeti Battacharyya is a 30-year-old entrepreneur who fought tradition back in India and moved to the US. She received a PhD from MIT before launching her company, HydroSwarm. They’re building a network of autonomous underwater vehicles that can map the oceans and communicate with each other. I was curious what is holding back ocean exploration. What are the challenges of building robots that can work under the sea? It turns out its way harder than rocket science! We learn the difference between ROVs and AUVs, and why they matter. We also learn about Preeti’s path from small town girl in Kolkata to an underwater roboticist with experience with particle accelerators and nuclear reactors starting an ambitious venture.   Links and social handles: Website: http://hydroswarm.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/hydroswarm Video of a hydrone: https://youtu.be/EYkz5mRsuqg More on cyberclones: https://techcrunch.com/2016/01/09/virtual-reality-and-a-parallel-universe-of-cyberclones/   For more information, bios, and links, check out the show notes at http://makeitinla.org/hydroswarm. 
Knock Knock: Jen Bilik
Comedy isn’t always easy: this entrepreneur has learned some tough lessons manufacturing irreverent gifts that don’t meet everyone’s tastes. This week we’re speaking with Jen Bilik, the founder and CEO of Knock Knock. With a name like that, you might guess there is some humor involved—and you’d be right. Knock Knock is known for their funny and often blue gifts and books. But she has to deal with risk-averse retailers and easily offended consumers. Not to mention the pot-smoking hippie manufacturing broker that bilked them out of millions of dollars in their early years. And crying employees. Jen started out as a “reluctant businesswoman” and she’s very candid about her mistakes. She shares some useful lessons about growing a company and bringing a little humor into your business.   Links and social handles: Website for all three companies (Who’s There Group): http://thewhostheregroup.com/ This is [NOT] L.A. book: http://ThisIsNotLA.com/ Knock Knock on Instagram and Twitter: @knockknock Also, follow Jen on Instagram @jenbilik (mostly pictures of her dog, Paco), on Twitter @JenBilik (to which she never posts), and on Facebook.   For more information, bios, and links, check out the show notes at http://makeitinla.org/knockknock  
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Podcast Details
Started
Jul 7th, 2016
Latest Episode
Sep 13th, 2018
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
53
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
Explicit
Yes

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