Noted Ceramist Bryan McEntire Takes Charge of Technology at Amedica
Immediately following a tech-heavy year beginning, Bryan J. McEntire has been named Amedica Corp.’s new chief technology officer. He will be charged with the company’s technology strategies as it expands the use of Amedica’s proprietary medical grade silicon nitride for spine, total joint, dental devices and potentially anti-infective coating applications.
Previously serving the role of vice president of manufacturing and research and development, McEntire will report directly to Amedica’s President and CEO Eric Olson.
"I am very excited about the potential of Amedica's silicon nitride to dramatically change the development of medical devices," stated McEntire. "I firmly believe in the future of Amedica and the role that silicon nitride will play. The company has a unique technological lead and I look forward to contributing to the commercialization efforts."
Amedica’s secret weapon, silicon nitride, is a heat-resistant material that has been used in high-performance applications in space shuttles. Believed to be stronger than polyetheretherketone (PEEK) plastic, which is commonly used in medical devices, the material has imaging characteristics more favorable than both PEEK and titanium. Amedica was founded in 1996 by orthopedics device inventor Aaron Hofmann, M.D. and ceramics technology expert Ashok C. Khandkar, Ph.D., who believed silicon nitride would be ideal for orthopedic implants.
Like Khandkar, McEntire is a well respected ceramist and a fellow of the America Ceramic Society. Less than 1,000 individuals have been nominated as fellow during the society's 114 year history. McEntire will be awarded with his fellowship status at the society's Honors and Awards Banquet to be held during its 114th Annual Meeting in October this year.
When McEntire joined Amedica in August 2004, he was hired as vice president of manufacturing. It was in 2006 that he was named vice president of research. Prior to Amedica, he was senior director of supply chain management at Applied Materials in Silicon Valley from 1998 to 2004. There he managed a portion of the supply chain, which included the negotiation of supply contracts and supervision of vendor production of various parts including precision ceramic components, which were integrated into the capital equipment made and sold by Applied Materials. Before joining Applied Materials, he was general manager of Norton Advanced Ceramics, a division of Saint-Gobain Industrial Ceramics Corporation, from 1993 to 1998, where he managed four ceramic product manufacturing plants in the United States. This included the largest U.S.-based production facility for precision silicon nitride bearing components. From 1987 to 1993, McEntire served in various positions for a joint venture between Norton Company and TRW Inc., including vice president and technical director. The purpose of the joint venture was to explore the use of silicon nitride based ceramics in automotive and turbine engine applications. During his tenure with the joint venture, he managed several multi-million dollar research and development contracts for the U.S. Department of Energy. From 1978 to 1987, McEntire was successively promoted from manager of ceramic production and development to plant manager for Ceramatec Inc., a small innovative producer of ionic-conducting and structural ceramic components in Salt Lake City, Utah.
McEntire earned his BS in materials science and engineering and MBA in operations management from the University of Utah. He has authored or co-authored over 30 technical papers on ceramic materials, processing and characterization, and served as an invited short-course lecturer on the Forming of Ceramics at the Annual Meeting of the American Ceramic Society from 1986 to 1995.
“Bryan has an extraordinary reputation as a strategic thinker and has an intuitive grasp for how new and existing technologies can benefit patients,” Olson said. “Together with his continued support as the chief technology officer, we will more fully align our development and commercialization efforts to maximize the return on investment from the various silicon nitride projects currently under development.
Amedica intends to apply silicon nitride to its orthopedic, spine and dental implants.