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Intriguing work

Azimuth Inc.

Azimuth, an electronic and software engineering firm that does the bulk of its projects for the Department of Defense, recruits and retains its stellar employees in part through a nearly irresistible combination of highly intriguing work and high quality of life.

“Our greatest strength is our people,” Craig Hartzell, CEO of Azimuth Inc. said. “I have my hand on the company’s tiller to set our direction, but it’s our engineers who have the intellect, the talent and the work ethic. It’s humbling to see them pull off the technical miracles they do.”

“To keep a good engineer interested, you have to offer challenging work every day,” he said. “We look for that type of work.”

Azimuth opened its doors in Morgantown in 1989. Today, Azimuth has offices in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Of the engineering firm’s approximately 100 employees, 75 are in West Virginia.

“Our core competency is high level electronic design and software engineering,” said Hartzell. “For example, we design and build electronic systems for the U.S. military to use on patrol boats. These applications require very rugged electronics to survive the high shock, vibration and salt water in this severe environment.”

In 2006, Azimuth was a member of a high technology team that captured a $9.6 million contract from the U.S. Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technology Division to build the BomBot, a robot designed to disable and dispose of improvised explosive devices.

“We have a project to build a one-of-a-kind dashboard, or bridge, for a military patrol boat using very light weight, very strong carbon fiber,” said Hartzell. “It’s a complex piece, 16 feet wide, two feet high, and will house electronics, computer screens, radar and other elements. The Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) is training our mechanic engineers and design technicians to upgrade their skills in designing and building with carbon fiber. We will use RCBI’s tooling, equipment and expertise to manufacture the part.”