Talk on COTS Technology in Modern Military Applications and Tour of Crystal Group

#computer #communications

Come and hear a brief background of Crystal Group, a technical presentation on COTS technology application, and get a tour of Crystal Group's facility. Pizza and soft drinks will be provided by the IEEE Cedar Rapids Section. 

Note, since Crystal Group is an ITAR facility, you must be a US Citizen to participate in this tour.  Pre-registration will be required, and you will have to provide your full name, email address, and a phone number during registration.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 22 Feb 2024
  • Time: 05:00 PM to 07:00 PM
  • All times are (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)
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  • 855 Metzger Drive
  • Hiawatha, Iowa
  • United States 52233

  • Contact Event Hosts
  • Starts 01 February 2024 04:00 PM
  • Ends 20 February 2024 05:00 PM
  • All times are (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)
  • No Admission Charge


Aaron Maue Aaron Maue of Crystal Group


Opening Remarks


President, Crystal Group

Jim Shaw Jim Shaw of Crystal Group


COTS Technology in Modern Military Applications

The packaging of commercially available technology has become a growing business in the military market. Traditional DoD funding streams have been insufficient to keep pace with the advancements in the industry in the compute and networking fields. Crystal Group combines the repackaging of technology that is commercially developed with in-house design and manufacturing to supplement the system performance for a variety of platforms. These include space, airborne, ground vehicles, surface ship, and sub-sea vessels. Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) information technology is being driven by the big data centers. The most effective way for the government to leverage these developments is through the adaptation of these leading edge capabilities through ruggedization techniques. The ability to extend the performance of data center systems through modifications is the value Crystal Group provides to the DoD.


Jim has been packaging purpose built avionics and rugged compute electronics since 1985 that include leading edge products domestically and internationally for military and industrial applications. He has an extensive background in mechanical engineering (ISU), displays, electronics packaging, and server grade computers. Jim holds an MBA (UI) where he specialized in business strategy that has enabled him to bridge engineering with business.

Jim worked at Rockwell-Collins (21 years) and Crystal Group (18 years) during his career in electronics packaging where he has been instrumental in shifting the direction of the rugged server market. He is Chief Technology Fellow of Crystal Group and has authored or co-authored twelve patents.

Andy Fossum Andy Fossum of Crystal Group


Tour Host


VP Operations, Crystal Group


Opening remarks by Aaron Maue, President, Crystal Group

Technical presentation by Jim Shaw, Chief Technical Fellow, Crystal Group

Facility tour hosted by Andy Fossum, Crystal Group VP of Operations and Jim Shaw