Kirk D. Benell

Chief Technology Officer

Recognized strategic and innovative leader in the commercial software industry, with extensive experience in all aspects of the software development and product lifecycle, strategic technology identification and incubation, and rapid team growth. Possesses the ability to learn quickly and create clarity out of complex situations in support of both team and organizations goals. Confident, creative and driven team member who is comfortable in a leadership and hands on position. Extensive experience in delivering geospatial technologies and analytics across the enterprise. Strong ability to bring an entrepreneurial drive and spirit to the team.

Selected Career Accomplishments

  • Leading product teams in strategy development and innovation investment to maintain market leadership, producing the technical value that backed consistent delivery of double-digit company revenue growth.
  • Transforming operationally deficient product teams into high-performance Agile organizations, providing significant company benefit through rapid delivery of customer value, reduced operational expenditures and holistic improvement in employee engagement and cross functional teamwork.
  • Leading strategic product partnerships and directing partner product integration strategy, driving meaningful expansion in both domestic and international markets leading to rapid company revenue growth.
  • Technology evangelist and recognized domain expert. Delivering the technical confidence and expertise for corporate marketing efforts, closing key sales activities and maintaining strategic customer relationships.

Professional Experience

Torsion Analytics – Scientific Computing Tools and Analytics Consulting

2014 – 2016   Boulder, CO – Munich, Germany

President, CTO and Cofounder

Worked closely with thought leader institutions to define and refine value offerings, technology models and validate overall offerings.

    • Defined, oversaw and lead the creation of products and technologies focused on automated, rapid transition from proprietarysoftware tools to open source based scientific computing platforms.
    • Delivered solutions and expertise to accelerate project transition to the Python scientific computing platform and influencedecision makers. Successfully proved product offering met the desired technical needs, enabling rapid transition to a Python- only operating environment.

Exelis Corporation (formerly ITT Defense)– Geospatial Systems Division

Provider of Remote Sensing Systems, Navigation Hardware and Geospatial Software Solution
2012 – 2013   Boulder, CO – Rochester, NY

Director of Commercial Software

Identified as a key talent and promoted by Exelis leadership into this key role in an overall corporate business transformation activity. Established commercial software engineering operations across all business activities. Lead definition and evangelization of the strategic software roadmap and associated technical corporate investments.

    • Successfully lead the transformation from decades old business practices to a modern operation focused on rapid delivery of product-focused customer value. Coached, mentored and advised company business leaders on all aspects of the commercial software product businesses, spanning product inception, construction and go-to-market activities. Efforts resulted in the definition, development and release of two commercial software products, a first for the division.
    • Transformed an organization of geographically separate, independently operating entities, into a cohesive product engineering team through team empowerment, integrated planning activities and infrastructure investments to eliminate cross-site collaboration roadblocks. An immediate 20% reduction in operational cost was realized from this effort.

Exelis – Visual Information Solutions (formerly ITT VIS and Research Systems, Inc.)

Software and Consulting Services for Geospatial and Scientific Data Visualization, Analysis and Application Development.
2003 – 2011 Boulder, CO

Chief Technology Officer

Oversaw the technical strategy, research investments and product engineering operations for the entire organization. Provided leadership and guidance during major sifts in the company’s product portfolio, the formation of a strategic partnership with a much larger organization and dynamic growth within the engineering team.

    • Successfully transition Engineering Team expertise from scientific visualization tools to geospatial imagery and analytics technologies. Enabled extensive (20x) market expansion and delivered consistent, double-digit yearly revenue growth
    • In support of product growth and rapid company expansion towards $50M revenue, expanded a geographic diverse engineering organization by 50% over a period of 6 months, while increasing deliverable pace and expanding functional scope, and maintaining team integrity
    • Transitioned a classic engineering operation into customer-focused Agile software development organization, delivering significant company value through increased (25%) operational efficiency, reduced new defects (30%) and enabling organizational-wide product communication. Recognized for highly positive impact on overall company culture.
    • Successfully overseeing the acquisition and integration of 20+ major external product lines and technologies focused on geospatial analytics and remote sensing. Ensured smooth technology and staff integration into existing operations, facilitating rapid market availability of new offering and associated revenue generation.
    • Company and corporate executive software technical lead for major acquisition technology evaluation, integration strategies and associated due-diligence. Provided pragmatic technical valuations and identification of associated risks, resulting in numerous acquisition cost reductions and realistic integration estimates.
    • Provided leadership and vision to successfully set direction for the transition from a desktop-centric company, to a holistic offering that spans all critical web and device domains. This successful strategy enabled rapid customer transition to a web- centric model and maintained critical, long-standing company revenue streams.

Research Systems Inc.

Software Products for Scientific Data Visualization, Data Analytics and Application Development
 1993 – 2003 Boulder, CO

Chief Product Architect

Rapidly ascended to Chief Architect role for Research Systems scientific software tool offerings (IDL), taking lead position in software architecture, design and implementation functions. Provided team and technical leadership across engineering organization, leading efforts to support a wide variety of technologies and user domains.

    • Successfully lead architecture, technical directions and implementation efforts for scientific software product and associated add-ons capabilities.
    • Recognized expert in distilling complex technologies into easily accessible user interfaces and software API focused at the scientific community.
    • Supported domain specific efforts focused on medical imaging, engineering analysis, high-performance computing and geospatial imaging domains.
    • Invented, lead the development of and rapidly delivered the companies first Web focused product. Delivering one of the first to market web frameworks focused in the scientific computing market.
    • Lead technical liaison, supporting external partnerships, key customer relationships and development of company strategy.
    • Mentor and grow new and existing team members within the Engineering Organization.
    • Key member supporting the evolution of the Engineering process and the company rapidly grew from a small start-up team into a full engineering organization.

United States Navy

Submarine Service – Strategic Navigation

Education

University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

BA Physics and Computer Science