Management Team

Gabriel Laufer is the founder, chairman and scientific visionary of Avir. He founded the company in 1998 in order to advance and commercialize the potential of new approaches for chemical agent detection.

The holder of a B.Sc. degree from Technion in Aeronautical Engineering and a Ph.D. degree in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University, Dr. Laufer has a distinguished career as a scientific researcher. While a member of the research staff at Western Electric, he concurrently served as a Visiting Research Fellow at Princeton University, where he developed sensitive surface analysis methods that allowed optical detection of absorbed single molecular layers.

In 1980, Dr. Laufer joined the Faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in Technion-Israel where he was the Director of the Industrial Laser Laboratory. He collaborated with a local hospital in developing methods that can effectively reduce residual tissue damage induced by energetic surgical laser beams. This work earned him the Jolodan award for outstanding research in the field of biomechanical engineering.

He joined the California-based research and development firm Analatom in 1986. His work there resulted in the development of a system for non-intrusive temperature measurements in supersonic and hypersonic airflows.

In 1989, Dr. Laufer accepted a faculty position with the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia. He is the recipient of the 1997 Rodman Best Teacher Award. He has authored more than 80 technical publications and a graduate level text book on the applications of lasers and optics to engineering. Dr. Laufer is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics(AIAA) and a former associate editor of the AIAA Journal

His research interests include:

Suborbital deployment of atmospheric remote sensors

Primarily an undergraduate project intended to provide an annual suborbital launch of a suite of sensors to remotely sense atmospheric and surface parameters. In 2001 a group of students under his guidance successfully launched a payload of sensors on a sounding rocket and retrieved it successfully in the ocean. It included an IR sensor that measured the surface temperature, a video camera that correlated the IR measurements with ground topography and three photo-diodes with three color filters to provide spectral information of parts of the video images. In 2002, the payload will be upgraded to provide measurements of the distribution of methane in the stratosphere and to provide spectral images of the ocean to include ocean life and pollution runoff. The project is funded by Litton/PRC, the Virginia Space Grant Consortium and NASA.

Kevin Burke has 25 yezzzzzzzzzzzars of general management and sales experience with rapidly growing companies and changing markets.

From 1984-90, Mr. Burke served as Vice President/General Manager for PageNet, then the largest paging company in the US. He grew the Detroit operation to 50 employees and $5 million in annual revenue-opening the first 900 MHz paging operation within the United States. He then repeated this success in Los Angeles growing the operation to $20 million in revenue. In both cities, he had total P/L and operational responsibility, managing sales, customer service, accounting, engineering and network management.

In 1990, Mr. Burke became General Manager for the Southern California operation of FleetCall/Nextel. He managed the transition from analog to digital technologies as well as the migration of our customers and employees. He eventually assumed responsibility for managing market transitions in Las Vegas, San Diego and Santa Barbara.

Mr. Burke’s career then moved in an entrepreneurial direction. He became the president and investozr in Data Express, which integrated hardware and software applications such as vehicle tracking and status messaging for two way radio users. The company distributed both domestically and internationally with its largest market in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Intek Global acquired Data Express in 1998, and Mr. Burke joined Intek’s senior management team. He successfully created and sold a new 10 million system sales program, along with negotiating additional assets sales in six states. After one year, Mr. Burke was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales responsible for all product, system and airtime service sales.

Mr. Burke graduated from Michigan State University in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Ted Sobel (Vice President, Business Development) is a specialist in marketing and government relations.

At BoardSource, he implemented a market segmentation program and marketed training courses to corporations to increase employee service on the boards of nonprofit organizations.

Mr. Sobel served as defense and foreign affairs analyst for US Senator Paul Coverdell for over three years, covering defense authorization and appropriations measures. Working for the International Republican Institute, he wrote and implemented proposals to the Agency for International Development for a series of programs in Liberia and Zimbabwe. In this capacity, he coordinated a $10 million multi-vendor proposal for the Consortium for Election Programs and Processes.

Mr. Sobel holds a MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia and a BA in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania.