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New Mexico MEP hHelps High-Tech Startup Journey from Lab to Market


Microscopic examination of metals can help aircraft manufacturers know the planes they build can withstand the forces involved in flight and could assure airlines that jet engine maintenance would detect problems before takeoff. Advanced Optical Technologies (AOT), a small woman-owned business formed in Albuquerque, New Mexico,  in 2004, is commercializing a laser optical technology that has the potential to revolutionize failure analysis — not just for airplane parts but also for prosthetics, wind turbine blades and any product or component made of non-cubic metals, fiber composites and plastics. CEO Malini Hoover said AOT’s CrystalView crystallographic orientation imaging can produce larger images that deliver more statistics, resulting in faster and higher quality control than the metallography currently in use.  

The Challenge

In its formative years, when AOT was developing its technology at the Air Force Research Lab in Albuquerque, New Mexico MEP Innovation Director Scott Bryant, part of the MEP National Network™, was asked to help with ISO documentation, cyber security and the creation of a growth strategy that would allow the company to prepare for manufacturing. More recently, the company turned to Bryant for help with a marketing strategy and materials to begin offering its technology to nonmilitary clients.

The video really showcases what we do and gives us a presence. There are a lot of things you need in place before you really can go to sales. It’s (Bryant’s) knowledge of what to be thinking of next that has helped us get where we are today.

— Malini Hoover, CEO

MEP's Role

Bryant assisted Hoover and her staff of four with hiring a marketing team and he facilitated the process of creating the company’s website and a video that can be used to pitch AOT’s technology to potential customers. Bryant advised Hoover on sales strategy and preferred target markets, and he continues to offer manufacturing advice.

Created February 1, 2022, Updated May 10, 2023