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Douglas Coates, '65

Douglas CoatesDouglas Coates earned a bachelor's in electrical engineering from Ohio State in 1965.


Please tell us a bit about your career and what you’re doing now. What are you working on?
Here is a snapshot of my career that was used recently:
Mr. Coates brings 25 years of business development and marketing experience in the radar, RF and satellite communications field. Most recently, as program/product marketing manager at Maxwell Technologies, Mr. Coates delivered a first-to-market ultracapacitor solution used in the Peugeot/Citroen start/stop hybrid vehicles. Mr. Coates specializes in product development and has been instrumental in the founding of six start-ups including KDC TechSolutions where, as founder and managing partner, he launched numerous voice, satellite and data communications products for clients around the globe. While working for HE Microwave, the Hughes Aircraft/Delco Electronics joint venture, Mr. Coates was responsible for the first-to-market delivery of automotive collision warning systems to Jaguar cars. Prior experience includes engineering, management, and business development positions at HE Microwave, Schlumberger, and the USAF Civil Service.  A certified Project Management Professional, Mr. Coates holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University, and a Master’s of Science in Manufacturing Management from Kettering University. 

Currently, I am working with Field Intelligence, Inc., a two-year old company that provides satellite telemetry services for remote monitoring of assets in the agriculture, industrial, oil and gas, and environmental services areas. I worked with the founder as he set up the company and have recently joined the management team.

What contribution and/or achievements are you most proud of?
What a good question. I think our delivery of the radar based collision warning system to Jaguar cars back in the late 90’s was probably my proudest achievement. It took a massive effort from the most talented group of engineers that I have ever been associated with. I probably never worked so hard in my life.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Ohio State?  
That is easy. Intramural basketball. Oh wait, singing with the Men’s Glee Club….  Concerts at the Agora. The first snow of every winter… Springtime on the oval…… Do I really have to pick one? Mirror Lake…..I met the love of my life at OSU and am still married going on 26 years….  Basketball at Saint Johns Arena, talk about a nose bleed…….Buckeye-robics…. Big Bear……Football Games…..Chem Hose fights in Houck House…. Hmmmm I did not seem to mention any classes….I loved my time at OSU.

What motivates or inspires you?  
People with big dreams fascinate me. I am passionate about the product development aspect of bringing ideas to the marketplace. You could say I am motivated by chasing the impossible. Young engineers are a load of fun to talk to. They still have big dreams. They are not afraid of failure. I used to have an office in the high tech area of San Diego near Qualcomm. It was basically an unofficial incubator for start-ups. When I decide to stop chasing my own dreams, I’ll probably hang out at start-up incubators and cheer on the next generation of dreamers.