BTG Labs: New Product Design and Engineering

 A project of the Econogy Talent Group



Timeframe: July - December 2016



We assembled an interdisciplinary team of top design & business talent to develop the product in a way optimized for short and long-term market success - by project end, we not only exceeded expectations on delivery but expanded work to include UX/UI GUI design, engineering and tooling for production.

The client, BTG Labs, is a rapidly scaling Cincinnati technology startup serving market leaders like Lockheed Martin, 3M and SpaceX; their product is critical to the company's success and is trusted by many others to deliver consistent results. 

This is a shortlist of their clients:

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BTG Labs launched the Surface Analyst over 6 years ago , and its non-invasive technology found loyal users in industries as varied as aerospace, golf club manufacture and automotive part washing.  But although the technology worked, the device’s first-generation design was clunky, sometimes hard to use and visually unappealing.  As the company anticipated expanding the device into new industries, addressing these issues represented one of the main barriers to the company’s long-term growth.



Following extensive user research and testing, The Econogy Consulting team created and tested a series of concepts that

  • optimized user ergonomics for several potential use cases,

  • gave the device a more appealing appearance, and

  • Created options for increased flexibility and user appeal, including a variety of accessory products designed to address specific types of users and businesses.


While physical design progressed, the business component of the Team researched the company’s market position, identified marketing messages, and designed a pricing model and a lease strategy that expanded the Surface Analyst’s availability and appeal to an even wider range of users.

After the concept design had been finalized, BTG engaged additional Econogy Consulting teams to complete several additional tasks, including:

  • An Econogy Consulting industrial design/engineering team led by Element Product Design Services undertook the highly technical work of converting the concept designs to manufacturable products.

  • An Econogy Consulting industrial design team led by Catapult created a new Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the next generation device  -- an interface that takes advantage of the larger screen and higher processing power of the new product and guides  new users through making accurate measurements.


Project Team

Business Students: Bryce Dukeshire, Mark Green, Devi Jagadesan, Jacquelyn White

Design Students: Kelley Gessner, Andrew Birkhoff, Mary Cate McIntyre

Faculty, Experts/ Professionals: Prof. Josh Haldeman, Prof. Jerry Michaud, Prof. Steve Doehler, Davida Scoggins, Daniela Vollmer

Project Partners: Econogy Talent Group, University of Cincinnati, Xavier University

X-LINK Program

Client (BTG Labs): CEO, CFO, Lead Engineer, Sales Engineer, members of marketing, sales, and product development

Deliverables Presented

  1. Completed Prototype of Surface Analyst 2.0 + accessories

    • Primary Device and Detachable Handle 

    • Tethered Measuring Head

    • Charging/ Refill Station

    • Holster Concept Sketches

  2. Completed Product Launch Plan

    • Insights analysis from user interviews

    • Developed customer/user profiles

    • Unique pricing model

    • Branding considerations

    • Selling propositions

    • ROI model for sales

ETG Projects Added After Completion

  1. Device Final Engineering, Hand-off to Manufacture

  2. User Interface of Newly Designed Device