Glen Cunningham is the owner and sole full-time employee of Cunningham Consulting. We also hire or partner with carefully selected third-party contractors as your needs dictate. Our office is in Boston, Massachusetts.
My professional background includes nearly 40 years of experience in electronic hardware, software and mechanical design and engineering management. I started my career at Buick (General Motors) as an engine designer for advanced and racing engines. When all the cars became computerized I left GM to start Digital Automotive Systems in 1982 where we produced a line of electronic diagnostic equipment for the automotive repair industry. The innovative products we created there gained national attention. This led other companies to ask me to help create their new products. That was the beginning of Cunningham Consulting.
I became an independent consultant in 1986 and have designed such products as a custom video chip, laptop computers, Internet set-top boxes, automotive diagnostic and test equipment, emission test equipment, power supplies, factory automation, computer peripherals, sports equipment, and home appliances. I hold numerous patents for my work.
Programming projects have included the firmware on the devices I design, as well as software for instrumentation, business and database applications, and iPhone apps. I’ve taught software engineering to hundreds of students across the country.
During some breaks from consulting, I took some engineering management jobs. I served as the Director of Engineering for a Fuzzy Logic artificial intelligence software and hardware company. And I was Software Manager for a test equipment company to upgrade and expand their software group.
As a consultant to Sunbeam, I developed a new line of smart appliances (the early “Internet of Things”). I then joined Sunbeam as Chief Technology Officer and later VP of Technology, and ran their tech offices in Boston and California.
And I was co-founder and president of Velocomp where we created the patented iBike bicycle computer and power meter before I sold my share in the company to my co-founder.
I am a graduate of Cornell University and have received a long list of academic awards and scholarships.
Depending on the project, we may use one or more of the following types of third-party contractors:
Circuit Board Layout
I will often use external contractors who specialize in circuit board layout in order to compress a schedule by working in parallel. But there are times when it is actually more efficient for me to draw both the schematics and the physical board layout. Or you may have your own in-house layout specialist that you prefer. This decision is made jointly with the client.
Circuit Board Fabrication
Many clients have high volume board manufacturers they work with regularly, but the lead times and costs for short prototype runs are high. Our suppliers specialize in prototype runs and quick turnaround at a reasonable cost.
Circuit Board Assembly
Whether you have in-house or contract manufacturing, they are typically optimized for large production runs. We use assembly houses that specialize in quick turnarounds of small runs, and commonly arrange same day delivery of the fabricated circuit boards to the assembler. While the boards are being fabricated, we order the parts. The distributor ships the parts to arrive just in time to be placed and soldered on the board. In just a few days from the release of the board layout, we have finished prototype boards in hand, ready to test.
If any further assembly or board preparation is required, such as wiring harnesses, mounting in a housing and so forth, we have an expert technician available that I’ve been working with since the 1980’s and can bring in additional people for larger rush jobs.
I usually prefer to do all programming (firmware and software) to provide the best quality control and a system where all the pieces fit neatly together. But there are times when we’ll bring in others for a special skill or to handle an especially big project. And I commonly work with clients’ programmers. For example, I might write the firmware for the board or module I designed while the in-house staff takes care of the application or host software that talks to it.
I love working with industrial designers, and I envy their artistic skills and creativity. I am a certified SolidWorks Professional (3D CAD) but simply can’t make things as beautiful to touch and look at as they do. By working closely with industrial designers, we will make your products both look good and work well. We can also ensure that all electronic and mechanical pieces fit together well and address potential manufacturing issues. Many products I design, such as instruments or factory automation, end up in the classic black (or silver) box. But if you need an ID on your project, we can make some introductions. If you have your own, I look forward to working with them.