Meet the ANSYS - DfR Solutions experts! The industry turns to our team first for electronics reliability and design consulting expertise. 


Executive TEAM

Craig Hillman, PhD
Director, Software Development

Craig Hillman is a Director for Software Development, currently leading ANSYS Sherlock team. Dr. Hillman previously served as the CEO and Managing Partner of DfR Solutions where he applied his broad-based expertise in Design for Reliability (DfR) best practices, Pb-free transition strategies, commodity and engineered products supplier qualification, passive component technology (capacitors, resistors, etc.) and printed board failure mechanisms.

Previous Experience

  • Director of Laboratory Services, University of Maryland


  • Post-doctoral fellowship, Cambridge University
  • Ph.D., Materials, University of California – Santa Barbara
  • B.S., Metallurgical Engineering and Material Science, Carnegie Mellon

Nathan Blattau, PhD
R&D Fellow

Dr. Blattau brings nearly a decade of experience in failure analysis, accelerated testing methods, electronic equipment packaging and reliability, bolstered by extensive, focused research in design for reliability (DfR) in electronic packaging, nonlinear finite element analysis, solder joint reliability, fracture and fatigue mechanics of materials.

Previous Experience

  • Chief Scientist, DfR Solutions
  • Researcher, University of Maryland


  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Maryland 

Chris Montgomery
Regional Sales Director

Chris is a proven leader with over 30 years of experience spanning strategic business development, marketing, inside and outside sales team building and senior-level management. Chris captures and services key accounts by consistently innovating and executing marketing strategies to enter new markets, develop products, drive sales growth, architect turnarounds and create new service lines.

Previous Experience

  • Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, eCoast Sales Solutions, Inc.
  • President/CEO, Intermedia Software, Inc.
  • Executive VP of Business Development, Sylvan Ventures, Inc.


  • B.S., Finance, University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • B.S., Marketing, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Michael Howard
Senior Manager, Consulting

Michael brings a unique combination of engineering, program management, leadership and instructional skills to ANSYS - DfR Solutions. His 25-plus years of experience gives him the depth of knowledge and insight required to manage processes that assure product quality, facility security and personnel safety. Michael serves as the management representative for the ISO 9001:2009 certified quality management system and oversees project cost, technical needs and schedule performance on all projects. He also lends his expertise to proposal development and project execution as a senior engineering resource, and directs internal audit and training programs to ensure compliance with contract requirements and maintain employee awareness of security and safety best practices.

Previous Experience

  • Internal Auditor, DfR Solutions
  • Technician, ARINC Engineering Services
  • U.S. Air Force, Hill Air Force Base, Utah
  • High School Educator in Aerospace Engineering 


  • M. Eng., Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland
  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering, Penn State University
  • ISO 9001:2000, Lead Auditor certification

Senior Technical Team 

Ashok Alagappan
Lead Consulting Engineer

Ashok Alagappan is a semiconductor professional with 14 years of engineering experience in product development, process integration and yield enhancement. Mr. Alagappan has introduced and qualified a wide range of memory products in the Fab. He has been instrumental in improving yield, quality and reliability of lead products by managing process optimization efforts with cross functional teams. He has expertise in data analysis, problem solving, technology transfer and circuit design.  

Previous Experience

  • Senior Product Integration Engineer, Micron Technology Inc
  • DRAM & NAND Flash Process Integration Engineer, Micron Technology Inc
  • Senior Technology Development Engineer, Cypress Semiconductor Corp
  • Co-op Design Engineer, Cypress Semiconductor Corp


  • S. in Electrical Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington
  • S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Annamalai University

Dock Brown
Lead Consulting Engineer 

Dock Brown brings more than 30 years of electronics reliability experience. Prior to joining our team, he spent nearly 20 years at Medtronic where he concentrated on the transition to RoHS materials and processes of harsh environment Class III medical devices. He was also responsible for supplier assessment, approval and audits, failure analysis, corrective actions, MRB and sampling, as well as heading up quality and reliability of COTS and custom parts and assemblies from a worldwide supplier base. 

Previous Experience

  • Engineering Technology Manager, Medtronic
  • Engineering Technology Manager, Physio-Control, Inc.
  • Implementation Leader, Boeing AQS and Olin Aerospace/Rocket Research, Sunstrand Data Control


  • Seattle University
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison

Greg Caswell
Lead Consulting Engineer

A well-regarded leader in the electronics contract manufacturing and component packaging industries for the past 30 years, Greg is an industry expert in SMT, advanced packaging, printed board fabrication, circuit card assembly and bonding solutions using nanotechnology. He led application development for the RNT Nanofoil® and ensured a successful transition of product technology to Indium Corporation. Greg continues to be the leading authority in NanoBonding® implementation for component mounting applications. 

Previous Experience

  • Vice President of Business Development, Newport Enterprises
  • Director of Engineering, VirTex Assembly Services
  • Technical Director, Silicon Hills Design 


  • B.S., Electrical Engineering, Rutgers University
  • B.A., Management, St. Edwards University

Vidyu Challa, PhD
Consulting Manager

Vidyu is an expert in diagnosing and solving engineering problems using characterization techniques and advanced data analysis. In addition to her skills in product development, electronic hardware reliability and design of experiments, she is well-versed in inbound marketing and business development. Vidyu has a love of learning with the capacity to take on new, complex challenges and deliver successful outcomes.

Previous Experience

  • Business Development Director/Material Characterization and Data Analytics Lead Engineer, FlexEl Battery
  • Senior Research Engineer/Material Characterization and Data Analyst Lead, FlexEl Battery
  • Graduate Research Assistant, CALCE Research Center, University of Maryland
  • Applications Engineer, Danaher Corporation, Sonix


  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Electronic packaging and interconnect reliability, University of Maryland College Park
  • Master’s Degree, Chemical Engineering, The University of Akron
  • Engineer’s Degree, Chemical Engineering, Andhra University

Billie Early
Program Manager

An executive-level military leader and manager backed by more than a quarter century of experience, Billie is adept in managing all aspects of customer projects, from defining project scope and objectives to scheduling and allocating teams, resources and budgets. 

Previous Experience

  • Commander, 31st Communications Squadron, Aviano Air Base, Italy
  • Deputy Director, Commander’s Action Group, Headquarters, Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
  • Deputy Director for Communications, U.S. Forces, Kabul and Bagram Air Force Bases, Afghanistan
  • Varied positions, Defense Information Systems Agency, Fort Meade, Maryland


  • M.S., Strategic Studies, Air War College, Air University
  • M.S., Business Management, Troy State University, Troy, Alabama
  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering, Penn State University

Natalie Hernandez, PhD
Senior Product Manager

Dr. Hernandez is the Senior Product Manager of the award-winning design reliability software, Sherlock Automated Design Analysis™.  Natalie frequently engages with our clients to identify and understand their technical challenges and actionable issues. She assures that our product road map solves customer problems and aligns well with the industries’ evolving needs. Natalie is passionate about creating innovative, results-driven solutions.

Previous Experience

  • Product Engineer, DfR Solutions
  • Graduate Researcher, Lehigh University


  • Ph.D., Physics, Lehigh University
  • M.S., Physics, Lehigh University
  • B.A., Astronomy and Physics, Boston University

Gilad Sharon
Senior Application Engineer

Dr. Sharon is a diverse industry expert with research specialties including mechanical reliability of electronic systems and characterization; embedded components failure analysis and particle beam accelerator mechanical fatigue; multidisciplinary reliability of complex electromechanical systems; characterization and modeling of material behavior; mechanical performance of flip chip packages; and Physics of Failure of electromechanical and MEMS systems. In addition to his responsibilities at ANSYS - DfR, Dr. Sharon serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland. 

Previous Experience

  • Senior Mechanical Engineer, Amkor Technology
  • Researcher, University of Maryland Clark School of Engineering
  • Global Technology Fellow, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology


  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland

Sales Team

Ed Dodd 
Business Development Manager

Chris DiVecchio 
Senior Product Sales Specialist

Doug Nolin 
Senior Product Sales Specialist

Mark Musitano 
Account Manager


with Physics of Failure

Access Now


with Thermal Cycling

View Now


Have a Challenge? We Can Help!

Your electronics design reliability solution is just a click away.