The LightSpeed Foundation represents the possibility that advanced technology is a global environment in which possibilty and inspiration thrive, for the furtherance of education, medicine, the environment, and human achievement.
Working through advanced technology enterprises, the LightSpeed Foundation creates and implements breakthrough programs that transcend the boundaries between corporation and community, between what is probable for a young person's future... and what is possible.
Through the magic of advanced technology, young people discover that their future possibility is a creative act, as distinctly unique as they are, and as potentially real as their responsible actions determine.
The LightSpeed Foundation enables corporate entities to contribute to their communities in a way that makes a profound difference in the lives of young people, and in the lives of their employees and their neighbors.
About the Founder, David Taggart:
Mr. Taggart's leadership experience spans over 25 years starting with an initial career in the construction industry. Wanting to continue working with his hands, and fascinated with how materials could be manipulated to deliver varied properties, led him to focus on a BS in Metallurgical Engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and then on to a MS in Materials Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
His advanced materials and program management career spans twenty years starting at Hercules Aerospace (now Alliant Techsystems, Inc.) working on a variety of advanced composite structures programs, and later at the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, the country?s premier advanced aerospace technology development organization. While at the Skunk Works, Mr. Taggart evolved a design and manufacturing philosophy that delivered dramatic cost and weight reductions in advanced composite vehicle structures and a program management and product development strategy that builds on the best of the Skunk Works legacy, yet is tailored specifically for breakthrough results in product and technology development. Teams that Mr. Taggart led were responsible for numerous design and manufacturing firsts for the aerospace industry.
His desire to share his enjoyment with his work with young people in a meaningful way led him to create the LightSpeed program; a volunteer organization whose mission is to provide a breakthrough in what is possible for a young person's future. Funded by Lockheed Martin, the program continues today, 12 years after its creation, producing weekend workshops for middle school students that expose them to the exciting environment of advanced technology in a way that enables them to envision and responsibly act on careers that inspire them.
The opportunity to apply advanced materials to applications beyond aerospace, and contribute directly to the growth of a soon to be public company, led Mr. Taggart to leave the Skunk Works for Fiberite, Inc. in 1997. While Fiberite was acquired just prior to going public, Mr. Taggart created a new development arm for the new corporation, providing CytecFiberite with an applications engineering capability for the first time.
Then, at Hypercar, Inc., Mr. Taggart focused on the design development, validation and production application of a unique foundation platform vehicle technology suite that could deliver everything consumers expect of modern vehicles, while also providing extreme efficiency and zero emissions. The technology suite was required to achieve dramatic weight reduction compared with conventional vehicles and included digital vehicle control and information management, a patented advanced composite vehicle structure and processing approach, and a hydrogen based fuel cell hybrid powertrain. His involvement with the automotive industry has spawned new thinking in terms of overall vehicle efficiency and reduced emissions.
Over the years, Mr. Taggart?s efforts and inventions have impacted a variety of aerospace, naval, and automotive products, and involved customers from commercial, Navy, Air Force, DARPA, and international organizations. Mr. Taggart has a unique ability to create and lead teams to achieve breakthrough results in engineering or business development. He has applied this effective product development process to diverse and challenging products by evaluating complex situations, devising clearly defined implementation plans, development strategies and budgets, and building and empowering innovative and motivated teams to invent solutions that are by most measures... unpredictable!