Specter's Design Philosophy

You may have heard the phrase “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. At Specter, this saying is more than just an idea: it is our design philosophy. We craft solutions that are not only optimized at a component level, but are distinguished in their cohesive and symbiotic design at a system level so that your product takes on a life of its own.

 At Specter, your advantage is our multidisciplinary expertise. We know the importance of the underlying physics: from structures to aerodynamics, electromagnetics and thermals. We build solutions from first principles, and as a result, our workflow is uniquely streamlined. We fully characterize the entire design space and use analytical approaches to arrive at a small group of possible solutions, which are then explored in further detail.

 This workflow is a direct result of the Specter team noticing a pattern in industry and blazing a path to find a better way. We’ve all been there: no matter where you work, there is likely a specialist for everything. There is a structures guy, an aerodynamics gal, a thermal guru and so on. When a new project is taken on, each specialist spends most of their time focusing solely on the development and optimization of their specific facets of the project. Most times, the interests of each specialist are competing- for example, to increase component stiffness, maybe aerodynamic drag must be accepted. For all the specialists to simultaneously satisfy their own requirements, the design of the system and its components must be passed back and forth throughout the group numerous times before eventually converging to a solution.

 By working with Specter, you vastly reduce this time-intensive process. Our unique combination of breadth and depth means that we see more than just pieces of the puzzle: we see the whole picture. When it comes down to the wire, we know that time is your most valuable asset- and using our approach, we can accelerate you to the front of the market.

 Elsewhere, you may have encountered solutions merely consisting of various components independently optimized ad nauseum in a vacuum. But when you work with us, you can be confident that a Specter solution is comprehensive and integrated at every level. Our swift and exacting team tangibly connects every design decision to your high-level performance goals and leverages the physics of the system to achieve them.

The Specter team may be young, but we have built electric propulsion systems at every level. We have designed the battery, the inverter, the motor, the transmission, and all of the structures and electronics that support those systems.  We designed all of the components to be tightly integrated in order to get every drop of performance out of the entire system. We understand how the motor parameters affect the inverter design, how to minimize the combined volume of a motor and transmission to get a desired output torque and power. It is in these interactions between the components that the magic really happens.

 I remember fondly one of our first projects: to design and build an electric racecar from the ground up, having it competition-ready in less than one year. One day early on, an engineer visited us from one of the biggest automotive companies in the world. We explained what we had set out to accomplish and the tight timeline for the project. He said, “Good luck. It takes us three years and a huge team to take on a project like this.”  It became clear that we had to operate at a lightning fast pace to succeed.

 Not only did we accomplish our ambitious goals in one year’s time, but our competitive designs have proven to be the best in the country every year since then.

2018 FSAE vehicle that took home a first place in design. Custom electric motors, quad inverter, and Lithium-Ion high voltage battery pack. PC: Swixeler Photography Services

2018 FSAE vehicle that took home a first place in design. Custom electric motors, quad inverter, and Lithium-Ion high voltage battery pack. PC: Swixeler Photography Services

Our success is driven by our energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to delivering the highest quality consultation. Here at Specter, we thrive on a scrappy, “get it done” kind of attitude. We move quickly and efficiently to get your ideas off the ground.  Get in touch with us- we would love to discuss how a Specter solution could revolutionize your product.

Written by Max Liben, Chief Technology Officer