Founder and CEO
Born and raised in the New York City area, Michael Wendel graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University in 1984 and received a commission via the ROTC Program as a Naval Officer. As luck would have it, he was provided the opportunity to hold the best job in the Navy, 1200 Steam Main Propulsion Assistant aboard the Knox Class Frigate, U.S.S. W. S. Sims (FF 1059), upon completion of the Surface Warfare Officers School and other courses of instruction. His tour aboard W.S. Sims was a worldly experience transiting the Panama Canal, crossing the Arctic Circle, and included numerous ports of call in the Mediterranean Sea. Aboard W.S. Sims he earned the requisite designations and qualifications expected and received orders to the Surface Warfare Officers School as an instructor in the Steam Engineering section of Department Head School.
Newport, R.I., the Mecca for Surface Warriors, was an exciting place to be and while there Mike expanded his engineering repertoire into diesel and gas turbine propulsion, preparing him for a natural progression back to sea as a shipboard Chief Engineer. All that changed when he received orders to the Naval Post Graduate School, in beautiful Monterey, CA, to pursue a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Mike successfully navigated through the course of instruction, received his degree and returned to Newport to complete Surface Warfare Officer Department Head School. Now heavily entrenched in shipboard engineering and fully expecting orders assigning him as a Chief Engineer, Mike, to his delight, received orders to the second best job in the Navy, CSO/WEPS of an AEGIS Cruiser, aboard U.S.S. Yorktown (CG-48). In typical 2nd Fleet style, Mike found himself back in the Caribbean, North Atlantic and Mediterranean. Yorktown was a defining tour in his life, working with great people, earning the expected qualifications, and crystallizing his career vision. Mike left Yorktown and spent a brief period of time in Norfolk, VA at the Naval Doctrine Command where he was actively involved with the development and use of modeling & simulation technologies to assist in Battle Group Staff training. After a fabulous time in the Navy, Mike chose to test his fate in the civilian world and resigned his commission in 1995.
Leveraging his engineering background and military experience, Mike took a position as a Military Engineering Analyst with LORAL Advanced Distributed Simulation supporting the Synthetic Theatre of War ACTD. STOW set the stage for our current Joint Semi-Automated Forces and Mike was involved in the development and application of simulations to support various DoD endeavors. When LORAL subsequently merged with Lockheed Martin, so did Mike. In the late 1990's Simulation Based Design took off like a rocket in the area of defense ship acquisition. Mike Wendel leveraged his engineering, military and modeling & simulation skills to establish a business line within Coleman Research Corporation providing engineering consulting services in the modeling & simulation technical domains to the USMC AAAV & USN LPD 17 Program Offices. In the fall-winter of 2001 L-3 Communications acquired CRC, and in the upheaval of another corporate takeover Mike began AVW Technologies, Inc. in April 2002.
Since then Mike has continued his work in modeling & simulation based engineering assessments having participated in the LPD 17, DDG 1000, CVN 78 ship acquisition programs and the PEO IWS Pra Testbed. The Programs Mike has been involved with have pioneered the use of modeling & simulation technologies in ship design assessment, integrated test & evaluation, combat system performance and virtual mock-ups. As proud as he was in uniform, Mike Wendel is equally enthusiastic about what he and his teammates continue to accomplish in service to the fleet as a premier defense contractor.