Hardwire, LLC founded in 2000 by George Tunis
“Hardwire®” (the product) was originally used for seismic retrofit of buildings and infrastructure reinforcement applications, and this is still the case today. However, September 11, 2001 changed Tunis’ focus and the Hardwire team began to work on armor protection for ground vehicles, aircraft, boats, and personnel.
Today, Hardwire is known for solving some of our country’s most challenging military and defense problems. For over ten years, the Hardwire team has developed, tested, and fielded armor to protect against a variety of threats, ranging from small arms to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to underbody blast. These efforts provided life-saving protection for our brave men and women. From 2008 – 2011, Hardwire produced over 5,000 Explosively Formed Projectile armor kits for U.S. Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected (MRAP) vehicles.
Hardwire also maintains product lines for critical infrastructure and homeland security protection. Hardwire has supplied E-glass panels to the Defense Logistics Agency, equaling over 100 acres of protection in Iraq. Additionally, Hardwire has designed, produced, and installed armor on a total of eleven bridges throughout the northeast United States, as well as buildings and utilities in major cities across the country.
Hardwire manufactures bulletproof shields, clipboards, whiteboards, and backpack inserts which are being used to protect police forces, SWAT teams, and most recently, schools across the country.
Hardwire’s armor manufacturing facilities span over 100,000 square feet and enable the Hardwire team to support large, expedient armor manufacturing programs. The capacity is anchored by two custom, state-of-art laminating presses. Using these facilities, Hardwire has become the largest producer of Dyneema® armor in the world.
Hardwire LLC Executive Leadership
George C. Tunis III – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
George Tunis is a composites industry visionary, an entrepreneur, and a passionate team leader.
In 1998, Tunis formed Hardwire LLC. At Hardwire, Tunis has led his team to become a world-class designer and producer of composite-based armor systems for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, the U.S. State Department, U.S. law enforcement officers, and for critical domestic infrastructure protection.
Tunis’ company has supplied more than 100 acres of overhead protection for military and homeland security applications for protection against mortar and rocket fragments, as well as more than 5,000 armor kits for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.
In 2012, Tunis was named an Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” for the State of Maryland. In 2013, he created, with the Hardwire team, the Bulletproof Whiteboard, the world’s first armor solution for school and retail applications. For this work, he has been featured on NBC’s Today show, CNN’s Piers Morgan Live, and by numerous publications including The New York Times, USA Today, and The Baltimore Sun.
Well-known to composites industry veterans, George Tunis has been creating novel products, processes, and applications in the composites industry since he started his professional career with DuPont Composites in 1984.
During his six years with DuPont Composites, Tunis was the program manager for the U.S. Navy, designing and producing composites for naval ships and submarines, and won DuPont’s Corporate Marketing Excellence award in 1989.
He then formed Hardcore DuPont Composites and led the development of numerous patented large-scale composite structures for the marine, infrastructure, rail, and shipping industries.
In 1990, Tunis won Sailing World Sailboat of the Year. For his integrated composite railcar, Tunis was awarded the Owings Corning Grand Design Award in 1996.
Tunis also founded SCRIMP Systems LLC in 1993 and scaled that technology globally along with partners DuPont and Toray.
Tunis holds 24 patents and multiple trademarks for his composite technologies and innovations. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Delaware.
Emily Tunis – President and Chief Operating Officer
Emily Tunis joined Hardwire in January 2012 and has been involved in a variety of technology development programs focused on transitioning new systems to both military and commercial users. At Hardwire, she is responsible for business development and operations.
Previously, she worked as a technical support contractor to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in both the Defense Sciences Office (DSO) and Strategic Technology Office (STO) in the areas of applied physics, materials science, and systems engineering.
Emily supported the development of all DARPA lightweight armor systems, overseeing the development of new technologies and production methods and transitioning new technologies to users in the military and other government organizations. She also worked on Special Access Programs to help facilitate technology development and transition new capabilities. She coordinated and executed the Congressional and Pentagon briefings for the Director.
For the Department of Homeland Security, Emily has performed research on a cargo inspection program to determine the feasibility of remote fissile material detection. She used and managed execution of Department of Energy nuclear physics models, and assisted in materials experiments at international particle accelerator facilities.
She holds a M.S. Degree in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. Degree in Physics and Mathematics from Washington and Lee University.
Ryan Wendell – Chief Financial Officer
Ryan Wendell joined Hardwire in 2005 and is responsible for the day-to-day finances and human resources for the company.
Starting as an intern from Salisbury University, Ryan has worked his way up the ranks at Hardwire, taking over multiple roles over the last decade.
Wendell is responsible for all of Hardwire's financial accounts, accounting systems, employee benefit programs, and hiring duties. Ryan, with the Hardwire management team, administers and oversees development and execution of Hardwire policies and procedures. Wendell also provides manufacturing, quality and inventory management, and customer support for military, law enforcement, and retail customers.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Salisbury University.
Matthew Kraeuter - General Counsel
Matthew Kraeuter joined Hardwire in 2015 and is responsible for legal and compliance matters for the company. In addition, Matt regularly assists with business development and overall corporate strategy for Hardwire.
Matthew began his relationship with Hardwire by acting as outside counsel at a Baltimore-based law firm. From there, he joined the Hardwire team to assist with contract drafting, negotiation and management, corporate compliance, litigation avoidance and management, strategic relationships, and corporate governance. Matt works with all segments of the company to ensure an intimate knowledge of each business unit so that he can deliver effective advice to the management team.
Prior to joining Hardwire, Matt was a partner for an Annapolis-based law firm and, prior to that, worked for a large law firm focused on litigation and regulatory issues. Following law school, Matt clerked for the Honorable Paul W. Grimm of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
Matthew received his law degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Baltimore. He studied physics and business while attending the University of Delaware and earned a Bachelor of Science degree.
Scott L. Kendall – Vice President, Engineering
Scott Kendall joined Hardwire in 2004 and is responsible for Hardwire’s manufacturing, process engineering, design and development, equipment fabrication, engineering in support of service contracts, and process development for Hardwire customers.
Kendall has been responsible for conception, testing, and implementation of many armor solutions for U.S. Army and Marine Corps, U.S. State Department, and critical domestic infrastructure protection applications. His expertise in explosives and blast phenomena was instrumental in the development of Hardwire’s Structural Blast Chimney, a technology which has been shown to improve vehicle and occupant survivability from underbody mine threats. Scott’s unique ability to design and implement new manufacturing techniques for composite materials has revolutionized armor manufacturing. His implementation of automated, high-precision production fabrication processes has allowed Hardwire to rapidly produce armor and survivability systems at an advantageous cost comparable to traditional systems.
Kendall is a former Air Force F-16 pilot and Wing “Top Gun” instructor who flew more than 42 combat sorties, was awarded two air medals and was selected as the winner of the Orville Wright Daedalian Achievement Award as the top graduate from U.S. Air Force pilot training school in 1990.
Kendall was the former engineering manager for Astropower in Newark, Del., a provider of materials for the solar power industry. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Delaware.
Jeremy Balliet – Director of Manufacturing
Jeremy Balliet joined Hardwire in 2004 and is responsible for researching and developing new armor solutions and systems for vehicle, infrastructure, and personal protection as well as operation of Hardwire’s 100,000 square feet of manufacturing facilities.
Jeremy has led a ballistic testing team that includes both in-house and external testing partners. Over the past eight years, Jeremy has participated and led armor development efforts on over ten government-funded contracts. Balliet is responsible for ensuring proper test methodologies, procedures, and safety protocols are implemented at Hardwire. His background in physics and materials science has been an instrumental tool for the team in executing material investigations and transitioning them into full production with highly-efficient processes.
Balliet was the former Research Engineer for Astropower in Newark, Delaware, a provider of materials for the solar industry.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Millersville University, and a Master of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Delaware. At Delaware, he was awarded the Bill Baron Fellowship for excellence in the field of photovoltaic research.
Hardwire is proud to be partnered with several industry leaders dedicated to creating innovative solutions to meet new challenges. Together, we are able to develop novel, affordable armor and protective systems across a broad range of industries.
DSM - DSM Dyneema® and Hardwire are partnered with definitive, long-term supply agreements to support the continued commercialization of Hardwire’s unique, advanced armor solutions. This partnership provides a reliable supply of DSM’s advanced Dyneema® fibers as well as support for Hardwire’s patented and patent-pending armor solutions for a variety of applications. For more information about DSM Dyneema®, visit www.dsm.com
Dupont - Hardwire works with DuPont in producing high performance composites and cost effective armor solutions. For more information about DuPont’s advanced materials, visit Dupont.com.
Structural Technologies - Hardwire, LLC and STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES, both industry leaders in force protection, have joined forces to develop Bridge Armor Systems like no other – lightweight, high-performance composite systems engineered to protect critical elements of cable-supported transportation structures and prevent the risk of progressive collapse. Our combined team offers the most experience in developing, manufacturing, and installing bridge armor solutions for transportation structures in the United States. STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES brings its technology and proven experience in armoring some of the highest profile buildings in New York and the DC area to the partnership as well as its comprehensive line of VSL® brand stay cable products and engineering support services to offer turnkey stay cable solutions to the bridge industry. VSL® is the registered trademark of VSL International Ltd. VSL® post tensioning systems are available exclusively in the United States through Structural Group Companies - VStructural LLC and STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES. VSL.
Kerakoll - Kerakoll is the leading manufacturer of green materials for designing, building, and living in harmony with the environment and in healthy spaces. Kerakoll, based in Italy, has over 1,700 eco-friendly items and production of over 950,000 tons/year of building materials. Kerakoll combines Hardwire’s high strength “Hardwire” product with its Geolite mortar mix to restore and protect reinforced concrete structures such as beams, columns, slabs, walls, ramps, facades, and decorative surfaces around the world. For more information, visit www.kerakoll.com and products.kerakoll.com
Cold Spring Granite - Hardwire and Cold Spring, a leading quarrier and fabricator of building stone products, have formed a strategic alliance for joint technology solutions designed for a variety of infrastructure and commercial security applications. Named "Hardwire ArmorStone", the unique system is a combination of Hardwire’s proven high-tensile steel reinforcement and ballistic- and blast-protective products with Cold Spring Granite Company’s full granite offering. Use of the technology spans infrastructure and Homeland Security applications for public and commercial structures, courthouses, libraries, museums, utility facilities, and more. For more information about the Cold Spring Granite company, visit www.coldspringgranite.com
Strongwell - As the world’s largest pultruder of fiber reinforced polymer composites, Strongwell and Hardwire have teamed together to create e-glass ballistic armor solutions for use by the U.S. military, and in other critical infrastructure protection initiatives and vehicle applications. This teaming effort is a great example of uniting the unique capabilities of two companies to meet a vital need for protective solutions. Strongwell offers continuous composite production, essential to creating affordable solutions. When combined with Hardwire’s development capabilities, armor technologies and market access, the result is high-performance UL-rated panels at high production rates (up to 3,000 4 ft. x 8 ft. plates per week) and other proprietary high-value products. These solutions are available today. For information, or to order these panels, contact us at Hardwire. For more information about Strongwell, visit www.strongwell.com.
Intelligence Consulting Partners, LLC - Intelligence Consulting Partners, LLC (ICP), is a leader in the education of the military, law enforcement and civilians. Utilizing the next generation of tools, training and consulting, we provide training for a vast array of homeland security and leadership programs. visit www.intcp.us
Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year”: George C. Tunis, CEO & Chairman of Hardwire, LLC, received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Award in the Integrated Solutions category in Maryland. The award recognizes standout entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
Inc. Magazine’s “America’s Fastest Growing Companies”: In 2007, 2008, and 2009, Hardwire was also honored in Inc. Magazine as one of America’s fastest growing companies, topping the list at #16 in 2007. Hardwire was the only manufacturing entity to make the list.
Engineering News Record “Top 25 Newsmakers” Award: In 2004, George Tunis and Hardwire was recognized by Engineering News Record as a top newsmaker for the invention of Hardwire for infrastructure reinforcement and protection solutions. The company was recognized in particular for work in several high-profile blast strengthening jobs throughout Washington, DC.
Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Program Transition: Hardwire was recognized at the MRAP Program Transition Ceremony on Monday, October 1, 2012 as one of the companies critical to the success of the Program. The MRAP vehicles were designed to protect soldiers and Marines against improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the ceremony conducted in the Pentagon and commended Hardwire and others from the defense industry for their work in saving many American lives.