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Seeing What Cannot be Seen

by Rachel Gallagher

Larry Stolarczyk and Gerald Stolarczyk

Larry Stolarczyk, left, and his son, Gerald Stolarczyk, are using the education they received at NMSU to build a company with business worldwide.

Since earning his doctorate in electrical engineering and physics, Stolarczyk has built a corporation with business around the world.

Stolarczyk began Stolar Horizon Inc. from his garage in 1983 and it has grown from there. Today the Raton-based company employs 34 people.

The company’s slogan, “See what cannot be seen,” refers to its products that use electromagnetic wave detection and imaging transceivers (EDIT) and radio imaging methods (RIM) to locate and measure underground structures, geological anomalies and buried hazards such as landmines. These technologies can be used by a variety of industries to improve worker safety, increase productivity or combat terrorist threats worldwide.

Stolar Horizon’s products have particularly benefited New Mexico, a state rich in mining.

“The financial stability of this state is dependent upon the interest earned by the Permanent Fund, which is based on taxes from the extractive industries,” Stolarczyk says. “Increasing efficiency and reducing risk in extraction of resources benefits not only New Mexico, but the world.”

Stolar employees are collaborating with 150 Russian scientists to develop a radar-controlled drill that will make real-time measurements of mining conditions. The drill will allow miners to tap into the 37 percent of the world’s coal reserves located in the United States.

“This drill is critical to the energy security of our country,” Stolarczyk says. “We are running into a real energy shortage. We can use this drill to extract methane from coal beds, which will help meet our energy needs.”

The Russian partnership was made possible through the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Industry Coalition.

Stolarczyk credits his NMSU education with much of Stolar’s success.

“Everything we do is related to radio physics,” he says. “I learned all the theory that underlines our work at NMSU.”

In fact, Stolarczyk has put so much stock into his NMSU roots that he actively recruits NMSU graduates. He currently has four alums working for him, including his son, Gerald Stolarczyk, who serves as vice president of product development. Gerald earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1988 and his master’s degree in 1992. Other Aggie employees include Laxmi Botla (2003 MSEE), Robert Troublefield (1986 BSEE) and Chance Valentine (2001 BSME).

“We think Aggies have better work ethics,” he says.

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