Tim Aramil

Timothy Aramil chose UT Austin because many of his high school peers in the small town of Terrell, near Dallas, were going to Texas A&M, and he wanted to be different and define his own path. Little did he know that this mindset would lead to him earning his bachelor’s in biomedical engineering in 2007 and then using his knowledge to cofound a successful startup for a corrosion prevention technology, A-76 Technologies.

Aramil decided to study biomedical engineering when he was a senior in high school. He was interested in health care, but knew he didn’t want to be a doctor. During his time at UT, he did research with Dr. James Tunnell to help build a clinical spectrometer to detect skin cancer using light.

After graduating, Aramil worked for Wyle, a contractor for NASA, as a safety and reliability engineer. He worked on the Bioastronautics contract, which included working on projects such as exercise equipment, environmental control/life support systems, oxygen monitors, and water monitoring equipment for use on the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. Among those projects: a treadmill named after Stephen Colbert (the COLBERT, or Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill).

Although he liked his time at Wyle, Aramil wanted an opportunity to work in broader fields. So, he pursued an MBA from Rice University in Houston. Aramil went to Rice thinking he would find a startup to work at after graduation. During a summer internship in Houston, Aramil assessed the initial commercial feasibility of the technology behind A-76 Technologies that was developed by a chemistry professor at Rice. The company’s current CEO (who was a classmate at the time) and Aramil then developed the business plan and decided to form their own startup in 2014.

A-76 Technologies sells a preservation coating and lubricant that Aramil says forms a temporary thin-film coating on the surface of metals. Currently, equipment manufacturers mainly use the product for protecting high value equipment against corrosion while it’s in storage or being transported overseas. It is also available for purchase for consumers on Amazon and in eight hardware stores in the Houston and Gulf Coast area.

A-76 Technologies took 2nd place at the Rice Business Plan Competition, an international competition that awards over a million dollars in cash and prizes. Winning 2nd place gave A-76 Technologies $600,000 in awards, including work space for a year, and the traction to move forward.

A-76 Technologies is currently gearing up to move to a more suitable office in April to support its growing team, house a research and development lab, and allow for light product distribution. Aramil is working on further growing the company, finding distributors, and working with organizations overseas.

Aramil credits BME with preparing him to face the challenges of the workforce. “Specifically, I had to be well versed in an extensive range of subjects as a safety and reliability engineer at Wyle, much like the education that goes into a BME degree. I dealt with physiology, materials, thermal analysis, and optics just to name a few. It also helps to have the basic chemistry knowledge while working in my current venture with A-76 Technologies.”

In addition to using the knowledge he learned in BME to deal with the chemistry side of manufacturing a coating material, he said BME has helped him focus and understand a broad spectrum of topics.

“Starting something new, whether it’s beginning a new job or trying to build a company from scratch, you don’t always know yet what you are doing; you are going into the unknown,” Aramil said. “Having a degree in BME has given me the skills and confidence to take on any challenge and find ways to get things done.”