History and Executives
Engineers run our company, because it’s engineers who started our company.
In January, 2009, four engineers from California and Missouri got together to form Gap Engineering. They were looking for ways to manufacture products using their newly-developed spherical particle technology. In other words, they were getting into the ceramics business.
They first concentrated on developing ceramics for use in metal matrix composites. These composites have numerous industrial uses, including the creation of lightweight yet resilient materials for military aircraft components.
But the four business partners – Al Sommer, Mark Sommer, Andrew Parker and William Harrigan – soon realized their ceramic technology had a second, more grounded use as well: in the traditional ceramics industry. Thus was born, in 2012, Gap Ceramics, which is applying the company’s technical expertise to produce superior products for the ceramic art and hobby industry, including color glaze, clear glaze, slip, and new and vintage bisque ware.
Mark A. Sommer is the C.E.O. of GAP. Mark received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and his Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, Northridge in 1995. His expertise is in thermodynamics and fluid dynamics and business management. Mark is also the President of Gamma Technology and Vice President of Del West Engineering, Inc. where he is the head of the US Division, responsible for all Profit/Loss, including Sales, Operations, and R&D.
Andrew P. Parker is the president of GAP. Andy received his B.S. degree in Ceramic Engineering from the University of Missouri, Rolla in 1987. His engineering experience is in ceramic and glass manufacturing. He is co-inventor with Gerard Parker on the patented Spherical Particle Technology currently used at Gap Engineering.
Dr. Alfred Sommer is Chief Technical Officer. Al is President of Del West Engineering, Inc., in Valencia, Calif., a company that manufactures high performance engine parts for the automotive and motorcycle industries, as well as components for Swiss luxury watches. Al is also CEO of Gamma Technology, also in Valencia, Calif., which manufactures metal matrix composites in partnership with GAP Engineering. Al received his Ph.D. in Material Science from Columbia University in 1965. His educational background is in metallurgical and mineral engineering.
Dr. William Harrigan is a frequent technical adviser to GAP. He is the CTO of Gamma Technology, which is a commercial manufacturer of metal matrix composites. Dr. Harrigan received a PhD in Materials Science from Stanford University in 1971. He is the President of MMC Engineering and a lecturer at the University of California, Irvine and California State University, Northridge.