About Us

Black Forest Engineering …

In 1990, in the Black Forest just north of Colorado Springs, Steve Gaalema founded Black Forest Engineering.

BFE has 25 employees which includes 18 engineers.  Their design expertise coupled with the use of many of the industry standard verification tools has enabled BFE to provide solutions to the non-standard requirements of its customers.  BFE also has relationships with a number of consultants who provide useful specialization when needed.

Steve Gaalema, Ph.D, PRESIDENT


Steve Gaalema received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1976, where he demonstrated the first acoustic charge transport device. His subsequent experience includes CCD star tracker development at JPL.  He was also integral to the development of Si and Ge IR detectors; integrated readout electronics for Si, Ge, InSb, and HgCdTe detectors; and cryogenic packaging and signal processing for Hughes Aircraft. He was responsible for the development of several IC processes at Hughes, and in cooperation with Orbit Semiconductor, the buried channel CCD/CMOS process now offered through the MOSIS service. Dr. Gaalema is the inventor of twelve patents and has several patents pending.


Tech in Space


Here is an image from the Mars Climate Sounder.  The device uses a NASA/JPL thermopile linear IR array and a BFE designed CMOS readout IC.  The Mars Climate Sounder was launched 8/2005 and arrived by 3/2006.

Bio Tech


BFE developed an ultra sensitive visible light sensor to be used in a medical diagnostic device spearheaded by Prolume Ltd. and continued by Beacon Biotechnology.  The device uses bioluminescence that luminescences in the presence of up to 100 different potential targets allowing 100 tests to be done using a single sample.