Dave Edstrom CEO/CTO for Virtual Photons Electrons


Virtual Photons Electrons is a consulting company that brings over 38 years of leadership and experience to a wide variety of industries.  Virtual Photons Electrons has extensive experience in strategic and innovative solutions with a pragmatic and customer focused mission in the computer and manufacturing industries.

Experience Highlights

Dave has been working in the computer industry since 1978 when he was a programmer for the Bureau of Economic Analysis, he has been a computer sales representative, and computer center manager for Radio Shack Computer Centers, Systems Engineer for Burroughs, Principal Engineer, Chief Technologist, Technical Director for Sun Microsystems, Director for the Office of Strategic Innovation for AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology, CEO/CTO for Virtual Photons Electrons, LLC, author and President and Chairman of the Board and CTO in an ownership position for MEMEX.  Dave was instrumental with MTConnect when in October 2006 when he and  Dr. David Patterson and laid out MTConnect at AMT’s Annual Meeting.  In January of 2014, Dave became CTO for MEMEX in an ownership position.  In 2016 Dave was named one of thirty visionaries around the globe in manufacturing by Smart Manufacturing Magazine.

Dave worked for Sun Microsystems for almost 23 years (1987-2010) in a variety of leadership positions.  Dave's last position with Sun was Chief Technologist for Global Software under James Hollingshead.

Dave has been working with Unix since 1981 and had concentrated on Sun's future hardware and software directions 1988 through 2010.

Brief Work History

Dave has been the CEO/CTO for Virtual Photons Electrons, LLC since early 2010.

Dave was also the CTO for  MEMEX from January 2014 to the end of 2016 - putting Virtual Photons Electrons on the back burner during this time.


Below is from the press release on Reuters on Dave leaving MEMEX. "Over Mr. Edstrom's tenure as MEMEX's CTO, he has played a fundamental role in MEMEX's technology development initiative. His legacy at MEMEX includes: MERLIN Tempus; MERLIN Tempus Enterprise Edition, the next generation of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) communication platform; MERLIN OPTIME, a free gateway to Real-Time manufacturing analytics; along with MERLIN MTC-One, a new breed of IIoT hardware.

In his statement, Dave Edstrom said, "I came to MEMEX almost three years ago, as the CTO to run the Software and Hardware Development division, be an evangelist, and help MEMEX grow. I am extremely proud of what has been accomplished in that time period. At IMTS 2016 we introduced new industry leading products MERLIN Tempus, MERLIN Tempus Enterprise Edition, the MTC-One, Financial Overall Equipment Effectiveness, and MERLIN DNC. I believe these products will pay dividends for many, many years to come. With this strong array of new products, MEMEX will continue to extend its lead as the market innovator and the market leader in measuring manufacturing excellence. I want to be clear, while I am resigning from MEMEX as the CTO, I am not going to another company, and certainly not a competitor. I am quite lucky in that I can take an extended time off to travel, to see friends, relatives, and just kick back. I was very fortunate to have worked with the best development team in the industry at MEMEX and could not be more proud of their smart, creative, and hard work. I wish everyone at MEMEX the absolute best!"

"Dave Edstrom came here from the MTConnect Institute as President and Chairman of the Board, and author of 'MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know' as MEMEX's first CTO," said CEO and President David McPhail. "Dave Edstrom made it clear from the beginning that he wanted to 'put a dent in the manufacturing universe.' Under his leadership, I believe we have done that with all of our new products. Dave was a prolific writer, speaker, and thought leader for MEMEX. Dave was selected as one of 30 visionaries around the globe by Smart Manufacturing Magazine, and he certainly has been a visionary for us. We wish him the best as he takes an extended break from the work life."

  • End of November,  Dave left MEMEX to take some time off for travel, relaxation, to help out his 80 year old parents.  Dave is consulting on a part-time basis during 2017.
  • On January 29th of 2014, Dave became the Chief Technology Officer, in an ownership position, for MEMEX.
  • Through June 30th 2014, Virtual Photons Electrons has a client of AMT -  The Association of Manufacturing Technology as the Director for The Office of Strategic Innovation, working on MTInsight (custom manufacturing business intelligence) and writing technical articles for the IMTS Insider.
  • Author of the MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know - the first book on MTConnect and open systems, that discusses how and why the open source and royalty free protocol called MTConnect is a revolutionary game changer ,that has forever changed manufacturing.  Learn how and why this is changing the business and technology of manufacturing.   It is available at Amazon in paperback and in Kindle format as well as on iTunes and on Google Play.
  • Co-Architect of MTInsight. - AMT's Manufacturing Business Intelligence platform.

Dave was named President and Chairman of the Board for the MTConnect Institute in May of 2010 and his resignation was effective on January 2nd, 2014.

Dave has been working with the  and has been a key contributor to the MTConnect standard.

In October 2013, Dave announced that his last day as President and Chairman of the Board for the MTConnect Institute will be January 2nd, 2014.  Dave made this decision to re-enter the commercial side of the business, which he did by becoming the CTO for MEMEX in an ownership position.

Dave is a prolific blogger with over 1,250 blog entries since 2009.