A FEW MINUTES WITH … Kam Ng

POSITION: CEO at Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise.

AGE: 62.

Kam Ng took the helm at LITE in July 2012 after having served 30 years for the U.S. Department of Defense as a deputy director of research at the Office of Naval Research. The LITE center, located in University Research Park, houses 3-D immersive visualization technology and supercomputing capabilities. Opened in 2006, the LITE center previously was led by Robert Twilley, Carolina Cruz-Neira and Henry Florsheim. Ng received a doctorate in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Rhode Island in 1988 and a master’s in business administration from the Marymount University in 2005. He also completed the Senior Executive Fellow Program from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2002 and the Senior Executive Program at the Federal Executive Institute in 2004.

You said you had planned to focus on partnerships with the oil and gas, health care and information technology sectors. Has anything developed on that front?

Oil and gas is what this area is about, so we have been working with small businesses to provide censoring and monitoring for the oil rig and gas companies. We’re starting some work on health care, working with the university here to provide the monitoring and visualization teaching, virtual training, of health care business. In IT, we’ve been expanding our data center so that it will support some of the businesses around here in doing computer data storage and transmission. The coastal area, that’s the one area I haven’t really been reaching out to as much as I wanted. How do you protect the environment? How do you minimize corrosion? But the biggest ones are oil and gas, health care and IT.

A lot of people drive by the LITE Center and probably wonder what goes on there. What are they d oing?

When they drive by, they see the glass egg. We’ve been conducting open houses. Inside the egg, we do virtual environment. It’s a three-dimensional display of surroundings. We use it for simulations, animations, things that you cannot model, for example, things that are too big, like the universe. Things that are dangerous, like a fire explosion or hurricane, we could simulate those images. We also rent offices to the small businesses.

What are some challenges and opportunities for the center in the coming year?

I always look at the big data, any information we deal with, either finance data or medical data. Our business is to visualize data. Big data is a great opportunity for us. Also, oil and gas. I mentioned we are doing some monitoring and censoring of the oil and gas rigs. How do you make sure they are operating in normal conditions? How do you detect a problem coming up?

What are your feelings about the Lafayette area now that you’re a resident?

This town is interesting, very warm and the community is very close. Because of being close, business is all conducted within that small group. They all say, “I want to start my own company.” They are highly motivated. This area focuses a lot on small business, and in a way, that’s good. It’s different from others. So far, I enjoy the food, and I’m glad I’m not overweight at this point.

Annie Ourso

Special to

The Advocate