Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) lost one of its technical leaders last week, when Emil Olbrich resigned his post as the head of LTE research, development, testing and evaluation for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to pursue private-sector opportunities.

“I have a couple of irons in the fire,” Olbrich said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.”One is pursuing some new business opportunities and starting a new company. That’s exciting, and I really couldn’t do that while being employed in the federal government at my previous job. While that’s starting to take form, I’ll also be providing consulting services for the commercial and public-safety communities.

“So, if people are looking for some expertise, I’m available.”

For the past four years, Olbrich has been leading technical research related to public-safety LTE at PSCR—the joint program of NIST/Office of Law Enforcement Science (OLES) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)/Institute of Telecommunications Science (ITS). The presence of PSCR in Boulder, Colo., was cited as a key reason that FirstNet decided to locate its technical headquarters nearby.

Olbrich, whose final day with NIST was last Friday, declined to provide details about his new-company venture—called PrimeLime (e-mail at emil.olbrich@primelime.com)—but indicated that it is presently focused on the commercial portion of the wireless-communications market.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to talk more about it in the future, but it’s not currently designed for public safety,” Olbrich said. “However, there is an eventual roadmap item for support of small government, public safety and utilities. I think it can help bring those markets together.

“That’s about all I can say right now, but hopefully it will come together and be exciting.”

In the meantime, Olbrich said he is doing research analyst work and consulting in conjunction  with the Signals Research Group (SRG – www.signalsresearch.com) that is focused on the commercial wireless market and intends to grow the public-safety-communications consultancy globally. 

PSCR will host its annual stakeholders meeting June 3-5 in Westminster, Colo. No information has yet been released regarding plans to fill the position vacated by Olbrich, but all job opportunities will be posted at www.usajobs.gov, according to a spokeswoman for NTIA/ITS.