UA Alumni Stories
The UAAA wants to hear from you! Are you or a fellow alum doing great things? (STEM, Fine Arts, Athletics, Education, making the world a better place, etc.) Please submit your story below.
Darin Hadinger '93 and mustER
"One of the best things is being able to reach back into UA and find amazing friends and resources from different years to work on this project. It is great to see how our Golden Bears are coming together!" –Darin Hadinger, CEO mustER
Darin Hadinger is a firefighter, a disaster relief worker, a designer and engineer of pollution-control technology, a renewable energy entrepreneur, an advocate for veterans, and a warrior of restorative and social justice. Darin Hadinger is a class of ‘93 Upper Arlington alumnus. While in high school, he faced financial hardship and lived alone because of changing family circumstances. Though he had to work full time at Wendy’s to make ends meet, Darin managed to take AP classes, fondly remembering many teachers, including beloved English teacher, Dr. Allen. He says,
"I was fortunate to have some great teachers that I can still name. Some were more like mentors. I was an exchange student, twice with Herr Gill's class, to Germany, which changed my life. I had a good education. It wasn't easy though. I had a lot of external challenges beyond living. Learning how to handle stress and balance priorities while also recognizing that even in a great school with a lot of great resources, people still can struggle for lots of reasons. Learning how to adapt to that likely helped prepare me for what came after."
His path has never been easy nor straightforward, but it has made him uniquely positioned to respond to some of the challenges central to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has led him to the design and implementation of mustER. In military terms, to “muster” is to “assemble troops in preparation for battle.” mustER, similarly, is a company focused on assembly in preparation for battle, though one of a different kind. Daren shares that,
"mustER is a company of disaster response, engineering, logistics, and governmental affairs professionals that serves the community needs during a time of crisis. We build and provide a proprietary mobile medical hospital and housing that is self powered and can be set up anywhere and deployed in under a day. These units accommodate approximately 80 people each and are engineered and built to CDC requirements. They can be reused and repurposed for any response or mobile resiliency situation."
The battle now, of course, is against the virus that has disrupted our well-being and economy. mustER units can be assembled anywhere within hours, using cleaner resources, creating less environmental impact, and costing a fraction of the price of a hospital ER. While it is a valuable answer to the needs of hospitals overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients, its application extends well beyond. Whether it is in response to a blackout, a natural disaster, or a population of people who lack adequate access to healthcare, mustER units fulfill an important gap in medical care. This is why international companies are looking to move this not only across the U.S. but also into areas of Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, and beyond. The company is currently completing the patent process, and the first unit will go out within the month.
Darin attributes the success of mustER to his incredible team, which is diverse in specialty, background, and thought. This team includes other UA alumni, some of whom he had kept in touch with over the years. Some, he connected with through current teachers in the district as well as through Leadership UA and IDEA Day. One such alum is Tarik Yousof, class of 2001, who has developed an emergency ventilator. These ventilators will be a feature of the mustER unit.
Finally, mustER is intentional in its social impact, employing people, such as veterans, the formerly incarcerated, and underserved populations, to build the units. Darin says, “I truly hope that anyone who works with us will stay aligned with our company. At the end of the day, if they find their purpose in doing this for a while and then are inspired to drive impact elsewhere, that is a win.”
To learn more about mustER and Darin’s team follow this link.