Greg Woodward, Ph.D.

CTO & VP Engineering at Sparta Science

Greg oversees technology design and development as CTO at Sparta Science, and specializes dynamics & kinematics, together with agile development methodologies, with over 25 years of commercial software development experience. Before Sparta, Greg was CTO of NASDAQ Private Market (NPM) where he led their agile development team, prior to that, he was CTO at SharesPost, and before that Greg was VP of engineering at various technology startups in the Bay Area. Greg graduated 1st in his class at Texas A&M University with a BS in mechanical engineering and received MS and PhD degrees in ME from Stanford University, where his research involved the use of tethered satellites with the space shuttle.

Past Activities

Greg Woodward, Ph.D.
Code BEAM SF 2019
01 Mar 2019
13.40 - 14.25

A distributed Elixir / Phoenix application for force scanning: How we built it and what we've learned

Sparta's force scanning software uses a force plate to compute metrics that are used for predicting the risk of injury.

Our scanning application consists of a cloud-hosted Elixir/Phoenix app together with over a hundred laptops around the world, each of which is connected to a force plate, runs its own Phoenix app, and "talks" to the main web application via Channels.

Channels are leveraged extensively to transmit live scan info, force data, and commands in real time. The technical challenges of building and maintaining such a distributed application are described, and there will also be a live demo.


The talk aims to describe Sparta's software architecture at a high level, along with the lessons learned.


  • People looking for a novel application of Phoenix Channels
  • People interested in sports or wellness
  • Agile development teams transitioning from Rails to Elixir/Phoenix