Key Technology, Walla Walla, Wash., has hired Michael Nichols as its senior director of research and development.

Nichols worked previously at Beaverton, Ore.-based Planar Systems Inc. in numerous positions, including quality assurance manager, director of manufacturing and director of engineering, according to a news release.

“Taking the lead in research and development, Nichols’ initial objectives are to reduce new product time-to-market and implement processes and procedures to assure that the highest quality equipment and software are designed,” David Camp, Key’s president and chief executive officer, said in the release.

Key Technology hires director