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2019 UAS Summit Speaker Biographies

Attend Agenda Speakers Exhibit/Co-Host

 

 

Hosts 

 
 

Dr. Waseem Naqvi
Chief Technology Officer
Raytheon Unmanned Vehicle Systems

Dr. Waseem Naqvi is the CTO (Technology Director) for Raytheon’s (NYSE: RTN) Unmanned Vehicle Systems business. He is responsible for defining business strategy, capability, technology and investment priorities addressing future unmanned and autonomous systems.
Raytheon is a leader in unmanned vehicle control systems and has provided the Ground Control Systems, and Mission Planning Systems for Global Hawk, BAMS, Fire Scout and other UxS. Raytheon develops sensors, surveillance, communications, command and control and vehicle control systems and cyber solutions into the Unmanned Systems industry.
Dr. Naqvi is an active contributor to the Autonomous Vehicle and Robotics Industry. He is President of the Board of Directors for the Association for Unmanned Systems International (AUVSI) New England Chapter. Waseem is Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors for the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR), a FAA UAS Test Site. He is a past Board member for AUVSI Headquarters, and also represented all 36 chapter Presidents. He previously served on the advisory board for the Massachusetts Robotics Sector. He is an International Executive Resource Group (IERG) Global Business Leader Fellow and serves on its Board.

Dr. Jeffrey DeCarlo
Administrator
MassDOT Aeronautics Division

Dr. Jeffrey DeCarlo is the MassDOT Aeronautics Division Administrator tasked with providing statutory and regulatory oversight for all aviation matters in the Commonwealth, including safety, security, airport development, and UAS programs.
Jeff has more than 30 years of aviation operations and consulting experience with the military, industry, academia and government. An experienced principal investigator, he led NASA sponsored air traffic control and airport operations R & D; and has supported aviation systems acquisition activities for the DoD.
A former U.S. Air Force and airline pilot with over 10,000 hours in fighter and commercial aircraft, he is a graduate of Fighter Weapons School. Jeff retired from the military as a Lt. Colonel following nearly 25 years of USAF active duty, Air National Guard and Reserve service.
He sits on the Board of Directors of the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR), the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) New England, and the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), and also serves as Chair for the NASAO Center for Aviation Research and Education.

 

Keynotes 

 

Tim Bennett
Director, Air Domain Awareness
Department of Homeland Security
Science & Technology Directorate

Tim Bennett has over 30 years managing, designing, manufacturing and testing electronic warfare (EW); intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance (ISR) and signal intelligence (SIGINT) systems for manned and unmanned systems. He started his career at NRL working on communication programs like the Classic Wizard.
His recent accomplishments include leading the design and manufacturing of the Universal Ground Control Systems (UGCS) used to control the Gray Eagle, Shadow, Hunter and Orion UAS. In addition, as the Product Director, he led the effort for the design, manufacturing and testing of Orion UAS that holds the medium altitude long endurance (MALE) long endurance record for continuous flight.
Mr. Bennett took an appointment with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate in 2015 where he was the Deputy of the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). He led manned and unmanned airborne research and technology transfer for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for the Borders, Immigration and Maritime Division (BID).
He currently is responsible for air domain awareness for Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate.

 

Helen Greiner
HQE Robotics, Autonomy and AI
Department of the Army

Helen Greiner is known for both innovation and business strategy in the field of robotics. Currently, she serves as a Highly Qualified Expert (HQE) in Robotics, Autonomy, and AI for the US Army. Co-founding iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) in 1990, Ms. Greiner served as President until 2004, and Chairman until 2008. During her tenure, Ms. Greiner guided iRobot into its position as a global leader with the release of the Roomba™, the PackBot™, and SUGV Military Robots. She built a culture of practical innovation and delivery that led to the deployment of over 6,000 tactical robots with our troops and over 15M home robots worldwide. Ms Greiner also founded CyPhy Works, a drone company that delivered tethered aerial platforms to defense market.

Troy Thomas
Partner and Associate Director
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Troy Thomas is a Partner and Associate Director in the Public Sector Practice of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Troy leads BCG's Defense and Security topic for North America, Space topic globally, and he is a core member of BCG Federal Corp, a wholly owned BCG subsidiary focused on the US Federal Government market.
Prior to joining BCG, Troy served on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Senior Director for Defense Policy, and Director for Strategic Planning. Troy directly advised the President on national security priorities and led government-wide processes to develop and implement the National Security Strategy as well as policies for nuclear modernization, space and cyber security, and emerging technologies.
Prior to working in the White House, Troy was senior advisor two Chairmen of Joint Chiefs of Staff and Director of the Chairman’s Action Group for General Martin Dempsey. Troy retired from the Air Force as a Colonel after 24 years, having led military units in operations with service throughout Asia and the Middle East. He commanded an Air Force squadron that supported global intelligence and cyber missions with the National Security Agency.
Troy holds a Bachelor of Science from the United States Air Force Academy as well as advanced degrees in International Relations (University of Texas), Organizational Management (George Washington University), Operational Studies (USMC School of Advanced Warfighting), and National Security Strategy (National War College). He is the author of numerous books and articles on international relations and organizational leadership.

Jeanne Benincasa Thorpe
Undersecretary for Homeland Security
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Jeanne Benincasa Thorpe serves as the Massachusetts Undersecretary for Homeland Security and Governor’s Homeland Security advisor. Ms. Benincasa Thorpe has over 20 years of extensive experience and recognized leadership in the disciplines that comprise homeland security. She has served as an Emergency Management Planner, Emergency Public Health Preparedness Specialist, Crisis Manager, Continued Operations Specialist for several agencies including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS), MA Homeland Security Advisory Councils, Plymouth County PHEP Coalition and MA Regional EMS Councils. She re-engineered, managed, and led large, complex programs, including revising and writing the Massachusetts (MA) EMS Radio Communications Plan, Massachusetts Mass Casualty Plan, and Massachusetts Medical Surge Plan. She contributed to the development and implementation of the statewide policies for Central Medical Emergency Direction Centers (CMED), EMS Radio Communications, MCI response and the Massachusetts mutual aid EMS Ambulance Task Force. Ms. Benincasa Thorpe has developed expertise in multijurisdictional planning including initiating, sustaining and expanding cross-sectoral and cross-jurisdictional coordination at all levels-federal, tribal, state, territorial, and local. Ms. Benincasa Thorpe holds a BA in Communications from Providence College and several certificates in Political Affairs and Event Planning from Georgetown University and Technical Writing from Boston University. She is a graduate of FEMA's National Emergency Management Executive Academy at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD and Executive Leaders Program at the Executive Leaders Program at Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

 

Lisa Wieland
Chief Executive Officer,
Massachusetts Port Authority

Lisa Wieland is the Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport). She previously served as Massport’s Port Director from 2015-2019, where she was the driving force behind the revitalization of the working Port of Boston to generate job growth and economic impact across the Commonwealth and New England. As CEO, Wieland leads 1,300 employees and oversees a $900 million+ organization with the mission of connecting Massachusetts and New England to the world to support the Commonwealth’s economic development and transportation goals, while demonstrating a commitment to neighboring communities. Massport’s portfolio includes Boston Logan International Airport, Worcester Regional Airport, Hanscom Airfield, the public facilities at the Port of Boston, as well as property in East Boston, South Boston, and Charlestown. The Authority’s facilities generate nearly $22 billion in annual economic impact. As Port Director, Wieland led all business planning, strategic initiatives, financial management, and the day-to-day operations of the Maritime division. Under Wieland’s leadership, the Maritime division’s financial performance improved significantly, critical infrastructure improvements like the Boston Harbor Dredging Project advanced, Conley Terminal achieved record setting volume five years in a row, and Flynn Cruiseport Boston hosted record ship calls and passengers. While overseeing Maritime, Wieland developed collaborations with private business, management, labor and elected officials to revitalize the working port. Prior to her tenure as Port Director, she served as Chief Administrative Officer for Maritime from 2013-2015. Wieland has served in several other senior roles at Massport, including the Director of Corporate Planning and Analysis, and the Director of Human Resource Strategy and Employment. Before joining Massport, she worked as a consultant for Bain & Company in Boston serving healthcare and consumer products clients, and previous to that covered various news and political assignments for CNN in Los Angeles and Atlanta. Wieland is the recipient of a 2019 Pinnacle Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. She was appointed by Secretary Elaine Chao as the Chair of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee, and serves on Boston Harbor Now’s Board of Trustees (ex officio). Wieland is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. 

  

Brian Wynne
President & CEO,
Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)

Brian Wynne is president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics. AUVSI represents corporations and professionals from more than 60 countries involved in business and government and who work in the defense, civil, and commercial markets.

 

Leaders 

Apoorva Bajaj
Innovation Manager, CASA Engineering Research Center
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Apoorva Bajaj serves as Innovation Manager at the Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He leads the development of technology to support safe routing of remotely piloted and autonomous aerial vehicles around weather. He also supports the development of radar technology for simultaneous detection of non-cooperative micro-drones and weather. Apoorva is a member of the North Central Texas Council of Governments UAS Safety & Integration Task Force and the working group member of the ANSI Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative. Currently, he is interviewing drone and air taxi operators on their weather related needs. His overall focus is on development of new business models for acquisition, deployment and operation of sensor networks for public safety, commerce and defense applications. He brings innovation training and practices to the Center’s faculty, staff and students, with a focus on Customer Discovery. Apoorva has a M.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering and an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Christopher Cameron, PhD
Aerospace Engineer, Vehicle Technology Directorate
US Army Research Laboratory

Christopher Cameron is an aerospace engineer working for the US Army Research Laboratory Vehicle Technology Directorate. He received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in the laboratory of Dr. Jayant Sirohi, where he studied coaxial rotor system aeromechanics for use in next generation helicopters. Following his dissertation, he joined ARL, working on a three way partnership between researchers at ARL, UT Austin and Uber Elevate. Located in Austin, he led the experimental effort investigating co-rotating rotor acoustics for urban air mobility applications. Since moving to Cambridge, he has contributed to ARL conceptual design tools for UAM and is currently embedded at the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms, researching structural robotic systems for morphing aero-structures. 

Joshua Canter
HERT Team Leader, Assistant WMD Coordinator
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Special Agent Joshua Canter has been assigned to the Boston Division since July of 2008. After working Counter-proliferation for 5 years SA Canter transferred to the Domestic Terrorism Squad to be the Hazardous Evidence Response Team Leader and one of the Boston Division’s full-time Assistant Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordinators. SA Canter has worked numerous special events and WMD call-outs to include the Boston Marathon, 4th of July, the Presidential Inauguration, Super Bowls and the Vermont Ricin Case. In November of 2018 SA Canter was appointed as the Boston Division’s Primary WMD Coordinator.

Bill Christiansen, Esq.
Vice President of Security
TeamOps, LLC

Bill leads TeamOps LLC, which provides overall security for Gillette Stadium, Patriot Place, Patriots, Revolution Soccer and security for Boston College and Harvard Athletics. Further, TeamOps provides 24/7 campus security for Dean College located in Franklin, MA. Bill maintains active membership with the Massachusetts Bar Association and retired as Major and Director of Aviation Security with the Massachusetts State Police after thirty-four years of honorable service. Bill was responsible for all aspects of safety and security for Massport Properties to include Logan International, Worcester Regional and Hanscom Airports, as well as the Seaport District properties. Bill established, fostered, and maintained close partnerships with State and Federal partners, including, Transportation Safety Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Federal Air Marshalls, Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Agency, Customs & Border Protection, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. During Bill’s tenure with the Massachusetts State Police he held multiple prominent and key command positons, including oversight and supervision of the State Crime Lab, Crime Scene Services, Firearms/Ballistics, Digital & Multimedia Evidence and the Office of Alcohol Testing.
Furthermore, Bill was previously responsible for oversight, supervision and compliance of State Police personnel assigned to Massachusetts District Attorney Units responsible for investigating homicides, narcotics and financial crimes within the various counties and personnel assigned to the Financial Crime and Corruption Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Bill has extensive experience in Executive Protection and held leadership roles in a number of nationally recognized events. Bill was Deputy Incident Commander for National Governor’s Association Summer Meeting in Boston; Managed security of VIP Constitutional Officers during the Democratic National Convention; Assigned to Executive Protection Details responsible for the Safety and Security of Massachusetts Governors.
Bill held the position of Deputy Division Commander of Administrative Services within the Department of State Police with oversight and command of the communications, diversity & equal opportunity, human resources and fiscal sections.
Bill was previously appointed Director of Public Safety and Assistant General Counsel for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. In this senior leadership role, Bill was responsible for the Safety and Security of the Massachusetts Turnpike and Central Artery Project.

Rudy Cuevas
Commonwealth CUAS Program Manager
MassDOT Aeronautics

Rodolfo is a security researcher and systems analyst at Boston Cybernetics Institute. His research interests lie in the socio-technical aspects of cyber-enabled system conception, implementation, operation, and evaluation. Rodolfo focuses his research on understanding how design constraints can be used to limit adverse impacts and maximize the ability to identify and adapt to challenging operating conditions. Previously, Rodolfo was a staff member at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. There, he was responsible for the test and evaluation of RADAR, analysis of ballistic missile defense system (BMDS) components and architectures, and analysis and red-teaming of tactical and commercial cyber systems and architectures in support of DoD and other government programs.

Colleen M. D’Alessandro
New England Regional Administrator, ANE-1
FAA

In August 2019, Ms. D'Alessandro was appointed as Regional Administrator. In this role, she serves as the senior agency official in the New England region providing cross-functional oversight and leadership for the FAA Administrator and coordination across lines of business to include Aviation Safety (AVS), Airports (ARP) and Air Traffic Organization (ATO). Ms. D'Alessandro is the principal FAA representative for the six New England states - Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Prior to this role Ms. D’Alessandro served as the Director of the Organizational Performance Division in the FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service (AIR). As Division Director, she provided leadership in the monitoring and assessment of AIR’s organizational performance to reduce risk in the National Airspace System and integrate quality and safety into all aspects of AIR’s operations.
Ms. D'Alessandro has held various leadership roles within AIR since joining the FAA in 2006. She was sworn into FAA’s executive service in June 2015 as Manager of the Engine and Propeller Directorate (E&PD) with employees across the New England and Eastern Regions. In addition to her many years with the E&PD, she spent time at FAA Headquarters in Washington, DC working as the Technical Special Assistant to AIR’s Director and Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety. Prior to joining the FAA Ms. D'Alessandro spent 18 years at General Electric, quickly progressing through a variety of engineering jobs of increasing responsibility. During that time, she gained extensive experience in engineering design, administration and leadership.
Ms. D’Alessandro brings together a strong knowledge base of the local New England aviation and political landscape, together with a broad FAA network in Headquarters and across the country, enabling her to provide strong FAA representation with local stakeholder groups.
Ms. D'Alessandro earned her Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering and control systems from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Ms. D'Alessandro is Six Sigma Black Belt certified

Robert Giguere
Manager, Contract Services
Eversource Energy

Robert J Giguere is the Manager of Contract services with more than 20 years of Operations, Contracts, Manufacturing and Procurement experience in heat treating, avionics, Government, military and Utilities. Robert is currently responsible for his team to implement and execute all distribution electric contracts across Eversource’s service territories.
Robert has created and implemented several key contracts while at Eversource. This included the development and implementation of the first official project and use of UAS at Eversource.
Robert became a member of the Eversource Drone committee, becoming an intracule part of the development and upcoming presentation of a business case model intending to establish a full UAS operations division within Eversource.
Prior to Eversource Robert held various roles including procuring the full Avionics suite for all active and inactive platforms at Sikosrky Aircraft, various F119 and F135 procurement responsibilities at Pratt and Whitney, and business owner of Temperature Technologies a heat-treat component company supporting the medical, aviation and automotive industries.
Robert holds a B.S. in Business Management and an M.S.M. in Business Management both from Albertus Magnus College.

Mr. Flavio Leo
Director, Aviation Planning and Strategy Business and Strategic Planning
Massachusetts Port Authority

Flavio Leo is the Director of Aviation Planning and Strategy at the Massachusetts Port Authority where he is responsible for near and long term aviation planning and policy development related to airport physical planning, airfield and airspace safety and efficiency initiatives; noise and emissions policy and testing\adoption of new airfield technologies at Massport’s three airports - Boston Logan International Airport, L.G. Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport. Flavio earned Master’s Degrees in Business Administration and in Economics from Boston University and his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Economics from Brandeis University.

 

Reed Porada
Data Analytics and Cyber Security
Commonwealth UAS Program

Director of Research at Boston Cybernetics Institute, focused on researching the socio-technical facets of system operations, developing secure system architectures, and security training with an emphasis on systems analysis. He is a founding partner in the Securable DesignSM enterprise, a consortium effort to bring the most advanced security design methodology available into wide use. Previously he was a staff member at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Responsible for test and evaluation, test automation research, red-teaming of cyber systems, and blue system architectures in support of DoD and other government programs. Prior to joining Lincoln Laboratory, he was a computer scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory focused on wireless communication systems.

Paige Scott-Reed
Partner, Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Practice
Prince Lobel

Paige Scott Reed is an experienced transportation and employment attorney whose transactional, litigation, regulatory, administrative, and procurement work has served her clients well for over 20 years. She has worked as general counsel for the Mass. Department of Transportation and the MBTA and also served as Corporate Secretary and General Counsel to the Boston 2024 Partnership for the city’s Olympic bid. Paige has assisted government and private organizations, CEOs, and Boards of Directors with commercial contracts, development transactions, and public projects. She was instrumental in procuring a new operator for the MBTA’s commuter rail, forming a public-private partnership to redevelop Back Bay Station, implementing the MBTA’s Construction Manager/General Contractor project delivery approach, and in securing $1 billion in federal funding for the Green Line Extension project. Paige has also defended government organizations against class actions charging racial discrimination in hiring practices. Paige leads the firm’s unmanned and autonomous systems practice. She is a strategic advisor to the Commonwealth UAS Integration Program and guides MassDOT’s efforts to utilize drones to advance its transportation mission. Paige is active in the community, serving as the President of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association and Vice-President for the Harvard Law School Association of Massachusetts. Paige also serves on Executive Council of the Boston Bar Association, the Board of the Boston Bar Foundation, and the Board of Boston Harbor Now. Paige recently chaired the finance committee for Rachael Rollins historic campaign, helping to elect the first black woman to serve as District Attorney for Suffolk County. She received her A.B. from Harvard College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was an Executive Editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Justin Rodriguez
Partner
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Justin is a Partner in BCG's Washington, DC office. He is a global thought leader on the topics of digitization, Industry 4.0 and UAS within BCG's Industrial Goods practice.

Giuliano Rubini
Chief, Counter-small UAS Branch
US Air Force

Giuliano Rubini is the Chief of the Counter-small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Branch, Force Protection Division, part of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Battle Management Directorate. He oversees the design, development, fielding and sustainment of systems to counter the UAS threat.
He has served in multiple roles in the US Government, initially as an Air Force officer and now as a Government civilian. During this time, and prior to this current counter-UAS assignment, he has collaborated with many domestic and international Services and agencies to field a plethora of programs to include: aircraft; command and control; foreign military sales; information warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance programs.
He earned his Master of Business Administration from Bentley College Graduate School, and his Master of Military Operational Art and Science from Air University.

Harold H. Shaw
Chief Security Officer
Massachusetts Port Authority

Harold H. Shaw was appointed to the position of Chief Security Officer, Director of the Corporate Security & Emergency Preparedness Department for the Massachusetts Port Authority in November 2018. He is the senior security advisor to the Board of Directors, the CEO and to all departments, responsible for all aspects of physical and virtual security throughout the three airports, maritime facilities, and real estate holdings across the Authority. In leading the department, he guides efforts in the identification and mitigation of security risks, implementation of technological solutions, security compliance, and emergency response and preparedness plans and training.
Prior to this position, Mr. Shaw served as a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), retiring in January 2019 after 20 years of service. Since 2015, he served as the special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division, overseeing FBI operations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine, as well as serving as the Director of National Intelligence’s representative for the New England Region. Mr. Shaw previously served as the special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division of the New York Division, where he was responsible for the counterintelligence, counter-proliferation, and counterespionage programs, and just prior, as the special agent in charge of the Intelligence Division, responsible for ensuring the integration of intelligence throughout all operational programs, and collaborating interoffice efforts to establish investigative priorities.
Mr. Shaw entered on duty with the FBI in 1999 and was assigned to the New York Division. He worked as a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and investigated a variety of international and domestic terrorism matters, including the USS Cole bombing. Mr. Shaw served as a case agent following the September 11, 2001 attacks, actively developing the investigation and pursing leads tied to the attacks for the next two years. Mr. Shaw was promoted to supervisory special agent and was detailed to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC), where he served as one of the first liaison officers between the FBI and CIA in the post-9/11 era. He later served as the deputy director for law enforcement for the CTC-International Terrorism Department.
In 2005, Mr. Shaw was promoted to field supervisor in the New York Division, where he oversaw a JTTF squad responsible for international terrorism matters relating to the Middle East. In 2007, Mr. Shaw led efforts to establish the first JTTF squad that was not centrally located within New York City to enhance the FBI’s presence and intelligence exchanges with law enforcement partners in the six northern counties around the city. In November 2011, Mr. Shaw was promoted to assistant special agent in charge within the Counterterrorism Division of the New York Division, where he provided management for the division’s international terrorism investigations. In this capacity, he led collaborative efforts to disrupt the 2013 attempted bombings of the New York Federal Reserve and worked to help identify and locate subjects tied to the Benghazi attacks. In April 2013, Mr. Shaw was promoted to section chief and deputy director for law enforcement and returned to the CTC as a senior liaison between the FBI and CIA.
Mr. Shaw earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communications from Norwich University. Prior to joining the FBI, Mr. Shaw served for over nine years as an Air Defense officer in the United States Army. He has received recognition from a variety of law enforcement agencies, the United States Intelligence Community, and the Department of Defense, which includes individual and unit awards.

Nazzareno H (Kip) Spurio, Jr
Director, Strategic Initiatives
Raytheon Navigation, Weather and Services

Kip Spurio has over 40 years’ experience in the aviation 􀂦eld in the US Air Force, industry and the FAA. He is currently the Director of Strategic Initiatives and a Solution Architect for Raytheon’s Navigation, Modernization and Sustainment mission area, which includes the Air Tra􀂨c Systems business.
Prior to joining Raytheon in Jan 2016, Kip spent the previous 6 years as the Senior Technical Advisor to the FAA’s Chief Operating O􀂨cer. Additionally, Kip has held several senior technically oriented positions in the FAA including Chief System Engineer and Chief Architect of the National Airspace System; as well as air tra􀂨c controller and Director of Air Tra􀂨c Control Resources and Requirements for the Air Force.
Kip earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Sciences/Mechanical Structures from the United States Air Force Academy, a Master of Science degree in C3 Systems Technology from the US Naval Postgraduate School, is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute and was a Senior Executive Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Billy Thalheimer
Program Manager - Mobility Division
Aurora Flight Sciences (A Boeing Company)

Mr. Thalheimer is a program manager responsible for executing vehicle design and technology development to support Aurora’s portfolio of future air mobility technology. He engages in technical program execution, financial management, and strategy for eVTOL aircraft programs. In his previous role at Aurora, Mr. Thalheimer worked as an air vehicle conceptual design engineer, leading sizing and performance for the PAV eVTOL and co-authoring Aurora’s conceptual design code. Mr. Thalheimer holds a BS and MS from MIT’s AeroAstro program, with research in aircraft design under Prof. Mark Drela. An aviation enthusiast, Mr. Thalheimer spends his free time as an aerobatic pilot.

Sarasina Tuchen
Principal Electronics Engineer, on-site at NASA Ames
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

Sarasina Tuchen is a principal lead electronics engineer for the United States Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. She has 30 years of experience in both private industry and federal government. Over the last 17 years in public service, she has worked on the development of many of the technologies (including SWIM/Big Data, automation and advanced surface surveillance technologies) which are modernizing the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS) called the NextGen Air Transportation System. Currently, she is the USDOT’s on-site lead at the NASA Ames Research Center working with NASA researchers to integrate advanced automation and machine learning technologies to increase the air traffic capacity and efficiency of our National Airspace System. Recently, one of the projects, ATD-2 (Air Transportation Demonstration 2) won the Aeronautics Administrator’s Technology and Innovation Award. ATD-2 relied on the SWIM technologies that were developed by the Volpe Center. She is currently working on passenger centric multimodal models that integrate UAM with the NAS and other transportation modes. She currently sits on the USDOT’s Mobility Innovation Group. Prior to entering public service, she was the Group Vice President of Engineering at Digitas. Sarasina earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and an M.S. in Engineering from Stanford University.

Scott A. Uebelhart, PhD
Chief Scientist, Drone Program
MassDOT Aeronautics

Scott A. Uebelhart, PhD supports MassDOT Aeronautics as Chief Scientist of the Drone Program, laying out the strategy and planning to adopt drones across MassDOT. Prior to this, Dr. Uebelhart was an early employee of technology startup, and was on the technical staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. There, he conducted systems analysis of U.S. space architectures for the Air Force, analyzing missions, requirements, and solutions to technical challenges, and provided recommendations to senior government decision makers. Before that, Dr. Uebelhart was a postdoctoral associate with MIT's Program in Science, Technology and Society, where he established the cross-disciplinary Space, Policy, and Society research group, applied MIT technical expertise to questions of human spaceflight space policy, and briefed senior Congressional and NASA leaders. Scott earned his SB, SM and PhD from the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Adam Zylka
UAS Team Lead
University of Vermont

Adam is the UAS Team Lead at the Spatial Analysis Lab, bringing together his academic and industry experience in leveraging UAS technology for wide variety of applications. Before becoming the 􀂦rst American employee of Swiss UAS manufacturer senseFly, his initial research focused on the potential of UAS technology for disaster response in Vermont. At senseFly, Adam managed the customer support and service departments and served as a technical trainer and consultant for federal agencies, research universities, and enterprise partners. He has conducted a variety of global UAS missions for environmental monitoring, infrastructure inspection, humanitarian aid, and historical preservation.