New England UAS and AAM Summit 2023 | Speakers


SUMMIT PROGRAM SPEAKERS EXHIBITORS SPONSOR & EXHIBIT EVENT COMPLETED
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The New England UAS and AAM Summit 2023, Boarding Pass to the Next Era of Aviation, is co-hosted by AUVSI New EnglandMassAutonomy, and NDIA New England. The Summit's comprehensive program brings together government, industry, and academic leaders to provide keynote sessions, speaker presentations, and focused discussions that will provide critical insights into the UAS and AAM in society and business today and in the future. The event also features a STEMFest with local students, PitchFest, an exhibit hall, commercial breaks from industry leaders, and ample networking opportunities. 

 HOSTS | KEYNOTES & SPECIAL GUESTS | SPEAKERS & MODERATORS


HOSTS


WASEEM NAQVI, PH.D.

President
AUVSI New England

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 Ground Control Systems and Mission Planning Systems for Global Hawk, BAMS, Fire Scout, and other UxS. Raytheon develops sensors, surveillance, communications, command and control, vehicle control systems, and cyber solutions in 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), an FAA UAS Test Site. He is a past Board member for AUVSI Headquarters and 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.


M. ROMAN HACHKOWSKI, PH.D.

President
NDIA New England 

General Manager, Business Unit
L3Harris KEO

Dr. M. Roman Hachkowski is the General Manager of L3Harris’s KEO Business Unit located in Northampton, MA, delivering photonic products to both the U.S. Navy and numerous international customers. He previously was the President of BEI Precision as well as currently the Executive Industry Advisor to NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Prior to joining BEI, Roman spent six years with Northrop Grumman - Adaptive Optics Associates as the General Manager responsible for mission-critical optical and photonic solutions. He has also held various positions throughout his career with BAE Systems, Zygo Corporation, and Goodrich Corporation, as well as currently on a number of Board of Directors.

Dr. Hachkowski holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder and has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been awarded several patents for engineered flexure components and optical space telescope systems.


PAIGE SCOTT REED

Chief Legal Counsel to Governor Maura T. Healey
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Counsel
MassAutonomy

Partner
Prince Lobel Tye LLP

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 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 Immediate Past President of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association and Vice-President of the Harvard Law School Association of Massachusetts. Paige also serves on the Court Management Advisory Board, 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.


KEYNOTES & SPECIAL GUESTS


JOHN BASL, PH.D.

Associate Professor of Philosophy
Northeastern University

John Basl is an associate professor of philosophy at Northeastern University and an associate director at the Northeastern Ethics Institute where he leads AI and Data Ethics Initiatives. His research is in the area of the ethics of emerging technologies, especially AI and machine learning. He has written on the ethics of autonomous vehicles, transparency and interpretability in algorithmic decision-making, and how to build AI and data ethics oversight committees and how to translate value commitments into practice. 


BENNY BERKENKOTTER

UAS Technician, Spatial Analysis Laboratory
University of Vermont

Benny Berkenkotter is a UAS Technician at the University of Vermont's (UVM) Spatial Analysis Laboratory. After graduating from UVM with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Geospatial Technologies, he began working full time to capture, process, and analyze a variety of UAS data in support of research projects and disaster response efforts. He has worked with several multirotor and fixed-wing UAS platforms carrying UAS-LiDAR and true-color, thermal, and multispectral sensor packages, with particular focus on capturing seasonal changes in agricultural fields monitoring water quality and harmful algal blooms in Lake Champlain, quantifying fuel reserves for renewable energy power generation, and supporting response and recovery efforts in the wake of Vermont’s major flooding in summer 2023. He also has served as an instructor for workshops geared towards geospatial professionals as well as audiences of first responders during FEMA-funded trainings offered through the FAA’s ASSURE research consortium.


LAUREN CRESANTI

UAS Technician, Spatial Analysis Laboratory
University of Vermont

Lauren Cresanti is a UAS Technician at the University of Vermont's (UVM) Spatial Analysis Laboratory. After graduating from UVM with a major in Environmental Sciences and a minor in Geospatial Technologies, she began working full time as a member of UVM’s UAS Team, where she is responsible for coordinating with partners and clients, flight planning for a number of platforms and sensors, leading flight operations, processing data, producing deliverables, and instructing workshops. Lauren has been involved in a wide range of projects including capturing critical datasets for disaster response and recovery, tracking the impact of invasive species on forest defoliation, mapping harmful algal blooms and aquatic invasives, monitoring critical landslides, and mapping farms in support of furthering the science of precision agriculture. As part of UVM’s core-member status in the FAA’s ASSURE research consortium, Lauren has also worked to develop and instruct FEMA-sponsored drone training programs for the first responder community.


JEFFREY DECARLO, ED.D., PMP, ATP

Administrator, Aeronautics Division
Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Dr. Jeffrey DeCarlo is the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (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 MassAutonomy, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) New England, the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR), and the Massachusetts Air and Space Museum. He previously served on the board of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), and was the Chair for the NASAO Center for Aviation Research and Education.


LORI DEMATTEIS

Chief Revenue Officer
MatrixSpace

Lori drives MatrixSpace’s sales and go to market programs across a range of industries and geographies. She brings a track record of driving significant revenue for emerging technologies into vertical industries for startups to market leaders. She was previously Global VP of customer success, sales, and marketing at aviation safety innovator Iris Automation and before that led industry-focused sales and general business positions at Lavin Group, Oracle Corporation, Emerson, Honeywell, and GE.


BRIGADIER GENERAL (R.) PETER L. JONES 

U.S. Army

Brigadier General Peter L. Jones is a recognized leader, team builder and innovative thinker, operationally adept at solving complex national defense problems. After 32 years of service, he retired in 2017 as the 56th Commandant and Chief of Infantry at the United States Army Infantry School in Fort Benning, GA.

Peter is a decorated combat leader with over 48 months of combat deployments with broad overseas experience and cultural understanding in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, including Afghanistan.

Today, he is President and CEO of the non-profit National Infantry Museum Foundation and President of PLJ and Associates, providing consulting support and subject matter expertise across the Department of Defense, industry, and research institutions. Peter is on the B.E. Meyers & Co. Advisory Board and the Board of Directors for Partners in Performance America. 

A West Point graduate, he also holds advanced degrees from Georgetown University, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and National Defense University. He is the recipient of Bronze Star Medal for Valor, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab.


ABIGAIL SMITH

Executive Director, Office of UAS and Emerging Entrants Security
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

The UAS Security Office serves as the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) focal point for all matters related to drone and advanced air mobility (AAM) security in U.S. airspace. Within this role, Abby leads the FAA's efforts to safely integrate detection and mitigation systems for drones and AAM operations into the National Airspace System (NAS). She also provides formulation of aviation policies, plans, goals, and priorities through stakeholder outreach.

Prior to joining the UAS Security Office, she served as the Deputy Executive Director of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Office, which serves as the FAA's focal point for all matters related to civil and public use of drones in U.S. airspace and is responsible for coordinating the integration of advanced air mobility (AAM) operations into our aviation system. 

Smith began her career with the FAA in 1991 as an air traffic controller at the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center and relocated to Washington, DC, in 1999 to join Air Traffic Systems Requirements as a requirements analyst. 


MONICA TIBBITS-NUTT, AICP, LEED AP BD C

Acting Secretary and Chief Executive Officer 
Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Monica G. Tibbits-Nutt, is the Acting Secretary and CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

As Acting Secretary, Ms. Tibbits-Nutt is responsible for the four divisions of MassDOT: Highway, Rail and Transit, Registry of Motor Vehicles and Aeronautics. As Acting Secretary, she also serves on the Massport and MBTA Board of Directors.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Tibbits-Nutt served as Undersecretary of MassDOT where, among other responsibilities, she led the effort to stand up the Office of Transportation and Climate Planning and Policy. She also served on the MassDOT Board of Directors and as the Vice-Chair of the Fiscal Management and Control Board (FMCB) that oversaw the MBTA.

Ms. Tibbits-Nutt was also the Executive Director of the 128 Business Council, a transportation management association and regional service provider that builds privately funded, cooperative public transportation routes throughout the Route 128 West Corridor.

Areas of specialty include regional and transportation planning, urban design, and transit equity. In both her work and research, she is particularly interested in capitalizing upon every opportunity to better educate transportation stakeholders and the public about all aspects of the planning process. As part of this focus on education, she serves as the Vice President of the non-profit Youth Engagement Planning (YEP!), which brings urban planning and community advocacy into K-12 environments.

Ms. Tibbits-Nutt is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design & Construction with the U.S. Green Building Council.

SCOTT A. UEBELHART, PH.D.

Chief Scientist, Advanced Aviation Technologies Group, Aeronautics Division 
Massachusetts Department of Aeronautics

Scott A. Uebelhart, Ph.D., is the Chief Scientist of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Aeronautics Division Advanced Aviation Technologies Program, where he guides strategy and planning for the adoption of UAS technologies at MassDOT and connects with government and industry leaders across the Commonwealth to help drive air vehicle innovation. He has built a team of technologists, analysts, and UAS operators who are demonstrating how UAS can provide useful, actionable information to state agencies and who are exploring how the state can support expanded air operations. He also serves on the board of directors of AUVSI New England. Prior to this, Dr. Uebelhart worked in a technology startup and was a member of the technical staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where he conducted systems analysis of U.S. space architectures for the Air Force. Dr. Uebelhart served as a postdoctoral associate with MIT's Program in Science, Technology, and Society, where he helped establish the cross-disciplinary Space, Policy, and Society research group to apply technical expertise to human spaceflight policy. Scott earned his SB, SM, and Ph.D. from the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.


JEFFREY VINCENT

Executive Director for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Office in Aviation Safety (AVS)
Federal Aviation Administration

Mr. Vincent is responsible to safely integrate unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System. Before this, he served as Vice President of Air Traffic Services responsible for providing safe and efficient air navigation services to over 42,000 flights and 2.5 million airline passengers across more than 29 million square miles of airspace. He also served as Vice President for Safety and Technical Training responsible for the development of ATO's Safety Management System and the integration of safety and training standards into the provision of air traffic services.

Mr. Vincent was Director of Air Traffic Operations, Eastern Service Area providing strategic leadership and direction for ensuring the safety and efficiency of air traffic operations for Airport Traffic Control Towers, Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities, and Air Route Traffic Control Centers. He also served as Deputy Director and Senior Advisor to the Director of Air Traffic Operations. He began his leadership career as a Front-Line Manager (FLM) at Birmingham International Airport.


SPEAKERS & MODERATORS


PATRICIA J. BASKINGER

Chief Executive Officer
AX Enterprize

Patricia is the CEO, co-owner, and principal investigator of women-owned AX Enterprize (AX) LLC. AX Enterprize is focused on advancing the development of secure, assured, and reliable information and communications systems for mobile platforms, including Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Ms. Baskinger led the design and development of the FAA-designated New York UAS Test Site Operations Center and the indoor UAS test facility, SkyDome.  

Ms. Baskinger also serves as Board Chair at the Griffiss Institute, which advocates and facilitates partnerships among private industry, academia, and the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI), with the goal of enabling AFRL Technology Transfer, STEM initiatives, and entrepreneurial ventures in the Quantum Computing, AI/ML, Cybersecurity and Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS).


FRED BEDARD

Chief, Advanced Air Mobility Initiatives
MassAutonomy

Fred is the Chief of Advanced Air Mobility Initiatives at MassAutonomy, driving Massachusetts' ascent in pioneering aerial technologies, including drones and eVTOLs. He plays a pivotal role in molding the state's aviation trajectory and fostering economic expansion by synergizing industry, academia, and government.

Previously, as Director of Sales, Marketing, and FlightOps at Commaris (previously Terrafugia), Fred played a crucial role in Terrafugia securing the FAA's first airworthiness certificate for a US-made flying car. He spearheaded the launch of the Commaris brand, focusing on UAVs for industry-specific inspections.

As Regional Sales Director at ICON Aircraft, Fred amplified sales and strategic partnerships for the A5, a state-of-the-art amphibious sport plane, within the New England region.

At Sony Electronics Inc., as General Manager and Division Director, Fred oversaw the growth and diversification of data storage product lines, resulting in considerable revenue uplift and the establishment of significant industry collaborations; he held offices in San Jose and Toyoko, Japan.

As Division Director at DATA GENERAL - Federal Systems Division, Fred strategized for US and NATO military solutions. Notably, he secured a landmark deal with Lockheed/US Marines during Operation Desert Storm, receiving accolades for Zero Defects throughout the entire campaign. As the project team lead, developed unique solutions for the NSA.

Fred holds FAA certifications as a Helicopter, Airplane, Seaplane, and UAS (Drone) Pilot and is recognized as an FAA Flight Safety Representative.


STEVE CONTE

Project Manager for the Massachusetts EV Make Ready Program
Eversource Energy

Steve Conte has been working at Eversource Energy for four years as Project Manager for the Massachusetts EV Make Ready Program, which supports commercial charging infrastructure at customer sites. He has helped complete successful EV charging installations at over 450 different sites across the state, including the aircraft DC Fast Charger at Marshfield Airport, as well as ground vehicle Level 2 chargers at Hyannis and Plymouth Airports.


RODOLFO CUEVAS

Counter-UAS (CUAS) Program Lead, Advanced Aviation Technologies Group, Aeronautics Division 
Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Rodolfo Cuevas is the Counter-UAS (CUAS) Program Lead for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Aeronautics Division Advanced Aviation Technologies Group. He is focused on architecting and operationalizing a CUAS capability across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts through a collaborative effort with federal, state, local, industry, research, and academic stakeholders within the state.

Additionally, 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.


JOSEPH DONOVAN

Principal
Donovan Strategies, LLC

Joe has spent more than 25 years developing professional and personal relationships in Massachusetts, New England and Washington D.C., representing many of the leading organizations and institutions in sectors such as defense, aerospace, marine and maritime. He is a registered lobbyist in Massachusetts and Washington D.C., and provides government relations and business development consulting services to his clients. He uses his matchmaking abilities to link many of the companies and organizations in these sectors with key political leaders to create mutually beneficial relationships. He serves on the boards of SENEDIA - The Alliance for Defense Tech, Talent, and Innovation as well as the UMass Lowell Research Institute. He is a past board member for NDIA New England. 


MICHELLE A. DUQUETTE

Portfolio Manager
MITRE Corporation

Michelle leads the unmanned and space portfolios at The MITRE Corporation’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development—the federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration. 

In this role, Michelle engages leadership across FAA lines of business to facilitate enterprise “solutioneering,” tracks regulatory and operational impacts of emerging disruptive aviation technologies, and provides strategic positioning and planning assistance. 

She also serves as the Department of Defense Co-Chair of the UAS Science and Research Panel (SARP), where she represents DoD interests in federal unmanned integration research and leads the US Executive Branches in research sharing workshops. Her background as an FAA certificated airline dispatcher coupled with the deep science and research environment of an FFRDC have afforded Michelle a unique understanding of the global aerospace ecosystem, and she is able to address complex operational mission needs with practical and actionable technical solutions.


PETER GANNON

Deputy Director, Corporate Security and Emergency Management
Massport

Peter J. Gannon is the Deputy Director of Corporate Security and Emergency Preparedness at Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport). He leads Massport's UAS policy and procedure efforts to ensure airspace safety at Boston Logan International Airport, Hanscom Field, and Worcester Regional Airport. Previously, Peter served in the U.S. Secret Service, where he held a variety of leadership, operational, and investigative positions, including at the Europol Cyber Crime Center in The Hague, Netherlands, and the Boston FBI JTTF.  

Massport is a port authority in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, Hanscom Field, Worcester Regional Airport, and public terminals in the Port of Boston.

SUZANNE HERRING

Chief Executive Officer
AviSight

Suzanne Herring is the owner and CEO of AviSight with twenty-five years of experience in start-up business development, management, and regulatory compliance. Suzanne began her tenure with AviSight in 2022 bringing a diverse background derived from twenty-five years of experience in public and private accounting, project management, and implementation of comprehensive risk management programs, in multiple vertical markets including oil and gas, mining, and aviation industries. Suzanne has continued to approach each of her organizational roles with fervent and focused concentration on communication, teamwork, and fiscal responsibility and accountability.

Suzanne has spent the majority of her career working with issuers in the emerging growth category. Providing regulatory compliance consulting within the scope of the Securities Exchange Acts of 1933 and 1934 (as amended), attestation services and litigation support in connection with SEC enforcement actions and investigations. Subsequent to her career in public accounting, Suzanne has gone on to expand her career as a licensed private investigator providing forensic accounting services, litigation support, regulatory compliance consulting and due diligence during initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and ongoing support for small business issuers with respect to regulatory compliance requirements.

As the owner of AviSight and licensed UAS Pilot, Suzanne takes accountability for strategic management, UAV program development, and regulatory advancement. As a newcomer to the UAS industry, Suzanne has focused on ensuring AviSight’s ability to deliver commercially viable, scalable, and environmentally advanced services utilizing drone technology.


SAM HOBBS

Manager, EV Charging Systems
BETA Technologies

Born and raised in VT, Sam’s love of aviation started at age 11 when a family friend kept their J-3 cub on floats at his childhood home. While he’s been flying off and on since then, he’s excited to be closer than ever to aviation. With a background in renewables, the confluence of interests is clear. He loves cooking and sharing meals with friends and family and always has a project of some sort around the house. Like most Vermonters, he loves playing outside no matter what the mode.


ROB KNOCHENHAUER

Director of Regulatory Affairs
Censys Technologies

Rob Knochenhauer is the Director of Regulatory Affairs for Censys Technologies and brings a unique array of industry experiences to support Censys’ strategic goals by working in concert with Censys’ engineering team and the FAA to develop the next generation of UAS to perform more complex Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations for Censys’ customers. Starting his career as a certificated Airframe & Powerplant aircraft mechanic, Rob transitioned into engineering, where he spent fifteen years supporting and ultimately leading the development of numerous UxS (ground, sea & air with Foster-Miller and Aurora Flight Sciences). In recent years, Rob has been on the leading edge of developing a pathway to integrate UAS operations into the NAS. Prior to his role with Censys, Rob supported MassDOT’s UAS program by developing a strategy for complex UAS operations (corridor BVLOS) and started his commercial UAS chapter as the director of flight operations for GreenSight.


DAVID KOVAR

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
URSA Inc.

David is a recognized thought leader and innovator in the field of UAV forensics, having founded the practice in 2015 and written multiple publications and proposals on the topic. 

Today he is the founder and CEO of URSA Inc., which provides uncrewed and robotics systems analysis for various applications and sectors and is currently the data analytics platform for an ASSURE/FAA contract investigating low altitude risks associated with UAVs.

David is passionate about using UAVs for search and rescue (SAR) missions, serving as the Advocacy Director for the National Association of Search and Rescue, and holds a private pilot license for fixed wing and rotorcraft, as well as a Part 107 Commercial certificate for UAV operations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Dartmouth and a Master’s degree in international affairs from the Fletcher School at Tufts, where he focused on defending against UAVs operated by non-state actors.

SUSAN LEMIEUX

Director, Operational Security and Emergency Response Policy and Corporate Policy
American Petroleum Institute

Suzanne Lemieux has been with the Institute for 10 years and serves as Director for Operations Security and Emergency Response Policy within the Corporate Policy group of API’s Policy, Economics, and Regulatory Affairs division. Her primary areas of responsibility are cyber and physical security policy, emergency preparedness and response, UAS policy, and stakeholder engagement, both public and private. Ms. Lemieux is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and is a graduate of Harvard University’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative Executive Education. She has a Masters of Public and International Affairs from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing Management from Radford University.


TERRENCE MCKENNA

Chief Technologist, Advanced Aviation and Technologies Group, Aeronautics Division
Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Terrence McKenna is the Chief Technologist for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's (MassDOT) Aeronautics Division Advanced Aviation and Technologies Group. In this role, he oversees the integration of next-generation aviation technologies such as Urban/Advanced Air Mobility, autonomy and automation, and eVTOL aircraft into all facets of the Commonwealth's operations by bringing together mutually beneficial ecosystems within the State. He blends a rich background in industry and military, test and operations, to realize the adoption of these multi-stakeholder technologies. His work in the public sector, coupled with his in-depth hands-on experience, allows him to provide insight into the intersections of these disparate and varied disciplines. He is also a Reservist in the United States Air Force, supporting the test community. In this role, he couples broad manned flight test and operations experience with optionally piloted and remote aircraft development and was the first to fly an eVTOL aircraft in the USAF. He holds Commercial Fixed Wing Multi-Engine, Single-Engine, Instrument, Seaplane, Helicopter, and Remote Pilot Certificates and earned his SB in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


SUSAN ROBERTS, PH.D.

Vice President, Strategy and Business Development
Ondas Holdings

Dr. Susan Roberts, a captivating, inspirational Fortune 500 aviation executive, specializes in disruption, change management, and open innovation. Dr. Roberts speaks, consults, and coaches at the intersection of resilience, innovation, and engagement. In addition to her consulting efforts, she is currently the VP of Strategy and Business Development at Ondas Holdings. She was previously the Head of Commercial Innovation for Panasonic Avionics Corporation, leading the company's transformation efforts from a bespoke business model to a managed services business model. Prior to Panasonic, Susan launched an aviation start-up backed by General Electric. Susan and her co-founder established AiRXOS, Inc., a GE Venture, in 2016, pursuing opportunities in the unmanned aviation space after winning a General Electric innovation challenge.


  MAX ROSEN

Senior Manager of Government Affairs
Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International 

Max Rosen is a Senior Manager of Government Affairs at the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and focuses primarily on federal air policy. Max manages the Air Advocacy Committee, a consensus-driven group comprised of nearly 60 companies across the uncrewed systems and robotics industry. Max was most recently a Vice President at Elevate Government Affairs, where he served as a consultant to AUVSI for nearly four years. He then joined AUVSI full time and brought with him bipartisan and bicameral experience and expertise in federal transportation and technology policy. Before his previous job, he was on the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and specifically on the Aviation Subcommittee, where he worked on unmanned systems and other aviation policies. He also worked on the 2018 FAA Reauthorization bill.


KYLE RYKER

Research Engineer, Raspet Flight Research Laboratory
Mississippi State University

Kyle Ryker serves as a Research Engineer and technical lead for Mississippi State University’s Raspet Flight Research Laboratory. Kyle currently leads the execution of several federally and commercially sponsored projects related to advanced UAS operations for Group 1 through 5 UAS. This entails the development of complex safety cases unique to each operation, spanning electrical infrastructure inspection to search and rescue over water.

In 2020, Kyle led a team in the analysis of agricultural aircraft operations across the United States. Over 30,000 unique GPS logs were evaluated to help the FAA, industry and other research universities understand how these operations typically occur so that UAS may be safely integrated alongside them.
Currently, Kyle serves as Principal Investigator for multiple research efforts focused on enabling industry’s integration of Beyond-Visual-Line-Of-Sight UAS applications through the FAA’s Center of Excellence, ASSURE. Outside of academics, Kyle serves as Co-Chair for ASTM International’s DAA Test Methods working group, tackling the final regulatory obstacles industry is facing before full integration with the National Airspace System.


PETER SACHS

UTM Program Manager
Federal Aviation Administration 

Peter Sachs is one of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) program managers for UAS Traffic Management (UTM). He was previously an air traffic controller and worked on the STARS radar transition, as well as evaluation of the Terminal Flight Data Management prototype for digital flight strips. Peter spent 3 years at Airbus UTM, where he developed and received a patent for a first-of-its-kind service for evaluating UAS mission risk. He is currently developing new policies to safely enable BVLOS drone operations.


KATIE SERVIS

Airport Manager
Cape Cod Gateway Airport 

Katie Servis broke ground as the first female Airport Manager at Cape Cod Gateway Airport, where she manages 639 acres and oversees 24 staff and 55 on-site businesses. Some of her accomplishments here include: securing $83.9M in grants for airport projects; increasing annual non-aviation and aviation revenues significantly; spearheading green initiatives and rebranding the airport; and implementing community engagement and internship programs.

Miss Servis's previous professional experience includes: Assistant Airport Manager at Cape Cod Gateway Airport; Airport Planner, and Environmental Analyst in the Aeronautics Division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Aeronautics Division; and a number of positions for leading aviation firms.

A graduate of Bridgewater State's Aviation Management program, Katie holds a private pilot’s license and is pursuing a Master's in Public Administration.

Katie’s career highlights her leadership in operational and community-focused initiatives in the aviation sector.

   
OWEN SILBAUGH

Chief Engineer and Director of Airport Engineering, Aviation and Airports Group, Aeronautics Division
Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Owen Silbaugh has been the Chief Engineer and Director of Airport Engineering for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Aeronautics Division since 2016. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Since moving to the greater Boston area, he has worked solely on aviation design, construction, and permitting projects in the New England region. At the MassDOT Aeronautics Division, Owen leads the engineering department and manages the capital improvement program, yearly pavement maintenance program, pavement condition index program, and design reviews for all construction projects. With MassDOT Aeronautics Division's latest grant award from the USDOT SMART Grant Program, Owen is the project lead and principal investigator for the smart microgrid project at the Cape Cod Gateway Airport.  


DR. THOMAS "T.J." SWENSON JR.

Regional Protective Security Advisor, Region 1
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

Dr. Thomas “T.J.” Swenson Jr. serves as the Regional Protective Security Advisor (PSA) with Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Region 1 (New England).

CISA is an Agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that maintains 10 regional offices across the country. CISA PSAs enable the delivery of the Agency’s physical security and protective services and support to critical infrastructure owners and operators and regional, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners to secure our nation's critical infrastructure against all threats and hazards.

Prior to serving as the Regional PSA in Region 1, T.J. served as the PSA assigned to the State of Maine. Before joining CISA in 2022, he served seven years with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region I as the Response Division’s Operations Integration Branch Chief and the Type I Planning Section Chief on FEMA’s National Incident Management Assistance Team (N-IMAT) Gold.

While with FEMA, T.J. led critical elements of more than 25 federal disaster response and recovery operations across the United States; led strategic, operational, and tactical operations and policy initiatives at Regional and National levels; and managed programs and teams that optimized interagency coordination, federal coordination centers, and response readiness.

Before joining FEMA in 2015, T.J. served five years active duty as a U.S. Marine Non-Commissioned Officer, Nuclear Security Force Specialist, Infantryman, Squad Leader, and Platoon Sergeant. His service in the U.S. Marine Corps includes combat operations in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, where he led counterinsurgency and physical security operations, as well as leading nuclear Security Force and physical security operations at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, Georgia.

T.J. earned a Doctorate in Law and Policy (LP.D.) from Northeastern University, where he focused his published research on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL’s) weaponization of social media to influence radicalization in the United States. T.J. also earned a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Homeland and Corporate Security from St. John’s University.

T.J. married his wife, Jess, in Waitsfield, Vermont, in 2014, and together they have a 3-year-old daughter, Sophie, and their Vizsla, Kinleigh.

His hobbies are spending time with his family, reading, Olympic weightlifting, homesteading, and enjoying New England!


CHRISTOPHER WILLENBORG, C.M.

Airport Manager 
Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport

Chris is the Airport Manager of Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport located in Western Massachusetts. Prior to starting at BAF in April 2020, Chris worked at Airport Solutions Group, which is an airport planning and engineering firm for 4 ½ years as Executive Vice President. Chris served as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission and Aeronautics Administrator of the MassDOT Aeronautics Division from 2009-2015. Prior to joining MassDOT, Chris was the Airport Manager of Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport from 1999-2008.


GALEN WILSON

Department Head, Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT)
Westfield Technical Academy (WTA) High School

Mr. Galen Wilson is the Department Head for Westfield Technical Academy (WTA) High School’s Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) program. In this role, Mr. Wilson developed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) curriculum for the AMT program, simultaneously satisfying the requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Mr. Wilson developed the framework for the Aviation program through DESE, and the Massachusetts Teacher’s Examination Licensure (MTEL) tests. Today, WTA’s certified program is the only FAA-certified program in New England and is only 1 of 4 in the United States.

Before devoting his time to teaching, Galen served 30 years in the United States Air Force, where he obtained the rank of Chief Master Sergeant (E-9). Throughout his career, he was a hands-on aircraft technician (worked on multiple aircraft in multiple positions); turned hands-on leader. He is a certified FAA technician/instructor, pilot, and educator.

Galen Wilson’s passion for aviation and teaching are clearly reflected in the fact that the Aviation Technology program has become one of the most requested technical programs in the district. The future is bright for WTA, this program, and their students!


HECTOR XU, PH.D.

Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Rotor

Hector Xu is the CEO at Rotor Technologies, a team of MIT computer scientists and aerospace industry veterans building remote piloting conversions for helicopters, enabling them to be flown at night and in challenging operating environments - without putting pilot lives at risk. Hector holds a PhD from MIT and founded Rotor in 2021.


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