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Join us for New England’s UAS and AAM Summit 2022, Scaling Airspace and Autonomy: Impacts on Society and Business, co-hosted by AUVSI New England, MassAutonomy, and NDIA New England. Government, industry, and academic leaders from across the country will discuss UAS and AAM progress, opportunities, and obstacles as we develop and implement this critical technology in society and daily life.
| WASEEM NAQVI, PH.D.
Chief Technology Officer
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.
General Manager, Business Unit
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
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.
|JOHN BASL, PH.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy
John Basl is an associate professor of philosophy at Northeastern University and Associate Director at the Northeastern Ethics Institute, where he leads the institute's AI and Data Ethics Initiatives. His research focuses on the ethical issues raised by emerging technologies, especially those related to AI. He is the co-author of "Building AI and Data Ethics Committees" and "Getting from Commitment to Content in AI and Data Ethics: Justice and Explainability." He has also written on managing the ethical issues associated with autonomous vehicles and is a co-PI on the NSF-funded Co-worker Robots to Impact Seafood Processing (CRISP): Designs, Tools and Methods for Enhanced Worker Experience.
|SGT. DET. CARL BLANDO
UAS Manager, Homeland Security Unit
Sergeant Detective Carl Blando has over 23 years of experience with the Boston Police Department. He was in patrol for 11 years and then 5 years with the Crime Scene Response Unit. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2016 and stationed in East Boston. He returned to CSRU in 2017 and then transitioned over to overseeing officers in the field as a Sergeant Detective at the end of August 2018. Sgt. Det. Blando processed over 400 crime scenes as an officer and oversaw a similar amount as a supervisor. At the time, they were the only unit in the Department to incorporate drones. They used them to assist with photography and video at our crime scenes. In 2019, he took over CSR’s drones and changed their operations from 107 to Public Aircraft Operations (PAO). He set up their Jurisdictional COA and started their relationship with the FAA. After receiving assistance with the process, he assisted other departments whenever possible. In September 2021, Sgt. Det. Blando was made the UAS manager for the Department and the Liaison to the FAA and moved over to the Homeland Security Unit. He currently chairs the Aviation component of The Department of Homeland Security’s Boston Region, Securing the Cities initiative. Presently, he is training officers to get their 107 licenses and deploy aircraft for our priority calls for service throughout the city.
Reserve Police Officer and UAS Program Manager
David Cameron started his law enforcement career over 33 years ago with the City of Campbell, California, first as a Reserve Police Officer and then full-time Police Officer. In those 33 years, David has had assignments as a Motorcycle Officer and has 17 year’s experience in collision investigation, and has attained accreditation as an accident reconstructionist. David served on the Campbell Police SWAT Team for 18 years serving as a Team Leader and Team EMT.
In 2018 David created the Campbell Police UAS program and services as its manager, finishing his full-time career in 2019. David continues to serve Campbell as a Reserve Police Officer and remains the Department’s UAS Program Manager. As of 2022, David has written and received an FAA Beyond Visual Line of Sight waiver for the Campbell Police Department and will soon have a Drone First Responder program up and running. David continues to be an advocate for the use of drones by the first responder community.
|JAVIER de LUIS, PH.D.
Dr. de Luis has served as the principal investigator/project manager for many major aerospace research projects, including the Middeck 0-gravity Dynamics Experiment (MODE) and Middeck Active Control Experiment (MACE). He has published papers on such diverse topics as piezoelectric actuators and intelligent structures, structural control, distributed sensing and computing, and design and development of spaceflight systems. He authored the seminal paper in the field of Smart Materials, “Use of Piezoelectric Actuators as Elements of Intelligent Structures,” which has been referenced over 3541 times (as of April-2022) by subsequent journal and conference publications. He is a recipient of the MIT James Means Memorial Prize for excellence in space systems engineering; a NASA OAST Commendation for Technology Excellence and a NASA Group Achievement Award; a NASA Manned Flight Awareness Award. Dr. de Luis was three times a finalist in the NASA Astronaut Candidate Selection Program. He holds four United States patents in the fields of smart structures and bioengineering.
|LINDA W. HAINES
Force Protection Division Chief, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Program Executive Office Digital
Linda Haines is the Force Protection Division Chief, part of Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Program Executive Office Digital, Hanscom AFB MA. She oversees the design, fielding, and sustainment of Electronic Security Systems, counter-small unmanned aerial systems (C-sUAS) and Counter-Rockets, Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) at Air Force installations worldwide and development of tactical security systems and technologies. She oversees the first modernization and recapitalization of the Base Defense portfolio, bringing USAF Defenders modern 2ist century IT systems aligned with the DoD’s Air Battle Management Systems (ABMS) and Joint All-domain C2 (JADC2) initiatives.
Ms. Haines was commissioned through the Penn State ROTC program and has served in numerous financial management, cost, and program management assignments as an active duty and reserve officer and DOD civilian. She served as the Chief of Cost Analysis for the Airborne Warning and Control and Global Air Traffic Management System Program Offices. She was mobilized after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, serving as the first Electronic Systems Center Chief of Homeland Security and Defense. She led the Air Force planning for the Joint Command and Control System follow-on to the Global C2 System, followed by assignment as the Program Manager for the $3.5B Space Fence program to improve the Nation’s Space Situational Awareness capabilities. Ms. Haines then served as Production Program Manager for the Family of Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals (FAB-T) Program, where she led the planning, production, and delivery of $1.9B worth of multi-mission capable airborne and ground-based terminals. Haines then led the $1.9B Air Force Integrated Pay and Personnel System (AFIPPS) and was also detailed as the Program Manager, USAF Weapon System Cyber Resiliency, shaping the USAF Cyber Campaign Plan structure to ‘bake in’ cyber resiliency. Prior to her current assignment, she was the Deputy Chief, Theater Battle Control, responsible for personnel, acquisition, and technical support for 300+ program personnel executing $1B+ over the FYDP to acquire, field, and sustain a portfolio of programs that provide worldwide communications, Battle Management, Command and Control, and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance systems.
Ms. Haines is a graduate of the Eisenhower School Senior Acquisition Course and the Defense Systems Management College’s Executive Program Manager Course. She is a designated member of the Defense Acquisition Workforce. She retired from the USAF Reserves at the rank of Colonel.
|LT. COL. THOMAS F. MEAGHER
Division Chief, AFWERX Prime
Lt Col Tom “WCMD” Meagher is the Division Chief for AFWERX Prime, accelerating development and transition dual-use and emerging technologies for the Department of the Air Force.
Lt Col Meagher received his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in 2004 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Upon graduation, he participated in the Program for Research and Education in Space Technology at the NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center and earned a M.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from The George Washington University in 2006. He attended pilot training at Moody AFB, Georgia in the T-6 and Laughlin AFB, Texas in the T-38.
Following initial pilot training, Lt Col Meagher conducted training in the B-52 “Stratofortress” at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana and an operational assignment with Air Force Global Strike Command in Minot AFB, North Dakota where he served as an aircraft commander, flight lead, and flight commander. In 2010, he deployed to Guam AFB, flying 21 missions in support of the Pacific Command Continuous Bomber Presence. In 2011, he was selected to attend the USAF Test Pilot School (Class 11B) at Edwards AFB, California. Following graduation in 2012, he was assigned to the 419th Flight Test Squadron where he served as a test pilot, flight commander and chief of training. In 2014, Lt Col Meagher began a tour as a KC-46 Avionics Program Manager in the Tanker Program Directorate at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. In 2016, he began serving as the Director of Operations for the 586th Flight Test Squadron, providing test and test support to over 50 programs utilizing T-38 and C-12 aircraft. In 2018, he began his tour as commander, 419th Flight Test Squadron, and director, Global Power Bomber Combined Test Force, Edwards Air Force Base, California. He led a test force of over 450 personnel in the developmental test and evaluation of the B-1, B-2, and B-52. Additionally, the squadron oversaw the C-12 Formal Training Unit, responsible for the training of C-12 aircrew for the Department of Defense and other government agencies. He is a recent graduate of National Defense University from the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy with a concentration in the Strategic Acquisitions Course.
Deputy, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) Mission Integration Office (AMIO)
Nancy Mendonca is currently the NASA Deputy in ARMD’s Mission Integration Office (AMIO). The AMIO integrates ARMD’s AAM efforts across the four ARMD Programs and with the AAM ecosystem. She served 24 years in the Navy flying H-46 helicopters. Between the Navy and NASA, she worked at the Missile Defense Agency, on the Marine Corps MRAP Program, and at NTIA working on the Federal Strategic Spectrum Plan. She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering and subsequently earned M.S. degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and National Security and Strategic Studies. She is also a Certified Public Accountant and has currently prioritized rescuing Great Danes and riding horses, over flying helicopters.
Project Manager, Blue UAS Program
David is a project manager at the Defense Innovation Unit, where he leads the Blue UAS program along with other efforts in the small drone space and ground vehicle autonomy. David is a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served as an infantry officer in conventional and Special Operations Forces. He is a proud graduate of both the United States Military Academy and Harvard University. In his spare time, David loves to barbeque, read, and hang out with his St. Bernard.
Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Scott Newbern has served as the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of AeroVironment since December 2018. This includes the leadership of our Pathfinder Program, a technical leadership program that comprises our technical fellows and selects exceptional engineering talent. Scott previously founded the MacCready Works Laboratory – a focal point for AeroVironment’s continuous innovation, focusing on relentless problem-solving and doing what has never been done before. Scott served as the Vice President of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems beginning in 2012. He guided the strategic and tactical activities for the SUAS business area. Scott has served in various UAS leadership positions at AeroVironment since joining the company in 1997. Scott led advanced UAS development activities, including establishing high-volume SUAS manufacturing capability at AeroVironment. Scott is a member of the board of directors for the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), a member of Business Executives for National Security (BENS), and a member of the advisory board for the Aviation Unmanned Vehicle Museum (AUVM).
Scott earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University with a specialty in UAS aerodynamic modeling, control system design, and flight research. Scott also completed Stanford Executive Institute program for high technology executives and Gap International’s Executive Mastery.
|MAYOR JARED C. NICHOLSON
Mayor of the City of Lynn, Massachusetts
Mayor Jared C. Nicholson is the 59th Mayor of the City of Lynn. He began his term in office on January 3, 2022, focused on delivering inclusive growth through better schools, better housing, better jobs, better infrastructure, and more peace in the community.
Prior to being elected Mayor, Nicholson served three terms on the Lynn School Committee and was a law professor at Northeastern University, where he worked with and researched small businesses. Prior to becoming a law professor, Mayor Nicholson worked as a business lawyer for start-ups and as a legal services attorney in Lynn, providing free legal help to small businesses in support of community growth.
Mayor Nicholson is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, is bilingual in English and Spanish, and lives in Lynn with his wife, Katherine, and their son, Henry.
Mayor Nicholson and his Administration strive to engage with the community to provide forward-thinking leadership and achieve growth in Lynn that includes all of us.
|ROBERT A. PEARCE
Associate Administrator, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD)
Mr. Robert A. Pearce is the associate administrator for NASA ARMD. Pearce manages the agency’s aeronautics research portfolio and guides its strategic direction, including research in quiet supersonic flight over land, urban air mobility, autonomy, highly efficient advanced air vehicle concepts, electrified aircraft propulsion, advanced materials, airspace operations, and safety, integration and flight demonstrations of aviation systems, and the nurturing and development of transformative concepts for aviation.
Pearce served as acting associate administrator from August 2019. Prior to that, he was ARMD’s deputy associate administrator for strategy, where he led aeronautics research mission strategic planning to guide the content, strategic progress, and relevance of ARMD’s research portfolio, and led the review and evaluation of ARMD’s budget and approval process.
His first position in ARMD was as director for strategy, architecture, and analysis, where he established a strategic systems analysis capability focused on understanding the system-level impacts of NASA’s programs, the potential for integrated solutions, and the development of high-leverage options for new investment and partnership.
From 2003 until July 2010, Pearce was the deputy director of the FAA-led Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO). The JPDO was an interagency office tasked with developing and facilitating the implementation of a national plan to transform the air transportation system to meet the long-term transportation needs of the nation.
Prior to the JPDO, Pearce held various strategic and program management positions within NASA. In the mid-1990s, he led the development of key national policy documents, including the National Science and Technology Council’s “Goals for a National Partnership in Aeronautics Research and Technology” and the “Transportation Science and Technology Strategy.” These two documents provided a substantial basis for NASA’s expanded investment in aviation safety and airspace systems.
He began his career as a design engineer at the Grumman Corporation, working on such projects as the Navy’s F-14 Tomcat fighter and DARPA’s X-29 Forward Swept Wing Demonstrator. Pearce also has experience from the Department of Transportation’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, where he made contributions in the area of advanced concepts for intercity transportation systems.
Pearce has received NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal for sustained excellence in planning and advocating innovative aeronautics programs in conjunction with the White House and other federal agencies. He received NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal for outstanding leadership of the JPDO in support of the transformation of the nation’s air transportation system. Pearce has also received NASA’s Cooperative External Achievement Award and several Exceptional Performance and Group Achievement Awards.
He earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Syracuse University and a master of science degree in technology and policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Deputy Executive Director, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Office
Abby Smith serves 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. Within this role, Abby supports the Executive Director in leading FAA's efforts to safely integrate drones and AAM operations into the National Airspace System (NAS).
Prior to joining the UAS Integration Office, Smith served as the Executive Director of Policy and Plans within the Office of Policy, International Affairs, and Environment, overseeing strategic planning and policy development for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). She also provided formulation of aviation policies, plans, goals, and priorities through stakeholder outreach.
Smith began her career with the FAA in 1991 as an air traffic controller at the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center. Smith relocated to Washington, DC, in 1999 to join Air Traffic Systems Requirements as a requirements analyst. She then joined the National Transportation Safety Board in 2001 as an accident investigator, where she worked on multiple investigations, including American 587. Since returning to the FAA in 2002, she has held multiple positions, including Domestic Event Network Supervisor, Air Traffic Evaluations Manager, ATO Safety Management System Implementation Manager, Professional Training and Development Manager, Workforce Services Manager, Senior Advisor in System Operations, Director of Aeronautical Information Services, and most recently, Director of Air Traffic Organization's Technical Training.
Smith graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and received her Master of Science degree in Dispute Resolution from Nova South Eastern University.
She is an avid cyclist, marathoner, paddle sport neophyte, hiker, camper and gardener.
|COL. BLAKE STONE
United States Army Joint C-sUAS Office, Strategy and Policy Division
Blake Stone is an Army Career Program (CP) 60 (Strategic Planning & Foreign Affairs) civilian employee assigned to the Joint Counter-sUAS Office (“JCO”), Strategy & Policy Division, at the Pentagon, Washington, DC. Blake’s policy responsibilities include: the homeland defense application of counter-small UAS (C-sUAS), the JCO’s coordination efforts with its interagency and intergovernmental partners, to include the JCO’s coordination with the National Security Council Staff, as well as the Strategy & Policy Division’s emerging technology policy portfolio.
Blake is also a Colonel in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, currently serving as the Senior USAR Legal Advisor in the Office of the Judge Advocate General, National Security Law Division, also at the Pentagon. He previously served as Commander, 8th Legal Operations Detachment, headquartered in Independence, MO. Prior to assuming command, he served as Staff Judge Advocate for the 98th Training Division, Fort Benning, GA. He also served as Legal Advisor to the Army Operations Center and the Army’s Current and Contingency Operations Division, at the Pentagon, from 2015-2017.
His previous assignments include: Staff Judge Advocate, Medical Readiness & Training Command, Joint Base San Antonio (2012-2015); Military Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Training, Readiness & Mobilization), Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower & Reserve Affairs), the Pentagon (2008-2012), where he served as one of the principal authors of the Army Total Force Policy; Command Judge Advocate, 244th Theater Aviation Brigade, Fort Sheridan, IL (2007-2008); Team Leader, Legal Services Team, 91st Legal Support Organization, Fort Sheridan, IL (2006-2007); Executive Officer and subsequently Officer-in-Charge, Combined Review & Release Board, Task Force 134, Multi-National Force-Iraq, United States Embassy-Baghdad, (2006); Assistant Staff Judge Advocate (AGR), 84th Division (Institutional Training) and 84th US Army Reserve Readiness Training Command, Fort McCoy, WI (2004-2006); Trial Counsel (AGR), Headquarters, US Army Reserve Command, Fort McPherson, GA (2003-2004); Administrative Law Attorney and Legal Assistance Attorney, US Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, KS (2002- 2003); Assistant S-3, Trial Counsel and Defense Counsel, 91st Legal Support Organization, Fort Sheridan, IL (1997-2002); Combat Engineer Platoon Leader, Illinois Army National Guard (1990-1993). He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, USAR, Corps of Engineers, in 1990 through the ROTC Early Commissioning Program at Marion Military Institute, Marion, AL.
Colonel Stone is a graduate of the Army War College, Naval War College (College of Naval Command & Staff) (with distinction); Air War College (Distance Learning), the Marine Corps Command & Staff College, the Air Command & Staff College, and the US Army Command & Staff College (ILE Common Core and Combined Arms & Services Staff School). He is also a 2021 graduate of the Syracuse University (Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs) National Security Management Course (Post-Senior Service College SES Development Course). Blake is also a recent graduate of the Continuing Education for Senior Leaders course at the Army Management Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS, and the Executive Branch Artificial Intelligence Lab at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC.
Mr. Stone is a Ph.D. student in the International Relations Program at Salve Regina University, Newport, RI. He holds a Master of Strategic Studies from the Army War College, a Master of Arts in National Security & Strategic Studies (with distinction) from the Naval War College, Juris Doctor cum laude, Northern Illinois University, an undergraduate degree from Eastern Illinois University and an Associate’s Degree from Marion Military Institute.
Blake previously served as an Adjunct Professor of National Security Decision Making, at the United States Naval War College, College of Distance Education, on the Adjunct Faculty of the US Army Command & General Staff College, and as an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School of Security & Global Studies, American Military University. He also holds the Army’s 6Z (Army Strategist) Additional Skill Identifier and 3U (Expert National Security Law Practitioner) Professional Development Proficiency Code.
Blake was awarded the State Department’s Expeditionary Service Award for his civilian service as a Senior Governance Advisor on an embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team in Iraq from 2008-2010.
Blake and his wife Krine are both originally from the same small farm town in rural Southern Illinois. They currently reside on a small farm in Southern Maryland and have five children.
Counter Small UAS Lead Engineer
Nick Wasinger is the Lead Engineer, Counter Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems for the Force Protection Division, Digital Directorate, Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts. He is responsible for technical planning and execution of material solutions for urgent operational needs and programs of records assigned to the Air Force to defend against small unmanned aircraft systems. He leads a 62-person team of engineers to fulfill $800M in urgent requirements worldwide.
Nick received his Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering at Kansas State University, Kansas in 2003 and was commissioned into the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He entered active duty that same year, continuing until 2009 when he transitioned to the Department of the Air Force civilian corps and the Air Force active reserves. In his career, he has led multiple teams in the areas of air and space acquisitions, military satellite communications operations, and space control operations, providing support to major military programs such as the Launch and Test Range System; Military Strategic and Tactical Relay (MILSTAR); the Command and Control System-Consolidated; the Space Test and Training Range; Counter Improvised Explosive Device Systems; and Counter Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
As a reservist, Nick is the Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) to the Deputy Division Chief, Force Protection Division, Digital Directorate, Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts. He provides program and technical management expertise for the modernization and integration of the Air Force Security Forces enterprise, to include the Electronic Security Systems, the Counter Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and Tactical Security Systems.
Managing Director and Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group
Mel Wolfgang serves on Boston Consulting Group's Industrial Goods practice leadership team and the North American management team, where he is responsible for all partner human resources and development. He is also the North American co-leader for the firm's change management work and a member of the firm’s People & Organization, Strategy, and Public Sector practices.
Since joining BCG in 1999, Mel has supported a wide range of industrial and technology businesses, as well as public sector agencies, through large-scale transformation agendas. His work has covered issues such as strategy development, growth, due diligence, mergers and acquisitions, post-merger integration, organization design and culture management, cost optimization, pricing, and commercial excellence programs. He has supported BCG’s US presidential transition planning for the past decade.
Mel is a lecturer at the American College of Corporate Directors, where he specializes in training public company board members on business strategy. He is also active in the Boston area in supporting pediatric food allergy research.
Before joining BCG, Mel worked in the marine industry in various roles, including research scientist at MIT and engine room technician aboard an LNG carrier. He also worked in manufacturing and assembly for an oceanographic equipment manufacturer and in the design and construction of small pleasure craft.
Leader, Commercial and Private Public Partnerships, Intelligent Transportation
Yotam Avrahami leads commercial and PPP (Private Public Partnerships) projects with Deloitte’s Intelligent Transportation offering. For the past 10 years, Yotam has supported Aerospace and Defense (A&D), Retail, logistics, start-up, and government(FAA, State’s DoTs, EDA, Israel DoT, Israel C&H)) clients to optimize and scale their intelligent transportation capabilities. In addition, he has worked closely with Fortune 500 Multinationals and Governmental Leading Institutions to stand up UAS programs, AAM market technology studies, and Growth Strategies.
Yotam also developed PPP UTM, AAM economic, and business models to expedite the UAS/AAM market growth and to enable operation and R&D for a wide range of private and public entities across the US. He worked with economic development groups, test sites, state DOTs, and communities to develop investment strategies utilizing federal funds and private equity. Additionally, he led state-wide AAM deployment roadmaps evaluating infrastructure, policies, and investments needed for the future of aviation.
Gloria Bouillon is an Airport Director, commercial pilot, and aircraft owner! She has transformed her airport into it’s largest expansion project in it’s history. She builds consensus with a visionary approach and effective communication to stakeholders and community. Previously, as an Aviation Planner, she developed Airport Master Plans, facility layout requirements, Capital Improvement Plans, Environmental Assessments, and Statewide Economic Impact System studies for airports. Last year, she was awarded by Airport Business Magazine, Top 40 under 40, as well as "Top Women in Aviation and Aerospace to Follow on LinkedIn 2021." She serves on the Board of Directors for the North Shore Chamber of Commerce and Massachusetts Airport Managers Association, as well as a State Representative for Massachusetts for NEC AAAE. She serves as the Community Advisory Committee for MassPort Authority and Environmental and Health subcommittee, and participates in various economic development committees. She is passionate about the aviation industry and highly involved in monitoring young professionals and women in aviation. She is an aircraft owner, commercial, instrument rated pilot with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from Dowling College, School of Aviation and Associates Degree in Aviation Science, Professional Pilot.
|CATHY CAHILL, PH.D.
Director, Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI)
Dr. Cathy Cahill is the Director of the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). After receiving her Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences and finishing a Fulbright Fellowship to Ireland, Cathy ventured north to Alaska to be an Assistant Professor at UAF. She initially taught physical chemistry and conducted research on atmospheric aerosols and their impacts on visibility, global climate, aircraft safety, and human health. Cathy began working with unmanned aircraft in 2006, and, in 2015, when she returned from a Congressional Fellowship to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, she became the Director of ACUASI.
Director, C-UAS PMO
Career: Brent is an expert in the field of Homeland Security, with specialized experience in transportation security, red teaming, and countering uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS). Brent has served in number of homeland security focused leadership positions including his current role as the Director for Counter-Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (C-UAS) at the Department of Homeland Security Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans, under the Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention -Law Enforcement umbrella. Brent is responsible for the Department’s C-UAS policy, and implementation of the C-UAS authorities granted to DHS in the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018.
Background: Mr. Cotton’s security career began during the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rollout in 2002, when he began training the first federalized screeners and played an active role in developing and implementing checked baggage screening policy and protocols. After arriving at TSA headquarters in 2010, he joined the Operations Improvement Branch (OIB) where he created and refined procedures associated with rolling out new types of equipment. Identified as an unconventional thinker willing to challenge assumptions, Brent was recruited as a member of the Administrator’s Risk Based Security Team where he developed new and innovative approaches to transportation security. In this role Brent helped create and implement the TSA Precheck program which now has more than 10M voluntarily enrolled members.
Prior to moving to DHS HQ, Brent spent 5 years at TSA’s Office of Inspection where held several leadership positions including Deputy Assistant Administrator (DAA), Executive Advisor, and Branch Manager in the Special Operations Division (SOD) Red Team. Mr. Cotton’s diverse experience in transportation security, which includes training development, operations improvement, Risk Based Security, and Inspections, makes him uniquely qualified to discuss a wide range of issues affecting movement of people and commerce.
Education: Brent holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of West Florida College of Business, as well as a master’s degree in Security Studies from the Naval Post Graduate School.
Personal: Brent is married with one son, and lives in northern Virginia. Brent is an avid golfer, fisherman, and motorcyclist, as well as a Reserve Police Officer for the Metropolitan Police Department, proudly serving the 3rd District.
|TONYA D. COULTAS
Deputy Associate Administrator for Security and Hazardous Materials Safety
Tonya D. Coultas is the Deputy Associate Administrator for Security & Hazardous Materials Safety (ASH). Ms. Coultas is responsible for implementing and leading the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) aviation security programs that support the safety and security of the National Airspace System (NAS). Ms. Coultas provides executive leadership and direction for the planning, coordination, and implementation of national aviation security policies and programs. This includes internal personnel & physical security, insider threat and investigations, counterterrorism and intelligence support, manned and unmanned systems, disaster emergency planning, response and mitigation, and 24 hour Watch operations. Additionally she oversees the national regulatory compliance and implementation for the transportation of dangerous goods and hazardous materials safety. Under her leadership FAA/ASH has improved aviation safety and security through close partnerships and alliances, a culture of innovation, and development of a dedicated workforce.
Ms. Coultas has over 30 years of combined federal executive, local, state, military, and international experience transforming national and international programs providing authoritative executive level guidance in support of national security, defense, intelligence, safety, disaster response, and crisis management. Before joining the FAA Ms. Coultas served as the Deputy Executive Assistant Administrator for Security Operations at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). There she led a workforce of over 50,000 employees and was responsible for security operations at over 440 airports nationwide.
Before joining TSA, Ms. Coultas served as the Senior Executive for the DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate, Office of Infrastructure Protection (now CISA), and Senior Executive for FEMA where she led the Homeland Security suite of grants. Prior to DHS Ms. Coultas served as the Executive Director for the DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
Ms. Coultas is a retired Chief Master Sergeant from the Maryland Air National Guard where she served for 24 years. During her service she participated in Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom. She has served with Headquarters United States European Command, the Joint Chiefs of Staff J-4, and the National Security Agency. She is a recognized expert in crisis management, strategic planning, innovation, and national security. Ms. Coultas holds a Master’s in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Toxicology.
Strategic Account Director - Unmanned Systems
Nancy Chrisman is a wireless industry veteran leading efforts to build Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) networks across the country. She currently serves as the Strategic Account Director for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for Crown Castle, the nation’s largest communications infrastructure company. Nancy understands the value of infrastructure to support advanced connectivity and the services it enables. From healthcare to homework, reliable networks link communities to essential services and economic growth.
In previous roles, she was Head of Strategic Initiatives for the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), where she built and managed four national initiatives to expand network deployments across the U.S.
|JEFFREY DECARLO, ED.D., PMP, ATP
Administrator, 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.
Chief Revenue Officer
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.
Director of Infrastructure and Head of Americas
Addison is the Director of Infrastructure and Head of Americas for Skyports, leading the company’s efforts to acquire, design and build, and operate vertiports for air taxis. His team addresses real estate agreements, local stakeholder engagement, regulatory approvals, airport planning, operational procedures, and enabling technology required to develop and operate a safe, efficient, passenger-friendly vertiport. He began his career as a mechanical engineer designing jet engines at GE Aviation in Cincinnati. Following that, he joined McKinsey as a management consultant, serving clients in aerospace and defense and other industries on a range of strategic and operational topics. He is located in Boston.
Chief Executive Officer
Matthew George is the CEO of Merlin Labs, an aerospace startup co-located in Boston, Los Angeles, and New Zealand. Merlin is the leading developer of autonomous flight technology for fixed-wing aircraft. Backed by a number of institutional venture capital firms, including Google Ventures, First Round, Snowpoint, and Baillie Gifford, Merlin recently raised $105m Series B and also has a partnership with the United States Air Force to bring autonomy to the service’s C-130J. Before Merlin, Matt was the CEO of two venture-backed startups. Outside of startups, Matt has served in a number of community roles, including being the technology chair for Boston’s 2024 Olympic bid. Matt has a B.A. in Biology from Middlebury College and lives in Boston with his wife, Dana, and their dog Madeleine.
|PETER J. HANSEN, PH.D.
Lecturer, Department of Chemical Engineering
Peter Hansen has been teaching Ethics for Engineers at MIT since 2015, and he has been the Course Administrator since 2020. Ethics for Engineers is cross-listed by most MIT engineering departments, and it is taken by approximately 10% of MIT undergraduates. Dr. Hansen has also taught political philosophy at Harvard, Washington & Lee University, and the Virginia Military Institute. He received his A.B. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Dr. Hansen formerly worked in finance, and he founded and ran his own company for many years. He is the author of Plato’s Tough Guys and Their Attachment to Justice.
Vice President of Intelligent Systems
Matthew Kling is Vice President of Autonomous Systems at MatrixSpace, a leader in autonomous solutions for unmanned aerial systems. At MatrixSpace, he leverages heavily on his prior experience as a senior member of the technical staff and director of the Expeditionary Cyber and Unmanned Aircraft Systems lab at KRI at Northeastern University, where he led UAS research in the areas of Counter-UAS, GNSS, electronic warfare, EMP, multi-modal sensing, machine learning/AI, and autonomy. When developing autonomous system solutions, he utilized his extensive background in RF systems, real-time embedded systems, communications, system architecture, systems engineering, cybersecurity, and system integration/test. His professional certifications include TOGAF and Zachman enterprise architecture. He obtained an MS in Systems Engineering in 2006 and a BS in Electrical Engineering in 2002, both from WPI. His career began at Raytheon in 2002 as a software engineer for SATCOM/Radar systems. During his 15 years there, he became a technical leader for several major military SATCOM systems, where he was considered an expert in domains such as communication waveforms, RF systems, real-time embedded systems, security engineering/cyber, and system architecture/requirements. Additionally, he has published several papers and applied for/received patents for remote control systems and security devices.
Director of Regulatory Affairs
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.
|CAPT VICTOR "SALSA" LOPEZ
Capt Victor “SALSA” Lopez is an airman recently assigned to AFWERX Spark, he spent the last 3 years assigned to the Department of the Air Force and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Artificial Intelligence Accelerator as part of the initial cadre. He received his undergraduate degree in Astronautical Engineering from USAFA and a graduate degree in Systems Engineering from Georgia Tech. SALSA is a distinguished graduate of his pilot training class and an active MQ-9 Instructor Pilot. He has accrued nearly 2,000 combat hours over the last eight years. At AFWERX, SALSA continues the Department’s relationship with MIT and the Boston tech community by opening the AFWERX Boston Hub. At Spark, SALSA will help connect end users to capabilities within the AFWERX Agility and Autonomy Prime portfolios.
Chief Technologist, Aeronautics Division Drone Program
Terrence McKenna is the MassDOT Aeronautics Division’s Chief Technologist. 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.
|WESLEY A. OLSON, PH.D.
Group Leader, Surveillance Systems Group
Dr. Wesley A. Olson is the Leader of the Surveillance Systems Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. The group develops surveillance and decision-support architectures and technologies to enable the future transportation system.
Dr. Olson leads the development of technologies to improve aviation safety and, since 2010, has led the development of the next-generation collision avoidance/detect and avoid system – ACAS X. He is involved in other research and development efforts to safely integrate new airspace entrants, such as large and small Unmanned Aircraft Systems as well as Advance Air Mobility (AAM) aircraft. He serves as technical advisor to the US panel member on the ICAO Surveillance Panel and the Airborne Collision Avoidance Subgroup, provides technical leadership on several RTCA special committees, and is a participant on the Air Traffic Control Association Blue Skies Initiative team.
Prior to joining MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Dr. Olson served for 22 years in the US Air Force, where he held positions including Associate Professor and Deputy Head, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the USAF Academy as well Deputy Director for Operations at the Air Force Flight Standards Agency. He is a rated pilot with 3,500 flight hours in the C-5, C-21, and TG-7 aircraft and holds an FAA Air Transport Pilot rating. He has Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Engineering Psychology from the University of Illinois and a BS in Human Factors Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy.
Intelligence and Space Director of the Advanced Air Mobility / Uncrewed Aircraft System Traffic Management Global Campaign
Elizabeth Soltys is Raytheon Technologies (RTX)’s Intelligence and Space Director of the Advanced Air Mobility / Uncrewed Aircraft System Traffic Management Global Campaign. She is responsible for the furtherment of civil UAS expanse. Her portfolio focuses on regulatory, policy, engineering, and advancing concepts in this nascent market. Prior to joining RTX, Elizabeth achieved 30+ years of aviation experience before she retired from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). She directed many activities with emphasis in research and full-scale development, and system deployment, and tackled countless regulatory/policy issues. She also managed a system engineering portfolio of contracts with an estimated value of $6.4 billion, the largest set of awards in FAA history. Since 2012 she has been on the forefront of UAS integration as well as countering and defeating non-cooperative assets. Soltys’ private-sector experience also includes working as a structural engineer designing skyscrapers for DeSimone Consulting Engineers, NY, NY, and Mergers & Acquisitions for Kidder Peabody of General Electric Co, NY, NY. She holds a Bachelor’s in Architectural Engineering (Structural Engineer), a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics, and an MBA in Finance and Accounting. Soltys has also held multiple adjunct mathematics professor positions—Pennsylvania State University, Richard Stockton State University, and Atlantic Cape Community College.
Vice President of Business Development
David Rottblatt is the Vice President of Business Development at Eve Urban Air Mobility. In this role, David is responsible for Eve's commercial strategy and sales of Eve's eVTOL, Urban Air Traffic Management, and Services and Support product lines. Prior to the spin-out of Eve in 2020, David joined EmbraerX in 2017, where Eve's projects were originally conceived.
David is a commercial fixed-wing pilot, Helicopter pilot, and sUAS (drone) pilot with over 18 years of flying experience. David has a Bachelor's Degree in International Affairs from George Washington University, a Master's Degree in Political Science from University of Connecticut, and a Master's of International Business from the Fletcher School, Tufts University.
Portfolio Manager, DHS S&D
|SCOTT A. UEBELHART, PH.D.
Chief Scientist, Aeronautics Division Drone Program
Scott A. Uebelhart, Ph.D. is the Chief Scientist of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Aeronautics Division Drone 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.
Senior Product Engineer
Parker Vascik is the senior product engineer at Xwing, a California-based startup on a mission to build the world's smartest, cleanest, and most accessible air transportation network. To fulfill this mission, Xwing is developing a platform-agnostic autonomous flight technology, known as Superpilot, that enables gate-to-gate operations overseen by a ground-based supervisor. Furthermore, Xwing operates a network of 35 conventionally-piloted C208 aircraft providing nearly 400 cargo flights per week on which Superpilot will initially be deployed. Outside his role at Xwing, Parker is a research engineer at MIT where he leads a team of students working with NASA to create new air traffic control constructs for advanced air mobility. He earned his Ph.D. from MIT, his B.S. from Georgia Tech, and currently resides in Boston where he enjoys sailing and biking.
|GREGORY L. WATERS
Founder and Executive Chair
Gregory L. Waters is the Founder, President, and CEO of MatrixSpace, a leading technology company in Autonomous Flight Systems seeking to revolutionize how humans and intelligent aerial systems work together. Greg is currently on the boards of OnSemi, a global Automotive and Industrial semiconductor company; Sierra-Wireless, a leading IoT Solutions; Cyxtera, a global data center business; and Mythic AI, an innovative AI processor company.
Greg was President and CEO of Integrated Device Technology from 2014 to 2019, a silicon valley based semiconductor company with leadership positions in data centers, automotive, and power solutions. Before that, he was Executive VP and GM of Skyworks Solutions, a global leader in RF semiconductors. He is a graduate of Northeastern University with an MSCS in Computer Science.