Paul D. Nielsen - (Chair)
Paul D. Nielsen (NAE) is the director and CEO of Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute. The Software Engineering Institute is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense. SEI develops and transitions technologies in software architecture, integration and interoperability, cybersecurity, process improvement, real time systems, and systems engineering related to software. Prior to joining the Software Engineering Institute, Nielsen served in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a major general. He served primarily in research and development assignments related to space and C3I. In his final assignment, Dr. Nielsen was the commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Technology Executive Officer for the Air Force. He is a fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is a past president of AIAA and has served on the Defense Science Board. Nielsen received a Ph.D. in applied science from the University of California, Davis and an M.B.A. from the University of New Mexico.
Mr. Matthew Alexander is currently the assistant group leader of the Embedded and Open Systems Group (Group 102). He began his career at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in 2004 after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering Technology from Northeastern University. He has played a variety of technical and leadership roles throughout his career, and during the first half of Matthew’s career, he made technical contributions to various sensor processor development efforts as a software engineer. Initially, he designed, implemented, integrated, and tested high-performance signal processing algorithms in C++. Years later, Matthew’s technical breadth grew when he became the lead architect for multiple open architecture processor development efforts. In this role, Matthew was responsible for the full processor development lifecycle, including hardware and software. He led multiple successful processor prototyping efforts, which culminated in airborne demonstrations and deployment. During the second half of Matthew’s career, his contributions were more leadership focused. Matthew began leading medium-sized software development efforts. He was responsible for internal execution, as well as external interfacing with the USAF and industry contractors. He led collaborative lab/industry software integration efforts, and participated in field-testing and demonstrations. Matthew developed skillsets that enabled him to grow into his current position as an assistant group leader. Today, Matthew is responsible for the Open Sensor Processing programs in his group. He oversees a portfolio of programs that focus on designing and prototyping sensor processors in a manner that enables effective and efficient maintenance and upgrades. He meets regularly with USAF leadership to establish an enterprise open radar vision, and is an important leader in the USAF’s open radar consortium.
Ted F. Bowlds
Lt Gen Ted Bowlds (ret) most recently served as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for FlightSafety, International from 2016 until his departure in 2018. As CIO, Ted was responsible for the planning and execution of a $30m annual budget and maintained a steady
99.9% system reliability. During his tenure, Ted produced the company’s first IT strategic plan and received 100% approval from leadership. He also served as the chief technology officer responsible for innovation and the introduction of market leading capabilities. During his 36- year career in the United States Air Force and subsequent experience in industry, Ted led multiple large-scale, complex procurement activities, each dependent upon a strong ethics and solid research foundation. Many of these procurements were unique, global, time sensitive and bounded by numerous policies and practices; thus, requiring a technical competency combined with an innovative effective management expertise to enable efficient and successful product development and delivery. Multiple programs such as the F-117 stealth fighter and the B-2 involved innovative research and collaboration across diverse industry and academia partners. As Commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Ted drove the effort of pushing the boundaries to support the Warfighters. The diverse research undertaken by AFRL ranged from microelectronics, human factors, medical, aeronautics, computers, satellites, and power generation. This involved directing a $2 billion science and technology program as well as additional customer funded research and development of $1.7 billion while ensuring relevancy, maintaining state of the art research facilities, and building relationships with strategic partners. Approximately one fourth of the research directed by AFRL was performed through grants provided to universities. The outcome was research that resulted in the direct application of investments into programs of record and a high rate of technology transfer. His last assignment on active duty was as the Commander of the Electronic Systems Center and Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Air Force information technology procurements, applications and systems. As Commander, Ted was responsible for maintaining facilities in six different locations throughout the United States and ensuring compliance with Air Force, state, and Federal guidelines. As PEO, he drove an entrepreneurial approach to program acquisition that resulted in rapid fielding of capability. The portfolio of programs being executed in command and control, surveillance, and information technology was the result of close partnership with both end users and developers; industry; other government laboratories; and academia. Acquiring and maintaining the $5 billion budget supporting the acquisition programs was the result of working closely with senior leaders in the Air Force and Congress. Ted is a board member of the Air Force Retired Officers Community (a continuing care retirement community) and holds the positions of vice chairman and chairman of the strategic planning committee. He is also a member of the Mississippi State Research Technology Advisory Group, the DoD Systems Engineering Research Council, and the Air Force Studies Board. Ted holds a Master of Science in electrical engineering, a Master of Science in engineering management and a Ph.D. in systems engineering. He is a graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School Flight Test Engineer course and has attend numerous leadership and management courses.
Heather Penney is the senior resident fellow for the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, where she conducts extensive research on cutting edge defense policy with a focus on the leveraging the critical advantage that only aerospace power affords. Prior to joining Mitchell, Penney worked over a decade in the defense industry focused on defense budgets, supporting program execution, and capture campaign management. She served in the D.C. Air National Guard flying F-16s and G-100s; she has also served in the Air Force Reserve in the National Military Command Center. She has also lectured extensively on subjects such as Air Force capabilities and force structure; organizational command and control; reforming the defense personnel system; and other defense policy issues to a broad number of organizations, universities, and military institutions. Penney received her undergraduate degree from Purdue University, majoring in English with a minor in philosophy; and earned her Master of Arts in American studies from Purdue University as well. She continues to fly vintage aircraft, has raced jets, and tours with the Collings Foundation.
Mr. Stephen P. Welby is the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. IEEE and its members inspire a global community to innovate for a better tomorrow with more than 423,000 members in over 160 countries, and through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities. IEEE is the trusted “voice” for engineering, computing, and technology information around the globe. Prior to joining IEEE, in 2015 Stephen was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the US Senate as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. In this role, he served as the chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Defense, leading one of the largest and most complex research, development, and engineering organizations in the world. He oversaw a $12.5B annual investment portfolio, managed internal and collaborative research and engineering efforts, drove a culture that valued innovation, and supported the department’s global technical engagement. Stephen has more than three decades of government and industrial experience in technology and product development, including senior leadership positions at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). His technical experience includes development of leading edge aeronautical and space systems, robotics, machine learning, high- performance software, and sensor systems. Stephen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, a master’s degree in business administration from the Texas A&M University, and master’s degrees in computer science and applied mathematics from The Johns Hopkins University. He is a fellow of the IEEE.