AFCEA International Chapter News

Chapter Hosts March Ideation and Innovation Forum

The Air Force scientists, researchers and engineers are re-imagining what's possible and creating tomorrow's technology today. This pursuit of innovation delivers solutions for our warfighter's urgent needs, creating innovative new capabilities for the Air Force. In this spirit, the chapter created a series of events called Ideation and Innovation to grow and educate the community on innovative ideas. Each event will feature a government speaker to highlight challenges that must be addressed, an academic speaker to present the art of the possible and industry to discuss innovative efforts and ideas underway.

These talks are intended to support the education and interests of researchers, engineers and leadership in technical areas from academia, industry (defense and commercial spaces) and the government.

Topic: Implementing Autonomy: Deploying certifiable autonomy with safe, secure, and effective mechanisms while enabling cost effective and efficient life cycle management

•Government Speaker: Chris Garrett, senior leader, technical advisor, Systems Engineering, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC)

•Academic Speaker: Sayan Mitra, professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

•Industry Speaker: Nick Heggemeir, managing director of infrastructure, DriveOhio

•Moderator: Patrick Soller, general manager, Alten Engineering Services.

Garrett serves as the recognized Air Force authority for systems engineering for weapon systems lifecycle management and is charged with providing technical oversight and advice to high-level Air Force and government officials. In this role, Garrett is the lead engineer developing the Air Force Materiel Command strategy for digital transformation.

Mitra is a professor of electrical and computer engineering. His book on verification of cyber-physical systems: a path to safe autonomy, was just published by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press in February. His group has developed several award-winning tools for verification of autonomous systems. His work has been recognized by the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award in 2011, Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award, IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu Outstanding Teaching Award, and a Siebel Fellowship.

Heggemeir oversees the development of Ohio standards for the deployment of connected and automated vehicle technology. Focusing on interoperability, these standards are key in achieving a unified statewide infrastructure that works for all wherever they travel within the state. Heggemeir collaborates with various technology industry partners on the development and testing of new products for use in the areas of intelligent transportation systems and connected/automated vehicle technology. This is done with a goal of improving operations by creating efficiencies within the department through the use of technology and the data it enables.

Soller manages the performance of engineers on-site at major automotive customers and government smart city projects. Soller's Route 33 Smart Innovation Corridor project is Ohio's first road with smart infrastructure, a fiber optic cable network that will instantaneously link researchers and traffic monitors with data generated from sensors along the highway.

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