Press Release

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Announces New Board of Directors

By SpaceRef Editor
August 30, 2009
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The world’s largest association representing the unmanned systems community, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), announces the newly elected members to the association’s governing board.

John Lambert, AUVSI President and Senior Director for Tactical Systems, Aurora Flight Sciences

A native of Massachusetts, Mr. Lambert received a BS degree in Physics from Providence College and a MS degree in Systems Technology from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Mr. Lambert has more than 30 years experience in unmanned systems, acquisition program management and naval operations. His active-duty Navy experience includes managing unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) programs as UUV Program Manager (PMS 403) and Deputy Defensive Warfare Systems Program Manager (PMS 415). In December 2003, he retired from active duty and joined SAIC where he was a Vice President for Unmanned Systems and Navy ISR until May 2008. He is currently the Senior Director for Tactical Systems at Aurora Flight Sciences, Manassas, Virginia. He serves as the Chairman of ASTM’s Committee F41 on Unmanned Maritime Vehicle Systems Standards. In 2005, he was elected First Vice President of AUVSI and was elected Executive Vice President in 2007.

Larry L. Felder, AUVSI Executive Vice President and Director, Unmanned Systems Development, Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC)

At SAIC, Mr. Felder is responsible for unmanned systems business development. He supports current operations for Air Combat Command’s Predator Operations Centers and Reaper Operation Centers, as well as Air Force Special Operations Command’s Dragon Operation Centers and the United Kingdom’s Reaper Operation Centers. Col. Felder retired from the Air Force as the Commander, United States Air Force Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Battlelab (UAVB). The UAVB team worked with industry, academia, and our National/Service laboratories to find solutions to warfighter problems, demonstrate those solutions, make an objective decision on their military utility and then transition key initiatives to the warfighter. He was also dual-hatted as the Deputy Commander for the Joint Unmanned Aircraft System Center of Excellence. His Aviation career includes more than 2,900 flying hours in several Combat Air Force aircraft to include the B-52G, B-52H, B-1, F-16, F-15E, RQ-1 Predator, RQ-4 Global Hawk and ScanEagle.

John Lademan, AUVSI First Vice President and Director for Strategic Planning and Advanced Systems, Northrop Grumman Corp.

Mr. Lademan is a 1978 Graduate of the Naval Academy, serving 22 years in the submarine service. His military experiences include submarine tours, instructor at the Navy’s Nuclear Power School, staff positions and as a Senior Field Liaison Officer at the Office of Naval Research working science and technology issues for unmanned underwater vehicles. Mr. Lademan is currently employed at Northrop Grumman Corp. in Annapolis, Maryland, where he has worked for 24 years. He is the Director for Strategic Planning and Advanced Systems working a myriad of unmanned system and system of system developments which include unmanned vehicles and heterogeneous cooperative unmanned vehicle autonomy. As a member of AUVSI, Mr. Lademan has participated as a committee member since 2003 for the North American AUVSI conventions providing Plenary Speakers, technical paper reviews and selection, and as session chair. He has performed a similar service for the AUVSI winter Program Reviews.

Joe D. Brannan, USN (Retired), AUVSI Treasurer and Naval Air Systems Command, PMA-207

Mr. Brannan retired in 2002 after 34 years of Naval service, rising through the ranks from Airman to O-5 Naval Flight Officer. A Mechanical Engineering Graduate of the University of Kansas, other schools include Inter-Service Navigator Training and U.S. Navy Test Pilot School. Since retiring, he has provided support to the Navy Research and Marine Corps Warfighting Labs’ Dragon Warrior UAV Program and been an Assistant Program Manager Systems Engineering (APMSE) as the Fire Scout VTUAV Class Desk. Mr. Brannan is currently the Chief Engineer for PMA-207, NAVAIR’s Support and Commercial Derivative Aircraft Program Office. An active member of AUVSI since 1998, he has served as a member and Technical Chair of AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems North America Symposium Committee and as Program Review Chair for Air Day. He has been the Flight Safety Director for the Biennial Unmanned Systems Demonstrations and is the Director for AUVSI’s Annual Student Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) Competition. Mr. Brannan was selected as AUVSI’s 2007 Member of the Year.

Ralph Alderson, Board Member (2009-2012)

Mr. Alderson, Capt. USN (Retired), is a ManTech SRS Technologies employee serving as the Technical Director of the Systems Engineering team supporting the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office within the Department of Homeland Security. A graduate of the Naval Academy and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, his operational career included command of an S 3B Viking squadron. His services as the Navy’s first Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) Requirements Officer led to selection as the senior Navy member of the Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) program when it was established in DARPA. As a DARPA Program Manager, he was the government lead for the Boeing X-45 program and oversaw completion of the successful X-45A flight test program and development of the X-45C aircraft from initial design. When the J-UCAS program was moved to joint USAF and Navy leadership, Mr. Alderson was selected as the first Program Director and became a Group Commander within the USAF Aeronautical Systems Command. In his final Navy assignment before transition to the civilian workforce in 2008, Mr. Alderson served as the CNO staff’s Warfare Integration Branch Head.

Peter Bale, Board Member (2009-2012)

Mr. Bale is currently a Business Development Executive for Insitu Inc. Prior to joining Insitu, Peter was the Senior Director of Business Development for AAI Corp. in charge of the Aerosonde platform. Mr. Bale is also the Program Manager for Aerosonde North America at the NASA Facility located at Wallops Island, Virginia. From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Bale was the CEO of one of the first UAS companies started in Australia. Following that, Mr. Bale consulted for Aerosonde Pty Ltd. in Australia and was later engaged in October 2004 to take over the role of Program Manager at the NASA Facility at Wallops Island and General Manager of Aerosonde North America. Mr. Bale later developed the role of Business Development Manager for the company internationally. Mr. Bale as Program Manager has led UAS operations both at Wallops Island, Virginia, Guam and more recently the successful NOAA hurricane operations.

Robin Cornick, Board Member (2008-2011)

Lt. Cdr. Cornick joined the Royal Navy as a Marine Engineering Mechanic in 1979. During a three year exchange tour with the U.S. Navy he was involved in the Very Shallow Water Mine Counter Measures Technologies Project, where he gained his first exposure to the possibilities of unmanned technology. He was later appointed to the Directorate Equipment Capability (Underwater Battlespace) at the Ministry of Defence in London, followed by an appointment as the requirements manager in the MCM Equipment Integrated Project Team in the Defence Procurement Agency, where he was responsible for the requirement capture and delivery of the first generation of the Royal Navy’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Programme. Lt. Cdr. Cornick is currently serving as the Mine Warfare Programme Officer at the NATO Undersea Research Centre, La Spezia, Italy, where he provides expertise and guidance to scientists researching NATO’s mine countermeasures future capability, and runs the small AUV team.

Helen Greiner, Board Member (2007-2010)

Ms. Greiner co-founded iRobot in 1990 with Colin Angle and Prof. Rodney Brooks. Over the years, iRobot has grown from a small MIT spin-off into a leading developer of robots for the U.S. military. Ms. Greiner was instrumental in the development of the iRobot PackBot tactical mobile robot, from its early concept stage through development, testing and deployment. Ms. Greiner is highly decorated for her visionary contributions in technology and innovation and has been honored by the World Economic Forum as a Global Leader for Tomorrow and a Young Global Leader, and was awarded AUVSI’s 2006 Pioneer Award. Ms. Greiner’s nearly 20 years in robot innovation and commercialization includes work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. She is now the CEO and founder of a new company, The Droid Works, Inc.

Timothy L. Heely, Board Member (2007-2010)

Rear Adm. Tim Heely (USN, Retired), a native of Belleville, Ill., received his wings in 1977 and flew the A-7E Corsair II in Attack Squadrons 146 and 97 from Naval Air Station, Lemoore, California, and aircraft carriers in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. In 1990 he transitioned to the F/A-18C Hornet and commanded Strike Fighter Squadron 192, flying from USS Midway and USS Independence, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. In August 2000 he was selected to flag rank and served as Head of Naval Air Systems Command’s Research and Engineering Division, then later served as Program Executive Officer, Strike Weapons and Unmanned Aviation. He received his second star in May 2005. In the private sector, he is president of Cobham Analytic Solutions (formerly Sparta). Rear Adm. Heely graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in American Political Systems and in 1985 earned a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.

H. Michelle Kalphat, Board Member (2009-2012)

Ms. Kalphat has more than 23 years engineering experience working for the Department of Defense, to include managing Army Science and Technology Objective (STO)s for 6 years, leading various research and development initiatives in the area of unmanned systems and providing systems engineering support to Army, Navy, Air Force, Special Operations Command and DARPA programs. Ms. Kalphat’s undergraduate degree is in Electrical Engineering and she earned her MBA in June 1999. Her experience includes test and evaluation, quality/reliability engineering, expertise in modeling, simulation and training, surface anti-submarine warfare, Tactical Data Links, Theater Missile Defense and Intelligence. Over the past 10 years, Ms. Kalphat has been engaged in unmanned systems activities ranging from managing an Army R&D Science & Technology Objective Program to development of an unmanned systems experimentation site/program, to serving as an official and subject matter expert with the DARPA Grand Challenge 1 and 2 staff. She was also responsible for the startup of the Florida Peninsula Chapter of AUVSI and served as its Charter President and serves currently as its Secretary. She was instrumental in the planning and operation of AUVSI’s first Autonomous Surface Vehicle demonstration.

Chris Mailey, Board Member (2009-2012)

Mr. Mailey currently works with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Mentor-Protege Robotics Initiative where he supports bringing small business technology to market to meet the needs of the joint warfighter. He is also working on the UV Sentry initiative, in which he is fostering interaction and integration of multiple unmanned systems groups to support maritime missions. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Duke University and Masters in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech, focusing on controls. While at Duke University, he led the Duke Robotics Team in its first two years in the AUVSI-ONR Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition. Upon graduation, he worked in the SPAWAR-San Diego office on unmanned systems. His unique perspective led to innovations integrating the aerial and underwater domains, filing two patents in 2008. Mr. Mailey also served as Treasurer for the AUVSI-Lindbergh Chapter and helped start the AUVSI Unmanned Systems Interoperability Conference.

Chad Partridge, Board Member (2009-2012)

Mr. Partridge served as President of the Silicon Valley Chapter of AUVSI from July 2007 through December 2009, seeing the chapter grow to approximately 70 members. Mr. Partridge serves as the President of Sensing Systems, Inc., a provider of digital media management and exploitation software supporting and exchanging video and metadata across air, ground, and maritime unmanned programs. Mr. Partridge manages sales, marketing, and finance while also participating in product strategy and development. In addition, he had been instrumental as an architect of the Tungsten product line. Mr. Partridge holds an Engineering Degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan. He has published in both the Journal of Robotics Research and the Journal of Robotics Systems.

Jerry “Dave” Seagle Jr., Board Member (2009-2012)

Mr. Seagle has been an active member of AUVSI since 1999, life member since 2002, AUVSI Board Member (2005-2008), and was selected as AUVSI’s Member of the Year, 2002. Mr. Seagle is currently serving in the Program Office for Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PMA-262) as the Program Lead for the Broad Area Maritime System – Demonstration (BAMS-D) program. Mr. Seagle serves as the Head of Delegation for Joint Capability Group for UAVs (JCGUAV) and Flight in Non-Segregated Airspace (FINAS). Additionally, from October 2001 to October 2002, Mr. Seagle served a rotational tour as the Navy-Marine Corps representative to the Office of Secretary of Defense, UAV Planning Task Force. Mr. Seagle entered Naval Service in November of 1984, earned his commission in June of 1985, and his wings in June of 1986. His UAV experience includes an operational tour with Fleet Composite Squadron SIX, (VC-6). Mr. Seagle holds a BS in Political Science from Towson State University and a Master’s in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1997.

These newly elected officers and members join the existing board members:

Board Members 2007 – 2010
Christopher Egan, NUWC Division Newport
Bob Palmer, Meggitt Defence Systems Canada
David Place, Naval Postgraduate School & Commander Third Fleet
Peter Smith, Barton Vale Group

Board Members 2008 – 2011
David Anderson, QinetiQ
Steve Koepenick, SPAWAR Systems Center
James Overholt, U.S. Army RDECOM-TARDEC
Dennis Sorensen
Dr. Lora Weiss, Georgia Tech Research Institute


The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) is the world’s largest non-profit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems community. AUVSI’s 6,000 members worldwide come from government organizations, industry and academia. AUVSI is committed to fostering, developing, and promoting unmanned systems and related technologies.

Contact: Gretchen West
+1 703 845 9671

SpaceRef staff editor.