Jillian Alfred (M.S. '13)
Head of Flight Controls, Actuation, and Utility Systems
Jillian Alfred currently is the Head of Flight Controls, Actuation, and Utility Systems department at Supernal, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Group working to develop a new urban air mobility electric vertical take-off and lift (VTOL) vehicle. In this role, she oversees over 30 people executing the technical design, supplier management, and aircraft build of the fly-by-wire aircraft. Prior to this role, Jillian was the Head of the Flight Controls team developing the fly-by-wire architecture and control laws. She joined Supernal in the initial class of 14 engineers, and has helped grow the Supernal Engineering, Test, and Development Division to over 200 people.
Prior that she was at Bell, Textron Inc. starting as a member of the 525 Relentless aircraft (first commercial fly-by-wire helicopter) Control Law team and later holding positions as the Control Law Supervisor and Flight Controls Manager for the 525 team. In her capacity there, Jillian designed many aspects of the control laws and flight controls monitoring structure, which she has 12 patents granted including one patent as sole author. Jillian participated in all aspects of the program life from design, lab test and verification, flight test, and certification.
Jillian received her B.S. in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University with a certificate in Robotics and Intelligent Systems. She received her M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from University of Maryland with a concentration in rotorcraft and guidance systems. While at UMD she was a research assistant for Dr. Roberto Celi and worked with Dr. Gordon Leishman. Her thesis concentration was an optimization of a flight path into a brownout cloud using a high fidelity model.
Mr. Kenneth Baird (M.S. '94)
Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Mr. Baird is the CIO at Axient, a large business with depth and breadth of capabilities successfully advancing defense and civil missions each day serving NASA, NOAA, the Department of Defense, the Intelligence community, other government agencies, and commercial customers.
In his role, Mr. Baird is responsible for the entire enterprise infrastructure including information technology, cybersecurity, facilities, and related functions.
Mr. Baird was instrumental in leading the growth of the company from 7 employees to approximately 2,500 employees today. Mr. Baird holds a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland College Park and a Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University. He has over 30 years working with our customers in advanced engineering services and solutions in the areas of systems engineering, test and evaluation, integration and testing, modeling and simulation, unmanned aerial vehicles, launch systems, satellites, digital engineering, cybersecurity, and more.
Dr. Andreas (Andy) Bernhard (M.S. ’95, Ph.D. ’00)
Director of Aircraft Design
Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin Corporation Company
As Director of Aircraft Design at Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin Corporation Company, Dr. Andreas (Andy) Bernhard is responsible for all technical aspects related to the design of blades, rotors, transmissions, airframes, propulsion systems, landing gear and miscellaneous subsystems (such as rescue hoists, and weapon mounts), across all development, in-production and out-of-production platforms. This includes developing and implementing next generation strategies & technologies and creating and maintaining effective processes and standard work.
Prior to this assignment, Dr. Bernhard was the Chief Engineer for the CH-53K KING STALLION form Jun 2015 to Jul 2018, providing overall strategic leadership for all technical activities of the CH-53K program, including design development, integration and test, as well as product improvement roadmaps. Major accomplishments included first flight, first production contract award, public & international debut at the Berlin Airshow in Apr 2018 and envelope expansion to include max gross weight of 88,000 lb; and speeds in excess of 170 knots. From 2013-2015 Dr. Bernhard was the Chief Engineer for the S-97™ RAIDER, responsible for all technical aspects spanning design, development, assembly and testing through first flight. From 2008-2013 he was the Chief Engineer for Sikorsky Aerospace Services, responsible for all aspects of Aftermarket Engineering from 2008 to 2013.
Dr. Bernhard graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand (in Johannesburg South Africa) with A B.Sc. (Aeronautical Engineering) in 1992 and from the University of Maryland with a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering in 2000. His research was on smart rotor technology including hover testing of blades with active tips, active twist and trailing edge flaps. He holds 5 patents, has authored 12 peer reviewed Journal Articles and over 20 Conference papers. He has also won numerous awards including most recently being inducted into the Univ. of Maryland Aerospace Dept. Academy of Distinguished Alumni (2023), the Vertical Flight Society Technical Fellow (2021), Lockheed Martin Nova Award (2016) and the American Helicopter Society Grover Bell Award (2016).
Outside of work, Andy is an avid private pilot (and flew his Cessna 182 to Oshkosh Air Venture with his 4 year old son, Andy4 in 2021 & 2022), is a now recreational (and former competitive) cyclist; and has restarted playing competitive water polo in 2021 (having previously played at the University of Maryland). He also coaches boys (incl., Andy 4) U8 soccer and U8 baseball.
Mr. Steven Donaldson (B.S. '87)
Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division
Director, Air Vehicle Engineering Department
Senior Scientific Technical Manager (SSTM)
Mr. Donaldson (B.S. '87) currently serves as the Director of the Air Vehicle Engineering Department within the Air System Group at the Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division (NAWCAD). This department is comprised of over 450 personnel responsible for delivering air vehicle engineering products and services for acquisition and sustainment engineering activities for Naval Aviation. He is responsible for the planning, direction, and execution of the Research, and Engineering efforts related to the development and sustainment of Naval Aviation assets across the technical disciplines within the department including Aeromechanics, Structures, Materials, and Aircraft Subsystems engineering.
Mr. Donaldson currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Department of Defense (DoD) High Performance Computing Modernization Program Computer Research and Engineering Acquisition Tools and Environments (CREATE) Air Vehicles Project whose charter is to develop and deploy computational engineering tools that address the needs of the air vehicle acquisition programs across the DoD.
Mr. Donaldson serves on the Project Lead the Way Program Advisory Council for the Calvert County Maryland Public Schools advising and assisting with educational curriculum, advising students, faculty, county and state-level administrators, and providing educational opportunities to program participants. With a similar function, Mr. Donaldson serves on the University of Maryland Aerospace Engineering Department’s Board of Visitors.
From August 2007- March 2020, Mr. Donaldson served as the Head of the Aeromechanics Engineering Division within the Aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Department at the Naval Air Systems Command. This national engineering division is comprised of approximately 160 personnel responsible for delivering aeromechanical engineering products and services for acquisition and sustainment engineering activities for Naval Aviation. He served as the principal NAVAIR spokesman and authority for air vehicle aeromechanics engineering matters and technology. His responsibilities included the planning, direction, and execution of the Research, and Engineering efforts related to the development and sustainment of Naval Aviation assets across the technical disciplines within the division including Applied Aerodynamics, Stability & Control, Aircraft Performance, Flight Controls, Store Separation, and Flight Vehicle Modeling and Simulation.
Mr. Donaldson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University MD and has over 35 years of service with the Department of the Navy including serving as an aerospace engineer within the Product Integrity and the Aeromechanics Engineering Divisions within the Naval Air Systems Command.
Mr. Marcio Duffles (B.S. '83)
Vice President, Business Development
MDS Coating Technologies Corporation
Mr. Duffles received his undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland in 1983. He worked for the Naval Air Systems Command Propulsion Division from 1983 -1997 as an engine performance analyst and manager of technology demonstrator engines. Mr. Duffles has worked for MDS Coating Technologies (MCT) since 1997 providing engineering and management support for developing, testing and implementing erosion / corrosion protective coatings for various military and commercial aviation and industrial gas turbine engines.
He was appointed Vice President, Business Development in 2007 and has continued to transition the protective coating technology to various platforms - saving over $1B in maintenance costs for military aircraft and millions of dollars in fuel savings for commercial aircraft. The coating technology has been recognized by the Vertical Flight Society Jensen Award (2007), Department of Energy R&D Innovation Award (2013) and the Federal Aviation Administration’s Continuous Low Energy Emissions and Noise
Dr. Matthew Hutchison
Vice President, Engineering Chief Engineer
Vertical Lift Division
Dr. Matthew (Matt) Hutchison is Vice President of Engineering and Chief Engineer for the Vertical Lift division of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. In this role, Dr. Hutchison leads all engineering activities for the AH-64 Apache, AH-6 Little Bird, H-47 Chinook, MH-139A Grey Wolf and SB>1 DEFIANT helicopters, Boeing’s portions of the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, and a variety of military support programs.
Prior to this position, Dr. Hutchison was the Chief Operating Officer for Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing subsidiary, where he was responsible for leading the engineering, manufacturing, flight operations, quality assurance and site operations teams in support of the company’s three business sectors.
Dr. Hutchison’s professional career began as a field engineer with General Electric in the power-generation industry between his undergraduate and graduate studies. After graduate school, he started with Aurora as the leader of the company’s aero / performance team. Subsequent management roles included program chief engineer, program manager and vice president in several roles. In the early 2000’s, he was a key member of the leadership team that spun off Athena Technologies, Incorporated to focus on the development of highly integrated navigation and controls systems for the unmanned aircraft market. In 2008, Athena was acquired by Rockwell Collins and became Rockwell Collins Control Technologies. At Rockwell Collins, he held several management roles, including leadership of the UAS and Control Technologies business and the Warrenton, VA site. In 2014, he returned to Aurora as Vice President of Engineering and in 2017 assumed the role of COO.
Dr. Hutchison has over 25 years of experience in the aerospace industry with a particular focus on the design, development, testing and operations of manned and unmanned aircraft. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, both from Virginia Tech.
Vivek Kuppusamy (B.S. '09)
Services Director for the CFM56 engine platform
Vivek Kuppusamy is the Services Director for the CFM56 engine platform at GE Aerospace, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. In this role, Mr. Kuppusamy leads a global team responsible for all GE maintenance agreements for the CFM56 engine, powering the 737 and A320 families of commercial aircraft with an installed base of 23,000+ engines across 600+ customers around the world.
Mr. Kuppusamy joined GE Aerospace in 2009 on the Edison Engineering Development Program (EEDP) – a 3-year rotational program designed to give recent graduates a breadth of technical experience across various engineering departments within the jet-engine manufacturer. He completed assignments with increasing responsibility in (1) Combustion design supporting NASA supersonic programs, (2) Acoustics design on the Open Rotor demonstrator, and (3) Aircraft Performance in development of the GE9X engine powering Boeing’s 777X airframe. During this time, he also graduated from GE’s Advanced Course in Engineering (ACE) – a rigorous 3-year curriculum on jet engine design facilitated by functional and industry experts.
In 2015, Mr. Kuppusamy was invited to join GE Aerospace’s Experienced Commercial Leadership Program (ECLP) and Accelerated Leadership Program (XLP) to build commercial depth within GE’s Commercial Engines and Services division. Over the next several years, he executed responsibilities as the head marketing and strategy leader for the HF120 engine (joint venture with Honda to power the new HondaJet aircraft), Sales Support Director for contracts with airlines and lessors in the Americas, APAC/China Business Operations leader for the CF34 program, and Sales Operations leader, where he led a global team in charge of deal restructures and the company’s CRM platform.
Mr. Kuppusamy has a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland (2009) and a master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from The Ohio State University (2012). He is a proud of member of Omicron Delta Kappa (Sigma Circle, 2008), Sigma Gamma Tau (2007), and Tau Beta Pi, where he served as President of UMD’s chapter from 2008-2009.
Mr. Daniel (Dan) Newman (M.S. ‘92)
Chief Technology Officer, Advanced Air Mobility
Honeywell Aerospace Technologies
Dan Newman is the Chief Technology Officer, for Honeywell Advanced Air Mobility, responsible for: planning and executing the technology roadmap for our Advanced Air Mobility offerings, aligning with Aerospace Technologies’ Advanced Technology development and macro trends including autonomy and AI.
He was previously at The Boeing Company as Chief Engineer for Advanced Vertical Lift in the Phantom Works Division, and a Senior Technical Fellow in Aircraft Configuration Development.
He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and a Technical Fellow and an Honorary Fellow of the Vertical Flight Society (VFS) for which he served as the Society’s Technical Director and Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarship Committee Chair. As Technical Director of the VFS (then American Helicopter Society AHS), Dan was an architect of the Transformational Vertical Flight Workshops that catalyzed the urban air mobility and electric VTOL initiatives.
For Cornell University he serves on the Industry Advisory Board of the Swanson Engineering Simulation Program and the Advisory Board for the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and at the University of Maryland Department of Aerospace Engineering, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus and serves on the Board of Advisors.
He serves on the Board of Directors of the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center.
Dan Chaired the NATO Industry Advisory Group (NIAG) Study Groups SG-219 Next Generation Rotorcraft Capabilities, SG-239 on Integrated Sustainability for the Next Generation Rotorcraft, and SG-266 on Joint-Domain NATO Rotorcraft Interoperability and Survivability in a Peer Nation Threat Environment. And he served on the 2020 National Academies Panel on Propulsion Sciences at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), and 2018 National Academies Panel on Sciences for Maneuver at ARL
He previously served for the U.S. Department of Defense, as a Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, responsible for a variety of advanced technology developments in vertical flight technology, unmanned aircraft, high-fidelity physics-based modeling, sensors, airspace network and architecture, and aircraft survivability.
Dan was an Adjunct Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, a Lecturer at Howard University, and continues as a mentor for FIRST Robotics Team 5407 Wolfpack Robotics at AIM Academy, and 2019 World Champion Team 1218 Vulcan Robotics from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.
Dan received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Sibley School at Cornell University, and his master’s in aerospace engineering from the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center at the University of Maryland.
He has a recurring column in Vertiflite Magazine ‘Coming to Terms.’
Benjamin (Ben) Parrington
Director, Product Engineering
ST Engineering – MRAS
As Director, Product Engineering at ST Engineering – MRAS, Ben Parrington is responsible for the Engineering activities associated with the product development and sustainment of engine nacelles and aerostructure products produced by the team in Baltimore, MD.
From 2006 to 2019, Ben has held various roles within GE Aerospace in the Nacelles Engineering team. Focused primarily new programs, Ben has headed Integrated Product Teams developing nacelle structures for Boeing 747-8, Airbus A320neo and COMAC C919 programs. In 2017, he took his current role leading the Engineering team.
Ben started his career as an engineer for Boeing Australia in 2000 and completed assignments with Commercial Airplane Services in Seattle, WA and supporting the F-111C airframe at Amberley Air Force Base, located near Brisbane, Australia. Relocating to Los Angeles, CA with GKN Aerospace in 2003, Ben joined the team developing the center fuselage for the F-35 Lightning II program.
He attended the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Melbourne, Australia and graduated with degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Business Administration in 1999.
Mrs. Tanya Pemberton
Senior Vice President of the National Systems Group
The Aerospace Corporation
Tanya Pemberton is senior vice president of the National Systems Group at The Aerospace Corporation. Pemberton is responsible for the company’s support to the national security space and intelligence community in the acquisition, launch, and orbital operation of advanced technology space systems and their supporting ground systems. She assumed this Chantilly, Virginia-based position in September 2019.
Prior to joining Aerospace, Pemberton was the chief information officer and director of Information Technology (IT) Services for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). There, she led and directed NGA’s mission and enterprise IT development and operations, transforming NGA’s technical infrastructure into a modern, cloud-based, data-centric architecture to better serve the geospatial intelligence needs of the nation. As CIO, she also oversaw strategy, policy, implementation, and governance of NGA’s IT investments.
Pemberton has more than 30 years of experience in both industry and the federal government, delivering large-scale technical systems and working problems across multiple business sectors to include space systems, mission ground systems, information technology, and analytic organizations. Over the past decade, Pemberton served in a number of senior executive assignments to include chief of staff, associate deputy director for Science and Technology, and director of the intelligence community’s Open Source Center. Earlier in her government career, she served at the National Reconnaissance Office leading and managing the acquisition and development for a variety of technical initiatives and programs in the Geospatial and Signals Intelligence Directorates. Most notably, she served as program director for a next-generation, multibillion-dollar imaging satellite system, managing acquisition, development, and delivery.
Previously, Pemberton worked as an aerospace engineer at Hughes Space and Communications where she developed and applied her engineering and management skills in the areas of mission analysis, spacecraft design, and program management on both government and commercial projects.
Pemberton has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.
Pemberton received the NGA Distinguished Civilian Service Medal in 2019; the Presidential Rank Award in 2013; the NRO Gold Medal of Distinguished Service in
Dr. Lael Rudd
Program Manager, Tactical Technology Office
Dr. Lael Rudd is currently a Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) developing autonomy and artificial intelligence programs in the Tactical Technology Office and Defense Sciences Office supporting air, space, and soldier systems.
Prior to joining DARPA, he was chief scientist for BAE Systems’ FAST Labs, where he was responsible for programs relating to Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) including a national effort. Rudd also developed model-based systems engineering (MBSE) processes for the organization and co-authored the Electronic Systems Sector Autonomy Technical Strategy.
He previously worked at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory as a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff. While there he was the Technical Director for the Conventional Prompt Strike hypersonic program, bringing model-based engineering into the program as well as other advanced technologies. He also advanced the lab’s autonomy technical strategy and worked alternative positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) efforts.
Before Draper, Dr. Rudd worked at Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories as a Research Area Lead for autonomy and human-machine interactions. His efforts included both aircraft and undersea autonomous platforms.
Dr. Rudd spent the majority of his career at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems with a multitude of assignments. These included managing the Autonomy, Flight Controls, and VMS Technology Development Area and being the Sector’s Technical Area Lead for Autonomy. He held key positions for national programs relating to aircraft (crewed and unmanned) and space programs.
Rudd began his post-graduate career as a Member of the Technical Staff at the Aerospace Corporation where he performed guidance analysis and V&V of flight software for Delta and Atlas launch vehicles.
His contributions have extended beyond his career positions. Dr. Rudd has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the Mechanical and Aerospace Department at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Southern California. He was a member of the National Academies Committee that developed the U.S. National Agenda for Autonomy Research related to Civil Aviation. He has served on the AIAA Technical Committees for Human-Machine Teaming, Intelligent Systems, and Guidance Navigation and Control. He has also served on multiple panels for AIAA and NASA.
Rudd received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. In addition, he received an M.S degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Southern California and is currently finishing his M.S. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is an AIAA Associate Fellow and an IEEE senior member. He has three patents and eight trade secrets. He has received multiple awards for program performance and innovation. Rudd is also certified as a Project Management Professional. Dr. Rudd’s name is engraved on the National Air and Space Museum's Wall of Honor at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
Dr. Michael Ryschkewitsch (Ph.D. '78)
Michael G. Ryschkewitsch retired in 2022 as Sector Head for the Space Exploration Sector of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. In that role he was responsible for APL’s portfolio of space programs for both NASA and national security sponsors spanning many aspects of solar system research, from space physics to space situational awareness and planetary probes.
He led an experienced science, engineering and program management cadre to pursue groundbreaking space opportunities, enhance innovation and affordability, and meet high standards in product quality and timeliness. He continues to serve as a member of the technical staff in support of projects and also currently chairs the Engineering and Science Interface Panel of the National Academies Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences Research in Space 2023-2032: Engineering and Science Interface Panel.
As the nation’s largest University Affiliated Research Center, APL performs research and development on behalf of the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other federal agencies.
Before joining the Laboratory, Dr. Ryschkewitsch served for over thirty years at NASA with the last seven years as the NASA Chief Engineer. Dr. Ryschkewitsch earned his Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in physics from Duke University.
Mr. Daniel Scott (B.S. '85)
Chief Information Officer, Technology Services
Northrop Grumman Corporation
In this role, Scott has executive responsibility for operations and execution of Information Technology, Security, and Digital Transformation via Enterprise Services for the Defense Systems Sector. As a member of the Defense Systems leadership team, Scott also provides strategic guidance to ensure fulfillment of the sectors's business and financial commitments.
Scott has more than 30 years of service with Northrop Grumman in the areas of Product and Systems Design & Development, Systems Engineering, and Program Management. Most recently, Scott was Chief Information Officer (CIO) and sector vice president, Enterprise Services for Northrop Grumman’s Technology Services sector. He also supported the Aerospace Systems sector as Program Director, Research Technology and Engineering, with focus on program integration and systems engineering across the Basic Research, Applied Technology, and the Advanced Design organizations.
Previously, Scott served as the deputy capture leader for a corporate priority win program, where he provided team leadership and capture execution for integrated product teams and functional disciplines resulting in Northrop Grumman winning its largest ($30B-$90B) enterprise strategic program designed to provide the next generation of long range global security.
In support of efforts to enhance corporate wide engagement, Scott also serves as an executive advisor to OneAATG, a corporate-wide Employee Resource Group focused on impacting bottom-line performance, top-line growth, and enhancing Northrop Grumman’s competitive advantage.
Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California. He serves on the University of Maryland Aerospace Engineering Department’s Board of Advisors, and is the Northrop Grumman executive sponsor to North Carolina A&T State University. He’s completed several advanced management programs to include the General Management Program – Harvard Business School, the Aerospace Systems Program Management Conference, and campaign and capture leadership development programs.
Mrs. Mary Snitch
Business Development Principal, Global S&T Organizations, Advanced Technology Center
Lockheed Martin Space Company
Mary’s nearly 40-year professional career includes ten years at the U.S. Department of State and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. She joined the private aerospace sector in 1983 with TRW. In 1985 Mary joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA as Manager, Legislative and International Affairs. Mary returned to Washington in 1990 to join Lockheed Martin Corporation. Mary works with LM executive leadership at Corporate HQ and the Space Company to advance their strategic goals through collaboration with external industry organizations.
Mary Snitch is an impactful contributor to the aerospace and STEM education community. She actively serves on Committees of the Board for the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the University of Maryland Aerospace Engineering Board of Visitors. Mary is an Industry Member of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) and serves on their Council as the first Coordination Officer for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA). Mary is an Advisor to the National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers and a Trustee of the Ron Brown Scholarship Foundation.
Mary and her husband, Dr. Thomas H. Snitch, established an endowment in UMD’s Clark School of Engineering, providing a scholarship to one undergraduate female in aerospace engineering annually. Mary received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from George Mason University and her Masters of Business Administration in Business, Economics and Public Policy from George Washington University.