Ken BairdMr. Kenneth Baird

(M.S. '94)  Chief Information Officer (CIO), Axient.
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.

Andy Bernhard(M.S. ’95, Ph.D. ’00) Director of Aircraft Design at 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.

Steven DonaldsonMr. Steven Donaldson

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.


Marcio DufflesMr. 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 

HutchinsonDr. 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.


Daniel NewmanMr. Dan Newman

(M.S. ‘92) Senior Technical Fellow,
Chief Engineer Advanced VTOL at Boeing

Dan Newman is a Boeing Senior Technical Fellow, supporting Commercial Airplane Product Development focusing on Advanced Concepts. In Commercial Airplanes Product Development, Newman leads a variety of advanced feature and platform concept efforts, provides counsel and expertise across programs, and coordinates advancements in technology maturation and risk mitigation processes. Boeing Commercial Product Development develops and delivers the next generation of commercial aircraft products and services to advance global air transportation.

Newman also serves as Chief Engineer for the Phantom Works Advanced Vertical Life organization in Defense, Space & Security. Within Advanced Vertical Lift, Newman is responsible for the technical integrity of all research, and coordinates technical activities with Phantom Works Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft, Vertical Lift Business Unit, Boeing Research & Technology and Commercial Airplanes. Boeing Advanced Vertical Lift identifies and matures a full range of runway independent technologies, products and services to meet the demands of the warfighter including rotorcraft, tiltrotor and powered lift aircraft.

Newman previously served as a Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, responsible for a variety of developments in unmanned aircraft, high-fidelity modeling, sensors, airspace network and architecture, and aircraft survivability. Prior to DARPA he was a Technical Fellow of The Boeing Company in a variety of roles on the RAH-66 Comanche and Advanced Rotorcraft.

Newman also served as an Adjunct Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, and as the Technical Director of the AHS International, the premier global vertical flight technical society. Newman began his career in Technical Marketing for General Electric Plastics Division.

He received his Masters in Aerospace Engineering from the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center at the University of Maryland, under Professor Gessow, and his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Sibley School at Cornell University.

Mr. Thomas NgDan Newman

(B.S. ‘84) Director of Engineering, GE Aviation - Unison Industries

Thomas V. Ng is the Director of Engineering for GE Aviation/Unison Industries - Electrical Products business, based in Jacksonville FL. Tom has 34 years of experience working at GE Aviation, all in the Engineering discipline. In Tom’s current role, he is responsible for the technical vision, direction and execution of the electrical products that Unison designs.

Tom’s career with GE Aviation began in 1984 as a GE Edison Program Engineer and was previously the Electrical Systems Executive Manager for the Product Integration Center (PIC) team in Cincinnati.

Prior, Tom has had multiple section leader and program manager roles including GEnx Controls/Configs Section Leader, Military Controls Section Leader, C5 Galaxy/CF6-80C2L1F Engine Systems Engineering Manager, and CFM/GE90 Controls Program Leader. Tom served for 2 years as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt co-leading the Design for Reliability Business Y. Tom also led GE’s Asian Pacific American Forum for several years representing GEA in various roles, including a role as a Developing Health Globally GE Ambassador to Cambodia, where helped to support the donation of $20M in medical equipment and services to several hospitals in Cambodia. 

Tom attended the University of Maryland and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering. Tom is the GE University Executive for Maryland and is on the Advisory Board for Aerospace Engineering at UMD in College Park.

Tom has a 22-year-old daughter, Amy, who is studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Dayton and a 25-year-old son, Ben, who graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Computer Engineering. Tom’s spouse, Esther, is also with GE Aviation and works as a Consulting Engineer for Leap Engine Systems. Tom enjoys cycling/working out and watching baseball/football in his spare time.

Michael RyschkewitschMrs. Tanya Pemberton

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 RuddDr. Lael Rudd joined DARPA in March 2020 as a program manager in the Tactical Technology Office. His expertise is in advanced autonomy systems for space and air domains.

Rudd joined DARPA after serving as chief scientist for BAE Systems’ FAST Labs, where he worked to advance autonomy open architecture and technical strategy. Previously, Rudd was at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, where he was technical director for the Conventional Prompt Strike hypersonic program, advanced the autonomy technical strategy, and worked alternative positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) efforts. He has held positions at Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratory, as a research area lead for autonomy and human-machine interactions; and Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, where he worked on multiple satellite and aircraft programs, was the sector’s autonomy technical area lead, and oversaw the technology development portfolio for autonomy and flight controls. Rudd began his post-graduate career as a member of the technical staff at the Aerospace Corporation.

Rudd has supported a variety of DARPA programs throughout his time in industry, including a team that competed in the DARPA Grand Challenge. He also worked in academia, teaching undergraduate and graduate engineering courses at both University of California, Los Angeles and University of Southern California.

Rudd holds a Doctor of Philosophy in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland; a Master of Science in biomedical engineering from the University of Southern California; and a Master of Science as well as a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering, both from the University of Maryland. He is an AIAA associate fellow, currently serving on the Intelligent Systems Technical Committee, and an IEEE senior member. Rudd is also certified as a project management professional.



Dr. Michael Ryschkewitsch 

Michael G. Ryschkewitsch (Ph.D, 1978) 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.


Dr. Allan ShermanMr. 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 SnitchMrs. 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.