Supriya BanerjeeDr. Supriya Banerjee
Founder & CEO, The Finehas Group

Dr. Banerjee is a senior scientist with executive management experience and a history of successfully building and managing science and technology (S&T) organizations. She worked for 25 years at SAIC, a $10B Fortune 250 company, and was honored with the Excellence in Science and Technology Award during her tenure. Her career achievements include innovative contributions to S&T, strategic management, science policy, and STEM education. Dr. Banerjee has pioneered new modeling techniques to solve problems of national importance, greatly improving the understanding of natural and man-made phenomena. She is a published author, invited speaker, and is internationally recognized for her S&T work. Among her many awards is the Outstanding International Award from Women in Aerospace, which has more than 2000 members and over 80 corporate, non-profit, and academic partners. In addition to innovative research, she has led company-wide strategy, cross-disciplinary technical solutions teams, as well as external industry teaming efforts to win large technology programs that address high-impact, high-visibility issues.

Dr. Banerjee actively promotes K-12 to Ph.D. STEM education to prepare the next generation of STEM professionals. She serves on non-profits and University advisory boards, and holds leadership positions in professional societies. She serves as a Director for the non-profit FAMES® and leads program development for STEM and Women in FAMES. She chaired the Dean’s External Advisory Board at George Mason University, the School of Computational Science and served as an Affiliate Faculty. She represented SAIC in Industry-University partnerships to promote collaborations and undergraduate science education. Dr. Banerjee served as a Board Member and President of Women in Aerospace, and Board Member and Vice-Chair, Eastern Region of the Space Division of National Defense Industrial Association. She chaired the AIAA National Capital Section and won six awards.  Currently she serves as the Co-Chair, Section Engagement for AIAA K-12 STEM and AIAA Career and Professional Development Committee (CPDC), and Deputy Director for CPDC, Region 1.

Dr. Banerjee received her Ph.D. in Physics from Boston College (research performed at Air Force Geophysics Laboratory and Naval Research Laboratory) and attended Harvard Business School for Executive Education.

Peter ChenDr. Peter Chen
(B.S. ‘90, M.S. ‘92, Ph.D. ‘96)
Vice President of Product Development at Intelligent Automation Inc.

Dr. Chen is responsible for the engineering, business, and marketing aspects of transitioning IAI’s  advanced research prototypes to products serving the Defense and Commercial markets. He leads a multi-disciplinary team in the execution of product designs, establishment of manufacturing partnerships, growth of product sales, and providing product engineering services and support. Dr. Chen works closely with IAI Corporate Leadership in the strategic planning and internal investments towards new products and services offerings of the company. Dr. Chen holds ten United States utility patents for inventions in optical sensing technologies, advanced flight control systems, shock and motion control devices, and structural health monitoring applications.

Dr. Chen earned B.S. (1990), M.S. (1992), and Ph.D. (1996) degrees in Aerospace Engineering, all from the University of Maryland at College Park with Professor Inderjit Chopra as advisor. His Graduate research focused on the implementation of intelligent materials systems for rotorcraft vibration and noise reduction applications. Dr. Chen joined IAI in 2012 as the Senior Director of Advanced Technologies, responsible for developing new programs in fundamental aeronautics R&D and for commercializing IAI’s ARGUS, RFnest, and other product offerings. Prior to IAI, Dr. Chen founded and led a spin-off business unit focused on optical fiber sensing systems and later served as Vice President of a global satellite-based search and rescue product company serving the tracking and monitoring industry.

He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and a Member of the American Helicopter Society International.

Ravinder ChonaDr. Ravinder Chona
Senior Scientist for Structural Integrity,
Aerospace Systems Directorate, Air Force
Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB

Dr. Ravinder Chona, a member of the scientific and professional cadre of senior executives, is Senior Scientist for Structural Integrity, Aerospace Systems Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Dr. Chona leads, performs and participates in research and development activities conducted within the AFRL Structural Sciences Center. His primary responsibilities are to ensure the Air Force has the S&T base in place to provide tomorrow’s warfighter with game-changing, structurally-sound, affordable vehicles and platforms appropriate to long-term needs and future mission requirements; and to transition basic research results and state-of-the-art developments in structural integrity and reliability to the aerospace industry. His personal areas of expertise are engineering design methods, experimental solid mechanics, fracture and failure mechanics, and optical mechanics.

Dr. Chona joined AFRL in 2003 as a Senior Scientist, following 16 years on the faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University, where he taught undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs in engineering mechanics, experimental mechanics, fracture mechanics, and engineering design; conducted research; and mentored graduate students. In his current role, he has built and leads a broad-based government-academia-industry research team attacking the aero-structural challenges of airplane-like, in-atmosphere, high-Mach flight, and plays a key role in defining the technical vector for US Air Force R&D investments targeting rapid creation of the necessary S&T.

The author of over 125 technical publications, Dr. Chona has presented keynote, plenary and invited Lectures worldwide, as well as numerous papers at national and international conferences. He has also edited three archival monographs, served on the editorial boards of three major international journals, and organized and chaired national and international technical programs and symposia. In addition, Dr. Chona has supervised over 25 doctoral dissertations and master’s theses, and has mentored student teams tackling over 30 industrially-sponsored senior/graduate design challenges. His personal and professional contributions have been recognized in multiple ways by multiple organizations, and he has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards over the course of his career.

Steven DonaldsonMr. Steven Donaldson
(B.S. ‘87) Aeromechanics Engineering Division Head
Aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Department
Naval Air Systems Command

Mr. Donaldson currently serves 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 government and contract support personnel responsible for delivering aeromechanical engineering products and services for all acquisition and sustainment engineering activities for Naval Aviation. He is the principal NAVAIR spokesman and authority for air vehicle aeromechanics engineering matters and technology. 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 division including Applied Aerodynamics, Stability & Control, Aircraft Performance, Flight Controls, Store Separation, and Flight Vehicle Modeling and Simulation.  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 these technical areas.  

He 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 also serves on the Project Advisory Council for the Calvert County Maryland Public Schools’ Project Lead the Way program advising and assisting with educational curriculum, advising students, faculty, county and state-level administrators, and providing educational opportunities to program participants.  

Mr. Donaldson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University MD (1987) and has 30 years of service to the Department of the Navy serving as an engineer within the Product Integrity and the Aeromechanics Engineering Divisions, and as a leader within the Air Vehicle Engineering Department at the Naval Air Systems Command.

Peter HoworthMr. Peter Howorth
Director Aerospace & Defense Mechanical Technology, LORD Corporation

Peter Howorth serves as Director of Aerospace and Defense Mechanical Technology at LORD Corporation, a privately held company with a broad portfolio of technologies in materials, motion control and vibration isolation.  Howorth oversees the development of Aerospace motion control and vibration isolation products in a wide variety of fixed wing and rotary wing applications.

Howorth originally joined LORD Corporation in 2000 after spending 10 years in the Automotive Industry developing advanced powertrain mounting and suspension systems.  During his career at LORD, Howorth spent three years in Shanghai, China as Engineering Manager where he helped to grow the LORD Mechanical Technical Center and develop motion control and vibration isolation products for Asian markets.  For a period of six years, prior to his current assignment, Howorth worked in the Aircraft Group at Moog Inc. supporting the development of primary flight control systems for commercial fixed wing aircraft.
Howorth received a B.Eng.(Hons) in Mechanical Engineering from Brunel University in the west of London. Howorth also serves as an Advisory Board Member on ECGRA Ignite ErieTM Initiative, a group that focuses on building collaboration between entrepreneurs, small businesses, universities, and metropolitan regions to help grow the local Erie economy.

HutchinsonDr. Matthew Hutchison
Chief Operating Officer
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation

Dr. Matthew Hutchison is the chief operating officer of Aurora Flight Sciences. He joined Aurora in November 2014 from Rockwell Collins where he led the Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Controls Technologies business. With previous history at Aurora, he was also part of the successful Athena Technologies spinoff, which was ultimately acquired by Rockwell Collins.

At Aurora, he is responsible for leading the Engineering team in support of the business in all three of the company’s business sectors. In addition to profit and loss responsibilities in several business areas, prior experience includes leading the development of several unmanned aircraft, playing a key role in the development and fielding of the Athena line of navigation and flight-control products, certification efforts in both manned and unmanned systems, and technology integration efforts for application in markets adjacent to aerospace applications.

Dr. Hutchison has over 20 years of experience in the aerospace industry, with a particular focus on unmanned-aircraft-system development, test and operation. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, both from Virginia Tech.

Thomas NgMr. Thomas Ng
(B.S. ‘84) Director Commercial Engine Product Integration, GE Aviation

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.

Dan NewmanMr. Dan Newman
(M.S. ‘89) 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.

Michael RyschkewitschDr. Michael Ryschkewitsch
Sector Head, Space Exploration Sector
Johns Hopkins University
Applied Physics Laboratory

Dr. Michael G. Ryschkewitsch became the Sector Head for the Space Exploration Sector of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory on January 2, 2014 and oversees 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.  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 overseeing the technical readiness of all NASA programs and assuring that the agency’s development effort and missions operations are planned and conducted on a sound engineering basis with proper controls and management of technical risks.  His previous responsibilities included deputy center director for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the lead for Goddard’s Applied Engineering and Technology directorate.

Dr. Ryschkewitsch began his career at NASA in 1982 as a cryogenics engineer working on the Cosmic Background Explorer and subsequently led and contributed to many other science missions, including the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission, the Terra satellite, and the Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement for the first Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.

Honors include the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership, the Robert Baumann Award for contributions to mission success, and the NASA Engineering and Safety Center Leadership Award. Dr. Ryschkewitsch earned his Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in physics from Duke University. He is a member of the AIAA, AGU and AMS.

Allen ShermanDr. Allan Sherman
(Ph.D. ‘69) Aerospace Engineering
Consultant, Allan Sherman, LLC

Dr. Sherman has over 50 years of experience in aerospace engineering. He has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in mechanical from Cornell University and a PhD in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland. He started his career in industry designing and testing rocket engines. He joined NASA in 1966 and had a 31 year career working on satellites, shuttle payloads and technology. Dr. Sherman retired from NASA in 1997 as Director of Engineering for the Goddard Space Flight Center. He joined Lockheed Martin as Director of Advanced Development Programs for space. For the past eight years Dr. Sherman has been a consultant for NASA on the James Webb Space Telescope.

Dr. Sherman has been the Chair of the External Advisory Board for the University of Maryland Aerospace Engineering Department since 1994. He is the recipient of the NASA Medals for Distinguished Service, Outstanding Leadership and Exceptional Engineering Achievement.

Mary SnitchMrs. Mary Snitch
Senior Manager, Industry Organizations
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company

Mary L. Snitch currently holds the position of Senior Manager, Industry Organizations, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.   Her 30-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.  In her current position, Mary works closely with LM executive leadership at Corporate HQ, the Space Systems Company and the Aeronautics Company to advance their strategic goals to collaborate 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 Industrial Advisory Board. She is an elected Full Member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and a Vice President on the Bureau of the International Astronautical Federation. Mary serves on the Board of Future Space Leaders and the Ron Brown Scholarship Foundation. 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. She completed LMC Executive Leadership Training at Claremont College in Claremont, CA and at Emory University, Atlanta, GA.  

Catherine SteeleMs. Catherine J. Steele
Senior Vice President, National Systems Group

Catherine J. Steele is senior vice president of the National Systems Group, based in Chantilly,  Virginia. She was promoted to this position in April 2015. National Systems Group supports the national security space and intelligence community in the acquisition, launch, and orbital operation of advanced technology space systems and their ground data stations.

Previously, Steele was vice president of Strategic Space Operations, where she oversaw mission area activities in space situational awareness, space protection, small satellites, and nuclear operations for U.S. Air Force Space Command, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, and the Space and Missile Systems Center, among others.

Steele has held a number of increasingly more responsible positions at the corporation, including general manager, National Space Systems Engineering; systems director, Communications Systems and Information Engineering and principal director, Planning and Communications Division, both within the National Systems Group, assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office.

Before joining Aerospace in 1985, Steele worked at Hughes Aircraft in the Radar Systems Division, for the MITRE Corporation in signal processing and navigation, and at Advent Systems in signal processing and communications. Steele earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering/system science and a master’s degree in engineering control systems from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Steele is a member of the National Defense Industrial Association, an Associate Fellow with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and member of Women in Aerospace. She serves on the Federal Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES), on the University of Maryland, School of Aerospace Engineering Board of Visitors and the Federation of Galaxy Explorers (FOGE) Board of Directors. Steele also holds a technician-level license with the American Radio Relay League.

Chris Van BuitenMr. Chris Van Buiten
(B.S. ‘89) Vice President, Technology
and Innovation, Research & Engineering, Sikorsky

Chris Van Buiten is the Vice President of Technology and Innovation at Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, where he runs the Sikorsky Innovations group responsible for maturing next-generation technologies including X2 technology™, active rotor, and autonomy, as well as defining nextgeneration products.

Mr. Van Buiten joined Sikorsky in 1989 where he has been engaged in the conceptual and preliminary design of Sikorsky products including the S-92® commercial transport, the CH-53K heavy lift helicopter, and the UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopter, as well as several advanced concepts. He has served as Chief of Preliminary Design and Manager of Advanced Design and has led Sikorsky’s Strategic Planning group.

He led Sikorsky’s acquisition of the PZL Mielec Aircraft Company in Mielec, Poland . He has also served as a Technical Fellow for Advanced System Design.

Mr. Van Buiten was a Glenn L. Martin Aerospace Scholar at the University of Maryland, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace degree in 1989. He received a Master of Science in System Design and Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Sloan School of Business in 1999.

Kerry WisnoskiMr. Kerry Wisnosky
(B.S. ‘86) Founder and Board Member
Millennium Engineering and
Integration Company

Kerry Wisnosky graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and later received his masters of science in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania.  Mr. Wisnosky has an extensive career in systems engineering, hardware integration and testing, flight-testing, mission operations, missile development, and infrared sensors. He has authored and presented numerous technical papers at national and international Missile Defense related conferences and seminars.  Prior to engaging his “entrepreneurial calling”, Kerry worked for Martin Marietta, the  U.S. Navy, General Electric, ANSER, and Standard Missile Company (a Raytheon/Hughes joint venture).

In 1997, Kerry co-founded Millennium Engineering and Integration Company, a high-end Aerospace Engineering Services and Technology company.  Since then, he has served as Chief Engineer, COO, CEO, and remains the Principal Owner and Board Director. Kerry’s focus has been on expanding Millennium’s technical expertise and customer markets, with particular emphasis on Unmanned Vehicle Systems, launch vehicle systems, and spacecraft elements, principally in the Federal Aerospace Space (NASA, FAA) and the Department of Defense sectors.  

Finally, Kerry has a strong desire to “give back” to the STEM community, where he engages in numerous K-12 and Higher Education communities, including providing scholarships, financial aid, internships, mentoring, and advisory expertise for students and educators.  He currently serves as Board Trustee for the Bullis School, with focus on developing state of art BITS centric Fab Lab and providing real-word internship opportunities for STEM oriented students.

Professional Affiliations:  Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, National Defense Industry Associations