2018 Biographies

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Keynote Speakers

Tuesday, April 10, Conference Keynote Speaker

Philippe Merlo, Director Air Traffic Management, EUROCONTROL

Philippe Merlo

“CNS Roadmap: How to Reach a Breakthrough?”

The keynote will evaluate progress achieved in the CNS roadmaps in recent years, review the persistent challenges before enabling a breakthrough, and discuss how to steer the path forward.

Philippe Merlo took up his duties as director of air traffic management at EUROCONTROL in 2014. He is responsible for the Air Traffic Management Directorate which has three main pillars. The first, ATM strategies, is tasked with the strategic development of ATM, with particular focus on ensuring coordination at a global level with the key actors. The second, R&D and SESAR contribution management, plays a core role in SESAR 2020, where EUROCONTROL leads eight projects and contributes to many more with the aim of achieving the objectives of the Single European Sky and the performance scheme, as well an ensuring full alignment of SESAR initiatives in accordance with the ATM master plan. The third, civil-military ATM coordination, ensures appropriate civil-military and military-military ATM coordination via EUROCONTROL’s unique civil-military competencies.

Philippe has spent his entire career in ATM, beginning as a flight test engineer in 1986 in the French DGAC (Directorate General for Civil Aviation) after graduating from the Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile in Toulouse. He rose within the organisation to occupy a number of managerial functions of increasing responsibility, including four years as head of the en-route ATC center in Bordeaux and four years as director of all technical systems and innovation. In 2010, he became deputy CEO of DSNA, the French Air Navigation Service Provider, in which capacity he was increasingly involved in ATM at a European level, before joining EUROCONTROL four years later.

Tuesday, April 10, Exhibitor Reception Keynote Speaker

Roger Connor, Curator, Vertical Flight, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Instruments & Avionics, National Air and Space Museum

Roger Connor

“Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting From Here to There”

Roger Connor curates the vertical flight collection, Army ground force aviation aircraft, unmanned aircraft systems, ground effect vehicles, along with aircraft instruments and avionics, bombsights and gun sights, air navigation, air traffic control, as well as infrastructure, airports, and ground support equipment. Roger curated the aviation and modern military components of the new permanent gallery, “Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There,” as well as the “Vertical Flight” exhibit station at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

Roger is an experienced fixed wing commercial pilot with over 4,000 hours of flight time. He has held flight instructor certificates in the United States and United Kingdom. He also holds a seaplane rating and has nearly completed the requirements for a private pilot’s helicopter rating.

He was awarded Associate Fellow status by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for his work in support of the American Helicopter Society’s history endeavors. Roger is currently a doctoral candidate in American History at George Mason University, researching the role of federal stewardship of technology in mid-20th century America as viewed through the case studies of rotorcraft development.

Plenary Moderators

Plenary I: Global Harmonization

Steve Bradford

Steve Bradford

Steve Bradford

Steve Bradford is the chairman of the Federal Aviation Administration Technical Review Board that monitors technical decisions related to investments and the enterprise architecture. He works with elements of the FAA to develop midterm plans and five-year budget requests to implement NextGen including unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) related automation.

He has a leading role in NextGen’s international engagement. He was a member of the ICAO technical team that authored the latest Global Air Navigation Plan, the past US panel member and current advisor to the ICAO Air Traffic Management Requirements and Performance Panel, and is technical advisor to the development of GANP 2019. He leads the FAA participation in several activities with SESAR Joint Undertaking and has led several co-operative international efforts with EUROCONTROL.

He is also the FAA lead for the FAA/NASA Research Transition Team (RTT) process that supports collaboration between the FAA and National Airspace System (NAS) on ATM related activities. A current focus of the RTT process is collaboration on both UAS-in-the-NAS supporting vehicles operating in ATM, and UAS Traffic Management supporting operation in uncontrolled airspace. Both RTT’s depend on direct partnership with the UAS industry and provide many opportunities to look at new technology options for both UAS and traditional manned aircraft operations.

Michael Standar

Michael Standar

Michael Standar

Michael has played an active part of the SESAR program since its very inception and was one of three air navigation service provider (ANSP) representatives in the executive committee of the industry consortium developing the first European ATM Master Plan and the SESAR Work Programme.

Michael is currently responsible for the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) strategic direction, communication and external and international affairs. He holds the chair of the EU-US MoC SESAR/NextGen Coordination Committee and leads the SJU collaboration with ICAO under the EU umbrella. Michael has more than 40 years’ experience in ATM and started his career as an air traffic controller. During his career he acquired a broad range of experience in managing integrated civil and military ANS/ATM from direct operational oversight through operational and technical R&D across different stakeholder groups and ANSPs leading to successful cross border collaborative arrangements in furthering ATM development activities to deployments.

Michael’s comprehensive background also includes active membership in ICAO Air Traffic Management Operational Concepts Panel (ATMCP), which developed the ICAO Global ATM Operational Concept Document and later continued the in the in the ICAO Air Traffic Management Requirements and Performance Panel (ATMRPP).

Plenary II: Stakeholder Expectations on CNS from the Airport/Airlines Community

Bernd Korn

Bernd Korn

Bernd Korn

Dr. Bernd Korn is head of the Pilot Assistance Department at the Institute of Flight Guidance of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Main research topics of his department are flight guidance concepts and technologies, human machine interfaces in the cockpit and future ATM concepts/performance based operations. Particularly, research is carried out on concepts like sectorless ATM, UAS integration, UTM/U-Space and on urban air mobility.

Bernd holds a master’s degree in computer science and a doctorate in electrical engineering both form Technical University Braunschweig, Germany. In 1998 he joined DLR and in 2005 he became head of pilot assistance department. He is a lecturer at Dresden Technical University and is member of several program committees of international conferences. He has authored or co-authored over 200 publications and is member of AIAA’s DATC.

Plenary III, Part 1: Use of Commercial Services/Outsourcing to Supply CNS Services – Pros and Cons

Steve Bradford

See biography above.

Plenary III, Part 2: Opportunities for CNS Providers to Enable UAS Integration

Paul Bosman

Paul Bosman

Paul Bosman

Paul Bosman has worked for EUROCONTROL for over 25 years in many different roles and functions. He is now the head of ATM Strategies Division, which includes EUROCONTROL contributions to the European ATM Master Plan, international cooperation (including FAA and ICAO), RPAS activities, architecture, SWIM and support to deployment. He is also the EUROCONTROL member of the ICAO Information Management Panel.

Randy Willis

Randy Willis

Randy Willis

Randy Willis is the manager, Emerging Technologies Team at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) headquarters. He has primary responsibility for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) policy in the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization. In addition to his regular duties, Randy is the U.S. member and also chairman of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Panel.

Additionally, Randy is co-chair of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO) RPAS Working Group and participates on several other domestic and international working groups dedicated to the safe integration of UAS. Prior to coming to work for the FAA in September 2009, Randy served as a federal contractor supporting the FAA UAS Office and also served in the U.S. Navy as an air traffic controller.

During his naval career, Randy held many positions with varying levels of responsibility before retiring from the Navy in June 2007 after 23 years of service. Randy has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Maryland University College and project management certificate from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

ICNS Conference Chairs

General Conference Chair

Benjamin Levy

Benjamin Levy

Benjamin Levy

Dr. Benjamin Levy has worked for private industry and for companies that support the US FAA. Prior to joining a new start-up in high-voltage power engineering, he worked for MCR, LLC as a senior operations research analyst and project manager, supporting the FAA in their Acquisition Management System process.

Before MCR, he ran his own company, built and managed the operations research group in the Advanced Development Division of Sensis Corporation, worked at MITRE/CAASD, and earned his doctorate at the University of Maryland/College Park. He is the author of more than 20 papers and presentations relating to air traffic management and served as general and technical chair for the DASC and ICNS conferences. Contributions include the development of the first departure management system at the JFK Airport and patents on the measurement of aircraft taxi paths and durations from surveillance data.

Plenary Program Co-chairs

Brent Phillips

Brent Phillips

Brent Phillips

Brent Phillips is a senior systems engineer with the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen Organization and the U.S. panel member to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Communications Panel. Mr. Phillips is also the program lead for the joint FAA/SESAR Future Communications Infrastructure Study including the development of the Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communications System (AeroMACS).

He is currently leading the internet protocol suite (IPS) standards development for aviation use in the FAA. He is also serving as the communications lead on the NAS Enterprise Architecture Roadmap Team. Mr. Phillips holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a Master of Science in engineering management from George Washington University.

Nikos Fistas

Nikos Fistas

Nikos Fistas, EUROCONTROL

Dr. Nikos Fistas has been working for EUROCONTROL since 1997 involved in investigations, the definition, the development and the standardization of data links for communication (VDLs, SATCOM, AeroMACS, LDACS), as well as, for surveillance purposes. Nikos has been representing EUROCONTROL in various international standardization groups (such as in ICAO, EUROCAE, RTCA and ETSI) covering data link aspects. In ICAO, he leads the new ICAO Communication Panel Working Group for the update of the SATCOM provisions (PT-S).

In EUROCONTROL, Nikos oversees the activities for the future aeronautical communication infrastructure (FCI). For SESAR he is the focal point for the COM solutions in the SESAR2020 PJ14 project, as well as, overseeing the relevant international coordination aspects with ICAO and CP4.4 with US FAA. Nikos has a Master of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Thessaloniki (1988) and continued his studies with both a Master of Science and a doctorate at the Imperial College in London (1990 and 1994).

Technical Program Co-chairs

Nikos Fistas

See biography above.

Michael Schnell

Dr. Michael Schnell

Michael Schnell is head of the Aeronautical Communications Research Group and theme coordinator for Aeronautics at the Institute of Communications and Navigation of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The main research topics of his group are the modernization of communications and surveillance technology in civil aviation and the integration of unmanned aerial systems into civil air space. After his studies at the University Erlangen-Nuremberg he joined DLR in 1990 with a Master of Science in electrical engineering.

Since then he has been working as scientific researcher and earned a doctorate for his work on wireless communications in 1997. He is a lecturer for multi-carrier communications and acts as selected advisor for the German Air Navigation Service Provider (DFS GmbH) on various committees at EUROCONTROL and ICAO. He has authored or co-authored over 110 publications, including more than 20 magazine articles. He is an IEEE senior member as well as member of AIAA and VDE/ITG.

Workshop Moderator

Bob Etris

Bob Etris

Bob Etris is partner and senior director of aviation at Evans Incorporated. He joined in 2003 and has nearly 15 years’ of strategic planning, organizational development, program management, and organizational transformation consulting experience for both public and private sector clients. As director, Bob is charged with management and oversight of project and program operations, client engagement and financial and operational account portfolio oversight.

For both current and former clients, Bob works to ensure leading-edge organizational, business, and technology concepts can be appropriately applied for the aviation-specific domains Evans supports. This includes studies of the National Airspace System (NAS) into 2045 and beyond, the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the NAS, acquisition strategy for the next generation of aviation surveillance, and portfolio planning for emerging technologies and their integration into broader air traffic operations. Bob holds a Bachelor of Science in systems and information engineering from the University of Virginia. He is a former adjunct professor of knowledge management for Kent State University, former board member of PMI’s Washington DC chapter, and active member of the Air Traffic Control Association, the Aero Club of Washington, and the Airborne Law Enforcement Association of America.

Workshop Chairs

Lance Sherry

Lance Sherry

Lance Sherry is associate professor of systems engineering and operations research at George Mason University. Dr. Sherry also serves as the director of the Center for Air Transportation Systems Research at George Mason University. Dr. Sherry has over 30 years’ experience in the aviation industry serving as a flight-test engineer, flight control engineer, system engineer, lead system architect, program manager, strategic planning and business development.

Dr. Sherry served as a fellow at RAND Corporation 1999-2001. He has published over 100 papers and journal articles, holds several patents, and has received awards for his work. Dr. Sherry is a graduate of Brown University with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering, and he holds both a Master of Science and a doctorate in industrial and system engineering from Arizona State University.

Denise Ponchak

Denise Ponchak

Denise Ponchak

Ms. Denise S. Ponchak is the deputy branch chief of the Communications Architectures, Networks and Systems Branch at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field in Cleveland, Ohio. The branch is responsible for designing advanced networking concepts, architectures, technologies and system integration for aeronautics and space applications.

Prior to becoming a supervisor, Ms. Ponchak was an aeronautical communications project manager focusing on increasing the National Airspace System (NAS) telecommunications capability, and a communications research engineer supporting future satellite-based communications. She holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Cleveland State University in 1983 and 1988 respectively.

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