Keynotes 2017

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The Challenges of Building and Transitioning Increasingly
Autonomous Systems

Dr. Paul Nielsen

Nielsen photo

May 24, 2017 at 09:00


Autonomous functionality is increasing in systems and products. From drones to self-driving cars, from voice controlled devices to Watson, autonomy is increasing. The effective transition of increased autonomy depends upon trust—trust that these systems will be safe, trust that they will have appropriate cybersecurity, trust that they will perform within ethical boundaries. Establishing trust for complex systems is hard. Establishing trust for non-deterministic systems and for systems that continuously learn is even more challenging. Managers, chief engineers, and boards need to be aware of these challenges and strategies to overcome them.


Dr. Paul D. Nielsen is director and chief executive officer of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a global leader in advancing software and cybersecurity to solve the nation’s toughest problems through focused research, development, and transition to the broad software engineering community. The SEI is a key innovator in areas central to U.S. Department of Defense and civilian government operation in the cyberspace domain, including software architecture, software product lines, interoperability, the integration of software-intensive systems, network and system resilience, and the increasing overlap of software and systems engineering. The SEI also provides direct support to more than 50 U.S. government entities in their efforts to efficiently and effectively acquire and sustain new software and systems.

Since joining the SEI in August 2004, Nielsen has overseen the development and expansion of CERT, which is responsible for the SEI’s network/cybersecurity efforts, and the growth of the SEI to an organization with more than 700 employees and operating revenues of $145 million annually. In addition, he has overseen an increase in research activities related to software architecture, complex systems, and cybersecurity to address both present and future challenges. In all areas, he has expanded interactions with key stakeholders, customers, and the global software engineering community. In 2012, Nielsen oversaw the successful spinout of the CMMI product suite and its partner network to the CMMI Institute, a subsidiary of Carnegie Innovations, Carnegie Mellon University’s technology commercialization enterprise.

Prior to joining the SEI in 2004, Nielsen served in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a major general and commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory after 32 years of distinguished service. Nielsen is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and a fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In 2011, he received the Aerospace Software Engineering Award from AIAA, and in 2004, AIAA awarded him the Hap Arnold Award for Excellence in Aeronautical Program Management. In 2014, he was recognized by the Pittsburgh Business Times with a Diamond Award as one of the region’s top CEOs. And in 2016, AFCEA awarded him their Distinguished Award for Excellence in Engineering.

Nielsen earned a BS in physics from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an MBA from the University of New Mexico, and an MS and a PhD in applied science from the University of California, Davis.

Moving the Nation Forward in Spectrum Usage

Major General Robert E. Wheeler (USAF RET)


May 24, 2017 at 13:00


Major General Robert E. Wheeler’s military career spanned over 32 years. He entered the Air Force in 1984 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. A command pilot with more than 5,000 hours in multiple aircraft. He completed his uniformed career in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the Deputy Chief Information Officer for Command, Control, Communications/Computers (C4) and Information Infrastructure Capabilities. He served in multiple staff assignments including air campaign analyst for the Air Force Studies and Analysis Agency, member of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s Operations Group (CX), Headquarters U.S. Air Force and division chief in the Joint Chiefs of Staff for European security issues. In addition, he was the senior military adviser to the U.S. Mission Vienna, Austria for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Previously, the general was the Deputy Director for Nuclear Operations, U.S. Strategic Command,
Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. In this capacity, he was the principal adviser to the commander on issues pertaining to strategic deterrence and nuclear operations. He has previously commanded the
325th Bomb Squadron as well as the 509th Operations Group at Whiteman AFB, Missouri. Under his leadership, B-2 bombers from the 325th Bomb Squadron were part of the first group to strike targets in Afghanistan on record breaking 40+-hour combat sorties during the first days of Operation Enduring Freedom. He also commanded the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana where he was responsible for providing B-52 aircraft, aircrews and associated support personnel and resources to conduct global bomber operational taskings. Additionally, he commanded the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman AFB, Missouri, where he was responsible for the combat capability of the Air Force’s only B-2 wing.

1983 Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
1990 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1995 Master of Science degree in aerospace technology, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
1995 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
1998 Master of Arts degree in national security and strategic studies, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
1999 Air War College, by correspondence
2003 NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy
2008 Leadership Development Program, Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, NC.

1. January 1984 – December 1984, Student, undergraduate pilot training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
2. July 1985 – January 1988, B-52H Copilot and Aircraft Commander, K.I. Sawyer AFB, Mich.
3. January 1988 – May 1994, B-52H Instructor pilot, check pilot, Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, and
Assistant Operations Officer, K.I. Sawyer AFB, Mich.
4. May 1994 – June 1995, Air Campaign Analyst, Air Force Studies and Analysis Agency, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
5. June 1995 – June 1996, Executive Officer for the Command and Control Directorate, Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
6. June 1996 – June 1997, Member, Chief of Staff Operations Group, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
7. June 1997 – August 1998, Student, College of Naval Command and Staff, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
8. August 1998 – February 2003, B-2 Instructor Pilot; Wing Chief of Safety; B-2 FTU operations officer; and
Commander, 325th Bomb Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
9. February 2003 – July 2003, Student, NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy
10. July 2003 – June 2005, Division Chief, Joint Chief of Staff for European Security Issues, Vienna, Austria
11. June 2005 – July 2007, Commander, 509th Operations Group, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
12. July 2007 – March 2009, Commander, 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale AFB, La.
13. March 2009 – September 2010 Commander, 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
14. September 2010 – July 2012, Deputy Director (J3N), Nuclear Operations, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb.
15. July 2012 – December 2015, Deputy DoD CIO for C4&IIC in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

July 2003 – June 2005, Division Chief, Joint Chief of Staff for European Security Issues, and senior military adviser to the U.S. Mission for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Vienna, Austria, as a colonel
September 2010 – July 2012, Deputy Director, Nuclear Operations, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, as a major general
July 2012 – December 2015, Deputy DoD CIO for C4&IIC in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. as a major general

Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 5,000
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, B-1, B-52 and B-2

Defense Superior Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Southwest Asia Service Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal

Ira C. Eaker Award

Second Lieutenant Jan. 20, 1984
First Lieutenant Oct. 30, 1985
Captain Oct. 30, 1987
Major Nov. 1, 1995
Lieutenant Colonel Sept. 1, 1998
Colonel July 1, 2003
Brigadier General June 19, 2009
Major General May 2, 2012

DARPA Collabrative Spectrum Grand Challenge

Paul Tilghman

Tilghman photo

May 25, 2017 at 09:00


The speaker is the Program Manager for the DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Grand Challenge, has the premise that collaborative use of spectrum can make this scarce resource more available to everybody. He will begin his talk with an overview of the DARPA Grand Challenges, including the Robotics and Cyber Challenges, and will include insights form his expertise in the areas of electronic warfare and software defined radios.


Mr. PAUL TILGHMAN joined DARPA in December 2014 as a program manager in the Microsystems Technology Office. His research interests include intelligent and adaptive RF systems, digital signal processing, machine learning, wireless communications and electronic warfare.

Prior to joining DARPA, Mr. Tilghman was a senior research engineer at Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Laboratories where he led programs in adaptive electronic warfare, signals intelligence and non-cooperative geolocation. While at Lockheed Martin, Tilghman led the development of a real-time cognitive electronic warfare system, which used machine learning techniques to characterize and counter previously unknown radio emitters on the battlefield. He is a recipient of Lockheed Martin’s highest award, the NOVA award, and was also previously honored as the company’s Engineer of the Year.

Mr. Tilghman received a bachelor of science in computer engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a master of science in electrical engineering from Drexel University.

A New Approach to Industry-Government Dialog

Brian Seagrave and David Bridgeland

May 25, 2017 at 13:00


This talk will explain how Open-book Modeling & Simulation enables buyers of solutions for complex systems to understand the changes that will have the greatest impact towards their objectives; and how this method enables industry to craft, test, and present alternative applications of their offerings to resolve government requirements – during the market survey phase of procurements.


BRIAN SEAGRAVE is a senior technology solutions leader with over 30 years of experience in solution architecture, business development and sales, and program delivery. He has delivered strategies for transformation to IT as-a-service, cloud infrastructure and applications, enterprise service automation, and mission systems for homeland security. A proven developer and manager of businesses, teams, solutions, and strategies to address domestic and international government market opportunities, Mr. Seagrave is experienced in defense, intelligence, homeland security, and IT products and services. His unique insight and ability to detect opportunity, map capabilities, define strategy, build teams, and lead captures has enabled several businesses to expand into and grow in new markets.

DAVID BRIDGELAND is an expert in business simulation. He develops interactive business simulations, focused on helping business leaders explore the value implications of their prospective decisions, and helping sales teams communicate the value implications of their offerings. Mr. Bridgeland has developed such simulations for several industries and domains, including consumer products, software, pharmaceuticals, cloud infrastructure, civil security, and construction. Mr. Bridgeland works with clients through his company Hanging Steel Productions, founded in 2012, and has supported thirteen clients since that date.