Speakers 2023

Mr. Daniel M. Cotter, Senior Advisor, US Department of Homeland Security

Dan Cotter is a Senior Advisor in the DHS Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate. His prior positions with S&T include serving as the Director of Support to the Homeland Security Enterprise and First Responders Group (FRG). Before joining S&T, Dan held positions as the as the DHS Chief Technology Officer and as the DHS Geospatial Management Officer. His public sector experience also includes twelve years with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Dan’s private sector experience includes acting as the geospatial information technologies manager for a large engineering firm, as the President of an airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) company, and as vice president of a flood zone determination firm. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2005. Dan was recognized for his achievements and leadership skills in 2018 when he received the Presidential Rank Award (Distinguished), the Nation’s highest award for career members of the Senior Executive Service. Mr. Cotter holds an MBA from Texas A&M University, an MS in Geographic and Cartographic Sciences from George Mason University, a BS in Hydrology from the University of Arizona, an AAS in Computer Information Systems from Northern Virginia Community College, and a Federal Chief Information Officer Graduate Certificate from the University of Maryland, University College.

Mr. Mark Munsell, Deputy Director, Data and Digital Innovation Directorate, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Mark Munsell serves as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) Director of the Data and Digital Innovation Directorate. Formerly, he served as NGA’s Chief Technology Officer and the Deputy Director of the Chief Information Officer – IT Services Directorate. In all of these different roles, Mark facilitates innovative development aimed at transforming and modernizing NGA’s technology to better serve its mission partners, as well as overseeing and streamlining IT-related capabilities and services. Mark began his federal career with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Norfolk, Virginia. While serving in a multi-disciplinary role as photogrammetrist, cartographer, and surveyor, he was awarded the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for software engineering work that transformed the nation’s nautical charting production system. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Mark returned to the area in 1996, through a transfer to one of NGA’s predecessor agencies, the Defense Mapping Agency. After successfully leading the update of the agency’s aeronautical production systems, Mark left DMA in 1997. After a stint with a government contractor, he founded Internet Marine and Aviation Planning Services, or IMAPS, in 2000 to offer flight and maritime planning services to individuals, industry, and government via the internet. He returned to government service with NGA in 2006 and has since served as the Chief of the Precision Engagement Division, Office of Targeting and Transnational Issues; as the Senior Officer for Targeting Issues; as the Deputy Director, Aeronautical Navigation Office; as Director, Office of Targeting and Transnational Issues; and most recently as the Deputy Director of the Data and Digital Innovation Directorate, before becoming director in 2023. Mark is the recipient of the Presidential Rank Award and NGA’s Distinguished Civilian Medal, and – for the record – is not a member of the Flat Earth Society.

Mr. Kevin Murphy, Chief Science Data Officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Kevin Murphy is the Chief Science Data Officer for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. In this capacity, he works across five divisions to advance the state of the art in cloud computing, machine learning, and other data management and analysis platforms for NASA’s scientific data. Mr. Murphy also manages programs responsible for the production and distribution of data from NASA’s fleet of over 20 Earth-observing satellites and instruments to users around the world, the purchase and evaluation of commercial data, and advocates for open science for all of NASA. Before assuming his current role, Mr. Murphy served as the Program Executive for Earth Science Data Systems programs and the System Architect for EOSDIS, one of the largest repositories of Earth observing data on the planet. He developed and managed projects including near real-time science data production systems, search engines, scientific data visualization system, and earthdata.nasa.gov. Mr. Murphy has received numerous awards, including the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement for Engineering, Charles S. Falkenberg Award, Fed 100, among others.

Dr. Rahgu Ganti, Principal Research Scientist, IBM

Rahgu Ganti develops novel algorithms and applies them in real-world settings, specifically aimed at gaining insights into large volumes of data. Algorithms that I developed to analyze spatiotemporal data have been included in IBM's analytics products. I am currently leading a client engagement to enable actionable business insights from large volumes of unstructured text by learning AI-based models.

Dr. Philipe Dias, Research Scientist in Computer Vision and Machine Learning, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Philipe A. Dias is currently a R&D Associate in Computer Vision and Machine Learning with the GeoAI group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). His research interests range from supervised to unsupervised learning for automated image analysis. With particular focus on the task of image semantic segmentation and the application of such techniques to solve problems of practical relevance, his research topics/interests include image annotation, human-in-the-loop interfaces, uncertainty quantification, active learning and semi-supervised learning techniques. Prior to joining ORNL, his work has found application in wastewater treatment, agricultural automation, and healthcare-related scenarios. Currently, his main focus area is the large-scale analysis of remote sensing imagery using HPC resources. Before joining ORNL, Philipe received his PhD student in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Marquette University. His PhD studies also included a period at the University of Genoa (Italy), as part of a collaboration on applying such techniques for healthcare-related scenarios. As result of a Double master’s degree, he received his M.Sc. in Information Technology from the Hochschule Mannheim (Germany) and his M.Sc. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the Federal University of Technology (UTFPR, Brazil).

Dr. Kaleb Smith, Senior Data Scientist, NVIDIA AI Technology Center

Kaleb Smith has his PhD in machine learning from the Florida Institute of Technology focusing on deep learning generative methods for time series data. He currently works at NVIDIA as a senior Data Scientist working with Higher Education and Research labs across the country. Specifically, he runs the NVIDIA AI Technology Center located at the University of Florida. There he has trained large language models (BERT 9B models, GPT3 20B models), and worked on AI applications in remote sensing, clinical/research neuroscience, architectural design, and smart city planning. He worked full time while doing his PhD running an AI prototype lab for a DOD/IC contractor. He grew the department from just himself with no funding, to twelve scientists/developers and $5 million in contracts. Before that, Kaleb was a ML/AI subject matter expert at MITRE, a federally funded research development company in their emerging technologies sector.

Dr. Kumar Ramasubramanian, Computer Scientist, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

ML researcher, 3 years of experience in building and deploying Machine Learning/Deep Learning algorithms and frameworks. Python Full-Stack Programmer. Experience in Geographic information systems, NLP, and Academic Publications. ML Team lead for NASA-IMPACT Part-time Ph.D. candidate at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, currently exploring deep unsupervised and self-supervised learning models.

Dr. Samantha T. Arundel, Acting Research Director, Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science

Samantha T. Arundel is a Research Geographer in the Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS) at the U.S. Geological Survey. She also fills the role currently of Research Director of CEGIS. Her research focuses on GeoAI, particularly automating map feature detection and recognition. She headed the development team in the automation of the 3D Elevation Program as it superseded the National Elevation Dataset. Sam has a special interest in operationalizing GeoAI research. Before joining the USGS in 2009, Dr. Arundel was an assistant and then associate professor of geography at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

Dr. Rasmus Houborg, Principal Geospatial Fusion Scientist, Planet Labs PBC

Rasmus Houborg's research is focused on advancing the utility and integration of multi-scale and multi-sensor remote sensing data for land surface characterization, including novel interpretation of multi- and hyper-spectral signals and translation into meaningful biophysical quantities (e.g., leaf area index, photosynthetic pigment contents, water and carbon fluxes). Dr. Houborg attempts to optimize the observing potential through synergistic utilization and interpretation of consistent data streams from a variety of complementary satellite sensors using data-driven (i.e., machine-learning) approaches. This includes directed research into realizing the full potential of new sensing platforms such as Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles (UAVs) and constellations of small nano-satellites (i.e., CubeSats), which offer exciting opportunities in the context of precision agriculture and near real-time detection of rapidly changing land surface conditions.

Dr. Brian Freitag, Research Physical Scientist, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Dr. Brian Freitag is a Research Scientist at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). Brian joined the Earth Science Branch at NASA MSFC in September 2020 and led the production of NASA’s Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 dataset distributed by the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LPDAAC). Currently Brian is leading the Multi-Mission Algorithm and Analysis Platform (MAAP) and Visualization, Exploration, and Data Analysis (VEDA) projects. Under these projects Brian works to lower the barrier to entry to NASA Earth science data, facilitate interagency collaborations, and support the transition of science workflows to leverage the benefits of cloud-based data sources and compute.

Mr. John Wegrzyn, Senior Research and Development Engineer, UMBRA

John Wegrzyn is a Senior Research and Development Engineer for Umbra Space, a leading provider of timely, high resolution space-based Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery. He earned his BSEE from Purdue University with an emphasis on communication systems and computer architecture. He earned his MSE from University of Michigan Ann Arbor with a focus on Artificial Intelligence. Although a PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan, John continues to explore advisors and research paths. With over 25 years of DoD and IC remote sensing experience, John has worked with a variety of collection systems, data storage schemes, and data processing schemes and has many opinions about the entire Tasking, Collection, Processing, Exploitation, and Dissemination (TCPED) chain.

Professor Katie Schuman, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Katie Schuman received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from UT in 2015, where she completed her dissertation on the use of evolutionary algorithms to train spiking neural networks for neuromorphic systems. Katie previously served as a research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where her research focused on algorithms and applications of neuromorphic systems. Katie co-leads the TENNLab Neuromorphic Computing Research Group at UT. She has over 70 publications as well as seven patents in the field of neuromorphic computing. She received the Department of Energy Early Career Award in 2019. Katie is a senior member of the Association of Computing Machinery and the IEEE.

Dr. Angel Yanguas-Gil, Principal Materials Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory

With a background in theoretical physics, my current research activities focus on two areas: materials growth, and neuromorphic computing. In the area of materials, the focus of my research is understanding the fundamentals of materials growth, with a specific emphasis on the areas of advanced electronic materials and semiconductor processing. My research leverages the advanced computing, X-ray characterization, and the cutting-edge materials synthesis capabilities at Argonne to understand the synthesis of nanomaterials using chemistry-based techniques such as atomic layer deposition. Active areas of research include wide bandgap semiconductors for advanced power electronics, the development of in-situ capabilities to probe the structure of nanomaterials, and the development of state of the art, multiscale simulation tools to predict the scale up of thin film growth and the dynamics of infiltration for high aspect area materials. These are key issues for the fabrication of 3D architectures in semiconductor electronics, or for the integration of thin film technologies into energy storage applications. While my primary focus is on nanomaterials, recently we have applied a similar methodology to additive manufacturing. In the area of neuromorphic computing, my research focuses primarily on the exploration of novel architectures and algorithms to design smart systems and sensors inspired on the insect brain. My primary interest is on areas that go beyond the current state of the art in machine learning, such as the development of systems with the ability to adapt to changes in their environment in real time and capable of exhibiting task-dependent learning and processing. As part of our current activities in this field, I am currently leading a project from DARPA’s Lifelong Learning Machines program focused on the development of systems capable of dynamic learning. In addition to the exploration of novel architectures and algorithms, my research also focuses on understanding how to best translate these architectures into hardware, both through the exploration of existing neuromorphic chips, and through the development of design principles that will help guide the design of novel materials and devices. Potential applications include the development of more power-efficient, smarter sensors that could find applications in areas such as self-driving vehicles and drones, and internet of things related applications such as infrastructure monitoring or networked sensors.

Dr. Erica Montbach, Manager, NASA Planetary Exploration Science

As the Manager for Planetary Exploration Science Technology Office (PESTO), I enjoy cultivating team environments and innovation frameworks for results. I develop the technology investment strategy for future planetary science missions, manage all pre-mission planetary science technology development, coordinate with other technology development programs, and infuse technology into planetary science. My experience has focused on research and development, entrepreneurship, small business innovation, industry trend analysis, public private partnerships, patent portfolio maturation, and grants management. In addition, I have been responsible for leading multi-disciplinary teams to develop solutions for a sustained presence on the Moon enabling the ability for materials, equipment, and supplies that can withstand the harsh lunar dust along with generating fuel and other consumables from local resources, as part of In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) technologies. My technical background includes designing advanced manufacturing environments, materials development, creating flexible electronics, and evolving display technologies for consumer products, which included leading multi-disciplinary teams, mentoring, solving key technical problems, and developing new concepts. I have co-authored a published book chapter, written over 35 technical papers, 22 patents, and presented on technical results along with technology direction and program management. I have leveraged my unique roles as a manager and industrial scientist in government and in advanced manufacturing corporations to foster public-private collaborations with academic colleagues, business executives, student interns, teachers and community leaders to drive the dissemination of knowledge gained from research and expand opportunities for traditionally underserved individuals, particularly women and minorities, in basic and applied science and technology.

Dr. Prasanna Balaprakash, Director of AI Programs, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Since March 2023, I am leading Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Artificial Intelligence Initiative, wherein I direct laboratory research, development and application of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to solve problems of national importance. I seek to deliver foundational, scalable, and applied AI/ML capabilities supporting Oak Ridge National Laboratory's broad mission and provide world-class solutions in computer and computational science, neutron science, materials science, biology and health science, nuclear engineering, isotopes, manufacturing, energy, and climate science. My research interests span the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, optimization, and high-performance computing. My research focuses on the design and development of foundational and scalable data science algorithms to model and optimize complex systems in scientific and engineering domains. I am a recipient of U.S. Department of Energy 2018 Early Career Award. I lead the AI area in RAPIDS2: A SciDAC Institute for Computer Science, Data, and Artificial Intelligence. I lead the research and development of DeepHyper, a scalable automated machine learning package for DOE leadership-class systems.

Dr. Erwin Gilmore, Senior AI/ML Specialist, Amazon Web Services

Erwin Gilmore is a Senior Specialist Technical Account Manager in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at Amazon Web Services. He provides technical guidance and helps customers accelerate their ability to innovate through showing the art of the possible on AWS.

Professor Vijay Gadepally, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Vijay Gadepally is a senior scientist and principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory, a Visiting Scientist with MIT Connection Science, and works closely with the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). At Lincoln Laboratory, Vijay leads the research efforts of the Lincoln Laboratory Supercomputing Center. Vijay also serves as a Technical Advisor to Radium, a cloud computing company. Vijay holds a M.Sc. and PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The Ohio State University and a B.Tech degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. In 2017, Vijay received the Early Career Technical Achievement Award at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and was named to AFCEA's inaugural 40 under 40 list. In 2011, Vijay received an Outstanding Graduate Student Award at The Ohio State University. Vijay is interested in the technical and social aspects of artificial intelligence (AI), big data, high performance computing, polystore databases, graph analytics, cyber security (privacy preserving technology) and autonomous (self-driving) vehicles.

Dr. Mo Sarwat, CEO, Wherobots, Inc.

Mo is CEO of Wherobots and an associate professor of computer science at Arizona State University. Dr. Sarwat is a recipient of the 2019 National Science Foundation CAREER award. His general research interest lies in developing robust and scalable data systems for spatial and spatiotemporal applications. The outcome of his research has been recognized by two best research paper awards in the IEEE International Conference on Mobile Data Management (MDM 2015) and the International Symposium on Spatial and Temporal Databases (SSTD 2011), a best of conference citation in the IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE 2012) as well as a best vision paper award (3rd place) in SSTD 2017. Besides impact through scientific publications, Mo is also the co-architect of several software artifacts, which include Apache Sedona (a scalable system for processing big geospatial data) that is being used by major tech companies. He is an associate editor for the Geoinformatics journal and has served as an organizer / reviewer / program committee member for major data management and spatial computing venues. In June 2019, Dr. Sarwat has been named an Early Career Distinguished Lecturer by the IEEE Mobile Data Management community.

Dr. Forrest Hoffman, Computational Earth System Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Forrest M. Hoffman serves as Group Leader for the Computational Earth Sciences Group and as the Earth System Modeling (ESM) Theme Lead for the Climate Change Science Institute (CCSI) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). As Laboratory Research Manager for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-funded Reducing Uncertainties in Biogeochemical Interactions through Synthesis and Computation (RUBISCO) Science Focus Area (SFA), he directs and conducts Earth system research focused on global biogeochemistry, terrestrial ecosystem science, and hydrological research, employing advanced computational methods and high-performance computing resources. Forrest also leads the DOE-funded Earth System Grid Federation 2-US (ESGF2-US) project, which archives and distributes model output data from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) simulations conducted by modeling centers all over the world. In addition, he develops and implements metrics for model evaluation, performs software engineering for Earth system models at scale on high performance computing architectures, and develops and applies methods for large scale data analytics and machine learning.

Professor Orhun Aydin, Saint Louis University

Orhun Aydin is an assistant professor at Saint Louis University’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Computer Science. He is a faculty associate at the Taylor Geospatial Institute (TGI). Before his current role, he served as a product engineer at Esri’s Spatial Statistics team for six years and as a product lead for the R-ArcGIS Bridge project for three years. The theoretical focus of Dr. Aydin’s research is on developing spatially explicit supervised, unsupervised and semi-supervised methods and prescriptive machine learning under data uncertainty. He also works on automated spatial and spatiotemporal data fusion methods for high-fidelity multidimensional analysis pertinent to human-environment interactions. The thematic focus of Dr.Aydin’s research focuses on developing low-cost sensor networks and UAV-enabled remote sensing frameworks. He has published papers on spatial machine-learning methods and resource allocation to enable sustainable cities. As per education, he has led initiatives pertinent to the open-source geospatial infrastructure in Python and is currently leading a task force in spatial data science education infrastructure in R.

Dr. Subit Chakrabarti, Vice President of Technology, Floodbase

Subit is the Vice President of Technology at Floodbase where he manages a team of scientists and engineers with the goal of producing high-quality maps of peak flood extent relevant to the needs of disaster responders, flood managers, and insurers. His technical expertise and interests are in developing novel spatio-temporal machine learning methods applicable for large-scale earth imagery. He has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida where his thesis focused on machine learning-based superresolution of microwave imagery for land surface and biophysical models. Prior to Floodbase, Subit worked as a data scientist at Indigo Agriculture and Telluslabs on machine learning-based mapping of crop types, regenerative farming practices and crop yields using satellite imagery.

Dr. Matej Batic, Research Team Lead, Sinergise

Matej Batič received the Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He has over ten years of experience in both research and commercial projects related to large amounts of geospatial data. At Sinergise, he is responsible for several European Union (EU) projects focused to management and distribution of earth observation (EO) data, conflation of citizen observations, and EO data and challenges of continuous monitoring of large areas in a sustainable and cost-effective way. He is leading a research arm of Sentinel Hub, trying to get added value information from the mass of satellite imagery.

Moderators

Dr. Carter Christopher, Section Head for Human Dynamics R&D, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Dr. Carter Christopher is Section Head for Human Dynamics R&D in Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Geospatial Science and Human Security Division. Dr. Christopher leads the Human Geography, Location Intelligence, Built Environment Characterization, and Geoinformatics Engineering research groups at the lab, to solve national- and global-scale challenges for Energy Security and National Security. He is also the Principal Investigator and/or Program Manager for a diverse portfolio of projects, ranging from hazardous material routing and risk characterization to large-scale human mobility modeling, to alternative PNT solutions for the electric grid. Prior to joining ORNL, Dr. Christopher was Head of Geospatial at an aerospace start-up, and he had a distinguished 12-year career in the Intelligence Community. He spent more than 10 years at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency where he led a range of geospatial modernization programs, including ML/AI-driven object detection and mapping, cloud modernization and geospatial software-as-a-service provisioning for the IC, data science and advanced geospatial analysis, and global GIS training. Dr. Christopher closed his Federal career at the US State Department as Deputy to the Geographer of the United States, where he helped stand up the Department’s enterprise GIS and led human geography and humanitarian mapping initiatives. Prior to Federal service, Dr. Christopher held analyst and project management roles in the geospatial private sector. He has a PhD in Earth Systems and Geoinformation Science, a MS in Geography and Remote Sensing, and a BA in Government.

Dr. Moe Khaleel, Associate Laboratory Director, National Security Sciences Directorate, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Dr. Moe Khaleel, the Associate Laboratory Director for National Security Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), guides the research and development of science-based solutions to counter critical threats to public safety, national defense, energy infrastructure and the economy. Leveraging the broad science foundation at ORNL, he oversees the work of multi-disciplinary research teams with signature capabilities in nuclear and uranium science, high-performance computing, geographic information science, cyber security science and advanced manufacturing. Most recently, Dr. Khaleel served as ORNL’s Deputy for Projects and interim Deputy for Science and Technology. He previously led ORNL’s Energy & Environmental Sciences Directorate, leading the establishment of the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute, relocation and expansion of the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, stabilization of the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility and establishment of the Grid Research and Integration Center. Before joining ORNL in 2015 to manage the Laboratory’s Office of Institutional and Strategic Planning and its Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program, Dr. Khaleel was executive director of the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, where he led the establishment and execution of programs in renewable energy, water conservation and atmospheric sciences. Earlier, during a 20-year career at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Dr. Khaleel held several technical and senior managerial positions, including leadership of the Design and Manufacturing Technical Network, the Advanced Manufacturing Product Line, the Computational Mechanics and Material Behavior Group, and PNNL’s Hydrogen, Transportation, and Industrial programs. He directed PNNL’s Computational Sciences and Mathematics Division from 2003 to 2013 and was co-founder of the Northwest Institute for Advanced Computing at the University of Washington. Dr. Khaleel received his doctorate in structural mechanics from Washington State University and an MBA from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. He is an adjunct professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Rahul Ramachandran, Manager and Senior Scientist, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Dr. Rahul Ramachandran is a senior Research Scientist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). His research center on Earth Science Informatics and Data Science with a focus on the application of novel computational methods and information technology to the acquisition, storage, processing, discovery, interchange, analysis, and visualization, of Earth Science data and information. In addition, Dr. Ramachandran leads the Inter Agency Implementation and Advanced Concepts (IMPACT) team at Nasa MSFC. The IMPACT team seeks to infuse NASA’s Earth Science data into other agencies and organizations application workflows. The IMPACT team monitors trends across the information, data science, and information technology fields to inform strategy and develop effective new solutions for Earth Science data management and dissemination. Dr. Ramachandran has written over 75 peer-reviewed publications including four book chapters and 150 other scientific publications including workshop reports. He has served as Deputy Editor for the Earth Science Informatics Journal (Springer) and the Guest Editor for the Computer and Geosciences Journal (Elsevier). Dr. Ramachandran received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) award in 2009 and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2018. He is also a Senior IEEE member.

Dr. Dalton D. Lunga, Geo AI Group Lead & Senior R&D Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Dalton is currently a senior research scientist in machine learning-driven geospatial image analytics and a group leader for the geospatial-based artificial intelligence (GeoAI) group at ORNL. In this role, he leverages high-performance computing, machine learning, and computer vision to create foundational geospatial analytic methods enabling at-scale data generation that shed light on pattern-of-life and aid in crisis management. His efforts to generate accurate population estimates and information about urban growth and decline, for example, inform disaster response, identify at-risk areas, and address infrastructure mapping and monitoring. A Purdue University Ph.D. graduate and former employee at the council for scientific and industrial research in South Africa, Dalton brings backgrounds from academia, industry, program leadership, and extensive community service to ORNL to help advance geospatial-based scientific knowledge discovery for societal impact.

Dr.Yan Liu, Computational Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Yan Liu (academically, a.k.a. Yan Y. Liu) is Computational Scientist at the Computational Urban Sciences Group (CUSG) in the Computational Science and Engineering Division (CSED) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). He joined ORNL in 2019 to pursue R&D interests in high-performance scalable geocomputation. He obtained his PhD in Informatics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), M.CS from the University of Iowa, and B.S. and M.E. from Wuhan University. He was Senior Research Programmer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign from 2014 to 2019. He was scientific computing scientist for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Extreme Science & Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) and its predecessor TeraGrid from 2007--2018.

Dr. Manil Maskey, Senior Research Scientist and Project Manager, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Dr. Manil Maskey is a Senior Research Scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). At the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), he leads the advanced concepts team for the Inter-Agency Implementation and Advanced Concepts (IMPACT) project, where he develops innovative data-driven solutions to challenging Earth science problems. Dr. Maskey also leads the NASA Science Mission Directorate’s Artificial Intelligence Team as part of the open science initiative. Dr. Maskey’s career spans over 20+ years in academia, industry, and government. During that time, he has focused on research and application projects in the area of data systems, cloud computing, machine learning, computer vision, and visualization. Dr. Maskey is an affiliate faculty at the University of Alabama in Huntsville Atmospheric Science department, a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), chair of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS) Earth Science Informatics Technical Committee, member of American Geophysical Union (AGU) and AGU Fall Meeting Planning Committee, member of European Geosciences Union (EGU), and member of Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).

Dr. David Page, Distinguished R&D Staff and Section Head, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

David is currently involved in research and development for advanced 3D and stereo reconstructions algorithms with an emphasis on high-performance computing (HPC) algorithms. David brings both an academic and entrepreneurial background to ORNL to help solve some of our nation's toughest HPC imaging challenges. Awards Finalist “What's the Big Idea?”, Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, Tennessee, 2015. 30 for 30 Entrepreneur, Leadership Knoxville, Tennessee, 2014. Quarterfinalist EntreVision, The Legacy Center, Knoxville, Tennessee, 2014. National Innovation Award, TechConnect, 2013. Community Columnist, News Sentinel (Sunday Circulation 150,000), Knoxville, Tennessee, 2007-2008. Outstanding Research Faculty Award, IRIS Lab, The University of Tennessee, January 2004. Sigma Xi Research Presentation Award, The University of Tennessee, March 2001. Performance Award, Naval Surface Warfare Center, 1996, 1997. MLK, Jr., Oratorical Contest, Tennessee Technological University, Third Place, February 1994. Derryberry Award, Tennessee Technological University, May 1993. Engineering Joint Council Senior Award, Tennessee Technological University, May 1993. American Legion Boys and Girls County, Sullivan County, County Executive, 1987. American Legion Boys State, Tennessee, Sullivan County Delegate, Summer 1986. Excellence in Academics and Athletics Award, U.S. Army Reserve, 1987. Student-Athlete All-Academic Team, Sullivan County, 1987. Patents Applications D. Page, C. Thomas Jr. “Systems and Methods for Convergent Angular Slice True-3D Display”. U.S. Patent Application 14/033,273. March 27, 2014.2016. Issued C. Thomas Jr., D. Page. “Systems and Methods for Alignment, Calibration and Rendering for an Angular Slice True-3D Display”. U.S. Patent 9,357,206 B2. May 31.

Professor Eric Shook, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Society at the University of Minnesota

Eric Shook is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Society at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. His research is focused on geospatial computing, which is situated at the intersection of geographic information science and computational science, with particular emphasis in the areas of cyberGIS, geoAI, and geospatial data science. Overall, his research aims to advance geospatial computing through foundational research, which can be leveraged in novel applications ranging from research in human origins to analyzing risk perception of disease outbreak and extreme weather events using social media.

Dr. Jitendra Kumar, Research Staff Member, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Jitendra (Jitu) Kumar is a research staff member in the Environmental Sciences Division and the Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory His research interests include computational hydrology and hydrogeology, terrestrial biogeochemistry, landscape ecology, global optimization, data assimilation and large-scale data analytics. Working at the intersection of computing and earth sciences, he is also interested in development of parallel algorithms and tools to bring high performance computing to bear for addressing computationally challenging problems in earth and climate sciences.

Proffessor Shawn Newsam, University of California Merced

Dr. Newsam is an associate professor (with tenure) of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the School of Engineering at the University of California at Merced. He joined UC Merced as a founding faculty in July of 2005 after being selected from a pool of over 13,000 applicants for one of 60 inaugural positions. From September 2003 to June 2005, he was a post-doctoral researcher with the Sapphire Scientific Data Mining group in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara, his M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California at Davis, and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley. (So, if you are counting, he is now at his fifth UC institution!) Dr. Newsam is the recipient of a U.S. Department of Energy Early Career Scientist and Engineer Award, a U.S. National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, and a U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). His research interests include image processing, computer vision, pattern recognition and data mining particularly as applied to scientific data.

Dr. Lexie Yang, Research Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Hsiuhan Lexie Yang is a Research Scientist, her research interests focus on advancing high performance machine learning approaches for large scale data analysis. She collaborated with esteemed scholars for NASA AIST, NSF, DOE sponsored projects, including conceiving domain adaptation and representation learning approaches for temporal data analysis for classification and leading the evaluations and design of UAV imaging system. She currently leads automated imagery analytics with large-scale multi-modality geospatial data. The recent work from her team has been widely used to support national-scale disaster assessment and management by agencies. She received PhD in Civil Engineering and Statistics Certificate in Applied Statistics from Purdue University in 2014

Dr. Dawn King, Sr. AI/ML Geophysical Applied Scientist, National Geospatial- Intelligence Agency

Dr. Dawn King is a Senior AI/ML Geophysical Applied Scientist in the Office of Geomatics: Geosciences Division at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency-St. Louis. During her academic career, Dr. King made significant scientific contributions to the understanding of phase transitions in non-linear & agent-based evolutionary systems. In Industry, she worked as a Data Science Consultant developing enterprise-level solutions using cloud-based technologies. She has now focused her expertise towards developing modernization practices for use by NGA Scientists through her work on artificial intelligence for modeling the Earth’s gravitational field with her colleagues from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. As a proud UMSL physics alumnae and recipient of UMSL’s 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award, Dr. King was crucial to the development and signing of the Educational Partnership Agreement between NGA and UMSL, which aims to develop a variety of academic courses for careers in geodesy, geophysics, and geospatial intelligence. She formed the Geoscience and AI Application Lab through a Partner Intermediary Agreement with T-Rex (a St. Louis-based innovation and entrepreneur development center), where she is engaged in developing a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team of Government, Industry, and Academic Scientists who focus on the growth of budding research scientists working on NGA’s hardest mission-related problems. She believes the best science is born out of collaboration, diversity, and mentorship.

David McCollum, Senior R&D Staff

Dr. David L. McCollum is a Senior R&D Staff in the Mobility and Energy Transitions Analysis (META) Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with expertise spanning economics, engineering, policy analysis, and corporate advisory services. His research attempts to inform state, national (developed and developing) and global energy and environmental issues on matters related to, among others, deep decarbonization, net-zero emissions pathways, energy-transport-climate policies, electric sector planning, end-use sector electrification (transport, buildings, industry), Sustainable Development Goals (including inter-dependencies), financing needs for the energy system transformation, and human dimensions of climate change. He employs energy-economic systems and integrated assessment models in support of this work (e.g., MESSAGEix-GLOBIOM, TIMES-MARKAL, REGEN, GCAM). Before joining ORNL in September 2021, David was a Senior Research Scholar with the Energy Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria, and a Principal Technical Leader at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in Palo Alto, California. He currently holds secondary appointments as Guest Senior Research Scholar at IIASA; Research Fellow in Energy and Environment at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee; and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Imperial College London. The latter is in his capacity with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Technical Support Unit (TSU - Working Group III) for the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). David previously led activities within the Global Energy Assessment; IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5 - WG III); IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C; and other international, multi-stakeholder initiatives, such as for the World Bank and International Council for Science (ICSU). He is listed by Reuters as one of the world’s 250 most influential climate scientists. David received a PhD and MS in Transportation Technology & Policy from the University of California, Davis (USA), Institute of Transportation Studies; an MS in Agricultural & Resource Economics from the same institution; and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee (USA).

David Alexander, Senior Science Advisor for Resilience, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

David J Alexander serves as the Senior Science Advisor for Resilience. He also leads the Enduring Sciences Branch of the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology’s (DHS S&T) Technology Centers Division focusing on interdisciplinary research across the physical, biological, and life sciences to enhance knowledge, advance state of the art, inform investments and drive actions in national threats, hazards, and risks. Other programs he has spearheaded in DHS S&T include leading the S&T Flood Apex and Hurricane Technology Modernization programs as well as an analysis of Wildland Fire Operational Requirements and Capabilities in support of FEMA, US Fire Administration and other key stakeholders. Before his role in DHS S&T, Alexander served as the first appointed geospatial information officer for DHS and as Enterprise Geographic Information Systems Branch lead within the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Before coming to DHS, Alexander acquired practical experience across the local, state, federal, and private sectors. Alexander currently serves as a co-chair of the National Science and Technology Council’s Subcommittee on Resilience Science and Technology and is a member of the International Scientific Committee of the Eighth International Conference on Floodplain Management. He previously served as a member of the National Geospatial Advisory Council, DHS representative to the Federal Geographic Data Committee, co-champion for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, chair of the Homeland Infrastructure Foundation Level Data Subcommittee. Alexander holds a Doctor of Philosophy from George Mason University and is also an adjunct faculty member at Delta State University.