SD Mini-Conference Speaker Biographies

The 2019 INCOSE San Diego Mini-Conference

Saturday, November 2nd, 2019

Speaker Bio’s

Mr. Sherwood “Woody” Spring, Professor, Defense Acquisition University and Former Astronaut

(Colonel, US Army Retired) Woody Spring is a professor of Engineering, Test and Evaluation, plus Science and Technology Management at the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) San Diego Campus. He also does consulting in systems engineering and Science and Technology for Department of Defense agencies and program offices, and is the DAU Liaison for Western Test Ranges. He is also an Executive Coach and very active in Mission Assistance Workshops at the point of need. To read more about his bio, please click HERE.

Dr. David G. Schrunk, MD is an aerospace engineer and medical doctor with specialty ratings in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine. He has authored numerous papers and presentations on scientific and law topics related to the exploration and development of the Moon and is the lead co-author of the book, “The Moon: Resources, Future Development, and Colonization,” published by Wiley-Praxis in 1999; a second edition was released in 2007. In 1995, Dr. Schrunk founded the Science of Laws Institute, whose purpose is to expand science to encompass laws of government and the lawmaking process. In 2005, he authored the book, “THE END OF CHAOS: Quality Laws and the Ascendancy of Democracy,” which describes the rationale for developing the science of laws. Dr. Schrunk is a professor with the Kepler Space Institute and a member of the board of directors of the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA).

Dr. Behnam Afsharpoya is a senior Systems Engineering Solution Consultant at DASSAULT SYSTEMES and provides support for CATIA dynamic systems behavior analysis tools as well as system simulation and automation tools. Behnam is a member of board of North America Modelica User Group (NAMUG). Behnam has more than 20 years engineering experience in different industrial fields and academic background as post-doctorate research assistant and adjunct professor at University of Delaware and Temple University. He has several conference presentations and publications in computational fluid dynamics (CFD), finite element analysis (FEA), biomedical engineering, and dynamic systems analysis. Behnam holds PhD in Mechanical Engineering from University of Leeds.

Dr. Saulius Pavalkis has more than 15 years of experience working on modeling solutions. He is the chief MBSE solutions architect, consultant, trainer, PLM products integration manager. His major expertise areas are model-based requirements engineering, data interchange, MBSE, PLM, SysML, UML, traceability, simulation and modeling solutions. Saulius has multiple certificates (OMG-Certified Systems Modelling Professional, OMG-Certified UML Professional, etc.) and is the author of numerous scientific and industrial papers accepted by leading systems engineering conferences such as INCOSE IS, NDIA, and GLRC. He is the No Magic representative at INCOSE CAB and a member of the INCOSE CAB leadership team.. He holds a PhD in Software Engineering, MSc and BSc in Electronics and Telecommunication from Kaunas University of Technology.

Dr. Raymond Madachy, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Systems Engineering Department at the Naval Postgraduate School. His research interests include system and software cost modeling for total ownership cost; affordability and tradespace analysis; modeling and simulation of systems and software engineering processes, and the DoD acquisition process; integrating systems engineering and software engineering disciplines, and empirical-based research with process simulation. Previous to academia he spent over 20 years in the aerospace industry in technical and management positions. His publications include six books, 21 journal articles, eight book chapters, 47 refereed conference papers and nine published computer programs. He wrote Software Process Dynamics, is a co-author of Software Cost Estimation with COCOMO II, Software Cost Estimation Metrics Manual for Defense Systems, What Every Engineer Should Know about Modeling and Simulation, and is currently writing Systems Engineering Principles for Software Engineers.

Dr. Kristin Giammarco is an Associate Professor in Department of Systems Engineering at Naval Postgraduate School. Dr. Giammarco completed her BE in Electrical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology and later pursued her MS in Systems Engineering Management followed by Ph.D. in Software Engineering at Naval Postgraduate School. Prior to working at Naval Postgraduate School, Dr. Giammarco has worked as Communications Engineer at The MITRE Corporation from 2000-2001, Systems Engineer at CERDEC from 2001-2008 and later as Chief Engineer in the SEAMS Division at CERDEC from 2008-2009. Dr. Giammarco’s teaching interests include System Architecting and Design and Formal Methods for Model-Based Systems Engineering. Her research revolves around Application of formal methods to architecture model assessment and Quantitative analysis of architecture models for decision support. Dr. Giammarco has received several awards including the Wayne E. Meyer Award for Excellence in Systems Engineering on multiple occasions and several best conference papers.

Dr. David Jacques is a Professor of Systems Engineering within the Department of Systems Engineering and Management at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). Dr. Jacques joined the AFIT faculty as a military member in 1999 and became a civilian faculty member in 2004 upon retirement from active duty in the Air Force. In prior military assignments he served in various capacities associated with development planning, research and development, developmental test, and intelligence analysis of foreign weapon systems. Within SERC, Dr. Jacques leads the AFIT efforts within the long standing “Systems Qualities Ontology, Tradespace, and Affordability (SQOTA)” research project, a now 7 year effort uniting nine of the SERC Collaborating Universities. Dr. Jacques’ research interests include effectiveness of wide area search systems, cooperative behavior and control of Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) and munitions, and early application of Systems Engineering for concept definition and requirements definition. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of his research interests, his thesis advisement at AFIT has spanned seven academic programs and two academic departments. As a faculty researcher, he has served as a principal investigator on 32 funded research proposals at AFIT, and collaborated on 28 others. The total value of these 60 proposals is approximately $4.7 million in external funding. The research projects Dr. Jacques has been involved in have addressed critical problems and applications spanning the DOD and other government agencies. To date he has documented his research results in 26 archival journal publications, seven book chapters, one Systems Engineering case study, four magazine articles, 61 refereed conference papers, and numerous technical presentations and invited talks. Dr. Jacques is also an AFIT alum, earning his Masters’ degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1989 and his PhD in Systems Engineering in 1995.

Dr. Julia Taylor just presented a paper at the Western States Regional Conference, and earlier this year gave a presentation at the American Chemical Society National Symposium. She has two technical degrees, one in Chemistry and one in Electronics. She has worked at companies like Buckman Laboratories and Intel. She holds two business degrees, a Doctorate in Business focusing on Strategic Management, which about long term business planning. She studied with H. Igor Ansoff, a pioneer in the field. She also has an MBA from Santa Clara University, a very difficult business school. She served in several executive positions for Toastmasters International, and completed their highest level of achievement, the DTM. She is currently serving as a Director for INCOSE, San Diego, and also participates in the Engineering Council of San Diego. She works as a Management Consultant helping companies to Diagnose Problems, Build Teams and achieve greater levels of Group Collaboration. She has one technical publication and she wrote 3 books on team building highlighting how people can work together better.

Mr. Jorg Largent’s career spans 55 years and ranges from the enlisted ranks of the United States military to Lead Systems Engineer on the B-2. In between he matriculated at the Georgia Institute of Technology. After completing his formal training, he worked in orbital mechanics on the Apollo Program. At the close of the Apollo program Jorg became a Flight Test Engineer, primarily on the CH-46E, the B-1A, and the B-2. After he left Flight Test he moved on to liaison engineering and then to system engineering on the B-2 program and special projects. Jorg has been active in INCOSE working groups, including Transportation, Very Small Entity, and Systems Engineering Quality Management. Jorg is a writer and the Editor of the INCOSE-LA Newsletter.

Mr. John (Mike) Green is a Senior Lecturer in the Systems Engineering Department at the Naval Postgraduate School. His research interests are naval combat system architectures, model-based systems engineering, and product line architectures. His related experience includes employment as a Senior Principal Systems Engineer with Raytheon Naval and Maritime Integrated Systems in San Diego where he researched interoperability issues related to Network-Centric Warfare and worked on the architecture for Common Command and Control. Before Raytheon, he was Manager of Advanced Systems at ITT Gilfillan, Van Nuys, CA where he led a team developing concepts for high-power, solid-state radars. He holds an MBA and an MS in Computer Science from the University of New Haven, an MA in International Relations from Salve Regina College, and a BS in Physics from Saginaw Valley State University. He is also a graduate of the Naval War College, College of Command and Staff. Mr. Green is a Senior Member of IEEE and AIAA. He is also a member of the Military Operations Research Society (MORS); the American Society of Naval Engineers; the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science; the Association of Old Crows, and the International Council on System Engineering.

Mrs. Mahasa Zahirnia has her Masters in Management from University of San Diego and Electrical Engineering Degree from San Diego State University. Mrs. Zahirnia has over 28 years of experience in the areas of Program Management, Electrical Engineering, Control Systems, Cyber Security, System Engineering and Architecture. Currently she is working on Artificial Intelligence Initiatives with Universities and Program Offices to future enhance and develop design opportunities. Mrs. Zahirnia has received several awards from the Department of Defense for her outstanding performance in the area of engineering. Mrs. Zahirnia has held positions at Northrop Grumman, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cubic Cooperation, Captiva Software, Sony Corp and Solar Turbines.

Mr. Travis Tredway grew up in Indiana. In 2018, he earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame where he was inducted into the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. In addition to being an Associate Systems Engineering Professional (ASEP), he holds the OCSMP Model Builder certificate from the Object Management Group (OMG). As a Systems Engineer for Booz Allen Hamilton, Travis has supported the development of system models, plugins, and model-based systems engineering training for various Navy clients in San Diego, CA.

Ms. Claudia Rose is the president and founder of BBII an Enterprise and Systems Engineering services company. She is Certified Enterprise Architect with over 21 years of industry experience including both practice and teaching. She participates actively in professional associations in the field, serving on boards of directors including (President) The Association of Enterprise Architects West Coast, (past president) INCOSE San Diego, NDIA Architectures Committee, AUVSI and the La Jolla Cove Swim Club. She has helped develop frameworks and architectures for OSD, DoD Navy, Air Force and commercial industries. She has authored and presented papers on Systems Engineering tools and processes at aEA,INCOSE, NDIA, AFCEA events and to the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Cyber Warfare. Subtopics include: Emergent Architectures, Enterprise Architecture, UAV Interoperability and Information Modeling for Systems Integration. NDIA Architecture subcommittee member and co-author of MOSA and DoDAF whitepapers.

Ms. Emily Payne is a native Texan living in San Diego. She recently graduated from the University of California, San Diego where she earned a B.S. in Computational Physics and Mathematics (double major). Emily has experience with software development and now works as a Systems Engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton, where she develops network models in support of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR).


Ms. Mabel Szeto: RoboSub team captain, FIRST Tech Challenge team captain, FIRST robotics youth mentor, and robotics event organizer.

Mr. Colin Szeto: RoboSub systems engineer, FIRST Tech Challenge team captain, FIRST robotics youth mentor, and robotics event organizer.
Both Mabel and Colin are passionate about robotics and have participated in robotics competition since they were in 3rd grade (eight years ago). They competed at the 2019 RoboSub, an international underwater autonomous vehicle competition where their team ranked 3rd in static judging and 12th overall against 59 teams, of which 55 teams are from world-class universities such as Caltech, Cornell, UC Berkeley, etc. They competed in FIRST Robotics World Championship in 2018 (ranked 39th) and 2017 (ranked 7th) of over 1,200 teams worldwide. Besides competing, they both are passionate about spreading STEM around the globe. They coached over 30 award winning teams and mentors, including students with special needs, students in the underserved communities, and students with limited STEM opportunities abroad. They presented at San Diego Mesa College’s robotics forum and UCSD Robofest.

Mr. Stevan Akerley is a retired aerospace engineer from Pratt & Whitney, UTC, with 30 years of manufacturing experience with automated N/C equipment and measurement sensor systems in manufacturing applications. He also has experience in precision manufacturing, machine measurement, CAD CAM software development, quality assurance, and tool and equipment design. He holds an AA degree in liberal arts, a BS degree in industrial technology, and an MBA degree in Management Information Systems and International Business. He also holds a Computer Information Technology Certificate from Central Connecticut State University and is currently serving as a Space Ambassador with the National Space Society.

Mr. Michael Martin, PE, PMP, is a systems architect and project integration lead in Research & Technology for Northrop Grumman Corporation in Redondo Beach, CA. He received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; an MBA from Pepperdine University; and in 2011, a Master’s degree in systems engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. His faculty advisor for a Stevens’ project paper, on the topic of systems thinking and public policy, was Prof. John Boardman. He has been an instructor for UCI Continuing Education since 2003, currently teaching courses in the Project Management and Systems Engineering certificate programs.


Dassault Systemes


Science of Laws Institute

Jama Software



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