Manager of the Science and Technology Office, NASA
Will speak at 6pm on Friday, April 28
Dr. David Burns is the manager of the Science and Technology Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Named to the position in January 2017, he leads an organization responsible for planning, developing and executing a broad range of science and technology investigations, programs, projects and activities in support of NASA’s science, technology and exploration goals. The office leads the pursuit of new opportunities and partnerships with other government agencies and private industry, and focuses Marshall initiatives across the center. Burns oversees an annual budget of more than $180 million and management of a diverse, highly technical workforce of approximately 300 civil service and contractor employees.
His NASA career began April 2016, when he was named deputy of the Space Systems Department of Marshall’s Engineering Directorate. The department is responsible for designing, developing, assembling, integrating, testing and delivering flight, ground, prototype and development products for human spaceflight programs, science investigations and exploration initiatives.
Prior to joining NASA, Burns had since 2008 served as director of Science and Technology at the U.S. Department of Defense Missile Defense Agency in Huntsville, leading the teams that manage directed energy programs, conduct university and small business innovative research and model the impact of new missile defense capabilities.
From 2006 to 2008, he was founder and CEO of Dielectric Blue Inc., a company specializing in the design and manufacture of anti-tamper sensors for military and commercial applications. From 2003 to 2006, he was the lead Science Applications International Corp. engineer, manager and supervisor for the Armed Robotic Vehicle-Heavy, a $2.6 billion element of the Army's Future Combat System.
He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2003 after 20 years of active duty, including assignments in the Pentagon and in London, England, where he was technical director of the European Office of Aerospace Research and Development.
Burns holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Dayton in Ohio and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows Program.
Burns and his wife, Cheryl, have four children and reside in Huntsville.
Co-Lead of SERVIR-Mekong Regional Science Coordination and Lead for Water Related Disaster Thematic Service Area
Will speak at 6:45pm on Friday, April 28
Eric Anderson is a Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville Earth System Science Center. He has a background in Earth and environmental science where he uses data from Earth observing satellites to monitor environmental change and natural hazards in many regions around the globe. Eric serves as the Science Coordination Lead for the Lower Mekong on a joint initiative of NASA and the US Agency for International Development called SERVIR (a Spanish and French word “to serve.”) Through SERVIR, Eric is part of NASA’s work with international organizations in West Africa, Eastern & Southern Africa, the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region, the Lower Mekong region, and soon the Amazonia region, that takes advantage of the unique vantage point of space to help improve environmental management and to reduce risk to disasters.
Center Chief Technologist, Marshall Space Flight Center
Will speak Saturday, Apr. 29 at 9am
Dr. Andrew S. Keys is the Center Chief Technologist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Since May 2010, he has guided the center in defining and developing the latest technologies to help Marshall scientists and engineers accomplish NASA's exploration mission.
Prior to joining NASA in 1991, Dr. Keys was an associate systems engineer for the Space Station Program Support Division of Grumman Corp. in Huntsville. Raised in Decatur, Ala., he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., in 1988 and 1990, respectively, and received a doctorate of philosophy in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2002. He has published more than a dozen papers and technical reports, is the recipient of numerous NASA awards and is the co-holder of two patents.
President, Intuitive Research
Will speak at 6:20pm on Friday, April 28
Harold R. (Hal) Brewer is Chairman of the Board and President of INTUITIVE. Under Mr. Brewer’s leadership, INTUITIVE has become widely recognized as a leader in industrial and mechanical systems, electrical engineering, as well as business management, system analysis and programmatic support. Since the company’s inception in 1999, Mr. Brewer has been responsible for the design, operation and improvement of all systems that deliver the firm’s services. He is responsible for maintaining, communicating, and implementing INTUITIVE’s vision, mission, and overall corporate direction. Mr. Brewer formulates and implements INTUITIVE’s strategic plan and overseeing the complete operation of the organization. By maintaining awareness of both external and internal competitive landscapes, he is able to identify new opportunities for expansion, customers, markets, new industry developments and standards.
Centennial Challenges Program Manager, NASA
Will speak Saturday, Apr. 29 at 12pm
Monsi Roman joined NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in 1989, where she worked for 16 years in the group that designed the water and air systems keeping the crew alive in the International Space Station and later managed the NASA team designing air systems needed to take the crew to Mars and beyond.
Currently Ms. Roman is the Project Manager for NASA’s Centennial Challenges Program. She also leads the development of an in-flight microbial monitor that was tested in the ISS in early 2016.
Founder of Digium, Founder of Avilution
Will speak Saturday, Apr. 29 at 6pm
Mark Spencer is the creator of Asterisk, a Linux-based open-sourced PBX in software. He is the founder of Digium, an open-source telecommunications supplier most notable for its development and sponsorship of Asterisk. He's also the founder of Avilution, LLC. Avilution spawned DroidEFB, which in turn created his new project for XFS which is a glass cockpit. Mark is an avid pilot and spends his days developing innovations for the aviation industry.
Founder, Pickens Innovations
Will speak Sunday, Apr. 30 at 12pm
Tim Pickens has dedicated his career to developing and delivering hardware solutions to facilitate affordable and responsive space access. He is an inventor, serial entrepreneur, innovator, designer and educator, primarily focused on aerospace solutions. His business, Pickens Innovations, specializes in firm fixed price contract aerospace hardware, engineering and test service delivery; and technical product development and solutions.
Tim founded Orion Propulsion, a Huntsville aerospace company, in 2004, and sold it to Dynetics in 2009 after growing it to 40 employees and $6.4 million. Orion received multiple Small Business awards and became AS9100-certified to build man-rated flight hardware. Before founding Orion, Tim was lead propulsion engineer on SpaceShipOne, the $10 million Ansari X Prize winner, and worked for hardware-rich aerospace companies. He has led multiple amateur rocket design efforts.
Learn more about NASA's Space Apps Challenge via the official international website: