Dr. Todd BjerkeDr. Todd Bjerke was recently appointed as the Deputy of the Basic Research Portfolio in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology, where he assists in coordination and oversight of all basic research within the US Army. Prior to his current assignment, Dr. Bjerke was the Chief of the Impact Physics Branch at the US Army Research Laboratory located at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. In this prior role, Dr. Bjerke had approximately 30 years of experience conducting and managing basic and applied research in the areas of fundamental mechanisms of terminal ballistics, hypervelocity impact, dynamic deformation and failure of materials, physics-based computational mechanics, and warhead technologies. He received his BS in aerospace engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1985, his ME degree in mechanical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1992, and his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Delaware in 2002. Todd began his career in the field of hypervelocity impact science by conducting experiments using a suite of two-stage, light-gas launchers while employed at the Arnold Engineering and Development Center in Tullahoma, TN. He continued his terminal ballistics research by joining the US Army Research Laboratory in 1988. He is author of over 50 journal articles, conference proceedings, and government technical reports and is a member of ASME. His activities in the Hypervelocity Impact Society include serving as the Co-Chair of the 2012 Hypervelocity Impact Symposium and serving as the current Society President since 2015.

Craig StephensCraig Stephens is Chief Engineer for Controls Engineering in the Autonomous Vehicles and Controls Research and Advanced activity in Ford Motor Company. He joined Ford Motor Company in 1987 working in Powertrain Calibration and Controls for Ford of Europe and in 1991 he moved to Dearborn, Michigan holding a variety of positions in P/T Controls and Software development. These positions have spanned the full technology cycle from Research through to Production. In his current position his work has expanded to include support for Driver Assistance Technologies and Autonomous Vehicles where his team contributes primarily in the areas of Systems Engineering, Functional Safety and Controls. He received a BEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Leeds and an MS in Electronics and Computer Control form Wayne State University. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Roberto HorowitzRoberto Horowitz is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley and holds the James Fife Endowed Chair in the College of Engineering. He received a B.S. degree with highest honors in 1978 and a Ph.D. degree in 1983 in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and became a faculty member of the Mechanical Engineering Department in 1982. Dr. Horowitz teaches and conducts research in the areas of adaptive, learning, nonlinear and optimal control, with applications to Micro-Electromechanical Systems (MEMS), computer disk file systems, robotics, mechatronics and Intelligent Vehicle and Highway Systems (IVHS). He is currently the Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering Department and a former co-director of the Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH) research center at U.C. Berkeley. Dr. Horowitz is a member of IEEE and ASME and the recipient of the 2010 ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Division (DSCD) Henry M. Paynter Outstanding Investigator Award.

Robert A. GoldMr. Robert Gold serves as Director of the Engineering Enterprise within the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering (DASD(SE)) under the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (OUSD(AT&L)). Mr. Gold is a member of the Senior Executive Service. He is responsible for SE-related policy and guidance, specialty engineering, engineering tools and environments, hardware and software assurance, and defense standardization. He oversees workforce development for the defense acquisition engineering career fields Engineering (ENG) and Production, Quality and Manufacturing (PQM). His specialty engineering responsibilities include reliability and maintainability, system safety, manufacturing, human systems integration, and the Department of Defense (DoD) Value Engineering program.
         Mr. Gold’s career spans more than 30 years with the Department of Defense, focusing on combat systems engineering, software, cyber, complex networking, and satellite acquisition. He holds a Master of Science degree in systems engineering from Virginia Tech, a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Lehigh University, and a Public Management Certificate from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Dr. David GorsichDr. David Gorsich was selected for a Scientific and Professional (ST) position in January 2009 and serves as the Army’s Chief Scientist for Ground Vehicle Systems. His current research interests are vehicle dynamics and structural analysis, reliability based design optimization, underbody blast modeling, terrain modeling and spatial statistics.
         Prior to his current position, Gorsich served as the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center’s (TARDEC’s) Associate Director, Modeling and Simulation (M&S), from July 2003 to December 2008. He has also served as the Acting Director, Strategic Plans and Programs, and the Team Leader for Robotics and Vehicle Intelligence. He served in various assignments at TARDEC, the Army Materiel Command, the Army Research Laboratory and for the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisitions, Logistics and Technology). Gorsich previously was an electrical engineer with McGraw Commercial Equipment Corporation in Novi, MI.
         Gorsich was named a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Fellow in 2008. He has served on the SAE Technical Standards Board for a 3-year term, been the chair for the SAE International Standards Committee for Ground Vehicle Reliability and also on the SAE Board of Directors. He has received several Commander’s Coins, including: U.S. Army Central Command, GEN John Abizad, High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles Safety/Seat Experiments, 2005; Chief of Staff, GEN Peter Schoomaker, TARDEC M&S, 2005; West Virginia National Guard, 2004; U.S. Army TACOM, MG William M. Lenaers, Army-SAE Partnership, 2004; U.S. Army TACOM, MG N. Ross Thompson, Reliability, 2003. Gorsich received the Detroit Federal Executive Board Award in 2001. Gorsich was recognized with the 1997 Army Research, Development and Acquisition Award, “Innovations in Ground Vehicle Signature Research.”
         Gorsich is recognized in many professional organizations for his research accomplishments. Gorsich serves as an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Terramechanics, and on the Editorial Board of the International Journal for Reliability and Safety, and as past Associate Editor for the Journal of Mechanical Design. He is a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Chapter of Sigma Xi, the Material Parts and Processes Council of SAE and the Senior Executives Association, ST Chapter.
         Gorsich has published more than 150 conference and journal articles including more than 50 peer reviewed journal articles. He has published in the following peer reviewed journals: Transactions of SAE; International Journal of Vehicle Design; Journal of Mechanical Design; Journal of Commercial Vehicles; Contemporary Mathematics; Computational Statistics and Data Analysis; Physical Review D; Society of Automotive Engineers; Journal of Multivariate Analysis; Journal of Electronic Imaging; Optical Engineering; Pattern Recognition Letters; Statistics and Computing; Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence.
         Gorsich holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Lawrence Technological University. He holds an M.S. in applied mathematics from George Washington University and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from MIT.

Poster Award Committee

Dr. Ravi ThyagarajanDr. Ravi Thyagarajan is a Science and Technology (S&T) acquisition professional in the research and development of military ground vehicles over the entire product lifecycle. He currently serves as the Senior Technical Expert in Materials/Product Lifecycle engineering in the Ground Systems Engineering Support Directorate at the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). In his current role, he is responsible for setting the engineering and research direction for materials-related initiatives such as Light-weighting, Additive Manufacturing, Multi-material joining, Materials development, as well as Modeling and Simulation in support of the same.
         His most recent assignment was being the TARDEC Deputy Chief Scientist for over three years, where he was responsible for managing the basic research program portfolio. He also served on the Deputies Council chartered to be the focal point for making timely and informed enterprise-level business decisions aligned to strategic priorities and transformation.
         His research pursuits are in the areas of structural lightweighting/optimization, occupant protection, blast modeling/design, and fast-running modeling methodologies.

Dr. Jean DaschDr. Jean Dasch is a Principal Scientist for Alion Science and Technology. For the last six years, she has worked in the Office of the Chief Scientist at the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center. There, she is involved in a variety of projects dealing with basic research at TARDEC; she also coauthored a book with Dr. David Gorsich on the history of innovation at TARDEC from 1946 to 2010. Prior to TARDEC, Dr. Dasch was a Technical Fellow at the General Motors Research and Development Center in the Chemical and Environmental Sciences Laboratory. Her research interests included environmental emissions from vehicles and automotive plants, indoor air pollution, clean machining studies, and groundwater remediation. She obtained her BA from Catholic University of America in Chemistry and her PhD from the University of MD in Nuclear and Atmospheric Chemistry. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Argonne National Laboratory for one year prior to joining General Motors. She has one patent and over 75 publications in peer-reviewed journals. 

Dr. Bogdan EpureanuDr. Bogdan Epureanu is a professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan. He obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Duke University, 1999; Graduate Studies at University of Valladolid, 1994; M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Galati University, 1993; and Graduate Studies at École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 1992. His research interests include structural health monitoring and sensors based on nonlinear dynamics and chaos, linear and nonlinear reduced order models, pattern formation and control of chaos, computer fluid dynamics of unsteady flows, and nonlinear unsteady aerodynamics.



Dr. Richard GerthDr. Richard Gerth is the Deputy Chief Scientist for the US Army’s Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). The Chief Scientist’s Office is responsible for managing TARDEC’s basic research portfolio as well as promoting the growth and development of its research workforce.
         Prior to his current position, Dr. Gerth was a Senior Research Engineer on the Materials Application and Integration team responsible for conducting research in vehicle lightweighting technologies. His primary research interests are in high Manganese steels, operational metrics for weight reduction in military vehicles, and open innovation processes.
         Dr. Gerth has over 60 publications and presented at numerous national and international conferences. He earned his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor.

Dr. Thomas MeitzlerDr. Thomas J. Meitzler received his B.S. and M.S. in Physics from Eastern Michigan University, completed graduate coursework at the University of Michigan, and received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Wayne State University in Detroit. His doctoral dissertation in Electrical Engineering at Wayne State University was on Modern Methods for Computing the Probability of Target Detection in Cluttered Environments. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and Senior Member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He is the Ground System Survivability Senior Science Advisor.
         During the time from 1988 to present, Dr. Meitzler has been a research engineer at the US Army TACOM Research and Engineering Center (TARDEC) in Survivability. For the U.S. Army, Dr. Meitzler has been involved with the validation, verification, and development of infrared, electro-optical and human visual acquisition models. Dr. Meitzler was the principal scientist of the TARDEC Visual Perception Laboratory and the principal investigator on Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA’s) with GM and Ford Motor Company to apply visual target acquisition models to vehicle conspicuity and novel sensors to automobile 360 degree safety. Dr. Meitzler was the principle investigator on several Space Act Agreements with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and CRADA’s with the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He has authored/co-authored many papers in the area of Electro Optic system simulation, visual detection, sensor validation, traditional nondestructive armor evaluation and embedded piezoelectric nondestructive testing of armor materials, and spintronics. Dr. Meitzler has developed and integrated technologies for embedded armor health-monitoring, armor Non Destructive testing, and armor embedded radio signal detection.

Dr. Edward UmpfenbachDr. Edward Umpfenbach is a senior research analyst with General Motors Product Development Analytics team. His current research activities involve vendor tooling capital cost estimation as well as supplier location optimization. Edward was awarded a DoD SMART Fellowship in 2011 and finished his PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Wayne State University in 2013. He worked at US Army TARDEC 2013-2016 as active chief architect of the Integrated Systems Engineering Framework (ISEF). His research interests include systems engineering, vehicle modularity and commonality, optimization, and statistics.