DECEMBER 6, 2019

Featuring General Kevin Chilton



Doors Open with Coffee



Welcome and Opening Remarks

Saadia Pekkanen, SPARC Co-Director for Law & Policy

Saadia M. Pekkanen works on outer space security, law, and policy. Her regional expertise is in the international relations of Japan/Asia. She earned Master’s degrees from Columbia University and Yale Law School, and a doctorate from Harvard University in political science. She holds the Job and Gertrud Tamaki Professorship at the University of Washington. She has published a half-dozen books on space technology and geopolitics, and is working now on The Age of Newspace. She serves as Co-Chair of the U.S. Japan Space Forum, and directs both the Space Security Initiative (SSI) and the project on Emerging Frontiers in Newspace. She is a contributor for Forbes on the space industry.

Kristi Morgansen, SPARC Co-Director for STEM
Kristi Morgansen is professor and chair of the William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics. She received a BS and a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, an S.M. in Applied Mathematics in 1996 from Harvard University and a PhD in Engineering Sciences in 1999 from Harvard University. Until joining the University of Washington, she was first a postdoctoral scholar then a senior research fellow in Control and Dynamical Systems at the California Institute of Technology. She joined the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics in the summer of 2002.

Professor Morgansen’s research interests focus on nonlinear systems where sensing and actuation are integrated, stability in switched systems with delay, and incorporation of operational constraints such as communication delays in control of multi-vehicle systems.  Applications include both traditional autonomous vehicle systems such as fixed-wing aircraft and underwater gliders as well as novel systems such as bio-inspired underwater propulsion, bio-inspired agile flight, human decision making, and neural engineering.  The results of this work have been demonstrated in estimation and path planning in unmanned aerial vehicles with limited sensing, vorticity sensing and sensor placement on fixed wing aircraft, landing maneuvers in fruit flies, joint optimization of control and sensing in dynamical systems, and deconfliction and obstacle avoidance in autonomous systems and in biological systems including fish, insects, birds, and bats.

Nancy Allbritton, Frank & Julie Jungers Dean of Engineering
Dr. Nancy L. Allbritton joined the University of Washington as the Frank & Julie Jungers Dean of Engineering in November 2019. In that capacity, she serves as the chief academic officer of the college and provides leadership to over 279 faculty and more than 8,000 students. The College of Engineering is a top-15 nationally ranked public university program with annual research expenditures exceeding $159 million.

Allbritton is an international expert on multiplexed single-cell assays, microfabricated platforms for high-content cytometry combined with cell sorting, and microengineered stem-cell-based systems for recapitulating human organ-level function. Four companies have been formed based on her research discoveries: Protein Simple (acquired by Bio-Techne in 2014), Intellego, Cell Microsystems, and Altis Biosystems. Allbritton holds an appointment in the UW’s Department of Bioengineering.  She has been nationally recognized for her research and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors.

Prior to joining the UW, Allbritton led the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University which spans two universities and three colleges.

Robert Stacey, Dean of Arts and Sciences
Stacey, professor of history, has served as dean since January 2013, after one year as interim dean, four years as the College’s divisional dean of arts and humanities and an earlier stint as divisional dean of the social sciences. Since joining the UW faculty in 1988, Stacey has held numerous administrative posts, including chairing the Department of History, serving on the Faculty Senate, heading the UW’s Advisory Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics, and chairing the University Academic Council. Stacey’s scholarly work focuses on the history of Jews in medieval England. In 1997, he received the UW Distinguished Teaching Award. In addition to his other duties, Stacey has been a popular speaker at the UW Alumni Association’s lecture series.


Opening Keynote with General Kevin Chilton (Ret.)
What do we mean by space security in geopolitics today?

General Kevin Chilton (Ret.)
General Chilton is a retired US Air Force four-star general and test pilot. He was commander of the U.S. Strategic Command. A distinguished graduate from the U.S. Air Force pilot training and test pilot Schools, he flew operational assignments in the RF-4C and F-15 and weapons testing in the F-4 and F-15. The general also served 11 years as an astronaut at NASA and commanded STS-76, his third space shuttle mission. General Chilton is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a Columbia University Guggenheim Fellow.


Coffee Break



Panel 1: Autonomy and Security in Space
Moderated by Kristi Morgansen, SPARC Co-Director for STEM

Ron Faith, President and COO, RBC Signals
Ron Faith is a serial entrepreneur returning to the space industry after stints in cloud computing and mobile commerce. Most recently Ron was the CEO of Datacastle, a cloud based endpoint data protection company acquired by Carbonite last year. Prior to Datacastle, Ron worked at Apple Computer where he launched Apple's first standalone Internet product in the mid-90s. Ron is a published author and patent owner. Ron graduated from the University of Washington with a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering where he performed research for Boeing’s Aerospace and Defense group in frequency selective surfaces. Ron attained his Bachelors degree from Dartmouth College where he double-majored in Engineering Sciences and Philosophy.
Ben Ivers, Systems Senior Leader, Product Strategy & Future Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Ben Ivers is a Senior Manager at The Boeing Company leading the Systems team for commercial product development.  His teams focus is on development of concepts, technologies and operations, for current and future commercial airplanes which includes autonomy & robotics.  Prior to this role Ben led teams in Electronics, Air Traffic Management and Certification at Boeing.

Additionally, Ben serves on the STEM Advisory Board for UW Bothell helping bring an industry perspective to the STEM school.

Ben has a Bachelors in Science in Electrical Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and an MBA from the University of Washington.

Valentina Staneva, Senior Data Scientist, UW eScience Institute
Valentina Staneva is a Senior Data Scientist at the eScience Institute. She holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from Johns Hopkins University and her thesis focus was on object tracking in videos. Prior to her graduate studies she worked in Los Alamos National Lab on problems in image processing, optimization, and compressed sensing. At the eScience Institute she collaborates with researchers from multidisciplinary areas (neural decoding, sonar data analysis, disaster response, etc) and promotes reproducible and open research best practices. She is currently co-leading the Satellite Image Analysis Special Interest Group at UW which engages the local remote sensing community.
Scott Newbern, CTO, AeroVironment

Scott Newbern has served as the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of AeroVironment since December of 2018. This includes leadership of the MacCready Works Laboratory ­– a focal point for AeroVironment’s continuous innovation, focusing on relentless problem solving and doing what has never been done before. Scott previously served as the Vice President of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems beginning in 2012. He guided the strategic and tactical activities for the SUAS business area. Scott has served in various UAS leadership positions at AeroVironment since joining the company in 1997. Scott led advanced UAS development activities including establishing high volume SUAS manufacturing capability at AeroVironment.


Scott earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University with specialty in UAS aerodynamic modeling, control system design and flight research. Scott also completed Stanford Executive Institute program for high technology executives and Gap International’s Executive Challenge.



Student Lightning Pitches

  • Jesse Brisbois, Political Science: “Indigenizing the space industry: Indigenous perspectives on space development.”
  • Charlie Kelly, Aeronautics & Astronautics: “Revolutionizing deep space exploration with plasma aerocapture.”
  • James Penna and Finn van Donkelaar, Aeronautics & Astronautics: “The Wave Motion Cannon: Making space development cheaper using supersonic jet launch.”
  • Devan Tormey, Aeronautics & Astronautics: “A&A CubeSat Team’s SOC-i.”





Panel 2: Regional Policies on Space Security
Moderated by Saadia Pekkanen, SPARC Co-Director for Law & Policy

UAE: P.J. Blount, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Luxembourg; Adjunct Professor, University of Mississippi and Montclair State University

Dr. P.J. Blount is an adjunct professor in the LL.M in the Air and Space Law at the University of Mississippi School of Law and a Visiting Scholar at the Beijing Institute of Technology School of Law for the Fall of 2017.  He also teaches in the Department of Political Science and Law at Montclair State University.  He is the former Research Counsel for the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law at the University of Mississippi School of Law. His teaching includes courses such Space Security Law, International Telecommunications Law, Cyberlaw, International Law, Human Rights Law, Intellectual Property, and US Foreign Policy.

Blount’s primary research areas are legal issues related to space security and cyberspace governance. He has published and presented widely on the topic of space security law and has given expert testimony on space traffic management before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Space.  Blount serves as the co-editor-in-chief of the Proceedings of the IISL; as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Space Law; and as an editorial board member of the Journal of Astrosociology.

Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors of the International Institute of Space Law and as the Chair of the Legal Aspects Technical Committee of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia.

Israel: Tal Azoulay, Space Policy Researcher, Tel Aviv University

Tal Azoulay is a space policy researcher specializing in the fields of international cooperation and conflict resolution. He has lectured on these topics at various academic institutions in Israel, as well as publishing contributions to the recent Handbook of Space Security Policy. He has been a researcher at the Yuval Neeman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security at Tel Aviv University.

Mr. Azoulay served for almost 10 years in Office of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, focusing on promoting international cooperation in a variety of defense and technology-related fields.

Mr. Azoulay attained his BA in Political Science from Stony Brook University in New York, and his MA in Security Studies from Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Russia: Seonhee Kim, Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University

Seonhee Kim is interested in the politics of authoritarian and hybrid regimes in the region of Russia, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe, covering the topics of electoral authoritarianism, state repression, human rights, social movements, space security, and the welfare state. Her work broadly speaks to the field of comparative politics and political economy.

As a junior fellow of SSI (Space Security Initiative) at the University of Washington, she published a brief on the status of space programs in Russia and co-authored another article on South Korea. The article on the Russian space industry tracks down the reform processes and their social, political, and economic ramifications since the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is presented as part of the SSI-Brief series funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. She examines the space program in Russia in the context of the authoritarian survival at large, being subject to the battle between different economic-political interests of competing elites.

Her doctoral research focuses on judicial measures used to repress civil society at large in Russia since the Bolotnaya protest in 2012. The dissertation project investigates how the use of officially established procedures for the state’s coercion in the pursuit of regime legitimacy results in an unexpectedly moderate level of repression in Russia.

She received her B.A. from Incheon University and M.A. from Seoul National University, South Korea. She is expected to defend her doctoral thesis in December, 2019 at the Jackson School of International Studies, the University of Washington. She recently accepted a postdoctoral fellowship position at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University, starting from January, 2020.

China: Kevin Pollpeter, Senior Research Scientist, CNA China Studies Division
Kevin Pollpeter is a research scientist in the CNA China Studies Division. He is an internationally recognized expert on China’s space program and is widely published on Chinese national security issues, focusing on Chinese military modernization, China’s defense industry, and Chinese views on information warfare. His publications include China Dream, Space Dream: China’s Progress in Space Technologies and Implications for the United States; Planning for Innovation: Understanding China’s Plans for Technological, Energy, Industrial, and Defense Development; and “Chinese Writings on Cyberwarfare and Coercion,” in China and Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy, and Politics in the Digital Domain.

A Chinese linguist, Pollpeter holds an M.A. in international policy studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program at King’s College London.



Coffee Break



Panel 3: Bridging Academia, Industry and Government
Moderated by Saadia Pekkanen, SPARC Co-Director for Law & Policy

Margaret O'Mara, Howard and Frances Keller Endowed Professor, UW History Department
Margaret O’Mara teaches and writes about the political, economic, and metropolitan history of the modern United States. She became a professional historian after spending the early years of her career working in national politics and policymaking, an experience that showed her the critical role of historical knowledge in understanding the present and informing the future. Her research, teaching, and work with people and organizations beyond academia is inspired and shaped by her desire to make history relevant, exciting, and central to the way we understand our world. At the UW, she offers undergraduate and graduate courses on modern America, political history, urban history, and economic history.

Her research focuses on the high-tech industry, American politics, and the connections between the two. Her newest book is a history of the technology industry from the 1940s to the present, titled The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America (Penguin Press, 2019).

Audrey Powers, Deputy General Counsel, Blue Origin
Audrey Powers is the Deputy General Counsel for Blue Origin, a commercial space company operating and developing two reusable launch vehicle programs—the New Shepard suborbital reusable launch vehicle, and the New Glenn orbital reusable launch vehicle. Blue Origin also designs and manufactures launch vehicle engines and pursues other advanced development initiatives in space.

Audrey received a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical engineering from Purdue University and worked as an engineer for almost 10 years prior to becoming a lawyer. As a guidance and controls engineer, she was a flight controller for NASA with 2000 hours of console time in Mission Control for the International Space Station Program, where she supported numerous space shuttle assembly flights, led technical meetings with the Russian Space Agency, and directed recovery of the ISS attitude control system during two on-orbit emergencies. Audrey also supported government satellite programs for Lockheed Martin.
Audrey received a Juris Doctor in 2008 from Santa Clara University School of Law, and is admitted to the California, Washington, and DC bars. As Blue Origin’s Deputy General Counsel, Audrey handles a wide variety of legal matters, but focuses primarily on progressing the legal framework that governs commercial and civil space activities. Audrey is committed to reducing regulatory burdens on space vehicle operators, thus promoting emerging technologies while ensuring safe operability of those vehicles. Audrey has appeared on numerous conference panels and testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Aviation Subcommittee on the topic of reform of space vehicle launch & reentry licensing regulations.
Audrey’s other responsibilities at Blue Origin include high value supplier negotiations, land use and construction matters, launch vehicle licensing, maritime law, and insurance and risk management.

Stan Shull, Founder, Alliance Velocity
Stan Shull is Principal Consultant at Alliance Velocity, where he advises space and software companies on growth and exit strategies.  Stan has more than 25 years of experience in the aerospace and software industries.  He worked on civil satellite programs, classified military space initiatives, and NASA’s Space Station program.  At The Boeing Company, he directed R&D and corporate strategic planning processes and led an initiative to develop an aerospace data analytics business.  Stan also ran partnerships and alliances for 4 enterprise software and data analytics startups.  He developed, negotiated and managed dozens of strategic partnerships, and drove three successful exits by acquisition or IPO.  Stan holds a BS in aerospace engineering from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Roger Myers, Chair, Washington State Joint Center for Aerospace Technology
Dr. Roger Myers has worked on space transportation and in-space propulsion for over 30 years, with experience ranging from hands-on research and testing to leading large programs and organizations.  After 9 years at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, in 1996 he joined Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Redmond Operations, the world’s leading developer of spacecraft propulsion systems and technology, where he held several executive positions before serving as General Manager from 2006-2010 and as Executive Director, Advanced In-Space Programs until 2016 when he retired to consult.  He now consults for a range of companies as well as the Science and Technology Policy Institute in Washington DC on various topics in the space field.  He has worked on dozens of commercial and government space missions, including all NASA planetary missions from 1996 – 2016, and has led dozens of successful space propulsion research and development programs on both electric and chemical propulsion technologies, as well as several studies of human exploration missions. He has published over 90 technical papers.  Dr. Myers was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) in 2010 and a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS) in 2012. He was awarded the AIAA Wyld Propulsion Award in 2014 and the Electric Rocket Propulsion Society (ERPS) Stuhlinger Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Electric Propulsion in 2017.  He is Board Chair for Washington State’s Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation (JCATI), President of the ERPS, President-elect of the WSAS, and a Trustee at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

Dr. Myers earned his PhD from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University and a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan.  He and his wife, Trudi, live in Woodinville, Washington.

Conor Duggan, Business Development Manager for Aerospace, Washington State Dept of Commerce

Conor works on aerospace issues at the Washington State Department of Commerce. The agency’s Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness is primarily tasked with helping to strengthen and grow Washington’s major industrial sectors, and Conor is particularly focused on enabling emerging aerospace subsectors such as space, drones, and electric aviation. Prior to joining the state government, he worked in the commercial space industry doing business development work in Cape Canaveral and advocating for a commercial return to the Moon in Washington, DC. Conor received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Santa Clara University, where he became passionate about the role of science and technology policy in fostering global peace, progress, and prosperity.



Coffee Break



Mapping the PNW Space Ecosystem: A Strategic Working Session

Led by Kristi Morgansen, SPARC Co-Director for STEM
and Saadia Pekkanen, SPARC Co-Director for Law & Policy





Job and Gertrud Tamaki Endowed Professorship

This event was made possible in part with funding from Carnegie Corporation of New York.