Hon. Jay M. Cohen, Rear Admiral, USN is a native of New York. He was commissioned in 1968 upon graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He holds a joint Ocean Engineering degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Master of Science in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture from MIT.
His early Navy assignments included service on conventional and nuclear submarines. From 1991 to 1993, he commanded the submarine tender USS L.Y. SPEAR (AS 36) including a deployment to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation DESERT STORM. In June 2000, Cohen was promoted in rank and became the 20th Chief of Naval Research. He served during war as the Department of the Navy Chief Technology Officer (a direct report to the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations and Commandant of the Marine Corps). Unanimously confirmed by the US Senate, Cohen was sworn in as Under Secretary for Science & Technology at the Department of Homeland Security (responsible for DHS Research, Development, Test and Evaluation) on August 10, 2006.
Since leaving government, Rear Admiral Cohen is now a principal in The Chertoff Group, serves on numerous corporate boards and as CEO of JayMCohen LLC is an independent consultant for science and technology in support of domestic and international defense, homeland security and energy issues and solutions.
Major General John Wharton serves as Commanding General of the United States Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. RDECOM ensures the dominance of Army capabilities by empowering, unburdening and protecting the Joint Warfighter through integrated research, development and engineering solutions. MG Wharton leads more than 14,000 researchers, engineers and support personnel.
MG Wharton was commissioned a Second Lieutenant following graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1981. His first assignment was Fort Hood, Texas where he served as Main Supply Platoon Leader and Company Commander, 15th Supply and Transport Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division.
In 1985, he transferred to the Dragon Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, NC, and later deployed to Sinai, Egypt, with Task Force 3-502nd Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as part of the Multinational Peace Keeping Force and Observers (MFO). He remained deployed with TF 2-504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 82nd Airborne Division, becoming the first Commander of the Support Company, Logistical Support Unit.
In 1986, MG Wharton assumed duties as an Inspector General to the United States Army Western Command (WESTCOM) at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. Following that tour, he served as Battalion S3 in the 25th Supply and Transport Battalion, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. From 1992 to 1994 he was the Lieutenant Colonels’ Assignments Officer at the United States Army’s Personnel Command (PERSCOM), Alexandria, Virginia, and then moved to Fort Drum, New York, to be Battalion Executive Officer in the 210th Forward Support Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and later deployed to OPERATION RESTORE/UPHOLD DEMOCRACY as the Battalion Commander (Forward). Following the deployment, he remained at Fort Drum as Chief, Division Materiel Management Center (DMMC), 10th Mountain Division Support Command from 1995 to 1996. For the next two years he served as a Joint Strategy Planner in the Logistics Directorate, J4, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), Pentagon, Washington, D.C. In 1998 he took command of the 1st United States Army Support Battalion, 507th Corps Support Group (Airborne), MFO, Sinai, Egypt. After command, he served a second tour at PERSCOM as the Quartermaster Branch Chief.
In 2001, MG Wharton assumed brigade command of the 55th Theater Support Command (AC/RC), Eighth United States Army. From 2003 to 2004, he led the CSA’s Task Force Logistics and was subsequently selected to be Deputy Commander (Futures), U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command. In 2006 he became Director, Army Initiatives Group, Army G4, followed by Executive Officer to the HQDA Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, G4, Washington, D.C. In 2008, he deployed to Kuwait as Commanding General, AMC-SWA/U.S. Army Central G4/CFLCC C4 for OPERATIONs IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM. He was the U.S. Army Materiel Command Chief of Staff from November 2009 to March 2012. MG Wharton’s most recent assignment was as Commanding General, United States Army Sustainment Command and Rock Island Arsenal, and as the Senior Commander for United States Army Garrison, Rock Island. As the ASC Commanding General, he led a global organization of over 65,000 Soldiers, civilians, and contractors, responsible for sustaining Army and Joint Forces in support of Combatant Commands.
In addition to his degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, his education includes the Quartermaster Basic and Advanced Courses, the Inspector General’s Course, the Command and General Staff College, and the Naval War College. He holds a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.
His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Legion of Merit (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal (with Service Star) and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. He also wears the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge, the Army Staff Identification Badge, and the Airborne and Air Assault Badges.
Gert Cauwenberghs received the M.Eng. degree in applied physics from University of Brussels, Belgium, in 1988, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, in 1989 and 1994. He is Professor of Bioengineering at University of California San Diego, where he co-directs the Institute for Neural Computation. Previously, he held positions as Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Maryland, and as Visiting Professor of Brain and Cognitive Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.
Shu Chien joined UCSD in 1988 and became the founding chair of the Department of Bioengineering in 1994. In 2008, Chien became the founding Director of UC San Diego’s new Institute of Engineering in Medicine to foster collaborations among the faculty of UCSD and with research institutes and biomedical companies in San Diego. As principal investigator on the Whitaker Foundation Development Award (1993) and Leadership Award (1998), Chien played a major role in establishing UCSD’ bioengineering program as one of the top programs in the country. As founding Director of the UC Systemwide Bioengineering Institute in California, he has contributed to collaborations in research and education among the ten UC campuses. In September 2006, Chien was named the inaugural holder of the Y.C. Fung Endowed Chair in Bioengineering at the Jacobs School. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Chien won the US National Medal of Science in 2011. He received his M.D. from the National Taiwan University and his Ph.D. in Physiology from Columbia University, where he was a professor from 1969 to 1988.
Michael J. Sailor is Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego, and he holds Affiliate Appointments in the Bioengineering Department, the Nanoengineering Department, and the Materials Science and Engineering program at UCSD. He is the author of more than 220 research publications, one book, and 29 patents. He is an Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an Elected Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Inventors, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Nicholas Oesch, PhD
Dr. Oesch is an Assistant Research Scientist in the Psychology Department at UCSD. Dr. Oesch’s laboratory studies how retinal neurons communicate with each other to process visual information, using whole cell electrophysiology, optical physiology and behavioral techniques. The laboratory studies the neurophysiology of both healthy retina and diseased retina, and is working to understand how therapeutic strategies can restore neural communication and vision.
A. Fenner Milton, PhD
Dr. A. Fenner Milton spent 45 years in the night vision industry working for both private companies (10 years) and the U.S. Government (35 years). The private industry years were primarily with General Electric Company and the Institute for Defense Analyses. During his Government career, he served 12 years as chief of the Electro-Optics Technology Branch at the Naval Research Laboratory, 8 years at the Headquarters, Department of the Army staff in senior positions and then 15 years as director of the world’s foremost night vision research and technology development organization, the Army’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD). At the time of his retirement from NVESD (March 2013), Dr. Milton was the longest-serving director in that organization’s history. At NVESD, he managed advancements in all aspects of electro-optical technology to include image intensifiers, infrared sensors, tactical lasers, countermine technology, humanitarian de-mining technology and technologies related to countering improvised explosive devices (IEDs). He brought a great deal of new blood–especially regarding optics–into NVESD from America’s leading universities. He argued persuasively to keep NVESD at Fort Belvoir to the Base Realignment and Closure Committee. He brought a new focus on uncooled infrared technology which involved establishing a new laboratory within NVESD and eventually enabled the widespread fielding of systems such as Thermal Weapon Sight (TWS), Driver’s Vision Enhancer (DVE), Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG) and others. He also promoted the VISTA program which was a tri-service effort to develop a foundry-based cooled IRFPA capability along a model similar to that of our European allies. Prior to NVESD, Dr. Milton served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army and Chief Scientist of the Army where he managed the Army’s entire science and technology program. His responsibilities covered 21 different laboratories and RD&E centers; encompassing approximately 10,000 individual scientists and engineers and an annual budget of $1.4 billion. He also served as the Army’s representative and U.S. Voting Member on NATO’s Sensors and Electronics Technology panel. Dr. Milton has been the recipient of numerous domestic and international awards to include Chevalier in the French National Order of Merit (2010) and SPIE’s Defense Security and Sensing Lifetime Achievement Award (also 2010). Subsequent to his retirement, Dr. Milton continues serving NVESD on a volunteer basis as Director Emeritus which enables him to continue providing high level advice to that organization and to the entire night vision community. He is currently advising Nanovision on non-biological low light imaging initiatives.
Edward F. Hart
Edward F. Hart served over 45 years in private industry, with assignments ranging from engineering leadership and marketing to general management. His expertise is in sensors and controls and their application across multiple industries. In his most recent assignments, Hart headed up several semiconductor-based divisions of Goodrich Corporation, now part of United Technologies, Inc. As VP/GM of its Sensors Unlimited Division in Princeton, New Jersey, Hart led the advancement of their unique III-V semiconductor technology from laboratory to fielding in a range of military applications where low light and laser-spotting capabilities are critical. These products have reached the warfighter in the current decade after years of development funding and guidance from Department of Defense laboratories, including NVESD and DARPA. Hart led the acquisition of CloudCap, Inc in Hood River, Oregon, a leading maker of autopilots and imaging payloads for small unmanned aerial vehicles and drones for commercial and military application, then integrated the company as an outlet for various Goodrich technologies. Prior to Sensors Unlimited, Hart was President/GM of Goodrich Engineered Polymer Products in Jacksonville, Florida, where he led a composites development and manufacturing operation that builds specialized acoustic structures for US Navy ships and submarines. This group also maintained a number of research contracts with various Defense Department laboratories for highly specialized composite structures with naval applications. Hart had joined Goodrich as VP/GM of its Advanced Micromachines Division in Cleveland, Ohio, a newly-acquired unit focused on very advanced applications of silicon micro-electromechanical (MEMs) technology for sensors and actuators in both commercial and military applications. Much effort was in the burgeoning telecom industry, and the unit contributed significantly to advancing the state of all-optical switching technology for fiber optic communications. This unit was successfully integrated into Goodrich’s larger Sensors unit in support of its dominant MEMs aerospace pressure sensor business. Prior to joining, Goodrich, Hart was President of Wabash Technologies, a large supplier of sensors and actuators to the automotive industry, supplying GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Caterpillar and other companies in the space. This included multiple units in the US plus the UK, Czech Republic and Mexico. We merged Wabash with Optec, a Dallas-based semiconductor company serving similar markets. After military service, Hart received a BSME from The Ohio State University while employed at Ranco Controls in Columbus, Ohio. At Ranco, Hart was in engineering and marketing, but was given the assignment to add electronic controls capabilities to Ranco’s strong electromechanical position, and he led the acquisition of Teccor Electronics, a power semiconductor company that also supplied complete controls and control systems to commercial and consumer companies.
Martin “Marty” Cooper
Martin “Marty” Cooper is an American engineer and a pioneer in the wireless communications industry, especially in radio spectrum management, with eleven patents in the field. While at Motorola in the 1970s, Cooper invented the first handheld cellular mobile phone (distinct from the car phone) in 1973 and led the team that developed it and brought it to market in 1983. He is considered the “father of the (handheld) cell phone” and is also cited as the first person in history to make a handheld cellular phone call in public. Cooper is co-founder of numerous communications companies, is co-founder and current Chairman of Dyna LLC, in Del Mar, California. Cooper also sits on committees supporting the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the United States Department of Commerce. In 2010, Cooper was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering for leadership in the creation and deployment of the cellular portable hand-held telephone.
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