2011 Speaker Bios

Dan Bartz, Booze Allen Hamilton

Dan received his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from Kettering University in 2002 and Master’s Degree in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon in 2006. He was a team member on Carnegie Mellon’s 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge team and the Oshkosh’s 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge team, where he worked on various vehicle dynamics and planning problems.

He has also worked the area of Automotive Active Safety and Vehicle Sensors Technology at both the General Motors Research Labs and the Ford Motor company. Dan works for Booz Allen Hamilton, supporting a client at TARDEC, where he tracks international trends in robotics and automotive technologies and helps his client form technology and business strategies.

Sara Blackmer, Defense Sector Development Director, Michigan Defense Center

Sara joined the Michigan Defense Center as part of the Strategic Engagement team in April 2010. She seeks out and develops opportunities in the Defense and other Federal sectors for companies and academic institutions in the State of Michigan primarily in the research and development (R&D), robotics, and aerospace fields. Sara acts as the State’s primary liaison to the TACOM/TARDEC community providing a single face to the customer for all interactions with the State. She has been working to capture and cultivate Michigan’s vast R&D capabilities and translate those into defense solutions directly aiding the Warfighter. Sara has served 11 years in the United States Air Force as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer, and currently serves in the United States Air Force Reserves as the Director for Reserve Affairs for the Officer Training School in Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. She is highly skilled in leadership and management, project management, teambuilding, creative problem solving, strategic planning, leadership training, supply chain management/logistics, and she is a skilled facilitator. She is also certified in defense acquisition logistics and test and evaluation through the Defense Acquisition University. Sara earned a BSE Cum Laude in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1999, an MBA from Indiana University in 2003, and an MS in Global Supply Chain Management from Indiana University in 2004. She earned her Project Management Professional Certification in 2009.

Corey Clothier, Strategist, 6Zulu

Former Captain Corey Clothier of the U.S. Marine Corps is co-founder of 6Zulu, a strategic planning consulting firm specializing in national collaborative research and development initiatives. Corey builds relationship-based strategies with global impact. Currently Corey is working on multiple initiatives for U.S. Army Robotics. These projects involve multiple Department of Defense agencies, Department of Homeland Security, National Guard, Department of Transportation and the State of Michigan.

Corey is currently pursuing a Doctorate degree in Business Strategy at Cranfield University. During Corey’s MBA study he founded Noble Training Solutions, an end-user biometric training company, with clients including the CIA, DEA, INS, FBI and dozens of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and correctional facilities. He also owned and co-founded Task Force 1, a dynamic experiential learning company based on military leadership principles, which later merged with Envision U. As the COO of Envision U, Corey led the development of new training and coaching systems, as well as a unique reality-based television show.

Corey’s passion is collaborative business development strategy related to autonomous transportation, which is coincidently his primary doctoral research topic. Corey believes that the Department of Defense has a leadership role in robotic vehicle systems development and through collaboration with industry, academia and the appropriate federal agencies, we’ll get there faster and spend less money. “It is what I learned in Boot Camp – use common sense, attack it as a team and just go for it…don’t let fear hold you back.”

Corey lives in Brighton with wife Lisa. They have three teenage children, Kelli, Katie and Cole.

Andrew Dallas, Vice President, Federal Systems, Soar Technology, Inc.

Mr. Dallas oversees the company’s business development and customer coordination activities within the federal government and brings over thirty years of extensive executive experience in the federal government. He is a founding member of the Robotics Technology Consortium (RTC) and currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer of the RTC. As part of this capacity he works towards transitioning robotics research into the field. Mr. Dallas has also served as a senior consultant on the State of Michigan’s 21st Century Job Fund which was created to help diversify and grow Michigan’s high-tech economy by investing in: basic research at universities and non-profit research institutions; applied research at small business; university technology transfer; and the commercialization of products, processes and services. Prior to his employment at Soar Technology, he held senior positions at the Office of Naval Research and the Defense Advanced Projects Agency, where he played a leading role in the research, development and advancement of Information Technologies to support the maritime community. Mr. Dallas was also a senior analyst and a personal assistant to the Commander, Second Fleet where he designed, tested, and implemented warfighting tactics adapted for use in large multinational operations, and was awarded a Letter of Commendation for helping to transition Naval operations from the Cold War to the new asymmetrical threat. In the private sector, Mr. Dallas directed business activities relating to the federal government for Saffron Technology, and for Veridian ERIM International, leading the creation of information technology supporting data collection, information sharing and knowledge generation. Mr. Dallas holds BSE (1979) and MSE (1986) degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

David Felten, Director of Medical Research Beaumont Hospital

Dr. David L. Felten, is the Vice President, Research, and Medical Director of the Research Institute at Beaumont Hospitals, Royal Oak, MI. He oversees the hospital’s research portfolio and actively participates in the development and commercialization of Beaumont’s intellectual property. Dr. Felton received a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969, an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1973, and a Ph.D. from the Institute of Neurological Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania in 1974. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Prize Fellowship. In addition, he has received two distinct NIH 10-year MERIT awards.

Richard Frederiksen, PhD, Research Engineer, Soar Technology, Inc.

Richard obtained his doctorate in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1996 based on his studies of the properties of complex systems. His work at Soar Technology, Inc., has centered on the development of advanced simulations involving autonomous intelligent agents and the integration of Soar with other software systems. He has considerable experience developing intelligent agent-based interfaces for robotic command and control (CIANC3 2003, 2004 & MEDIBOT 2009, SID 2011) and agent decision making visualization tools (VISTA 2002). He has considerable experience developing applications for MobileRobots’ ARIA platform. As the principal investigator of Soar’s RAID effort he helped design and develop a system that integrated Bayesian networks with Soar agents to predict OPFOR intent and IED placement in a MOUT combat environment. Additionally, he has worked on agent-based models of geo-political conflict for use in the intelligence domain (AGILE 2004 & PSTK 2007).  Prior to his Ph.D., he earned MSE (1993) and BSE (1990) degrees in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan.

Jeremy Gray is an Electrical Engineer for U.S. Army TARDEC – Ground Vehicle Robotics (GVR)

Jeremy is also graduate student in the Master of Science in Mechatronic Systems Engineering program at Lawrence Technological University.  Prior to the MSMSE program, Jeremy also received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University, and served six years in the United States Marine Corps Reserves as an enlisted Marine.  He has been employed by TARDEC since August 2008.  As an entry level researcher, Mr. Gray has authored/co-authored several papers on Modeling and Optimization of Fuel Economy, Mobility of Multi-Wheel Drive Vehicles, intuitive manipulation control, and manipulator end-effector designs and developments.  Mr. Gray has also successfully developed the MUDOE conceptual end-effector (currently pursuing patent) under a TARDEC 2010 Innovation Grant.  In collaboration with the Center for Ground Vehicles Development and Integration (CGVDI) and QinetiQ North America, he successfully developed the Remote APOBS Deployment System (RADS), a munitions trailer for TALON robots (currently pursuing patent).  Mr. Gray is actively pursuing a research career to support our Nations Warfighter’s and his fellow comrades.

Rick Jarman, President & CEO National Center for Manufacturing Sciences.

Rick lead NCMS, the largest collaborative R&D consortium in North America which is dedicated to driving innovation in commercial, defense, and robotics manufacturing. Prior to this position at NCMS, Mr. Jarman was Director of Technology Partnerships at the Eastman-Kodak Company where he was a driving force to forge alliances with industry and government in order to improve commercialization processes through innovation and technology. Rick managed global relationships and programs with policy makers, partners, and consortia management in order to leverage synergistic and strategic partnerships.  In 1988, he represented Kodak on the President’s Commission on Executive Exchange. He played a key role on the trade committee during the Commission’s meetings in the USSR and Western Europe and served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Production and Logistics in the Pentagon. Rick serves on industry boards and advisory groups related to his work in building collaborative alliances. He is the Co-author of the book “Collaborative R&D: Manufacturing’s New Tool” published by John Wiley & Sons N.Y.

Jeffrey Jaczkowski, Deputy Project Manager, Robotic Systems Joint Project Office (RS JPO)

Currently, Jeff serves as the Deputy Project Manager for the Robotic Systems Joint Project Office (RS JPO) under the Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS).  He is responsible for developing, acquiring, fielding and sustaining ground robotics for the Army and USMC. He began his Government service as a co-op student in 1988 at the U. S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Michigan. While co-op’ing, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from GMI Engineering and Management Institute, Flint, MI (1993).  Upon graduation in June 1993, he became an intern rotating through various TARDEC Business Groups gaining experience in systems engineering, technology integration and defense acquisition.In 1995, Mr. Jaczkowski completed his internship and worked as an electrical engineer in the Vetronics Technology Area for the Driver’s Automation & Robotics Team where he led and performed field integration of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) consisting of Collision Warning Systems (CWS) and Intelligent Cruise Control.  This resulted in the fielding of a collision warning capability as a safety system for Army tactical wheeled vehicles.Mr. Jaczkowski earned his Master of Science degree in engineering management from Oakland University, Rochester, MI (1997).From 1998-2003, as Team Leader for Robotics, Mr. Jaczkowski was responsible for project development, planning and management, customer interface, budget monitoring and execution.  He served as IPT chairman for Future Combat Systems (FCS) Unmanned Systems Working Group, comprised of multiple Government agencies, responsible for coordinating a concept development effort with system level programs, defining robotic system metrics, conducting technology trade studies and evaluating technical concepts.In 2003, Mr. Jaczkowski was appointed a member of the Army Acquisition Corps

Phil Munie, Software Engineer, Quantum Signal, LLC

Phil is a Software Developer at Quantum Signal, LLC working on projects that involve autonomous and teleoperated robots.  Before employment there, he was a participant in IGVC, as part of the robotics team at Lawrence Technological University during his  graduate program.




Edwin Olson, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan

Edwin Olson is an assistant professor in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. His leads the APRIL robotics lab which studies autonomy, perception, reliability, interfaces, and learning. In 2010, his team of 14 robots won first place and $750,000 in the international MAGIC 2010 robotics competition by demonstrating the ability to explore an urban environment, build a map, and locate objects of interest.

He received a PhD in 2008 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his work in robot mapping. While at MIT, he was a core member of MIT’s DARPA Urban Challenge team, one of five teams to successfully finish the race. While at MIT, he also founded the Mobile Autonomous Systems Laboratory (MASLab), an annual robotics competition. He is also the creator of the orcboard, an open-source robotics controller board.

James L. Overholt Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist of Robotics,  U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center

In March 2010, James L. Overholt, Ph.D. was appointed to a Scientific and Professional service position (ST), a system equal to Senior Executive Service, designed for specifically qualified scientific and professional personnel engaged in research and development.  As the Senior Research Scientist in Robotics for the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Dr. Overholt is responsible for defining the strategic vision for robotics science and technology and for conducting, mentoring, and sponsoring cutting edge robotics research.  Recently, Dr. Overholt was the U.S. co-chair of the Multi Autonomous Ground-robotics International Challenge (MAGIC) event held in Australia in November 2010.   In 2009 Dr. Overholt was appointed Director of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Joint Ground Robotics Enterprise (JGRE), where he was responsible for providing science and technology guidance to the OSD with an emphasis on closing gaps between war fighter requirements and technology, and coordinating efforts between Services to ensure interoperability and commonality among unmanned systems and supporting the strategic goals of the OSD and the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L).  From 2007 to May 2009, Dr. Overholt served as the Director of the Joint Center for Robotics (JCR) at the U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) Tank Automotive Research and Development Center (TARDEC).  He was responsible for establishing a portfolio of programs that strived to rapidly transition robotics technology into the hands of the Soldier, leveraging industry and academia.   His current research interests are machine intelligence and high-speed mobile robot navigation and control.  Dr. Overholt is the co-author of more than 50 scientific papers, and was awarded the Bronze Medal at the 2006 Army Science Conference for his contributions in writing “High Speed Hazard Avoidance for Unmanned Ground Vehicles in Emergency Situations.”

Dr. Overholt has been conducting robotics research for the Army and DoD for over 25 years.  He started his career in the Computational Dynamics Research Lab in Warren, Michigan and has held numerous lead research positions at TARDEC, including the Government Director of the Automotive Research Center at the University of Michigan.  Dr. Overholt was also a member of the development team for the Omni-Directional Inspection System (ODIS) robot.  He was on the planning team for the USMC Gladiator robot and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Learning Applied to Ground Robotics (LAGR) programs.  He served an eight month detail assignment as the Systems and Control Program Manager at the Army Research Office (ARO) in Durham, NC.   In June 2008, Dr. Overholt was named to the Board of Directors of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and was an invited Panelist on the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government sponsored workshop titled, “Unmanned and Robotic Warfare: Issues, Options and Futures.”

Dr. Overholt earned a BS in Physics from the Lawrence Institute of Technology, and a MS in Systems Engineering from Oakland University.  He earned his Ph. D. from Oakland University in 1999, emphasizing the development of neural-fuzzy sensor fusion behavioral architectures for unmanned vehicles.

Jeffrey Rupp, Manager, Safety Systems Engineering Ford Motor Company

Jeffrey Rupp has over 20 years experience with Ford Motor Company. For nine of the past ten years he led Ford’s Active Safety research, developing three generations of accident avoidance technologies that are on the road today. More recently, Jeff assumed leadership of the Sensing and Core Crash Safety group which includes responsibility for the integration of active and passive safety technologies. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and his Master’s Degree in Systems Engineering and Engineering Management from Wayne State University in Detroit. Jeff has been awarded eight safety-related patents, participated in every DARPA Grand and Urban Challenge, and authored the 2010 SAE Convergence paper “Autonomous Driving – A Practical Roadmap’.

Bob Rochelle, Kawasaki Robotics International

Bob Rochelle has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Engineering from Virginia Tech and holds numerous U.S. and International patents in the automation and food packaging fields.  He has been in the Automation Industry for over 25 years and has held positions as Design Engineer, Project Manager, R & D Engineer, Engineering Manager, Sales Engineer and Sales Manager.

He is currently the North American Sales Manager at Kawasaki Robotics with responsibility for robot and automation system sales through a direct sales staff or via an Integrator Network located throughout North, South and Central America.

Bob is a veteran seminar and conference speaker for various industry groups, has taught at both the University and Community College level and is a frequent author for technical journals.   He is recently elected to and serving on the Robotics Industry Association Board of Directors.

Mark Salamango, Director of Results, 6Zulu

Mark’s unique experience encompasses a number of applications in the industry. His expertise has added to the success of an impressive array of high-level projects over the years. At 6Zulu, Mark is a Strategic Technical Consultant building solutions for the U.S. Army, Marines, National Guard and Homeland Security in robotics and chem/bio threat detection. Mark is also system architect for Spinscape, an Enterprise Software Application that helps users to visualize information and collaborate over it in real time. His responsibilities include overall strategy for the Spinscape product as well as its development.

Prior to his role at 6Zulu, Mark was the Chief Pervasive Architect working for the U.S. Army Tank -Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) at the National Automotive Center in Warren, MI. While running the TARDEC lab, his primary focus was delivering software for handheld devices, sensors, and vehicle diagnostics.

One of his major achievements in this role was his involvement in the Cyrano Project, which fused sensor technologies including Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear, RFID, GPS, Video, Voice, Vehicle Diagnostic and Operator Health sensors into one handheld device. Mark has over 11 years of experience working with the Army as a Project Manager, Engineer, Software Architect, and Developer.

In addition, Mark has held other prestigious positions including IT/IS Director (Benefit Outsourcing Solutions), Level II Technical Consultant (Silicon Graphics Inc.), and the acting President of his own software consulting corporation (Complex Numbers).

Mark obtained a BS in Computer Science from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor as well as his MS in Computer Science from Lawrence Technological University.