Board of Directors

Dr. Craig Benson

Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science

University of Virginia

Craig H. Benson is Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia as well as the Janet and John Hamilton Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Dr. Benson has a BS from Lehigh University and MSE and PhD degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.  Prior to joining the University of Virginia, Dean Benson was appointed as Wisconsin Distinguished Professor, Chair of the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chair of the Dept. of Geological Engineering, and Director of Sustainability Research and Education for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Benson has been conducting experimental and analytical research in geoenvironmental engineering for nearly three decades, with the primary focus in environmental containment of solid, hazardous, radioactive, and mining wastes; sustainable infrastructure; and beneficial use of industrial byproducts.  His research includes laboratory studies, large-scale field experiments, and computer modeling.

Dr. Benson has received several awards for his work, including the Ralph Peck Award, the Huber Research Prize, the Alfred Noble Prize, and the Croes (twice), Middlebrooks, Collingwood, and Casagrande Awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Award of Merit and the Best Practical Paper Award (twice) from ASTM International.  Dr. Benson is a former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, served as President of the ASCE Geo-Institute (GI), and served as Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of ASTM Committee D18 on Soil and Rock. Dr. Benson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Barbara Boyan, Ph.D.

Dean, School of Engineering

Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Barbara Boyan is Professor and the Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Chair in Biomedical Engineering and Dean, School of Engineering at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.  In addition, she is professor emerita in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where she held the Price Gilbert, Jr. Chair in Tissue Engineering.  She is a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and in the American Institute of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering (AIMBE) and in 2012 she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and was inducted into the Fellows of the World Congress of Biomaterials.

Dr. Boyan is recipient of numerous awards, including the Honorary Lifetime Member Award from the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity, the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Distinguished Scientist Biomineralization Award and the American Academy of Periodontology R. Earl Robinson Periodontal Regeneration Award (1997, 1999, and 2001), as well as the Women’s Leadership Forum Award from the Orthopaedic Research Society (2012) and the Sigma Xi Sustained Research Award (2012).  She was appointed to the National Materials Advisory Board of the National Academy of Sciences and chaired their Roundtable on Biomedical Engineering Materials and Applications (2008 to 2011).  In 1993, she co-founded OsteoBiologics, Inc. (San Antonio, TX), which was acquired by Smith & Nephew in 2007.  OBI’s first generation of products is now approved for use clinically both in the US and Europe.  Dr. Boyan is also founder of Biomedical Development Corporation in San Antonio, as well as Orthonics, Inc. (Atlanta) and SpherIngenics, Inc. (Richmond).  The author of more than 400 peer-reviewed papers, reviews, and book chapters, Dr. Boyan holds 15 U.S. patents.

Dr. Morris Foster

Vice President for Research

Old Dominion University

Dr. Morris W. Foster is Vice President for Research at Old Dominion University and a Professor of Environmental and Community Health.

Dr. Foster received a BA from the University of Oklahoma in 1981 and went on to graduate work in anthropology at Yale University, earning an MPhil in 1984 and a PhD in 1988. Dr. Foster’s initial research was in ethnohistory and ethnography, publishing Being Comanche: A Social History of an American Indian Community in 1991, which won the 1992 Erminie Wheeler-Voeglin Prize as the best book in ethnohistory from the American Society for Ethnohistory. Dr. Foster was editor of the American Indian Quarterly from 1993-1998.

Since 1995, Dr. Foster has been awarded four R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health in addition to other federal funding from NSF, HRSA, and CDC, for a total of more than $12m in independent research funding. He also has held leadership positions in large multi-million dollar institutional grants such as NIH General Clinical Research Center and Clinical and Translational Resource awards. His research in medical anthropology has focused on the involvement of communities and groups in genetic studies, on the relationship between race and genetics, and on the utility of personal genomic information. He has published articles in top tier journals such as Nature, American Journal of Human Genetics, Nature Genetics, American Journal of Public Health, and Nature Reviews Genetics.

Dr. Foster was Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma from 1987 to 2014 and served as Special Assistant to the President, Associate Vice President for Research (Norman Campus), Associate Vice President for Strategic Planning (all campuses), Deputy Director for Cancer Prevention and Control for the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center, Deputy Director of the Oklahoma Shared Clinical and Translational Resource, Director for Outreach for the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, and Assistant Director of the OUHSC General Clinical Research Center. Dr. Foster is chair of the Ethics Advisory Board for Illumina, Inc., the leading manufacturer of sequencing instruments, and was co-chair of the Communication Group for the International Haplotype Map Project, a multi-national research consortium.

Dawit Haile

Dean and Professor, College of Engineering & Technology

Virginia State University

Dr. Markus Heinimann

Vice President – Technology

Arconic Engineered Structures

Dr. Markus Heinimann is the Vice President for Technology for Arconic Engineered Structures (AES) and is leading the development and execution of the technology strategy for Arconic’s Engineered Structures (AES) business unit. He is responsible for advancing new and existing material, process, product and manufacturing technologies for metallic materials, machining and structural assemblies to meet the needs of the aerospace, defense and other high-tech markets. Dr. Heinimann has more than 25 years of aerospace experience in engineering and technology development. Previously he was the Technology Manager for Aerospace at the Alcoa Technical Center where he led the technology development for aerospace structures, materials and advanced manufacturing technologies. Before joining Alcoa, Markus held various engineering and engineering leadership roles at Cessna Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas.

Dr. Heinimann holds Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctorate degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University. Markus is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and several committees of ASTM International. Within the ASTM Intentional Committee on Fatigue and Fracture he chairs the sub-committee on Structural Applications. He has received the Award of Merit and title of Fellow from ASTM, and the Outstanding Aerospace Engineer Award from Purdue University.

Dr. John J. (Jack) Lesko

Professor of Engineering Mechanics, and Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies, Virginia Tech and VP for Engineering and Business Development, PowerHub Systems

Virginia Tech

Dr. John “Jack” Lesko is a Professor of Engineering Mechanics at Virginia Tech and currently serving at the Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies.  Jack has 20+ years of design and analytical experience as a mechanical engineer, with background in physics, mechanics and system analysis.  His research and education efforts have focused on emerging interdisciplinary design involving lightweight polymeric multifunctional materials, structural design and reliability, packaging, and energy systems.  His work has resulted in the implementation of in-service structures/systems using new multifunctional composite technologies and systems, and the creation of standards for their design in industrial and international codes.

Jack is also co-founder and a Principle at PowerHub Systems, a four year old start up in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.  PowerHub Systems develops, designs, and manufactures battery electric storage and power processing systems for the electric utility distribution systems.  These new grid connected and interoperable appliances enable the utility to introduce distributed, bidirectional and renewable aspects of the Smart Grid.  Through this startup experience and efforts to grow PowerHub, Jack has become interested in engineering education as it relates to experiential based learning enabled through interdisciplinary entrepreneurial training experiences.

Bruce Quilliams

Senior Regional Sales Manager


Mr. Quilliams currently has two decades of experience with Sandvik Coromant. He started his career with Sandvik Coromant as a product manager of round tools, then, moved to Productivity Improvement Program Manager. From 2005 to date, he has fulfilled the role as Senior Regional Sales Manager. Currently, he managing 18 sales engineers and 7 machining specialists.

He is a Certified Leadership Trainer thru Development Dimensions International, and a Certified Leadership Trainer thru Sandvik Coromant – including the Management Development Program.

He was award Regional Manager of the year in 2011, 2014, and 2016.

Mr. Quillaims has been affiliated with the cutting tool / manufacturing industry for over 40 years. He was also a small business owner of distributorship in Nashville Tennessee in the mid 1990’s.

Mr. Quilliams was born and still lives in Eastern Tennessee. He has been married to wife Debbie for 40 years. They have one child, Jeremy, and two grandchildren Olivia and Jaxson.

Todd Navin

Vice President Finance

Rolls-Royce North America, Inc.

Todd has extensive aerospace manufacturing leadership experience having worked in a variety of global roles within Rolls-Royce plc for 27+ years. He currently serves in the role of Vice President Finance, Rolls-Royce North America (RRNA) in Reston, Virginia where he is the lead for the global Defence Finance transformation program which is focused on delivering a major step change in the Rolls-Royce Group finance operating model. From 2016 to 2018 Todd led the RRNA regional finance shared services teams where he was instrumental expanding the scope of service coverage and driving operational improvements.
Prior to his return to the United States in 2016, Todd completed a 4 year assignment with the Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace business in the role of General Manager Finance and Administration at Hong Kong Aero Engine Services (HAESL) based in Hong Kong, SAR. Todd previously held a wide range of customer facing and operational finance roles in the Rolls-Royce Energy sector where he started his career as a finance graduate in 1992.
He holds a baccalaureate degree in accountancy from Ohio University and an MBA from Capital University. Todd is a certified public accountant.

Robert M. Schatzel

Director Component Fabrication & Assembly

Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News Shipbuilding

Robert (“Bob”) Schatzel currently serves as the NNS Director of Component Fabrication and Assembly (CFA) responsible for daily operations across all NNS Machine shops, Pipe shops, Electrical, Sheet Metal, Hanger and Pad shops and the NNS foundry. His duties also include putting in place the tools needed for CFA to be successful, provide performance expectations, foster a team environment, develop and execute a strategy for success and remove barriers. Mr. Schatzel is accountable for employee safety, product quality, customer satisfaction (cost and schedule), employee development, risk mitigation and compliance to policy and law.

Richard Schmid


Oerlikon Metco

Born and raised in South Africa, Dr. Richard Schmid graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, with an engineering degree in Metallurgy, Minerals Processing. In 1986 he moved to Switzerland joining Sulzer Corporate R&D, Winterthur, working in the tribology group. During his time with Sulzer Innotec, he completed his PhD at the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, on the topic of New High Temperature Abradables for Gas Turbines. Schmid led the Tribology group until 2000 when he moved to the USA as head of the Coatings Solution Organization of the Sulzer Metco division situated in Westbury on Long Island, NY. In 2005 he returned to Winterthur in the CTO function of the Sulzer Metco Division; a position he currently holds. During his time with Sulzer Metco the division has transformed from a purely thermal spray offering to a complete surface solution provider.

Amanda Simpson

Vice President for Research and Technology

Airbus Americas

Amanda Simpson was named the Vice President for Research and Technology at in June 2018, responsible for coordinating external research activities for Airbus in the United States.

Ms. Simpson joined Airbus following government assignments in the United States Department of Defense. She was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy, responsible for developing the strategy for the utilization of energy for military operational forces worldwide, and was the senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense for all matters pertaining to energy in our military. Prior to accepting that responsibility, she was the Executive Director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives, an organization developing large-scale renewable energy projects to bring energy security to Army installations leveraging private sector financing. Previously she was the Special Assistant to the Army Acquisition Executive. In that role she was a principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) on all matters relating to Army acquisition, procurement, research & development and logistics. In 2010, Ms. Simpson was appointed by President Barack Obama to the position of senior technical adviser to the U.S. Department of Commerce where she advised on policy and export control issues necessary to protect the security of the United States, making her the first openly transgender female presidential appointee in U.S. history.

Prior to her government appointments, Ms. Simpson was the Deputy Director for Force Protection in the Advanced Missiles and Unmanned Systems Product Line at Raytheon Company Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona. She held several program management positions on technology development activities for missile systems sensors and development programs. Previous to her tenure in program management, Ms. Simpson was the manager of captive flight test operations for Raytheon Company and Hughes Aircraft Company, which included the duties of mission director and project pilot on numerous developmental test programs. Her team received the DARPA Award for Significant Technical Achievement in 1999.

Ms. Simpson has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions including the 2004 Tucson YWCA Woman on the Move, 2005 Arizona Human Rights Fund Individual Award, the 2015 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders Women of Distinction Award, and was named an Outstanding Alumnus of Harvey Mudd College in 2018. She is a recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service and the Department of Defense Pride Civilian Leadership Award. She is a nationally renowned speaker and has presented at corporations, government agencies, civic organizations, conferences and colleges around the country on gender and diversity.

Ms. Simpson earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Harvey Mudd College, a Master of Science in Engineering from California State University, and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Arizona. She is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics where she served on the Systems Engineering Technical Committee.

Ms. Simpson holds both an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and a Certified Flight Instructor license, and has logged nearly 3,000 hours of flying in more than 60 different types of aircraft including float planes, flying boats, unmanned drones and multi-engine jets.

Clayton Turner

Deputy Director

NASA Langley Research Center

Mr. Clayton Turner is the Deputy Director at NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Director, Mr. Turner served as the Associate Director where he was responsible for managing day-to-day operations with a focus on Center commitments. In this capacity he was also responsible for aligning Langley’s institutional resources and infrastructure to meet current and future NASA mission needs, optimizing both effectiveness and efficiency. Mr. Turner has also served as the Director of the Engineering Directorate at Langley.

After graduation from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1990, Mr. Turner began his career with NASA serving as a design engineer with the Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment project, where he spearheaded development of the laser aligning, bore-sight limit system.  Over the next 24 years, Clayton served in various roles with progressively increasing responsibility where he led the organizations’ engineering contributions to many successful flight projects.

Throughout his career, Clayton has received many prestigious awards such as the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal, the Paul F. Holloway Non-Aerospace Technology Transfer Award, and he is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).  In recognition of his commitment to the engineering profession, contributions to the local community, and support of education Clayton was inducted into the Monroe Community College Alumni Hall of Fame. He currently also serves as the NASA Langley representative on the Commonwealth of Virginia, Joint Commission on Technology and Science and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Hampton University College of Engineering and the Old Dominion University College of Engineering.

Jason Wells

Chief Technical Officer


Jason Wells is the lead executive for the newly formed Kyocera SGS Tech Hub in Danville Va. and is responsible for developing this advanced technology, research, and specialized manufacturing subsidiary for KYOCERA Corporation. KYOCERA has multiple divisions and a manufacturing footprint that exists in more than 30 countries with 75,000+ employees. KYOCERA is recognized as a global innovator and a technology leader with revenue in excess of $19B.

Mr. Wells has nearly 30 years of experience in all facets of the high end cutting tool market. He has traveled throughout the world and worked for tool manufacturers in China, Korea, Japan, Germany, UK, and the United States, which has given him a unique global perspective of manufacturing. He has had the honor to work for some of the top manufacturing companies within the cutting tool industry, including Sandvik, MAPAL, YG-1, and for more than 16 years SGS Tool Company before becoming acquired by KYOCERA in 2016. His experience includes leadership responsibilities in Sales and Marketing, Operations, Engineering, and Research and Development.

Mr. Wells has multiple Patents within the field of cutting tools. He has authored and had several articles published in various leading trade periodicals such as Cutting Tool Engineering, Modern Machine Shop, and American Machinist. He created and presented unique training programs that has allowed him to successfully train over 500 industry members in the technology of cutting tools and the industries they support. Mr. Wells has also delivered lectures for industry on behalf of organizations such as SME, AMT, and USCTI.

Mr. Wells serves on the Board at the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, the Board of the United Way Danville, the Board of the newly formed CCAM Apprenticeship Academy, and an Industry Technical Advisor for Danville Community College. As a passionate industry member, Mr. Wells is very committed to revealing to youth and parents the opportunities and technologies that exist in today’s modern manufacturing facilities. He often volunteers to work and speak at various youth events to encourage careers in manufacturing. His focus and attention are to mentor and inspire the next generation of cutting tool minds.

Dr. Nezih Yaramanoglu

Director, Cross-Portfolio Technologies & Innovation at Siemens PLM Software

Siemens PLM Software

Dr. Nezih Yaramanoglu is the director for business development with the current scope on Process Industries at Siemens PLM Software Inc. operating from Cypress, CA. Nezih’s focus is Industry Processes and their influences on IT-Solution Architectures.

Nezih has 36 years of experience in IT Solution research and development for production processes. Prior to his current position he was responsible for providing development support in initiating and leading strategic Digital Manufacturing projects. Resulting from these activities he became a co-founder of the e-Factory organization of UGS in 2001. Nezih was the leader of the dCADE PBU of UGS Products organization, which was merged to Unigraphics Solutions GmbH in 1999. Before the merger he was the President & CEO of dCADE GmbH, which he co-founded in 1991. During his career path Nezih has initiated and lead various international research projects with consortia consisting of members from European automotive, shipbuilding and aerospace industries. Nezih’s academic background is Mechanical Engineering with a PhD in Production Engineering from Technical University of Berlin, Germany, where he also received his master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering.

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