Melani Austin is a senior program manager in Advanced Development Programs (ADP) at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, with 29 years of experience in technology development and program execution on low observable (LO) aircraft. She is currently responsible for the design, development, manufacturing, and flight testing of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) production programs. Ms. Austin began her ADP career in 1983 as an LO engineer and has continued to be a pioneer in the development of Stealth/Signature Management technologies and their integration into survivable weapons systems, most conspicuously on the F-117A, F-22, and TIER III programs. Throughout her career, Ms. Austin’s engineering and program execution efforts have been focused on the development and application of flight-quality LO material technologies and ISR subsystem integration. She graduated with a B.A. in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Thomas J. Burns is the manager of Science Applications International Corporation’s (SAIC’s) Sensors and Phenomenology Operation, where he is responsible for more than 750 employees and more than $250 million in research and development, system solutions, and products business. Prior to joining SAIC, Dr. Burns co-founded and served as chief executive officer and chair of SET Corporation, a small high-tech business specializing in the creation and commercialization of smart sensing technologies. Under his leadership SET grew, without external investment, to 100 employees and $30 million in annual revenue. Acquired in January 2010, SET operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of SAIC. Prior to founding SET, Dr. Burns co-founded and served as chief operating officer of ObjectVideo, Inc., a venture-capital-backed leader in smart video solutions for commercial and military security applications. He joined ObjectVideo from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, where he pioneered the development of model-based signal and image exploitation technologies, building on his experiences directing Computer Vision research as a U.S. Air Force officer at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). While assigned to AFRL, he led AFRL’s premiere Automatic Target Recognition program, receiving AFRL’s prestigious Peter R. Murray Program Manager of the Year Award. Dr. Burns is a co-inventor of patents on video and radar technology and has published numerous refereed papers in areas as diverse as electro-optics and wavelet mathematics. He was a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Sensing and Communications Capabilities for Special Operations Forces and is currently a member the Air Force Studies Board. Dr. Burns also serves as a board director of Yakabod, Inc., an innovative knowledge-management product company, and he serves as a member of the Washington, D.C., Capital Executive Board. He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology.