Keynotes

Sheryl Ehrman

Dean of Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, San Jose State University

Dr. Sheryl Ehrman is the Don Beall Dean of the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at San Jose State University. She previously served as Keystone professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, at the University of Maryland, College Park, having worked at that university since 1998 as a faculty member. As chair, she oversaw an expansion of tenure-track faculty, development of two new BS/MS programs, the growth of the transfer student pathway, initiation of a multidisciplinary research center for advanced battery technology, and development and implementation of strategies to engage alumni and industrial partners.

Blanca

Sanchez-Cruz

Valley Water

Maria Hartin-Swart

Director, Strategic & Missile Defense Program Contracts, Lockheed Martin

Maria E. Hartin-Swart is the Director of Contracts at Lockheed Martin Space with specific responsibilities supporting Space Missile & Defense (SMD) Line of Business. Maria is responsible for Contracts and Estimating functions and 40+ staff across five locations for the Space Business Area of Lockheed Martin, where she is responsible for ~$2 billion annually.

Maria is a native Californian from the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds advance degrees from San Francisco State University and California State University of Hayward. Maria is a certified Control Account Manager, a certified LM21 Green Belt, and a graduate of the LM Executive Development and Growth Enhancement (EDGE) program. 

 

Maria is an active committee member of Hispanic Organization for Leadership & Awareness (HOLA) ERG, where she is active in supporting key STEM initiatives within Space.  Maria is currently the LM Space Business Lead on the corporate HOLA Leadership Council.  In this role, Maria works to lead and coordinate HOLA projects and activities within Space Company across the country. Maria is a 2020 Award recipient of the YWCA’s Tribute to Women of Silicon Valley and a 2020 Award recipient of Great Minds in Stem/HEENAC Luminary Honoree. Throughout her career at Lockheed Martin, Maria has been intimately involved with promoting Hispanic cultural heritage, STEM in public schools and community volunteerism in Sunnyvale, Denver, Valley Forge, and Florida Cape locations.

TechTalks

Jim Tavares

Director, Telco Cloud Deployments, VMware

Jim has an extensive background in SP Mobile Networks, with experience in 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G deployments across the Core, Packet Core, and Radio Network.   He’s held leadership roles in Program & Product Management, and spent significant time in Services organizations as well.  Jim has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Rutgers University.

Ahmed Banafa

Professor, San Jose State University

No.1 Tech Voice to Follow & Influencer on LinkedIn, Award Winning Author, Expert: IoT- Blockchain- Cybersecurity, Keynote Speaker

Professor Ahmed Banafa has extensive experience in research, operations and management, with a focus on IoT, Blockchain, Cybersecurity and AI. His research is cited in studies by international organizations like NATO, WTO, and APEC. He is a reviewer and a technical contributor for the publication of several technical books. He served as an instructor at well-known universities and colleges, including Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley; California State University-East Bay; San Jose State University; and University of Massachusetts. He is the recipient of several awards, including Distinguished Tenured Staff Award, Instructor of the year for 4 years in a row, and Certificate of Honor from the City and County of San Francisco. He was named as No.1 tech voice to follow, technology fortune teller and influencer by LinkedIn in 2018 by LinkedIn, his research featured in many reputable sites and magazines including Forbes, IEEE and MIT Technology Review, and Interviewed by ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, BBC, NPR and Fox TV and Radio stations. He is a member of the MIT Technology Review Global Panel.  He studied Electrical Engineering at Lehigh University, Cybersecurity at Harvard University and Digital Transformation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is the author of the books: “Secure and Smart Internet of Things (IoT) using Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI)” , and “Blockchain Technology and Applications” . Winner of Author & Artist Award 2019 of San Jose State University for "Secure and Smart IoT" Book."

Bennie

Lewis

Research Scientist & Software/Systems Architect Sr. Staff, Lockheed Martin

Dr. Bennie G. Lewis Jr. is a Research Scientist & Software/Systems Architect in the Advanced Technology Center at Lockheed Martin Space Sunnyvale/Palo Alto California with a focus on AI, Deep Learning / Machine Learning, AR/VR, Embedded Systems, Cognitive Systems, Space Systems, Human Machine Interaction, Robotics, Astrodynamics, and Space Situational Awareness. Prior to his current role, he was a Software Engineer for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Orlando Florida focusing on Fixed Wing (F35,F18,F16) and Missile defense (JASSM, LRASM, Hellfire, and DAGR) applications and systems.  He has a B.S. and M.S in Computer Engineering as well as a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering with a focus in AI/ML, robotics, and intelligent systems from the Department of Electrical Engineer and Computer Science at the University of Central Florida working in the Intelligent Agents Laboratory. Bennie is currently working towards a second PhD in Aerospace Engineering with a focus on AI/ML for Astrodynamics and Space Robotics in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Central Florida working in the Astrodynamics and Space Robotics Laboratory.

Professional Development

Aida Riva

Sr. Open Source Program Manager, Open Source Program Office (OSPO), Global Multi-POD Professional Development Lead, VMware

Anicea Dines

Director, Technical Partner Management, VMware

Tammy Sanders

Sr. Manager for Global Inclusion & Diversity, LAM Research

Tammy Sanders, Sr. Manager for Global Inclusion & Diversity at Lam Research Corporation, with over 10,000 awesome employees. She and her team are responsible for driving inclusion & diversity initiatives across the globe. Her certification as a diversity professional serves as a milestone achievement highlighting her dedication to the field of Diversity and Inclusion. She has grown her 20+ year HR career here in the Silicon Valley, with companies like Philips Electronics, Intuit and Western Digital/SanDisk. At the intersection of passion and success, her most recognized work has been in leading organizational strategies to increase diverse pipelines, promoting the business value of employee resource groups and creating engaging opportunities to give back to communities.

Diversity Caucus

Stephen Lu

Project Manager, Lockheed Martin

Stephen Lu graduated from SJSU in 2013 with a BS in Computer Engineering. Shortly after, he started working at Lockheed Martin and has been there ever since! Throughout the last 7 years, Stephen has held 5 different job positions in 3 different programs and is currently a Project Manager. He is also the Professional Asian American Network (PAAN) Space Business Area chair, where he leads 6 sites in supporting Diversity and Inclusion efforts for the Asian American community.

Xiao (Jessica) X Sun

Sr. Mechanical Engineer,

Lockheed Martin

Dylan Tsague

Electronics Engineer, Lockheed Martin

Karen Hester

Lockheed Martin

Denise Lainez 

Mechanical Engineer, Lockheed Martin

Denise Lainez is a first-generation college graduate of San Jose State University. She decided to pursue Aerospace Engineering during her time at community college, after seeking help from her STEM counselor at school. She was feeling extremely lost and didn’t like the major she had originally chosen. The counselor helped her get on track and gave her the resources she needed to be successful. Eventually, Denise transferred to SJSU to finally study Aerospace Engineering, dreaming of working for a company like NASA or Lockheed Martin in the future. She felt that working in Aerospace could help her contribute. After her first year at SJSU, Denise worked at NASA Ames Research Center’s Arc Jet Facility as a Test Engineering intern testing heatshield materials. After her internship was over, she took a position at Lockheed Martin Space, starting as a Systems Engineer and eventually transitioning into a Mechanical Engineer role. Denise has been at Lockheed Martin Space for a little over a year. Looking back to where she was when she started this journey, she would’ve never thought she’d be where she is now. She hopes to be able to share her experiences, past and present, to help others reach their goals.

Marisa Jimenez

Lockheed Martin

Cristian Carranza

Lockheed Martin

Lori Kahn

Systems Engineering and Integration Manager, Lockheed Martin

Lori Kahn is a Systems Engineering and Integration Manager at Lockheed Martin (LM) Space in Sunnyvale, CA, where she has worked for 20+ years supporting a variety of advanced technical programs.  Her expertise is in developing/managing spacecraft requirements, product verification sell-off, and product management.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College in Physics/Astronomy, an MSc from Arizona State University in Physics and a Spacecraft Design and Operation Proficiency certificate from Stanford University. 

 

Fueling her passion to support women engineers, Lori volunteers for LM’s Women’s Impact Network Leadership Council leading collaboration and connection between the five LM business area WIN chairs. In addition to being a TechWomen mentor since 2014, she serves on the Society of Women Engineers Outreach Committee and has been a mentor for FIRST Robotics Team 2813 since 2018.  Lori is married and has two boys, age 13 and 17.

Ana Naverrete

UndocuSpartan Student Resource Program Coordinator, San Jose State University

Lunch Plenary Panel

Thomas Ahn

California MESA Director, MESA USA

Thomas Ahn joined UC’s Office of the President in December 2016 as the executive director of the MESA program. He brings 27 years of experience as a social entrepreneur in the Bay Area nonprofit sector to his work with MESA.

Mary Papazian

San Jose State University President

As the leader of the oldest public university in the west, the founding campus of the California State University system, and Silicon Valley’s only public university, Dr. Papazian is firmly committed to ensuring the success of all students; maintaining an environment that honors shared governance and is defined by open, transparent, and inclusive leadership; fostering a campus culture of curiosity and discovery; and building enduring campus and community partnerships.

Sheryl Ehrman

Dean of Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, San Jose State University

Dr. Sheryl Ehrman is the Don Beall Dean of the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at San Jose State University. She previously served as Keystone professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, at the University of Maryland, College Park, having worked at that university since 1998 as a faculty member. As chair, she oversaw an expansion of tenure-track faculty, development of two new BS/MS programs, the growth of the transfer student pathway, initiation of a multidisciplinary research center for advanced battery technology, and development and implementation of strategies to engage alumni and industrial partners.

Gina Di Napoli

Chief of Police, San Jose State University

Accomplished police manager with a record of leadership adeptness and collaboration. Experience with the dynamics of policing and maintaining order in a large, diverse city. Thirty eight years of municipal law enforcement experience, both in UK and the USA, with fifleen years of experience at the middle and executive levels of management managing fifty to one hundred employees. Demonstrated leadership success in intra and intergovernmental relations, community relations, media relations, policy development and implementation, budget oversight, labor relations, risk management, community policing and problem solving.

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