Richard A. Sugarman

Dept of Systems & Software Engineering Management

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Richard Sugarman is Head of the Department of Software and Systems Engineering Management in the School of Systems and Logistics at the Air Force Institute of Technology.  He leads a team of twenty-eight military, civilian, and contractor faculty members teaching a portfolio of over 50 technical professional continuing education courses, graduating more than 4,000 students annually.  He also teaches and presents on risk/opportunity management and on systems and digital engineering as an acknowledged subject matter expert in these fields.

Mr. Sugarman started his Air Force civilian career as a Palace Acquire systems engineer at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma, providing technical support (controls, accessories, and hardware) for the General Electric F-110 engine used on the F-16 fighter.  He then became the Scientist and Engineering Development Program Manager for Tinker’s Engineering Workforce Development Branch.  In this role, he managed three developmental internship programs with over 50 annual participants and coordinated new hiring of 100+ new scientists and engineers annually.

Areas of Interest & Consulting


  • 2018 Graduate Certificate, International Security Studies, Harvard Extension School
  • 2010 Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL
  • 2004 Squadron Officer School, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL
  • 2002 Master of Science Industrial Engineering, University of Oklahoma, OK
  • 1998 Bachelor of Science Chemical Engineering, Ohio University, OH

Notable Academic Awards and Honors

  • AFIT School of Systems and Logistics Dr. John W. Demidovich Award, 2018
  • Air Force Association Gage H. Crocker Outstanding Faculty Award, 2017
  • Best Paper, American Society of Engineering Education, Systems Engineering Division Program Chair, 2014
  • AFIT School of Systems and Logistics Team of the Year, Member – Distance/Blended Learning Team, 2014
  • AFIT School of Systems and Logistics Instructor of the Year, 2013
  • AFIT Civilian Employee of the Year, 2012
  • AFIT School of Systems and Logistics Civilian Employee of the Year, 2011, 2012, 2016

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Digital management of weapon systems webinars – ex: “New ‘Digital DAF,” “Digital Acquisition and Program Management,” and “Supply Chain Management in a Digital Environment
  • 2021 AFLCMC Focus Week and AFIT/LS SYS 400 Presentations – “Innovation and Risk & Opportunity Management
  • 2017-20 AFLCMC Focus Week and AFIT/LS SYS 400 Presentations – “Tenets of Successful Risk and Opportunity Management.
  • 2017 National Defense Industrial Association Conference Presentation: “DoD Risk Management Deficiencies…And How to Fix Them.”
  • 2017 Defense Acquisition Insight Days Presentation: “Risk Based Decision Making.”
  • 2015 HalfMoon Education, Inc. Seminars Presentation: “Applying Risk Management Principles to the Practice of Engineering.”
  • 2014 Air Force Insight to Industry Whitepaper: “Requirements & Limitations of Technology Enabled Education for the United States Air Force.”
  • 2014 American Society of Engineering Education Paper and Presentation: “Development of a Systems Engineering Course for Multiple Delivery Methods.”  Awarded ASEE Systems Engineering Division Program Chair Best Paper.


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Air Force Institute of Technology
2950 Hobson Way
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433-7765
Commercial: 937-255-6565 | DSN: 785-6565