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AFIT Graduates Class of June 2008
Posted Monday, June 23, 2008


Seventy-two scientists, engineers, and management specialists are the recipients of graduate and doctoral degrees from the Air Force Institute of Technology. AFIT's Graduate School of Engineering and Management held its June 2008 graduation ceremony Thursday, 19 June, in the Institute's Kenney Auditorium. The graduating class was awarded 66 master's degrees and six doctorates.

Brig Gen Moore with graduateBrig. Gen. C.D. Moore, Commander of the 478th Aeronautical Systems Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, delivered the commencement address. He told the graduates that in his 30 years putting on the uniform, he had always admired AFIT graduates. "AFIT has a reputation as one of the toughest graduate schools in the nation," he said. "When you leave here, you are in a position to shape the 21st century. So my challenge to you is to think big and think creatively." Once Gen. Moore offered his final congratulations and passed out diplomas to the master's students, the ceremony highlighted the dissertations of the doctoral students in attendance:

Material Perturbations to Enhance Performance of the Thiele Half-Width Leaky Mode Antenna, By Maj. Jason A. Girard, Advisor: Dr. Michael J. Havrilla. With support from the Sensors Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Maj. Girard developed new engineering analysis tools and methods for improving the performance of microstrip antennas used by aircraft for imaging objects of interest. Increasing the frequencies over which these antennas operate directly leads to higher resolution images. He characterized the performance the microstrip antenna over its operating regions and showed how these regions are influenced by the physical properties of the antenna structure. His results will lead to improved performance of unmanned aerial vehicle imaging systems for the DoD.

A Secure and Efficient Communications Architecture for Global Information Grid Users Via Cooperating Space Assets, By Maj. Victor P. Hubenko, Jr., Advisor: Dr. Richard A. Raines. Maj. Hubenko developed a novel security architecture that provides efficient and secure data broadcasting to a low earth orbit satellite communications network in research sponsored by the National Reconnaissance Office. His architecture increases network efficiency and growth capabilities for highly mobile users in a deployed environment while maintaining overall communications system security. This architecture, dubbed the "Hubenko Architecture," will have far-reaching impact on the operation of unmanned aerial vehicle swarms, wireless sensor networks, and mobile ad hoc networks.

The Effect of Irradiation on the Electrical Properties of Aluminum Gallium Nitride/Gallium Nitride Heterostructures, By Lt. Col. John W. McClory, US Army, Advisor: Dr. James C. Petrosky. Electronic components of vital spacecraft systems are susceptible to damage in radiation environments. Lt. Col. McClory experimentally investigated the effect of electron and neutron radiation on the electrical properties of Gallium Nitride based Heterostructure Field Effect Transistors. He determined the cause of radiation-induced changes to the transistor properties by modeling his experimental results. Lt. Col. McClory's research, which was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, will result in more radiation resistant transistors for high power space applications.

Electrical Activation Studies of Silicon Implanted Aluminum Gallium Nitride with High Aluminum Mole Fraction, By Elizabeth A. Moore, Advisor: Dr. Yung Kee Yeo. Highly conductive alloys such as aluminum gallium nitride are critical to the fabrication of electronic devices operating in high-temperature, high-power, and high-frequency environments. With sponsorship from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Moore has produced a comprehensive experimental analysis of the material's electrical and optical properties as a function of several production parameters. This information is valued for its use in developing efficient production methods with the desired operating characteristics. Moore's work will be constructive in developing alloys for use in biological and chemical agent sensors, missile plume detection systems, and light emitting diodes.

Statistical Methods for Image Registration and De-noising, By Lt. Col. Matthew D. Sambora, Advisor: Dr. Richard K. Martin. Obtaining information about the motion of objects from sensor images are crucial for accurate real-time intelligence, target planning, and flight operations. With support from the Air Force Research Laboratory's Information Directorate, Lt. Col. Sambora has developed new statistical techniques and corresponding algorithms for estimating both the motion of objects within images and the motion of the sensor creating these images. His work provides new methods for improving image quality and significantly increases our understanding of target recognition and tracking from optical sensing platforms.

Advanced Imaging Sensor for 3-D Remote Sensing Applications, By Maj. Reginald J. Turner, Advisor: Maj. LaVern Starman. Maj. Turner addressed problems with acquiring 3-dimensional images in real time for autonomous ground vehicles. With sponsorship from the Air Force Research Laboratory, he designed a novel Light Emitting Diode with characteristics that are critical to reducing 3-D image acquisition time. He also conducted a proof-of-concept demonstration that produced data for establishing key parameters for overall system design. Maj. Turner developed methods and metrics to tailor the design and operation of vision systems for autonomous vehicles, thereby optimizing mission level effectiveness. This work represents a significant advance in real-time 3-D image processing and rendering.

Air Force officers composed the majority of the Class of June 2008; however, the Institute also graduated seven Navy officers, five Army officers, one Air Force enlisted, and 13 civilians, along with three international students from the countries of Turkey and the Republic of Korea. Upon graduation, most AFIT students will fill technical positions requiring advanced academic degrees in their respective fields of study from across the Department of Defense.

Two students were recognized for their exemplary performance during their graduate studies. In recognition of his exceptional scholarship and high qualities of character, initiative, and leadership, Lt. Col. Evan Pettus was the recipient of the Mervin E. Gross Award, named in honor of Brig. Gen. Mervin E. Gross, first commandant of the institute. The Edwin E. Aldrin, Sr. Award, named in honor of Lt. Edwin E. Aldrin, Sr., member of the institute's first graduating class and father of astronaut Buzz Aldrin, was presented to Maj. Sean Murphy for demonstrating strong personal leadership and accomplishing AFIT's education objectives in an outstanding manner.

AFIT June graduates

Congratulations to AFIT's graduating class of June 2008!


Master of Science
Ms. Melody Leanne Massar


Master of Science
Capt. Fernando Ontiveros
Mr. Matthew A. Zimmerman

Master of Cyber Warfare
Maj. Charles Cosnowski
Maj. Michael J. Good (US Army)
Maj. Michael G. Hunsberger
Maj. Thomas Means
Mr. William J. Morgan
Maj. Tara J. Muehe
Maj. Sean D. Murphy *
Maj. Raymond R. Newbill
Maj. Paul Orth
Maj. Keith Repik
Maj. Michael D. Whiting

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Capt. Eugene B. Hockenberry


Master of Science
Capt. Greggory James Gruen


Master of Science
First Lt. Alper Gezeravci (Turkey)
First Lt. Yasar G. Ozen (Turkey)

Master of Logistics Sciences
Maj. Scott D. Grant (US Army)
Maj. George C. Hackler (US Army)
Maj. James M. Kimbrough (US Army)
Maj. Matthew D. Kovich
Maj. Kenneth A. Marentette *
Maj. John D. Norton
Lt. Col. Evan L. Pettus *
Maj. Richard V. Steele

Master of Science in Logistics Management
Capt. SeYoung Kim (Republic of Korea)


Master of Science
Capt. Alice M. Long
Maj. Donald G. Sheesley
Master Sgt. Billy D. Tramel Jr.

Master of Science in Systems Engineering
Maj. Brian C. Barker *
Ms. Trina L. Bornejko
Maj. Kyle D. Brown
Maj. Christopher Couluris
Maj. Lyle M. Dawley
Maj. John W. Eller *
Maj. Charles G. Glasscock
Maj. Brian Hazel
Maj. Adam W. Little
Maj. Lenore A. Marentette
Mr. Matthew T. Muha
Mr. Brendan D. Rooney
Maj. Dennis R. Sprenkle
Maj. Jonathan E. Zall *


Master of Science
Capt. Jason C. Chism
Capt. Benjamin T. Harder

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering
Lt. Commander Barth H. Boyer (US Navy)
Lt. David S. Evans (US Navy) *
Ensign Patrick J. Lakusta (US Navy)
Ensign Jonathan R. Mason (US Navy)
Lt. Eric A. Nagley (US Navy)
First Lt. Lindell E. Pearson
Ensign Troy H. Vantrease (US Navy)
Ensign Vaughn A. Villarreal (US Navy)

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering
Capt. John F. Ownby
Ms. Jessica A. Steinberger

Doctor of Philosophy
Maj. Jason A. Girard
Maj. Victor P. Hubenko Jr.
Lt. Col. John W. McClory (US Army)
Ms. Elizabeth A. Moore
Lt. Col. Matthew D. Sambora
Maj. Reginald J. Turner


Master of Cyber Warfare
Maj. Daniel E. Rauch *

Master of Science
Mr. Serafin Avitia
Ms. Martha Charles-Vickers
First Lt. Stefanie Van Dyk

Master of Science in Engineering Management
First Lt. Andrew B. Burris

Master of Science in Systems Engineering
Mr. Jeffrey A. Alexander
Maj. David R. O'Malley
Mr. Talbot L. Smith
Mr. Michael S. Vickers

Master of Logistics Sciences
Mr. Jeffrey B. Daniel

* Denotes Distinguished Graduate