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Secretary of the Air Force Addresses March 2007 AFIT Graduates
Posted Friday, March 23, 2007


More than 240 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 March 2007 graduation ceremony Thursday evening at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The graduating class was awarded 240 master’s degrees and five doctorates.

Michael W. Wynne delivered the commencement address to the graduates. Mr. Wynne, himself a 1970 graduate of AFIT, is the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. He is the 21st Secretary and was confirmed on Nov. 3, 2005. He is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including the organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its nearly 370,000 men and women on active duty, 180,000 members of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve, 160,000 civilians, and their families. With an annual budget of approximately $110 billion, he ensures the Air Force can meet its current and future operational requirements.

Click to view the SECAF's address to the graduates.

“I am pleased that you’ve studied hard,” Secretary Wynne told the graduates. “I am pleased that you worked with great determination, because in all cases your nation needs you back—needs you back smarter, needs you back more determined, needs you back to apply the technologies that you’ve learned to the challenges that all of us face going forward.

“AFIT is a world class graduate school...committed to warrior problems,” Wynne continued. “Our Air Force was born of the types of technologies that you learn here. Whether it was the magic of aviation, the magic of space, or, now, the magic of cyberspace, it is marvelous to see that fire and determination still resonates well here at AFIT.

“The technologies that you have studied, the technologies that you are bringing back—ranging from systems engineering through logistics through the highest of physics and mathematics—are all guiding us to a different way forward and a different future. You are going to make it better,” Wynne concluded. “The day after tomorrow, you give up the job of student and take on the mantle of warrior. I thank you for your service, I thank you for your dedication, and I welcome you back. Congratulations. God bless you, and God bless this great nation we call the United States of America.”

The ceremony highlighted the dissertations of the four doctoral students in attendance, including Capt. James Stewart, who was officially awarded his degree in December 2006 but wasn’t able to participate in that graduation ceremony:

Dynamic Response of a Collidant Impacting a Low Pressure Airbag, By Peter A. Dreher, Advisor: Dr. Robert A. Canfield. Inflatable, low-pressure airbags can be used to accelerate munitions being discharged by aircraft in addition to their use in saving lives. With support from the state of Ohio, Mr. Dreher developed an efficient numerical procedure to model airbag behavior in truck collisions, and executed the largest set of public airbag experiments to collect data on their responses. The results not only validated the numerical model, but new trends were discovered that improve airbag design; thus, possibly reducing the number of fatalities by 50% for collisions up to 30 mph. The research also demonstrates the feasibility of using low-pressure airbags to eject weapons from aircraft, and they could replace existing high-pressure pistons that require heavy structural reinforcement in the weapons bays.

Phase Diversity and Polarization Augmented Techniques for Active Imaging, By Capt. Peter M. Johnson, Advisor: Dr. Richard K. Martin. Ground-based lasers can be used to generate images of space-based objects by bouncing the radiation off the object and collecting the return signal. However, atmospheric turbulence and laser speckle can severely limit one’s ability to reconstruct the image. With support from the Directed Energy Directorate of Air Force Research Laboratory, Capt. Johnson developed techniques for generating images of space-based objects by laser illumination. His methods for dealing with atmospheric turbulence and laser speckle caused by laser illumination resulted in images that were about 60% better than any previously obtained under similar conditions. His results will lead to a vastly expanded engagement envelope for DoD space surveillance and imaging systems.

Sampled-Data Kalman Filtering and Multiple Model Adaptive Estimation for Infinite-Dimensional Continuous-Time Systems, By Maj. Scott A. Sallberg, Advisor: Dr. Peter S. Maybeck. Mathematical models of a complex system like an aircraft are used to describe its basic dynamics, but the variables of the model, such as position, velocity and acceleration, may change over time. To properly control such a time varying system, one must accurately estimate the math model’s variables. Maj. Sallberg, in his research sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory, has developed a new technique for estimating the true model variables for a class of complex dynamic systems vital to the Air Force. Additionally, he has created a technique for transforming mathematical models of a complex system so that conventional estimation techniques can be applied to them in a manner not previously understood. The techniques that Maj. Sallberg developed yield the new estimation performance benchmark for this important class of systems.

Extraction of Electromagnetic Properties Using Waveguide Probes, By Capt. James W. Stewart, Advisor: Dr. Michael J. Havrilla. The survivability of stealth aircraft depends very highly on the quality of the materials that comprise its outer skin and its ability to absorb radar waves. With support from the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials Directorate, Capt. Stewart developed a new measurement technique for determining the electromagnetic properties of radar absorbing materials. His method gives the Air Force the capability to more accurately identify defective materials on stealth aircraft and it provides a low cost tool for predicting the probability of aircraft detection from enemy radar. His results are already being adopted by the Air Force and will certainly lead to improved maintenance procedures and, more importantly, increase the longevity and survivability of such aircraft.

Air Force officers composed the majority of the Class of March 2007; however, the institute also graduated six Air Force enlisted, seven Army officers, two Marine Corps officers, two Navy officers, and eight civilians, along with six international students from the countries of Argentina, Australia, 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.

Four students were recognized for their exemplary performance during their graduate studies. The Secretary James G. Roche Award was presented to Senior Master Sgt. William Jackson, who demonstrated exceptional academic achievement through a combination of grade point average and outstanding thesis, as well as high qualities of character, initiative, leadership and service while in a master’s graduate program. 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. Timothy Franz for demonstrating strong personal leadership and accomplishing AFIT’s education objectives in an outstanding manner. In recognition of his exceptional scholarship and high qualities of character, initiative, and leadership, Maj. Franz was also the recipient of the Mervin E. Gross Award, named in honor of Brig. Gen. Mervin E. Gross, first commandant of the institute. Finally, Capt. Robert Koo received the Commandant’s Award for demonstrating the most exceptional individual master’s thesis research.

Congratulations to AFIT’s graduating class of March 2007!


Master of Science (Computer Science)
Capt. Edmund Descartes Aban
Capt. Roger L. Garner
Capt. Charles Richard Haag
Capt. Walter J. Hayden
Capt. Matthew T. Hyland *
Master Sgt. Alfred K. Shaw
Capt. Heung Soon Park (Republic of Korea)

Master of Science (Computer Systems)
Capt. Adam R. Bryant
First Lt. James Gorsuch

Master of Science (Cyber Operations)
Capt. Joshua Adam Benson
Maj. Timothy Patrick Franz *
Capt. Michael Richard Stevens

Master of Science (Information Assurance)
Mr. Adam D. Todd

Master of Science in Computer Engineering
Second Lt. Bobby Don Birrer *
Capt. Brian M. Brakus
First Lt. Kendra L.B. Cook
Capt. Christopher E. Coryell
Capt. Samuel A. Hart
Capt. Choyong G. Koperski
Capt. Jason Edward MacDonald
Capt. Douglas P. Medley
Capt. David P. Montminy *
First Lt. Daniel Dirk Nerenberg
First Lt. Brian Gregory Woolley

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
First Lt. Ouail Albairat
Capt. Richard Joel Barton
Capt. Mark Michael Bellott
Capt. Gregory J. Brault
Second Lt. Eric A. Buschelman
First Lt. Joshua Daniel Fowler
Capt. Maxim Gimelshteyn
Capt. Nathan E. Glauvitz
Capt. Marshall Eric Haker
Flight Lt. Samuel Ian Harkiss (Australia)
Maj. Duane F. Harmon
First Lt. Alan L. Harner
Capt. Matthew E. Holston
Capt. Michael D. Leaver
Capt. Larry Carlyle Llewellyn II
Capt. Myrna B. Montminy
Second Lt. Stephen Donald Mott
Capt. Jason V. Paul
Capt. Sergio P. Perez
First Lt. Joseph C. Pomager
Capt. Karl Robert Schwenn
Second Lt. Ryan Jay Silva
Maj. James Henry Spencer *
Capt. Nathan C. Stuckey *
Capt. Bryan W. Winningham


Master of Science (Applied Physics)
Capt. C. James Baird
Capt. Shaun Michael Easley
Capt. Wayne E. Eikenberry
Second Lt. Omar Gamboa
Capt. David A. Jones
First Lt. Michael A. Lundin
Capt. James Francis Roche IV
Senior Master Sgt. Robert Alan Steenburgh
First Lt. Joshua Tye Werner

Master of Science (Material Science)
Capt. Scott A. Shell

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering
Maj. Lonnie Carlson (US Army) *
Capt. Logan J. Harr
Maj. Joseph A. Kling (US Army)
Maj. Michael Ray Maas (US Army)

Master of Science (Nuclear Science)
Maj. Thomas Edward Gray (US Army)
Maj. Christopher P. Jones (US Army)

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
First Lt. Mark E. Allard
Capt. Troy R. Ellis
First Lt. Matthew T. Johnson *
Capt. Michael D. Seal
Capt. Brett W. Wisdom


Master of Science in Logistics Management
Capt. Christopher M. Beckley
Capt. Jessica Lynn Buck
Master Sgt. Arnold R. Bynum
Capt. Joseph M. Colacicco (US Army) *
Capt. George P. Cole III
Capt. Shirley D. Crow
Capt. Joseph Scott Elkins
Capt. Jay C. Hennette
Senior Master Sgt. William L. Jackson, Jr.
Capt. Jill L. Maynard
Capt. Gavain K. McDonald
Capt. Sydney C. Michalski
Capt. Hyoung Ill Moon (Republic of Korea)
Capt. Gerald W. Morris, Jr.
Lt. Col. Juan Angel Salaverry (Argentina) *
Capt. Paul K. Tower
Capt. S. David Walker
Maj. Charles W. Ward (US Army)
Capt. Jason Bradley Wolff

Master of Science in Operations Research
Capt. Joseph P. Bellucci
Capt. Ryan F. Caulk
Capt. Kristen Lee Cavallaro
Capt. Nam Suk Cho (Republic of Korea)
First Lt. Brian P. Crawford
Capt. Gerald David Fensterer
Capt. Jennifer Lynne Geffre
Maj. Katherine J. Gentil
First Lt. Ryan Marc Harrell
Capt. R. Benjamin Hartlage
Capt. Travis John Herbranson *
Capt. Jeremy D. Jordan
Capt. Benjamin S. Kallemyn *
Capt. David A. Kerns *
Capt. Robert Koo
Capt. Raymond Magallanez, Jr.
First Lt. Thomas Michael Newlon
Capt. Nathan E. Nysether
Capt. Seung Bae Park (Republic of Korea)
Capt. Kevin Blancia Reyes
Capt. Paul D. Robinson II
Capt. Joshua Seder
Capt. Yuri P. Taitano
Capt. Brian A. Wilken
Capt. Jason P. Williams


Master of Science (Cost Analysis)
Capt. Tina M. Broas
Capt. Michael Bryant
Maj. Derren P. Burrell
Capt. Justin William Collup
Capt. Jeffrey C. Feuring
Capt. Michael P. Giacomazzi III *
Capt. Jacqueline M. Leskowich
Capt. John Kimball Osborne
Maj. Philip E. Ruter II
Capt. John Michael Stelly

Master of Science (Environmental Engineering and Science)
Capt. John M. Dietz (US Marine Corps)

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering and Science
Maj. Stephen Grace
Capt. David M. Hudock (US Marine Corps)
Capt. Anthony R. Ty

Master of Science (Engineering Management)
Maj. Scott Alan Bryant

Master of Science in Engineering Management
Capt. Jason M. Aftanas
First Lt. Peter Min Choi
Capt. Timothy Damon Dalby
Capt. Daniel Diaz, Jr.
Capt. David Duncan
Second Lt. Jeffrey T. Falcone *
Second Lt. Loren N. Jones-Harris
Second Lt. Kelly Eric Kwan
First Lt. Brian Randall Low *
Second Lt. Erika Maiorano
Capt. Michael J. McCourt
First Lt. Frederick W. Peterson
Capt. William C. Powell
Maj. Roland E. Secody
Capt. Benjamin Gamble Speer
Capt. Clifford Michael Theony
Capt. Robert Paul Toney
Capt. Vhance Villapando Valencia
Mr. James M. Waldron *

Master of Science in Information Resource Management
Maj. Alan Scott Alsop
Capt. Landon Chase Bailey
Capt. Aaron M. Blair
Maj. Debora Lesman Blood
Master Sgt. Edward K. Boyd
Capt. Adam R. Bryant
Capt. Luis N. Cairo
Maj. Michael S. Cates
First Lt. Michael Czumak III *
Lt. Col. James D. Foreman
Capt. Larry Wayne Fortson, Jr.
Capt. Mathew J. Heath Van Horn
Capt. Tommy V. S. Marshall II
Master Sergeant Reiko L. Meeks
Capt. John Michael Roehl
Lt. Antonio Jay Rodriguez Scurlock (US Navy)
Capt. Douglas M. Simmers
Capt. Tiffiny Shai Smith
Capt. Gary Lee Wright

Master of Science in Research and Development
Maj. William D. Heuck, Jr.
Maj. Robert H. Mitchell, Jr. *
Maj. Michael Robert Parrish
Capt. Michael Albert Romero


Master of Science (Materials Science)
First Lt. Joseph L. Broeckert *
Capt. Erik Craig Saladin

Master of Science (Space Systems)
Capt. Nicole M. Bittle
Capt. Benjamin Giles Dainty
Capt. John M. Koehler II
First Lt. Edward Francis Richards

Master of Science (Systems Engineering)
Capt. Jason Scott Pritchett
Mr. A. Christian Stillings

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering
Second Lt. Wesly Seth Anderson
First Lt. Jennifer Puri Andrews
Capt. Ionio Quist Andrus
Capt. Jason Christopher Braun
Maj. Brian S. Burns
Capt. Gregory Julien Cameron
Second Lt. Ryan Worth Carr *
Capt. Matthew Stephen Caspers
Capt. Kendra Lea Crider
Capt. Matthew J. Dillsaver
Capt. Craig J. Franke
Capt. Adam Davin Harder
Capt. David Ashby Hoffman
Capt. Michael James Marlin
Capt. Christopher C. McGaha
First Lt. Charles M. McNiel
Capt. Roland A. Rosario
Capt. Justin Robert Rufa
Capt. Jeremy J. Smith
Capt. David Andrew Sutter
Capt. Adam Paul Tobias
Capt. Michael J. Vanderhyde
First Lt. Michael M. Walker
First Lt. Robert Lawrence Walker, Jr.
First Lt. Michael D. Zollars

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering
Capt. Jason L. Baldwin
First Lt. Abraham Franz Brunner
Capt. Ryan Charles Claycamp
Capt. Jeffrey Stevan Crider II
First Lt. Bryan J. Fram
Capt. Thomas P. Gabriele, Jr.
Capt. Michael Luke Gargasz
Second Lt. Heather Haydon Greatting
Capt. David B. Guettler
Second Lt. Blake Bernard Hajovsky *
Second Lt. Michael S. Hines *
Second Lt. Bradley A. Jantz *
Capt. David Wayne Katwyk
Capt. Jeffrey E. Naff
Capt. Jermaine Sylvester Sailsman
Capt. Kimberly Ann Sugrue
Capt. James W. Tomaszewski

Master of Science in Systems Engineering
Maj. Laird Sloan Abbott *
Capt. Bryan K. Berg
Mr. Matthew S. Bond
Capt. Joshua S. Campbell
Lt. Cmdr. Stanley Lanier Cooley (US Navy)
Maj. Matthew Durkin
Capt. Garrett W. Knowlan
Maj. Brian K. Maddocks
Capt. Jesse T. McLaughlin
First Lt. Hieu Trong Nguyen
Maj. Craig J. Phillips
Capt. James Andrew Rodriguez
Capt. Roland A. Rosario
Capt. John Howard Stone
Capt. Gregory Kenneth Van Dyk

Doctor of Philosophy
Mr. Peter A. Dreher
Capt. Peter M. Johnson
Maj. Scott Anthony Sallberg

(In Absentia)

Master of Science (Computer Science)
Mr. Daniel F. Graham

Master of Science (Electrical Engineering)
Mr. Uttam Kumar Majumder

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering
Capt. Jason D. Dotter

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Mr. Erik A. Chapla

Doctor of Philosophy
Maj. Eric Vincent Beck
Maj. Byron Paul Formwalt

* Denotes Distinguished Graduate