Welcome to the Air Force Institute of Technology

AFIT Graduates Class of June 2007
Posted Friday, June 15, 2007



One hundred twenty-nine 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 2007 graduation ceremony Thursday at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The graduating class was awarded 127 master's degrees and three doctorates (one student was awarded a dual master's degree).

Brig. Gen. Paula G. Thornhill, AFIT Commandant, delivered the commencement address. Once Gen. Thornhill offered her final congratulations and passed out diplomas to the master's students, the ceremony highlighted the dissertations of the doctoral students:

An Adaptive Tabu Search Heuristic for the Location Routing Pickup and Delivery Problem with Time Windows with a Theater Distribution Application, By Lt. Col. Robert E. Burks, Jr., Advisor: Dr. James T. Moore. Lt. Col. Burks, whose research was sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Air Mobility Command, developed a method to model the location, routing and scheduling of vehicles in order to distribute supplies to troops in a war zone. Essentially, his approach locates supply points and vehicle depots and then develops near optimal vehicle routes and schedules to ensure the vehicles leave their depots, pickup supplies, and deliver them to the warfighter in a timely manner. The solutions created by his model of this large, complex problem minimize the cost of delivering supplies on time to meet the warfighter& rsquo s supply requirements.

Efficient GPS Position Determination Algorithms, By Thao Q. Nguyen, Advisor: Dr. Meir Pachter. The Air Force is increasingly reliant on the Global Positioning System to provide accurate positioning information for precision engagement, optimizing use of resources, and minimizing collateral damage.  Improving the GPS algorithm is one way to enhance GPS performance and this forms the basis of Nguyen& rsquo s research. With support from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Nguyen developed and modeled a new theoretical treatment and demonstrated an overall gain in performance and computational efficiency. Of significance, Nguyen also developed a novel algorithm that could be used to tightly control a formation of aircraft or satellites.

Hyperspectral Imagery Target Detection Using Improved Anomaly Detection and Signature Matching Methods, By Maj. Timothy E. Smetek, Advisor: Dr. Kenneth W. Bauer, Jr. Maj. Smetek, in support of Secretary of the Air Force research programs, developed new methods to accurately detect military and civilian targets in imagery collected by hyperspectral sensor systems. His research adapted applied statistical methods for use with hyperspectral imagery, and developed a target signature detection method that reduces the complexity of existing methods without sacrificing detection accuracy. Additionally, Maj. Smetek designed these target detection methods to be easily applied in an operational setting, thereby increasing their relevance and utility for military and civilian applications.


Air Force officers composed the majority of the Class of June 2007 however, the Institute also graduated twenty-four Navy officers, one Marine Corps officer, two Air Force enlisted, and three civilians. 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, Maj. Brannen Cohee 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& rsquo s first graduating class and father of astronaut Buzz Aldrin, was presented to Maj. Earl Bennett for demonstrating strong personal leadership and accomplishing AFIT& rsquo s education objectives in an outstanding manner.


Congratulations to AFIT's graduating class of June 2007!



Master of Command, Control, Communication, Computer and Intelligence Systems
Maj. Sam Arwood
Maj. Bradley W. Barnhart *
Maj. Marcel L. Benoit
Maj. Brannen C. Cohee *
Maj. Robert O. Downs
Maj. Shannon N. Driscoll
Maj. David R. Dunklee
Maj. Jon T. Hannah
Maj. Michael J. Kardoes
Maj. Paul Fredrick Spaven
Maj. Charles W. Turner
Maj. Frederick W. Wainwright
Maj. Eugene F. White III

Master of Science in Computer Engineering
Capt. Sean W. Hudson

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Maj. Daniel Kerry Roberts

Master of Science
Maj. James Joseph Bieryla
Capt. Jordan Lenard Fletcher
First Lt. Jason R. Seyba


Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Mr. David F. Orth

Master of Science
Capt. Reid G. Ormseth


Master of Logistics Management
Maj. Earl R. Bennett, Jr. *
Maj. Ceir Coral
Maj. Carol Gordon
Maj. Jeffrey D. Hayden
Maj. Carl D. Hutcherson
Maj. Jeffrey R. Krusinskiv Maj. Anthony L. Puente
Maj. Dwain A. Slaughter
Maj. Scott A. Vaughan

Master of Operational Analysis
Maj. Bradley R. Oliver
Maj. Ian D. Phillips
Maj. Alexander Michael Wylie *

Master of Science in Logistics Management
Maj. John P. Johnson

Master of Science
Capt. Peter Charles Norsky
Capt. Adrian C. Patrascu


Master of Science in Information Resource Management
Capt. Frederic Warren Lunas
Master Sgt. Anita Camille Springs

Master of Science in Strategic Leadership
Maj. Jeffery L. Brooks
Maj. Jason L. Campbell
Maj. Nicholas Horace Chavasse III
Maj. Elbert Lamar Coleman, Jr.
Maj. Michael W. Connolly
Maj. Lara L. Falardeau
Maj. Rodney Lee Fauth, Jr.
Maj. Matthew Taylor Fritz
Maj. Glen Marzan Genove
Maj. William R. Hill II
Maj. Brian K. Holbein
Maj. Jeffrey D. Holt
Maj. Frederick A. Hunt, Jr.
Maj. Britt K. Hurst *
Maj. Roy A. Jones III
Maj. R. Travis Koch *
Maj. Jeremy S. Kotkin
Maj. Michael N. Mathes
Maj. Mark Daniel O'Reilly *
Maj. Michael E. Phillips
Maj. Peter McMillan Pollock
Maj. Brandon J. Robinson
Maj. Harry L. Seibert, Jr.
Maj. Rainier Tanglao
Maj. Timothy Michael Telega
Maj. Matthew C. Villella *
Maj. Randal D. Walker
Maj. Jason Z. Wollard
Maj. B. Frank Zane, Jr.

Master of Science
Capt. Adam M. Gutshall (US Marine Corps)


Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering
Ensign Brandon J. Adams (US Navy)
Ensign Christopher Adam Back (US Navy)
Ensign Victor Manuel Barba (US Navy)
Ensign Joshua David Crouse (US Navy)
Ensign Nicholas Alan Denison (US Navy) *
Ensign Robert Benjamin Etter (US Navy)
Mr. Thomas Grandfield Howell
Capt. Steven Andrew James
Ensign Dermot Nicholas Killian II (US Navy)
Capt. Christine Giron Ladrido
Ensign Patrick David Laffey (US Navy)
Ensign Patrick Everett Link (US Navy)
Ensign Leo Lopez Mendoza, Jr. (US Navy)
Ensign Zachary R. Miller (US Navy)
Lt. Cmdr. Mark Clinton Newkirk (US Navy)
Ensign Brady Douglas O'Neal (US Navy)
Ensign Donald Wallace Peltier III (US Navy)
Ensign James Thomas Radtke (US Navy)
Lt. Cmdr. Robert A. Salvia (US Navy)
First Lt. Kevin Allen Schwendiman
Ensign Daniel Allan Solfelt (US Navy)
Ensign Neil R. Szymczak (US Navy)
Ensign Michael Joseph Umholtz (US Navy)
Capt. James T. Westfall

Master of Science in Systems Engineering
Maj. Douglas W. Asher
Maj. Mark E. Blomme *
Maj. Brian A. Henson
Maj. Mitchell A. Katosic
Maj. Nicholas Thomas Kozdras
Capt. Annie B. McLaughlin
Maj. Joseph E. Nance
Maj. Thomas R. Rock, Jr.
Maj. Adrian L. Spain
Maj. Jeffrey D. Stands

Master of Space Systems
Maj. David A. Colangelo
Maj. Todd A. Garrett
Maj. Timothy J. Harris
Maj. Stephen D. Hill
Maj. Michael C. Hindley
Maj. Kelly L. McJoynt
Maj. Kerri T. Mellor
Maj. Robert D. Roy
Maj. Joseph Brian Wurmstein

Master of Science
Capt. Shawn Patrick Corey
Maj. William Frank Dobbs *
Maj. Ted Riley Gatlin
Capt. Brian D. Haysley
Capt. Brett R. Spangler
Maj. Heather H. Yates *


Doctor of Philosophy
Lt. Col. Robert E. Burks (US Army)
Mr. Thao Q. Nguyen
Maj. Timothy E. Smetek


Master of Command, Control, Communication, Computer and Intelligence Systems
Maj. Timothy J. Treat

Master of Science in Computer Engineering
Capt. Christopher Conrad Wood

Master of Science in Information Resource Management
Senior Master Sgt. Robert D. Polomsky

Master of Science in Systems Engineering
Maj. Robert K. Filbey

Master of Science
Capt. David Lee Gemas

Doctor of Philosophy
Maj. Vincent J. Chioma


NAVY Test Pilot School (PAX River)

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering
Lt. Jason E. Bragg
Lt. David J. Casteel *
Lt. Brian S. DeJarnett
Lt. Commander Samuel Y. Hanaki
Lt. Michael P. Kline


Ft. Dix, Graduate Mobility Management (IMO) Program

Master of Air Mobility
Maj. William C. Buschur
Maj. George T. M. Dietrich III *
Maj. Aaron W. Gittner
Maj. Bruce P. Heseltine, Jr.
Maj. Brandon R. Hileman *
Maj. Randall S. Huiss
Maj. Jon T. Julian
Maj. John T. Knack
Maj. Christopher L. Lambert
Maj. Tim D. Martin
Maj. Gerald R. McCray
Maj. Edward H. Peterson
Maj. Patrick L. Schlichenmeyer
Maj. Lance E. Schmidt
Maj. Colin J. Sindel
Maj. Christopher W. Wilson

* Denotes Distinguished Graduate