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Dr. Ganesh Pai NASA

Dr Pai is a Senior Research Engineer with SGT Inc. (a KBRWyle business unit), and a contractor member of the scientific staff in the Intelligent Systems Division at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Ames Research Center, California.

His research addresses the broad area of safety and mission assurance, as applied to aerospace systems and software, while his professional practice has supported the safe engineering and operations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

Ganesh was a principal member of the team that created the safety case for a ground-based detect and avoid solution that demonstrated the capability to conduct safe beyond visual line of sight UAS operations in civil airspace, an achievement for which he was recognized by a 2014 NASA honor award. More recently, his research focus has expanded to include dependability analysis and assurance technologies for assured autonomy to support both NASA's Airspace Operations and Safety Program, and the Quantifiable Assurance Cases for Trusted Autonomy (QUASAR) project funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), on which he is co-investigator. 

Dr. Pai holds a doctorate degree in Computer Engineering, and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, both from the University of Virginia. He has authored more than 40 articles spanning the broad areas of systems and software engineering, with a focus on dependability and safety. He has also served on the program committees of numerous workshops and conferences in those areas, including as co-chair of the ongoing workshop series on Assurance Cases for Software-intensive Systems (ASSURE). He is a senior member of the IEEE and the AIAA, and a member of the IEEE Computer Society, and Eta Kappa Nu, the international honor society of the IEEE.



Prof. Philip Koopman Carnegie-Mellon University

Prof. Philip Koopman started working on autonomous vehicle safety over 20 years ago with the Carnegie Mellon University NavLab project. Recently he has done stress testing and run time monitoring of robots and autonomous vehicles. He currently works on technical, policy, and regulation issues regarding self-driving car safety and perception validation. Other areas of interest include software safety in a wide variety of industrial applications, robustness testing, and embedded system software quality. His pre-university career includes experience as a US Navy submarine officer, embedded CPU designer at Harris Semiconductor, and embedded system architect at United Technologies. He is co-founder of Edge Case Research, which provides tools and services for autonomous vehicle testing and safety validation.

Professor Koopman recently became only the twelfth person in 40 years to receive the IEEE SSIT Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest.  Read about it here!


Pamela Melroy  Nova Systems

Director of Space Technology and Policy.

Pam Melroy is a retired Air Force test pilot and former NASA astronaut and Space Shuttle commander.

She was commissioned in the United States Air Force and served as a KC-10 copilot, aircraft commander, and instructor pilot. Melroy is a veteran of Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, with over 200 combat and combat support hours. She went on to attend the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Upon her graduation, she was assigned to the C-17 Combined Test Force, where she served as a test pilot until her selection for the Astronaut Program. She has logged more than 6,000 hours flight time in more than 50 different aircraft.

Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in December 1994, Melroy reported to the Johnson Space Center, Texas, in March 1995. She flew three missions in space: as Space Shuttle pilot during STS-92 in 2000 and STS-112 in 2002, and as Space Shuttle Commander during STS-120 in 2007. All three missions were assembly missions to build the International Space Station. She is one of only two women to command the Space Shuttle. While an astronaut, she held a variety of positions to include performing astronaut support duties for launch and landing and Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) duties in mission control. Melroy served on the Columbia Reconstruction Team as the lead for the crew module and served as Deputy Project Manager for the Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Team. In her final position, she served as Branch Chief for the Orion branch of the Astronaut Office. She has logged more than 924 hours (more than 38 days) in space.

Colonel Melroy retired from the Air Force in 2007, and left NASA in August 2009. After NASA, she served as Deputy Program manager for the Lockheed Martin Orion Space Exploration Initiatives program and as Director of Field Operations and acting Deputy Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation at the Federal Aviation Administration. She went on to serve as Deputy Director, Tactical Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Pam Melroy now is Director, Space Technology and Policy at Nova Systems.


Bijan Elahi  Award winning, international educator, consultant and author

Bijan Elahi has worked in risk management for medical devices for over 25 years at the largest medical device companies in the world, as well as small startups. He is currently employed at Medtronic as a Technical Fellow where he serves as the corporate expert on

safety risk management of medical devices. In this capacity, he offers education and consulting on risk management to all Medtronic business units, worldwide. Bijan is also a lecturer at Delft University of Technology, and Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, where he teaches risk management to doctoral students in engineering. Bijan is a frequently invited speaker at professional conferences, and is also a contributor to ISO 14971, the international standard on the application risk management to medical devices. He is the author of the book Safety Risk Management for Medical Devices.

Note that Project Performance International (PPI) is sponsoring Bijan Elahi  to run a tutorial on 22 May titled:

Introduction to Medical Device Safety Risk Management.  You can register here.

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Dr Kelvin Ross   IntelliHQ

Dr Kelvin Ross has over 30 years of experience in software engineering and enterprise IT applications.  Kelvin started his IT career in safety critical software engineering in defence, working on FA-18 airborne radar systems.  After completing his PhD in safety critical systems engineering and several years in consulting in defence and transportation systems, he moved over to the commercial sector and founded KJR, specializing in software testing and assurance, which now has over 80 consultants in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane.  

Kelvin is recognized as expert in testing and assurance of software applications across a broad range of industry domains, including e-health, public administration, finance, insurance, retail and telecommunications.  In addition to Kelvin’s role as Chairman of KJR, Kelvin is a Director of non-profit Healthcare AI Innovation Hub, IntelliHQ, and broadly engages in technology advisory roles, including director roles AI innovative startups.  He has broad interests in Machine Learning, which he sees as the dominant technology driver for the next several decades, particularly within the Healthcare sector.  

Kelvin is an Associate Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Intelligent and Integrated Systems (IIIS), Griffith University, and organiser of Young Women Leaders in AI, Gold Coast AI and Machine Learning meetup group, member of ACS AI Ethics national committee, has held several roles in national technical working groups (NATA and ACS), and held several board positions.



Dr David Ward   HORIBA MIRA Limited

Dr David Ward is General Manager, Functional Safety at HORIBA MIRA Limited, a leading independent provider of automotive engineering services.  Dr Ward is a recognized international expert in automotive functional safety with 25 years' experience in safety and reliability of embedded electronic systems in automotive and other industries.  Within his role at HORIBA MIRA, David is responsible for training, consultancy and independent safety assessment in the functional safety standard ISO 26262 and other related standards. He is involved in automotive cybersecurity as well as technology development in functional safety, connected and autonomous vehicles, and vehicle electrification.


He is the UK Principal Expert to ISO/TC22/SC32/WG8 “Road vehicles – Functional safety” which has developed ISO 26262 and ISO/PAS 21448 “safety of the intended functionality”; a member of the ISO/SAE joint working group developing ISO/SAE 21434 “Road vehicles – Cybersecurity engineering”; as well as contributing extensively to the UK’s MISRA initiative. 


David was presented with the IMechE Prestige Award for Risk Reduction in Mechanical Engineering following 20 years of work leading automotive industry efforts to develop international safety standards. These efforts began with MISRA (The Motor Industry Software Reliability Association) and have continued with the development of the international standard ISO 26262, which Dr Ward and his team at MIRA continue to influence as work considers how to extend its scope to highly automated vehicles.


David is also Visiting Professor of Functional Safety at Coventry University, UK and RAE Visiting Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Leicester, UK.

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