Luminary Session

Luminary Presentations

The Luminary session is tagged as a keystone event for the 2013 PHM Conference. In this session, experts from different domains provide new insights on the pervasive use of health management methods and technologies. In 2013, the luminary session will take place on Tuesday Oct 15 morning. These sessions are intended not only to highlight the inter-disciplinary aspect of health management, but also promote an interchange of ideas that span diverse application domains.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 8:30am – 11:30am
8:30AM–8:35AM Session Introduction
8:35AM–9:05AM Dr. Wolfgang Fink
Associate Professor, University of Arizona - Tucson

Title: Autonomous Robotic Reconnaissance Missions in Extreme Space Environments

Robotic reconnaissance missions are called for in extreme space environments, including planetary atmospheres, surfaces, and subsurfaces, as well as in potentially hazardous or inaccessible operational areas on Earth. Such future missions will require increasing degrees of operational autonomy: (1) Automatic characterization of operational areas from different vantages; (2) automatic sensor deployment and data gathering; (3) automatic feature extraction and region-of-interest identification; (4) automatic target prediction and prioritization; (5) subsequent automatic (re-)deployment and navigation of robotic agents; and (6) prognostic health management of all involved reconnaissance agents. The talk reports on the development of a robotic test bed for a NASA award-winning mission paradigm, termed "Tier-scalable Reconnaissance", as the foundation for autonomous C4ISR systems of the future. In addition to aerial platforms, the test bed currently comprises several worldwide computer-controllable land and sea rovers equipped with a variety of sensors for autonomous operations in aerial, terrestrial, and riverine/maritime environments.

Associate Professor Dr. Wolfgang Fink is the inaugural Edward & Maria Keonjian Endowed Chair of Microelectronics with joint appointments in the Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Systems & Industrial Engineering, Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, and Ophthalmology & Vision Science at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He is a Visiting Associate in Physics at the California Institute of Technology, and holds concurrent appointments as Visiting Research Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurological Surgery at the University of Southern California. Dr. Fink is the founder and director of the Visual and Autonomous Exploration Systems Research Laboratory at Caltech ( and at the University of Arizona ( He was a Senior Researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 2000 till 2009. He obtained a B.S. and M.S. degree in Physics and Physical Chemistry from the University of Göttingen, Germany, and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of Tübingen, Germany in 1997.

Dr. Fink, pursuing an inter-disciplinary systems engineering approach in human-machine interfaces, evolutionary optimization, and autonomous/reasoning systems, has focused his research on biomimetic (implantable) systems, biomedical sensor development, artificial vision, computer-optimized design, cognitive systems, and autonomous robotic space exploration. Throughout his tenure at JPL and Caltech Dr. Fink received 6 NASA Patent Awards. In July 2009, Dr. Fink was named co-recipient of the R&D Magazine’s R&D 100 Award and subsequently in November 2009 he was also named co-recipient of the R&D Magazine’s R&D 100 Editors’ Choice Award (the highest of the R&D 100 Awards in 2009), both for the DOE-funded Artificial Retina Project. Furthermore, in November 2009 he received the NASA Board Award for his pioneering work on a novel autonomous space exploration paradigm. Dr. Fink has over 170 publications (including journal, book, and conference contributions) as well as 13 patents awarded to date in the areas of autonomous systems, biomedical devices, MEMS fabrication, and multi-dimensional optimization. In 2011 Dr. Fink was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). Dr. Fink holds a Commercial Pilots License for Rotorcraft.

9:05AM–9:10AM Speaker Introduction
9:10AM–9:40AM Dr. Leo Christodoulou
Director, Structures Domain Leader, Enterprise Technology Strategy, Office of the CTO, The Boeing Company

Title: Prognosis and the Opportunities and Challenges Therein

Prognosis is a process for the management, deployment and use of assets (platforms) based on knowledge of future capability. Specifically, the Prognosis vision is to manage platforms according to knowledge of the individual asset’s actual remaining capability/performance and not on a statistical basis derived from a large population family. The Prognosis approach therefore relies on probabilistic prediction of individual state and capability. The key elements that enable Prognosis are: knowledge of design, past mission and maintenance history; any life extension modifications; physics-and/or data-driven damage evolution model predictions; current state awareness; and a reasoning logic engine that integrates all available data and knowledge.

This talk will outline some of the opportunities and challenges embodied in PHM and aims to stimulate discussion and activities to develop, mature and implement Prognosis to achieve the most effective utilization of our assets.

Dr. Leo Christodoulou is Enterprise Domain Leader for Structures Technology, one of Boeing’s eight focused technology domains that comprise the company’s Enterprise Technology Strategy. As the aerospace leader, Boeing's broad and diversified technology portfolio is focused on the future. And so, Christodoulou works across Boeing’s many businesses to provide focus on technical priorities and maximum value for structures-related research investments.
Christodoulou joined Boeing in October 2012 from the U.S. Department of Energy, where he was head of the Advanced Manufacturing Office and co-chairman of the Inter-Agency Working Group on the White House’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Initiative, a program launched by President Obama in June 2011. Before that assignment, Christodoulou was Director of the Defense Sciences Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where he applied his research expertise to developing revolutionary capabilities for the U.S. military. While at DARPA, Christodoulou directed interdisciplinary research and development across the fields of math, physics and quantum science, materials, portable energy and power, tactical medicine, biological warfare defense and neuroscience. He also pioneered the accelerated development of multifunctional materials to realize a new class of unmanned, micro aircraft used by U.S. forces today. He is also the co-inventor and primary developer of a class of materials known as XD Alloys.

Christodoulou earned a bachelor's degree and doctorate in metallurgy from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London, and his research in environment-sensitive fracture of engineering materials continued at Carnegie Mellon University as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Christodoulou has taught materials science at Imperial College. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Metals, and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1996 Grunfeld Medal, 2006 National Materials Advancement Award from the Federation of Materials Societies, and 2011 Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

9:40AM–10:00AM Networking Break
10:00AM–10:05AM Speaker Introduction
10:05AM–10:35AM Henry Margusity
Senior Meteorologist,

Title: The Changing Role of the Meteorologist

From the definition of communicating, a 'Communicologist' is someone who can take a specific set of data and communicate that data to an audience with specific criteria. Meteorologists, who have always been known as “Weather Scientists,” are now facing a new role as communicator as the accuracy of computer models increases. No longer do meteorologists have to analyze weather maps and interpret jet stream patterns to produce a weather forecast; computer models can now provide that information multiple times per day. It is now up to meteorologists to interpret the models and data then communicate critical weather information to the public and businesses. However, discrepancies and disagreements in the models continue, especially between the NOAA’s /NCEPS computer models and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) operational and seasonal models. The discrepancies are largely based on the initialization of the models and running the models four times a day versus twice a day at a different resolution. The challenges ahead for meteorologists as ‘Communicologists’ are to be able to interpret which model is correct and to effectively communicate the impacts of the weather on the public and businesses.

Henry Margusity, with over 28 years of experience, is one of the nation's leading extreme weather experts. Henry has dedicated the majority of his career to forecasting extreme weather at AccuWeather. His most popular blog, MeteoMadness, has an audience of over a million users and features extreme weather including winter storms, hurricanes, severe storms and tornadoes. Henry's excellent forecasting skill has made him a frequent expert on national network TV and radio. He has been in hundreds of newspapers, including many of the largest in the country such as the Chicago Times, New York Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Post, Detroit Free Press, etc. His expertise proved to be valuable during Hurricane Sandy when he was featured on Fox News. Other national networks he has been featured on include ABC news and MSNBC. Other national networks he has been featured on include ABC news and MSNBC. He also was a lead meteorologist on the Discovery Channel's "Curiosity," episode 'Megastorm: what caused the hurricane and the lessons we can learn for next time.' He is also a regular speaker on emergency planning, extreme weather and long-range weather.

Henry is part of the long range forecasting team and provides valuable insights into how long-range weather predictions affect businesses. His statistical analysis into the behavior of users on AccuWeather’s Web and App properties provide a valuable insight in the development of new products for AccuWeather. His expertise in extreme weather prediction and dedication to AccuWeather has led him to his most recent endeavor and accomplishment of Manager of Meteorology and Content Business Optimization Digital Media. In his current role, Henry utilized his extreme weather predictions to optimize many of the product lines at AccuWeather. In addition, he oversees the acquisition of Weather Related Mobile Applications.

10:35AM–10:40AM Panel Introduction
10:40AM–11:30AM Luminary Panel Discussion and Q&A

Luminaries Chairs:
Ginger Shao
Tim Wilmering

General Chair:
Carl Byington


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