Inaugural Autonomous Mobility Workshop

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Graphic of autonomous aircraft over a city Graphic of autonomous aircraft over a city

This workshop intends to bring together active researchers and experts in the various domains from academia, industry, and government to discuss and address advanced air mobility challenges and directions, and how research community and industry can accelerate development and deployment of these technologies.

Autonomous Mobility InitiativeOct. 13-14th, 2022, Miami, Fl

College of Engineering, University of Miami

The workshop will focus on the following five focus areas that are deemed critical to autonomous mobility. We seek critical review of the challenges, technological barriers, and potential solutions.

  • Aerodynamics and Propulsion System
  • Sensors and Satellite Data Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence for autonomous mobility and security/privacy
  • Structures and Materials
  • Workforce and Education

Register Today

  • Bertrand DANO
  • Gecheng ZHA
  • Qingda YANG
  • Connor ADAMS
  • Diana ARBOLEDA

  • American Airlines
  • Altametry
  • Beacon Council
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Embraer
  • Florida Space Grant Consortium
  • Guident
  • Israel Aerospace Industry
  • IBM
  • NASA
  • Virginia Tech
  • University of Waterloo
  • Undefined Technologies Corporation
  • Eve Air Mobility

Eve Logo

The Workshop will take place at the Shalala Conference Center, located at the heart of the University of Miami.

Parking will be reserved in the Pavia garage and is accessible from the South East entrance, off US1.

Location: Google Map Link

Parking: Pavia Garage

Google maps screenshot of UM parking

Thursday, October 13, 2022 (Day 1)

8:00 am
9:00 am
Opening/Welcome Remarks
  • Dr. Pratim Biswas, Dean of CoE, Univ. Miami
  • Dr. Jeffrey Duerk, Provost, Univ. Miami
  • Mr. J.C. Liscano, Vice President, American Airlines
  • Mr. Ryan Marzullo, Managing Director, Delta Air Lines
  • Mr. Gary Spulak, Vice Chair of Board, Embraer
  • Mr. David Rottblatt, Vice President, Eve Mobility: Preparing for Day 1: Ecosystem requirements for Urban Air Mobility

Session 1: Aerodynamics, Propulsion and Materials
Moderator: Dr. Ella Atkins (Virginia Tech)

9:45 am
  • Dr. Gecheng Zha (Univ. Miami ): Next Generation High Performance eVTOL
  • Dr. Giacomo Po (Univ. Miami): Advanced Materials for Aerial Vehicles & Propulsion
  • Dr. Ella Atkins (Virginia Tech): Increasingly Autonomous Perception and Decision Systems for Advanced Air Mobility
  • Mr. Ken Goodrich (NASA): NASA’s AAM Vision and Strategy
  • Dr. Kaan Inal (Univ. Waterloo)
  • Mr. Ryan Marzullo (Delta Air Lines)
  • Includes speakers

Session 2: Sensing, Imaging and Artificial Intelligence
Moderator: Dr. Ved Chirayath (Univ. Miami)

11:15 am
  • Dr. Ved Chirayath (Univ. Miami): New NASA Technologies for Airborne Sensing and Communication
  • Dr. Jie Xu (Univ. Miami): Federated Learning for Vehicular IoT
  • Mr. Robert Loredo (IBM): Quantum Computing Potentials in the Autonomous Vehicle Industry
  • Dr. Gabriel Castaneda (Guident)
  • Ms. Liza Josias (Eve Air Mobility)
  • Dr. John Ciampa (Altametry)
  • Ms. Nancy Mendonca (NASA) Includes speakers
Lunch Break Student Poster Presentations

Session 3: Miami Engineering Autonomous Mobility Initiative (MEAMI) Research, Education and Work Force Development
Moderator: Dr. Qingda Yang (Univ. Miami)

2:15 pm
  • Dr. Gecheng Zha (Univ. Miami): Vision of MEAMI
  • Dr. Diana Arboleda (Univ. Miami): Future Education and Work Force Development for Autonomous Mobility
  • Dr. Ella Atkins (Virginia Tech)
  • Mr. Matt Haggman (Beacon Council)
  • Mr. Matthew Land (Eve Air Mobility)
  • Includes speakers
3:45 pm
Coffee Break Student Poster Presentations
Summary: Launch of MEAMI
  • Dr. Pratim Biswas (Univ. Miami)
  • Mr. Gary Spulak (Embraer)
  • Mr. Juan Carlos Liscano (American Airlines)
  • Mr. Ryan Marzullo (Delta Air Lines)
  • Dr. Yossi Ben-Nun (Israel Aerospace Industry)

Friday, October 14, 2022 (Day 2)

8:00 am
8:30 am

PhD Students Poster on Display

Session 4: Graduate Student Presentations
Moderator: Dr. Bertrand Dano (Univ. Miami)

9:00 am
  • Dr. Jaydeep Mukherjee (FSGC): NASA and FSGC Research and Educational Opportunities for Students
  • Mr. Tomas Pribanic Solaris (PhD student and CEO of Undefined Tech. Co.): Engineering Entrepreneurship: From Idea to Commercialization
  • 5-min Student Presentations
11:30 am
Lunch & Adjourn

Presenters and Panelists

Please click through the various entries below to find more information about our presenters and panelists for each of the four sessions.

Opening Session

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  • Mr. David Rottblatt, Eve Air Mobility

    Presentation: Preparing for Day 1: Ecosystem requirements for Urban Air Mobility

    david rottblattMr. David Rottblatt is the Vice President of Business Development at Eve Urban Air Mobility. In this role, David is responsible for Eve’s commercial strategy and sales of Eve’s eVTOL, Urban Air Traffic Management and Services & Support product lines. Prior to the spin-out of Eve in 2020, David joined EmbraerX in 2017 where Eve’s projects were originally conceived. David is a commercial fixed wing pilot, Helicopter pilot, and sUAS (Drone) pilot with over 18 years of flying experience. David has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University, a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Connecticut, and a Master of International Business from the Fletcher School, Tufts University.

Session 1

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  • Dr. Gecheng Zha, University of Miami

    Presentation: Next Generation High Performance eVTOL

    gecheng zhaDr. GeCheng Zha is a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, as well as the Director of the Aerodynamics and Aerodynamics and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Lab at the University of Miami. He is specialized in aerospace engineering, aerodynamics, aircraft design, CFD development and application, flow control, turbomachinery aerodynamics and aeromechanics. He is ASME Fellow, AIAA Associate Fellow, NASA NIAC Fellow. He has extensive experience working in aerospace industry (GE Aircraft Engines, Pratt & Whitney, Air Force Research Lab) and Academia.

  • Dr. Giacomo Po, University of Miami

    Presentation:  Advanced Composites for Aerial Vehicles

    giacomo-poDr. Giacomo Po joined the University of Miami College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering as an assistant professor. A leader in computational mechanics of materials, he developed novel tools to predict the microstructural evolution of high-temperature and high-strength materials such as refractory metals and ceramics. Prior to joining the College, he was a research scientist at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), where he has published more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles in the area of defects mechanics in crystals.

  • Dr. Ella Atkins, Virginia Tech

    Presentation:  Increasingly Autonomous Perception and Decision Systems for Advanced Air Mobility

    ella atkinsDr. Ella Atkins is Fred D. Durham Professor and Head of the Kevin T. Crofton Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Department at Virginia Tech.  She was previously a Professor in the University of Michigan’s Aerospace Engineering and Robotics Departments.  Dr. Atkins holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan.  She is an AIAA Fellow and private pilot. Dr. Atkins pursues research in AI-enabled autonomy and control to support resilience and contingency management in manned and unmanned Aerospace applications.  She is Editor-in-Chief of the AIAA Journal of Aerospace Information Systems (JAIS). She is an award recipient of the AIAA Intelligent Systems Award (2022), the University of Michigan Robotics Leadership Award (2020), and the Inaugural President’s Award for National and State Leadership at the University of Michigan (2017).

  • Mr. Ken Goodrich, NASA-AAM

    Presentation:  NASA’s AAM Vision and Strategy

    ken goodrichMr. Ken Goodrich has a long and distinguished history of developing of automation and human-automation interaction technologies during his 30+ year career with NASA. Much of his work has focused on improving the safety, utility, and accessibility of small aircraft, including traditional general aviation and more future oriented, on-demand mobility concepts. He is currently supporting the AAM project office in formulating its strategy for enabling the development, certification and operation of fully autonomous UAM aircraft operating within an autonomous airspace management system.

Session 2

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  • Dr. Ved Chirayath, University of Miami

    Presentation: New NASA Technologies for Airborne Sensing and Communication

    ved chirayathDr. Ved Chirayath is the G. Unger Vetlesen Professor of Earth Sciences and Director of the Aircraft Center for Earth Studies (ACES) at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School. Dr. Chirayath's research focuses on inventing, developing, and testing next-generation sensing technologies for studying the natural world. He is devoted to extending our capabilities for studying and protecting life on Earth as well as to aid in the search for life elsewhere in the universe. He leads a multi-disciplinary team developing new instrumentation for underwater, airborne, and spaceborne remote sensing and communications. He validates instrumentation through scientific field campaigns around the world, often in extreme environments that serve as analogs for planetary science and ocean worlds applications. Dr. Chirayath works to ensure our innovations, developed for exploration and discovery, are broadly available to the public. His team also develops machine learning algorithms to process big data on supercomputing facilities. He is the inventor of FluidCam, fluid lensing, MiDAR, NeMO-Net, and a plasma-actuated drone. Dr. Chirayath was one of the 30 finalists of 12,000 applicants for the NASA Astronaut Candidate Class of 2021. He is a recipient of many national and international awards including the 2020 AGU Falkenberg Award, NASA Early Career Award (2017), and his MiDAR invention was awarded the NASA Invention of the Year in 2019.

  • Dr. Jie Xu, University of Miami

    Presentation: Federated Learning for Vehicular IoT

    jie xuDr. Jie Xu is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Miami. Dr. Xu received his. Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2015, with a Distinguished Ph.D. Dissertation Award. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electronic Engineering from Tsinghua University, China, in 2008 and 2010, respectively. His research interest includes artificial intelligence, edge computing, wireless networks, machine learning for communication networks, and network security. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award. 

  • Mr. Robert Loredo, IBM

    Presentation: Quantum computing potentials in the autonomous vehicle industry

    roberto loredoMr. Robert Loredo is the IBM Quantum ambassador worldwide lead and Master Inventor with over 20 years of experience. He is also listed on the world's most prolific inventors ( where he holds over 200 patents. He has presented various workshops, lectures, and articles covering; artificial intelligence, blockchain, bioinformatics, and quantum computing. He holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Computer and Electrical Engineering from the University of Miami and is currently pursuing his PhD in Computer Science specializing in Quantum NeuroInformatics.

Session 3

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  • Dr. Diana Arboleda, University of Miami

    Presentation:  Future Education and Work Force Development for Autonomous Mobility

    diana arboledaDr. Diana Arboleda is a senior lecturer in the University of Miami College of Engineering's Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. She is a Principal Software Engineer at Motorola for 2 decades, now a Structural Engineer teaching at the University of Miami with an interest in Maker Spaces and Robotics. Dr. Arboleda's teaching interests include Mechanics of Solids I and II, Structural Analysis, Steel Design and Robotics

Session 4

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  • Dr. Jaydeep Mukherjee, Florida Space Grant Consortium

    Presentation: NASA and FSGC research and educational opportunities for students

    jaydeep mukherjeeDr. Jaydeep Mukherjee is the Director of the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium, an association of seventeen public and private Florida Universities and colleges that supports the expansion and diversification of Florida’s space industry, through providing grants, scholarships, and fellowships to students and educators from Florida’s public and private institutes of higher education. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the National Space Grant Alliance and is a member of the Commercial Space Operation Advisory Panel at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is an recipient of the 2011 National Eminence Award by National Education Society of India, the 2003 Group Achievement Award from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for excellence in outreach,  and the 1993 Kerrick Prize by the Astronomy Department at the University of Florida. He is an author of the book titled Close Binary Stars: A Pictorial Atlas

  • Mr. Tomas Pribanic Solaris, UM & Undefined Technologies Corp.

    Presentation: Engineering Entrepreneurship: From Idea to Commercialization

    thomas pribanicMr. Tomas Pribanic is an accomplished Professional Engineer with 20 years of experience and a subject matter expert in Electric Propulsion Systems. He currently serves as the CEO of Undefined Technologies, a South-Florida Start-up focusing in developing silent propulsion systems. The start-up is a spin-off of his ongoing PhD research and has been rank as the 12th best aerospace start-up in Florida. On his previous role at Raytheon Technologies, he led teams of engineers in the research and development of aerospace products. He was recognized as an honorary member of the Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors for his support and commitment to advancing technological development and innovation for private and Federal Agencies. He plans to complete his Doctorate Degree at the University of Miami this academic year. He currently holds a Professional Engineering license from the State of Florida, an impressive roster of certifications, and numerous innovative patents


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  • Mr. Gary Spulak, Embraer

    gary spulakMr. Gary J. Spulak serves as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Embraer Aircraft Holding, Inc. He formerly served as President and was responsible for the oversight of Embraer’s operating companies in the U.S. Mr Spulak’s career with Embraer began at the time the company was just emerging as a player in the regional aviation industry. In 1983 as Vice President of Product Support and Information Technology, he developed and directed the infrastructure to support the successful Bandeirante and Brasilia commercial aircraft in North America. In 1991 as Executive Vice President he assumed additional responsibilities directly related to the development and launch of the ERJ 145 regional jets. In 1995 he assumed responsibility for supporting the industrial and financial operations of Embraer, developing financing alternatives, fund raising and investor-relations. He currently serves as board member for Enterprise Florida and on the Board of Governors for the Wings Club and the Aerospace Industry Association. He is a member of the Visiting Committee for the University of Miami’s College of Engineering, and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce Florida. He previously served on the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Board of Directors, the Wings Club Foundation Board of Governors, as Vice-Chairman of the Board for Space Florida and on the Board of Governors for the Aerospace Industries Association.

  • Mr. Juan Carlos Liscano, American Airlines

    juan carlos liscanoMr. Juan Carlos Liscano is American Airlines’ Vice President for Miami, the Caribbean and Latin America. He oversees all airport operations in Miami, American’s largest international hub and gateway to the Americas, as well as in the Caribbean and Latin America. He joined the airline in 1994 and has held numerous leadership roles throughout his career. He has previously served as Managing Director of Latin America. Managing Director of the Los Angeles hub, Managing Director of Flight Service Strategy and as Managing Director of Customer Care in Miami. He currently serves on the board of directors for the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Miami-Dade Beacon Council and the United Way of Miami-Dade. Additionally, he is a sponsor of the Latin Diversity Network employee business resource group at American.

  • Mr. Ryan Marzullo, Delta Air Lines

    ryan marzulloMr. Ryan Marzullo serves as Delta Air Lines’ Managing Director of Design and Construction for the New York City airports, where his primary responsibilities include overseeing the various expansions of JFK International Airport Terminal 4 over the past decade, as well as the $4Bn USD demolition and reconstruction of Delta’s existing terminals at LaGuardia airport into a brand-new, state-of-the art consolidated terminal.  Mr. Marzullo graduated from University of Miami College of Engineering in 2001 with a BS in Civil Engineer and has more than twenty years of experience in aviation design and construction, eleven of those with Delta in New York, Ryan brings a different approach to large and complex construction program delivery, preferring multiple-prime contracting for direct management of designers and individual trade contractors to improve collaboration between the owner, designers, contractors and the construction management team as well as ensuring greater transparency and control over the construction process.

  • Dr. Gabriel Castaneda, Guident

    gabriel castanedoDr. Gabriel Castaneda is the VP of AI and research at Guident Corp. Dr. Castaneda previously served as the Customer Service Manager, Applications Team for Dialogic, Inc., and earlier worked for Apex Voice Communications as a technical customer service manager assisting in project rollouts, technical resource management, operations optimization, and management. Dr. Castaneda received his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Florida Atlantic University. He received an M.B.A. degree in Telecommunications Management from the University of Dallas. Dr. Castaneda has published papers in the fields of computer vision and deep learning. 

  • Ms. Nancy Mendonca, NASA ARMD

    nancy mendoncaMs. Nancy Mendonca is currently the NASA Deputy in the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) Mission Integration Office (AMIO). The AMIO integrates ARMD’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) efforts across the four ARMD Programs and with the AAM community. She served 24 years in the Navy flying H-46 helicopters. Between the Navy and NASA she worked at the Missile Defense Agency on the Marine Corps MRAP Program and at NTIA working on the Federal Strategic Spectrum Plan. She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering and subsequently eared Master of Science degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and National Security and Strategic Studies. She is also a Certified Public Accountant and has currently prioritized rescuing Great Danes and riding horses over flying helicopters

  • Mr. Matt Haggman, Beacon Council

    matt haggmanMr. Matt Haggman is Executive Vice President of the One Community One Goal (OCOG) at the Miami-Dade Beacon Council. In this role he leads the efforts of this community-wide strategic initiative focused on shaping Miami-Dade’s economic future. He is also a founding Board Member of Endeavor Miami, a Trustee at New World Symphony and advisor to national non-profit, Right to Start. He is an ardent believer in entrepreneurship as a way to transform communities from the ground up. Previously, as Miami Director at Knight Foundation, he led numerous efforts that are now pillars of Miami’s rapidly growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. This includes Endeavor Miami, The Idea Center at Miami Dade College, eMerge Americas, Center for Black Innovation, 500 Startups and Babson’s Women Innovating Now Lab, among many others. Several Harvard Business School case studies have cited the work. Mr. Haggman was an award-winning journalist with The Miami Herald and Daily Business Review. He won numerous local and national awards, including a Gerald Loeb Award, the President’s Award, and named the Best Miami Herald Reporter in Miami New Times’ annual “Best of Miami” awards.

  • Mr. Matthew Land, Eve Mobility

    matthew landMr. Matthew Land leads Government Relations and Public Policy for Eve Air Mobility focused on issues at the federal, state and local level throughout the United States. Eve is an independent company that recently spun off from Embraer and dedicated to accelerating the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) ecosystem through an advanced electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle (eVTOL) project, a comprehensive global services and support network, and a unique air traffic management solution. He has worked in various capacities in politics for more than a dozen years including on campaigns as a volunteer, campaign manager and finance director and as a lobbyist before Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, the Cities of Miami, Miami Beach, Tampa and St. Petersburg and the State of Florida.

  • Dr. J. A. Ciampa (Altametry)

    j a ciampaDr. John A Ciampa is the inventor of Pictometry and Altametry and currently CEO of Altametry Inc., which makes autonomous lighter than air platforms for imagery, sensors and signal relay. Educated at Boston University with graduate studies at University of Michigan and Cornell University, Ciampa held a number of faculty positions at several universities and finally retired as tenured full professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, where he was also the Director of Research for the American Video Institute.

  • Dr. Kaan Inal (University of Waterloo)

    kaan inalDr. Kaan Inal is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering (Cross-Appointed to the Department of Systems Design Engineering) at the University of Waterloo, ON., Canada. He is currently the Associate Director of Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research (WatCAR). His primary research focuses on multi-scale modeling and development of mechanism driven advanced material models. Dr. Inal has applied multiscale frameworks for several new and emerging materials to enable their lightweight applications. He also leads a research group focusing on high performance computing (parallel computing) for “industrial scale” simulations with mechanism based constitutive models. He has co-authored more than 100 research articles and book chapters. He was also a visiting scientist with General Motors Canadian Technical Center (2014) where he participated in various projects on lightweighting. He is a recipient of the Mercator Fellowship (Germany).

  • Ms. Ms. Liza Josias (Eve Air Mobility)

    liza-josiasMs. Liza Josias is the Ecosystem and Stakeholder Engagement Specialist at Eve Air Mobility. She has over 20 years of experience in applying human factors engineering to the design of technologies and procedures in air traffic management. She was a key contributor to Eve’s Urban Air Traffic Management (UATM) concept and applied her human performance and air traffic management expertise to the white paper, Flight Plan 2030. More recently, Liza contributed to several of Eve’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Concepts of Operations (CONOPS) that were tailored to different international cities. These CONOPS examined the complex technological, infrastructural, and regulatory ecosystems needed to launch and scale UAM; they highlighted regulatory and operational barriers, potential solutions for integrating eVTOLs safely into the urban airspace, passenger and aircraft journeys, and key issues that would influence community and government acceptance