Meet our Speakers

Hear directly from a mix of diverse NASA speakers - from the Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, to our Program Executive, Jenn Gustetic, this event brings you direct access to leaders and technical contacts.
Scott Dockum
NASA SBIR/STTR Phase I and II Workstream Lead
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Scott Dockum

NASA SBIR/STTR Phase I and II Workstream Lead

Scott Dockum leads the Phase I and II Workstreams for the NASA SBIR/STTR program and serves as a Senior Policy Advisor. Before joining the NASA SBIR/STTR program, Scott Dockum led and managed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) SBIR program. Scott Dockum comes to NASA with more than 23 years of leading and managing Federal Research and Development and Federal Policy programs, which includes programs within DoD, EPA, SBA, and USDA.

Mark Hilburger
NASA Principal Technologist
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Mark Hilburger

NASA Principal Technologist

Dr. Mark Hilburger is a Senior Research Engineer in the Space Technology Exploration Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton VA. He was recently appointed Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) Principal Technologist (PT) for Structures, Materials, and Nanotechnology at NASA. His roles and responsibilities include developing technology investment plans across his assigned areas in coordination with NASA Exploration Programs; identify technology needs that will enable exploration; lead focused technology studies and coordinate with Agency Capability Managers in technology development activities to maintain and advance capabilities. Previous to his STMD PT appointment, he was the Principal Investigator and Manager of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center’s Shell Buckling Knockdown Factor Project from 2007 to 2018. The goal of the project was to develop and validate new design, analysis, and testing methods for buckling-critical launch vehicle structures. His responsibilities included defining and managing the integration of analysis, design, manufacturing, and test teams to develop an efficient, multi-disciplinary approach to optimal structural design, verification, and validation. His staff included experts across three NASA centers, industry, and academia. He also coordinated Space Act Agreements with Boeing, Northrop-Grumman, the German Research Laboratory (DLR), and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Dr. Mark Hilburger specializes in High-Fidelity Analysis and Design Technology Development and Experimental Methods for Aerospace Structures. He has been presented with numerous awards and including the 2018 Middle Career Stellar Award presented by The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement; the NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal, 2010; the NASA Engineering and Safety Center Engineering Excellence Award, 2009; selected as of the nation’s top 100 young engineers and scientist by the National Academy of Engineering, 2009; and the NASA Silver Snoopy Award, (Astronauts’ Personal Achievement Award), 2006. He received his Ph.D. and Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI in 1998 and 1995, respectively, and his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ in 1993.

Gwenevere Jasper
NASA SBIR/STTR Center Technology Transition Lead

Gwenevere Jasper

NASA SBIR/STTR Center Technology Transition Lead

Gwenevere Jasper currently serves as the Center Technology Transition Lead (CTTL) at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) for the NASA SBIR/STTR Program. She started her career as a Meteorologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She transferred to MSFC and became an Atmospheric Scientist. She transitioned from an Atmospheric Scientist to an Aerospace Engineer. She has held many positions at NASA.

Gwenevere Jasper is a native of Huntsville, Alabama and graduated from Alabama A&M University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a Master’s degree in Computer Science.

Keith Woodman
NASA SBIR/STTR MD Liaison, STMD

Keith Woodman

NASA SBIR/STTR MD Liaison, STMD

Dr. Keith Woodman is NASA’s SBIR/STTR Mission Directorate Liaison (MDL) for the Science Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) and the acting MDL for the Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD). He began his career at NASA in 1988 and spent the first part of his career developing technologies for many of NASA’s aeronautic, science, and spaceflight projects. He has a passion for helping people who are developing technologies succeed, especially small companies. He led the design and integration of a hydrogen leak detection system onto the Discovery Space Shuttle and he is the co-inventor of a patented and licensed data acquisition system for vehicles and structures. Since transitioning from systems development, his career has been dedicated to technology assessment and management for many of NASA’s major programs.

Dr. Keith Woodman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Physics from Christopher Newport University; a Master’s of Engineering Management from George Washington University, concentrating in technology assessment; and a Doctorate from Old Dominion University for Engineering Management, concentrating in complex systems analysis and development. In addition, since 2011, he has also served as an adjunct professor for the American Public University System’s Space Studies Department, where he has taught more than 70 graduate-level classes.

Ashley McQueen
NASA SBIR/STTR Procurement Liaison
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Ashley McQueen

NASA SBIR/STTR Procurement Liaison

Ashley McQueen is the Procurement Liaison for the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program at NASA.

McQueen started her career at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a CO-OP in 2007 in the Procurement Operations Division. Following completion of her graduate program, she worked as a Contracting Officer until relocating to NASA Ames Research Center in 2016. As a Contracting Officer she analyzed technical requirements and developed acquisition plans, leading to the successful awards multi-million-dollar contracts.

In 2018, McQueen transitioned to the Partnership Division at NASA Ames Research Center and served as an Agreement Manager. As an Agreement Manager, she was responsible for establishing collaborative partnerships via Space Act Agreements. She constantly assessed potential opportunities with organizations in both private and public sector, as well as from the academia community.

McQueen holds a Bachelor of Business Management from Hampton University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland, Global Campus.

Eric Smith
NASA SBIR/STTR Chief Customer Officer
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Eric Smith

NASA SBIR/STTR Chief Customer Officer

For more than a decade, Eric Smith has blended technical, legal, and policy expertise to lead innovation small and large, from a hometown startup to the Federal government, always with customers’ needs at the fore.

As NASA SBIR/STTR’s first Chief Customer Officer, Eric Smith leads the team responsible for the program’s enabling technology, data management, and customer experience, ensuring that the program designs its products and platforms with its customer’s needs and goals as primary drivers. Prior to NASA, Eric Smith led enterprise digitalization at the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), redesigning and replacing legacy software and processes to improve internal and external customer experience, increase efficiency, and realize and measure growing economic impact. Eric Smith also helped to build the EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) from its infancy around its core mission: to foster innovation and accelerate technology commercialization. There, he built a portfolio of $221 million invested across 224 grants designed to translate research into economic prosperity and managed the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which recommends policies to increase access to capital and businesses formation.

Earlier in his career, Eric Smith focused on telecommunications technologies that power the Internet of Things and wireless infrastructure at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and was in-house counsel in the fintech industry. He holds a Juris Doctor from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in computer science and mathematics, along with a technical translation certificate in German, from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He is licensed to practice in New York.

Richard Mann
NASA Office of Small Business Programs Manager
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Richard Mann

NASA Office of Small Business Programs Manager

Richard Mann joined the NASA HQ Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) as a Small Business Program Manager in March 2009. Currently, Richard Mann is the Program Manager for Marshall Space Flight Center, Stennis Space Center, the NASA Shared Services Center, and the NASA Management Office for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He also has OSBP responsibility for small business prime and subcontracting goaling and metrics (FPDS-NG and eSRS). From 2003-2009, Richard Mann worked in various roles at NASA John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, including Contracting Officer, Procurement Analyst, and Small Business Specialist. He has also been a Contracting Officer for the Defense Logistics Agency/Defense Energy Support Center and for the US Agency for International Development. Richard Mann is a Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM), has a Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Contracting from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University.

Barbara Esker
NASA Advanced Air Vehicles Program Deputy Director
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Barbara Esker

NASA Advanced Air Vehicles Program Deputy Director

Barbara Esker is the deputy director for the Advanced Air Vehicles Program (formerly Fundamental Aeronautics Program) under the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. In collaboration with the program director, Barbara Esker supports the overall planning, management and evaluation of the directorate’s efforts to develop tools, technologies, and concepts that enable new generations of civil aircraft that are safer, more energy efficient, and have a smaller environmental footprint.

The Advanced Air Vehicles Program focuses on achieving major leaps in the performance of subsonic fixed and vertical lift aircraft to meet challenging and growing long-term civil aviation needs; on pioneering low-boom supersonic flight to achieve new levels of global mobility; and on sustaining hypersonic competency for national needs while advancing fundamental hypersonics research. Previously, she was the acting director for the Advanced Air Vehicles Program, supporting the ARMD associate administrator in a broad range of mission directorate activities, including strategic and program planning; budget development; program review; and external coordination.

At NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland prior to 2009, she served as deputy project manager for the Fundamental Aeronautics Program’s Subsonic Rotary Wing project and worked in a variety of program and project management positions supporting the Low Emissions Alternative Propulsion project under the Vehicle Systems Program, the Propulsion Base Research and Technology Program, the General Aviation Propulsion Program, and the Advanced Subsonic Technology Program. She also served as deputy chief and acting chief of the Propulsion Systems Analysis Office.

In 2019, Barbara Esker was recognized with a NASA Headquarters Honor Award for exemplary leadership. She has also received a NASA Exceptional Service Medal for sustained excellence and innovation in program management, three agency-level recognitions, six team achievement awards, 27 individual contribution awards, the Glenn Federal Women’s Program Award, the Cleveland Federal Executive Board Wings of Excellence Award, and has completed OPM’s Women’s Executive Leadership Program.

Barbara Esker holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Akron, and certificates in engineering management and in emotionally intelligent leadership from Case Western Reserve University.

Matthew McGill
NASA Goddard Earth Science Division Deputy Director

Matthew McGill

NASA Goddard Earth Science Division Deputy Director

Dr. Matthew McGill has worked with the SBIR/STTR program for nearly 20 years. He has held roles as subtopic and topic manager, and he has been Contracting Officer Representative on numerous Phase I, II, and III development efforts. His active research program centers on lidar remote sensing of the atmosphere. He has utilized SBIR technologies in engineering development and airborne demonstration instruments to prototype new measurements. He used SBIR Phase III contract mechanisms for major hardware components of the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) demonstration on the International Space Station (https://cats.gsfc.nasa.gov).

Dr. Matthew McGill has a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Michigan. He currently serves as the Deputy Director of Goddard’s Earth Sciences Division.

Kim Cannon
NASA SBIR/STTR Center Technology Transition Lead
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Kim Cannon

NASA SBIR/STTR Center Technology Transition Lead

Kim Cannon has spent 42 years of providing program and project management support to NASA’s missions, including serving as Science Manager for the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) mission and as Deputy for Proposal Development at Langley Research Center. She is currently the Center Technology Transition Lead for the SBIR/STTR Program at Langley Research Center and was awarded NASA’s Small Business Technical Advisor of the Year in 2017.

Mike Vinje
NASA SBIR/STTR Center Technology Transition Lead

Mike Vinje

NASA SBIR/STTR Center Technology Transition Lead

Mike Vinje is the Center Technology Transition Lead (CTTL) at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), where he leads KSC SBIR/STTR activities and assists with technology development. Prior to this role, Mike Vinje served as one of KSC’s Commercial Partnership Development Managers, where he helped KSC transition to the busy multi-user spaceport it is today.

Mike Vinje received a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Washington State University after serving in the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division. He began his KSC engineering career in 1999 on the Space Shuttle as a contractor working the Orbiter Main Propulsion Systems, where he developed repairs and manned the firing room console during test and launch operations. In 2005, he joined the Constellation Program where he served as the KSC lead for the Orion Service Module until accepting a position with the KSC Center Planning and Development Office in 2010.

In 2014, Mike Vinje assumed leadership of SBIR and STTR activities at Kennedy within the Research and Technology Management Office. In this position, Mike Vinje has most recently worked to integrate technology development across the Federal government by establishing joint efforts between NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and other DoD organizations. Throughout his career Mike Vinje has witnessed firsthand the massive changes enabled by new technology, and he looks forward to helping industry drive more change in the future.

Allison Zuniga
NASA SBIR/STTR Program Specialist and Technical Advisor
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Allison Zuniga

NASA SBIR/STTR Program Specialist and Technical Advisor

Allison Zuniga recently joined the NASA SBIR/STTR Program Management Office on a one-year detail. She currently serves as program specialist and technical advisor for the Post Phase II workstream team. She comes from the Ames Space Portal Office where she worked on developing public-private partnerships with commercial space organizations. She recently served as Ames Project Manager for the Frontier Development Lab, an AI research accelerator. During her tenure of over 30 years at NASA, she has worked as Aerospace Engineer and Project Manager on several Space Transportation and Space Science missions including the Space Shuttle Program, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission, NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program and Exploration’s Space Launch System, and Orion Spacecraft Integration teams.

Allison Zuniga holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Syracuse University, a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from University of Southern California, and an advanced graduate degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University. She has publications in aerodynamics, vehicle design, control system optimization, systems engineering, integrated vehicle health management, and commercial space partnerships for lunar development.

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