Advisory Board Visits CReSIS Headquarters


By Shawn Schaller
Spring 2011

The CReSIS Phase II Advisory Board, a select group of distinguished scientists, engineers, professors and business leaders, convened at the University of Kansas on Thursday, April 28 and Friday, April 29, 2011.

Board members spent two days participating in discussions concerning every facet of CReSIS deployments, technology, and research results, searching for any opportunity to share their individual expertise for the benefit of the CReSIS mission. At the end of the 2011 session, the members yielded numerous positive comments about the continued growth and success of the CReSIS programs.

“With the help of their partners,” said Jeffrey Stepp, a senior engineer for Honeywell Federal Manufacturing and Technologies, LLC, in Kansas City, Mo., “they’ve developed a world-class program.”

Dr. Scott Beaven, the vice president of research and development for the Space Computer Corp. in Los Angeles, said that CReSIS demonstrated valuable, positive work toward addressing prominent, global environmental issues. The two-day session in particular, Beaven said, provided quality interaction between the Board and the CReSIS faculty, staff and students that he hoped was both informative and useful to the program.

The Phase II Advisory Board, so called for its participation during the second five-year phase of the Center, is charged with examining the CReSIS program from a variety of different perspectives, Beaven said. The board’s members have expertise in a wide array of subjects and each uses his respective background to offer suggestions to help the program move forward.

Beaven and Stepp bring a unique feel for technology to the Board. The other 11 members provide backgrounds in business and finance, education and diversity, geophysical research, as well as technology.

An unusually large number of new members also contributed fresh perspectives on the program during the April meeting Suresh Ramamurthi, Herb White, Jonathan Bamber, Ted Clarke, Roger Hathaway, Tony Hey, David Holland, Christopher Shuman and Beaven all participated for the first time. These newcomers were joined by just four returning members: Stepp, Charles Luther, William Harrison, and Carl Person.

During the two-day session, Board members had the opportunity to interact with students from an equally diverse number of disciplines. CReSIS graduate and undergraduate students hosted a poster session where each demonstrated his or her work and research within the Center.

Stepp said that the poster presentations and the interactions with the students, the future of the program, were his favorite part of the entire advisory board meeting. Beaven, on the other hand, said the location held special significance for him.

“For me as an alum, it’s just great to come back to Lawrence in the springtime,” said Beaven, who earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Kansas. “Usually I’m only here during the holidays when it’s cold.”