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Digital Solid State Propulsion Incorporated (DSSP),
Dr. Wayne Sawka is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Digital Solid State Propulsion (DSSP) Incorporated, where he focuses on applying ionic energetic materials for defense, entertainment, and downhole use. In 2013, he was awarded “Best Solid Rocketry Paper of the Year” by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, recognizing his years of electric propellant development. In 2014, DSSP flew the first ionic propellant thrusters in space aboard the Naval Research Laboratory’s “SpinSat.” Prior to establishing DSSP, Dr. Sawka worked at Aerojet, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and University of California (UC), Davis. He holds a B.S. from UC Santa Barbara; an M.S. from UC Los Angeles; and a Ph.D. from the Australian National University at the Research School of Earth Sciences.
Dr. Monique McClain is a research scientist working with the Composite Recycling Effort team for the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing Composite Innovation at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, where she develops and applies defect detection techniques for Big Area Additive Manufacturing. With a background in propulsion, energetic materials, and additive manufacturing (AM), her main research focus is developing and using a new AM technology called vibration-assisted printing to create geometrically intricate, multimaterial, solid propellant grains and functionalized ceramic matrix composites. She received her Ph.D. from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University and her B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of California, San Diego. Beginning in August 2021, Dr. McClain will teach mechanical engineering as an assistant professor at Purdue University,
Boeing Research and Technology, Tech Fellow
Operations Manager, Systecon North America
Vice President, KPO Consulting
Institute for Defense Analyses
Dr. Shelley Cazares is a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), where she focuses on machine learning and computational modeling to reduce collateral damage in military theater. Prior to joining IDA, she was a principal research scientist at Boston Scientific Corporation, where she designed machine-learning algorithms for implantable cardiac devices. She earned her B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT and her Ph.D. in engineering science from Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar.