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Meet the Presenters
COL Randel Gordon
Col Randel “Laz” Gordon is the Vice Commander, 412th Test Wing, Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California. He leads a wing of 9,500 personnel in the developmental test and evaluation of KC-46, KC-135, KC-10, C-17, C-5, F-35, F-22, F-16, B-1, B-2, B-52, T-7A, RQ-4 and emerging technologies.
Col Gordon was born in Poughkeepsie, New York and received his commission in 1998 from the United States Air Force Academy. Prior to this assignment, he was the initial cadre director for the Secretary of the Air Force’s Artificial Intelligence Accelerator with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also served as initial cadre for the Secretary of the Air Force’s AFWERX technology innovation team with private sector business and academia. Col Gordon is a Presidential Fellow, Harvard Business School Alumnus, Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) Fellow, MIT Fellow, and holds a doctorate from the US Air Force’s School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. He served the F-22 Combined Test Force as its commander and has additional flight test pilot experience in the F-15C/E, A-10A/C, F-16A/C, Bombardier BD-700 Global Express business jet, and 70 other military and civilian aircraft.
1998 Bachelor of Science, Aeronautical Engineering, Minor in Mathematics, Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2006 Master of Science, Aeronautical Engineering/Systems Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2010 Master of Philosophy/Strategy, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2013 Doctorate of Philosophy, Strategy, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2018 Harvard Business School Alumnus, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
1. August 1998-August 1999, Student, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
2. October 1999-December 1999, Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Columbus AFB, Mass.
3. January 2000-June 2000, Student, F-15C Replacement Training Unit, 95th Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
4. July 2000-December 2003, F-15C Fighter Pilot/Flight Lead, 19th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
5. February 2004-June 2005, Student, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
6. July 2005-July 2006, Student, Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB, Calif.
7. September 2006-June 2010, F-15C/E Instructor, A-10A/C, BD-700 Experimental Test Pilot and Chief of Flight Safety, 40th Flight test Squadron and Air Armament Center, Eglin AFB, Fla.
8. June 2010-June 2011, Student, Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
9. July 2011-June 2014, DARPA Fellow, Future Capabilities, Joint Innovation & Experimentation, US Pacific Command (USPACOM), Camp Smith, Hawaii
10. July 2014-June 2017, F-22 Commander/Director of Operations, 411th Flight Test Squadron, Edwards AFB, Cali.
11. July 2017-August 2018, Fellow, Harvard Business School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
12. June 2018-June 2019, Test and Evaluation Lead, AFWERX Initial Cadre, Cambridge, Mass.
13. June 2019-June 2020, Director, USAF/MIT Artificial Intelligence Accelerator Initial Cadre, Cambridge, Mass.
14. July 2020 - Present, Vice Commander, 412th Test Wing, Edwards AFB, Calif.
Rating: Command pilot
Hours Flown: More than 3,000
Aircraft Flown: F-22A, F-15C/E, A-10A/A+/C, BD-700 (E-11 BACN), F-16A/C, and 70 others
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters
Combat Readiness Medal
Air Force Recognition Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air Force Overseas Ribbon Long
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border
Air Force Longevity Service with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Air Force Training Ribbon
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 27, 1998
First Lieutenant May 27, 2000
Captain May 27, 2002
Major Oct 1, 2007
Lieutenant Colonel Feb 1, 2013
Colonel May 1, 2019
CMSgt Denisha Ward Swanigan
Chief Master Sergeant Denisha S. Ward-Swanigan is the Command Chief Master Sergeant for the 412th Test Wing, Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California. She serves as the principal advisor to the commander on all matters concerning readiness, training, education and resiliency of the Wing’s 19,500 active duty, reserve, civil service and defense industrial base contractors on the second largest base in the U.S. Air Force. She also represents the enlisted force at a multitude of meetings, committees, boards and steering councils supporting the wing’s personnel across 56 organizational developmental test and evaluation to advance multiple Department of Defense programs valued at $1.4 billion dollars. These test/programs include: KC-46, KC-135, KC-10, C-17, C-5, F-35, F-22, F-16, B-21, B-1, B-2, B-52, eT-7A, RQ-4 and emerging technologies.
Chief Ward-Swanigan entered the Air Force in January of 1998 and graduated from the Medical Services Course at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, in March. Her background includes Post Anesthesia Care Unit duties at Lackland AFB, followed by her transition into the Communications Computer Systems Operator career field. She has experience with Help Desk, Communications Security, Information Assurance (Cybersecurity), and held a position as System Certification and Accreditation Manager while assigned to HQ USAFE/A6. As a Communicator, she's had three deployments in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM and her assignments include bases at Osan, Eglin, Patrick, Ramstein, and Hurlburt. Prior to her assuming her current position, she served as Superintendent, Mission Support Group, Data Masked.
2002 Airmen Leadership School, Eglin AFB, Fla
2007 Information Technology, Community College of the Air Force, Maxwell AFB, Ala
2008 Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, Patrick AFB, Fla
2011 Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education Course
2014 Bachelor of Science, Information Technology Management, American Military University
2014 Professional Manager Certification, Community College of the Air Force, Maxwell AFB, Ala
2015 Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, Maxwell-Gunter Annex, Ala
2016 Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education II Course
2017 Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy
2019 Chief Leadership Course
1. January 1998 - March 1998, Student, Basic Military Training, Lackland AFB, Texas
2. March 1998 - July 1998, Student, Technical Training School, Sheppard AFB, Texas
3. July 1998 - January 2000, Post Anesthesia Care Unit Journeyman, 59th Surgical Operations Sq, Lackland AFB, Texas
4. January 2000 - July 2000, Student, Communications-Computer Systems Operator Technical School, 336th
Training Sq, Keesler AFB, Miss
5. July 2000 - July 2001, Base Communications Center Operator, 751st Communications Sq, Osan AB, Korea
6. July 2001 - July 2003, Help Desk Analyst, 96th Communications Sq, Eglin AFB, Fla (Jun 2002 - Sep 2002, Help
Desk Analyst, 496 Air Base Sq, Moron Air Base, Spain
7. July 2003 - July 2006, Communication Security Accountant, 96th Communications Sq, Eglin AFB, Fla (Sep 2004- Dec 2004, Communications Security Accountant, Communications and Computer Systems Directorate, United States Central Command, Macdill Air Force Base, Fla)
8. July 2006 - July 2007, NCOIC, Information Protection, 96th Communications Sq, Eglin AFB, Fla (May 2006 – Sep 2006, Communications Security Account, 380th Expeditionary Communications Sq, Al Dhafra, United Arab Emirates)
9. July 2007 - March 2011, NCOIC, Wing Information Assurance, 45th Space Communications Sq, Patrick AFB, Fla
10. March 2011 - March 2014, Certification and Accreditation Manager, HQ USAFE/A6, Ramstein AB, Germany March 2014 - April 2015, NCOIC, Wing Information Assurance, 1st Special Operations Communications Sq, Hurlburt AFB, Fla
11. April 2016 - June 2016, Flight Superintendent, Plans and Resources, 1st Special Operations Communications Sq, Hurlburt AFB, Fla
12. June 2016 - April 2018, Flight Chief, Operations, 1st Special Operations Communications Sq, Hurlburt AFB, Fla
13. April 2018 - May 2019, Sq Superintendent, 1st Special Operations Communications Sq, Hurlburt AFB, Fla
14. October 2019 – May 2020, Group Superintendent, Mission Support Group, Data Masked
15. May 20 - Present, Command Chief, 412th Test Wing, Edwards AFB, Calif
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
2010 Group Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, 45th Space Wing
2010 Outstanding Information Assurance Program Manager, 45th Space Wing
2012 Outstanding Information Assurance Program Manager, HQ USAFE/A6
2013 Outstanding Information Assurance Program Manager, HQ USAFE/A6
2014 Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, 1st Special Operations Communications Sq
2014 Outstanding Cyberspace Ops SNCO of the Year, Air Force Special Operations Command
2017 Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Quarter, 1st Special Operations Communications Sq
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Airman Basic Jan. 28, 1998
Airman July 28, 1998
Airman First Class May 28, 1999
Senior Airman Jan. 28, 2001
Staff Sergeant Aug. 1, 2002
Technical Sergeant July 1, 2006
Master Sergeant May 1, 2011
Senior Master Sergeant Nov. 1, 2015
Chief Master Sergeant Sept. 1, 2018
Current as of 04 May 2021
MSgt Jeremy Neilson
MSgt Jeremy E. Neilson serves as the Acting Base and F-35 Training Manager, 412th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 412th Maintenance Group, 412th Test Wing, Edwards Air Force Base, California. He is the primary advisor to the Wing on total force education and training of enlisted and civilian personnel including the 461st AMU F-35 Integrated Task Force on station. The 461st AMU supports the F-35 Lightening II’s developmental testing through the Integrated Test Force for the 461st Flight Test Squadron.
Sergeant Neilson entered the Air Force in June 2010 and in September, graduated from the Security Forces Apprentice Course at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Throughout his career, he has managed squadron deployment, emergency readiness, combative/law enforcement instructor, armory technician, tactical sensor operator, quality assurance, and resiliency in addition to being the maintenance training NCOIC. In addition he has structured the framework for virtual and augmented reality research and development testing capability supporting three MAJCOMs. TSgt Neilson has filled a myriad of roles including Security Forces Member/Leader, Base/Joint Defense Operations Alarm Monitor, Training Instructor, Training Manager, Unit Deployment Manager, READY Program Manager, NCOIC of Maintenance Training and Base Functional/Training and Education Manager. Additionally, he has deployed in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM and completed assignments in Florida and California.
2014 Airman Leadership School, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.
2015 Associate Degree in Criminal Justice, Community College of the Air Force
2016 Associate Degree in Education and Training, Community College of the Air Force
2019 Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Lackland AFB, Texas
1. January 2011 – October 2016, Security Forces Instructor, 325 Security Forces Squadron, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla
2. November 2016 – December 2018, 412 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Training Manager, Edwards AFB, Calif.
3. January 2019 – December 2019, 31 Test and Evaluation Squadron Maintenance Training NCOIC, Edwards AFB, Calif
4. January 2020 – Present, 412 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Training Manager, Edwards AFB, Calif
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Security Forces Squadron, Airman of the Month
Security Forces Squadron, John Levitow Award
Security Forces Squadron, ACC UEI Superior Performer
Security Forces Squadron, Airman of the Year
Security Forces Squadron, NCO of the Quarter
Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Maintenance Group AFMC Daedalian Trophy
Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Wing Innovator of the Quarter
Aircraft Maintenance Unit, Joint Program Office NCO of the Quarter
Test and Evaluation Squadron, Dr. Edwin Peterson Award
2020 412 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, General Larry O. Spencer Innovation Award
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Airman Basic July 13, 2019
Airman First Class September 10, 2010
Senior Airman January 10, 2013
Staff Sergeant April 01, 2015
Technical Sergeant June 01, 2017
Master Sergeant July 01, 2021 (Projected)
(Current as of August 2020)
Ms. Marcea Ascencio is an engineer at the 412th Test Wing within the 775th Test Squadron (TS). Her work involves testing the avionics systems of military aircraft for the United States Air Force. More specifically, she tests the communication, navigation, and identification (CNI) and tactical datalink (TDL) systems onboard advanced fighter aircraft. Her daily tasks are never the same as she provides the planning, provisioning, execution, analysis, and reporting of the various test programs that take place at the 412th Test Wing.
Ms. Ascencio started her career at Edwards Air Force Base in 2015 with the CNI team at the 416th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) testing software updates to the F-16. Amongst many exciting projects, Ms. Ascencio had the opportunity to provide in-country test support for European F-16s based out of The Netherlands. In 2017, she transitioned to the 461st FLTS to join the CNI/TDL team responsible for the avionics test of United States Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps F-35s. At the 461st, Ms. Ascencio had the opportunity to see the F-35 through an important milestone, System Design and Development. Her most notable work includes her involvement with the test team that integrated a life-saving technology, Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System, onto the aircraft.
In 2019, Ms. Ascencio took advantage of a work-sponsored educational program that allowed her to attend graduate school in Monterey, California. Upon the completion of her program, Ms. Ascencio returned to Edwards Air Force Base and started her current assignment at the 411th FLTS for the developmental testing of the F-22, her favorite fighter aircraft. In her present role, Ms. Ascencio leads the CNI/TDL team through the current modernization effort of the F-22 hardware and software capabilities.
Ms. Ascencio holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the California State University Long Beach and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. She is a published author with the Institute of Navigation and has had the honor of receiving Best Paper with the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. Outside of work, she enjoys volunteering in the community for aviation and STEM-outreach events.
Steve Chambreau is a Research Scientist in the Propellants Branch at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base, where he studies chemical dynamics of energetic ionic liquids. Steve grew up in California, attended school at UC Berkeley (BS Chemistry 1993), San Diego State University (MS Physical Chemistry 1997), and UC Riverside (PhD Physical Chemistry 2002).
Prior to coming to the Rocket Site, Steve spent two years working as an NRC Associate at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Hanscom AFB near Boston, and two years as a postdoc with Professor Arthur Suits at Wayne State University.
Steve Chambreau is also a Co-founder of Chemists Without Borders, teaches martial arts and enjoys playing the violin and saxophone.
Daryoush “Gary” Daneshmand
Daryoush" Gary" Daneshmand is the Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Program Manager for the 412th Test Wing's Test Support Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California. He's in charge of the $25 million budget, as well as finding a way to move mission Electro-Optics to the existing Edwards system and ensuring that the 412
Test Wing organization contributes meaningfully to "Testing Combat Power for the Warfighter." He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Central Florida in Orlando (UCF) and Florida State University in Tallahassee, respectively (FSU). In April 2003, he completed the Acquisition Professional Test and Evaluation (T&E-III) at Defense Acquisition University.
Mr. Daneshmand was hired by Northrop Grumman Information Technology in Orlando, Florida, in December 1999 and assigned to the Command and Control Workstation Systems (CCWS) as an After Action Report (AAR) Software Engineer, where he performed development, test, and software integration on After Action Reports using JAVA, NET, C++, and other platforms. He logged 57 hours in a testbed facility while working as a software engineer, integrator, and tester to ensure everything was going according to plan. He was promoted to Integration Project Manager, where he was in charge of 12 software and test engineers, two maintenance people, and a data manager with a
Mr. Daneshmand was hired as a Principal Electrical Engineer (EE) by Edwards Airforce Flight Test Center (AFFTC) in November 2002 and assigned to the acquisition development office, where he worked as a project engineer and integrator to generate need and solution requirements documents for the Improve and Modernization (I&M) program office.
Mr. Daneshmand was selected as the Range Systems' I&M program manager in July 2004, and he was in charge of managing the strategic and tactical implementation of a wide range of complex data gathering and integration into organizational information systems within voice communication systems, video bomb scoring systems, and Range GPS safety tracking systems. He managed the integrated product team (IPT), a group of over 22 DOD employees and contractors tasked with conducting developmental testing and evaluation of sophisticated integrated weapon systems and ensuring that newly produced hardware and software matched warfighters' needs.
Mr. Daneshmand served as the Chief Information Technology Officer of the Airborne Laser (ABL) CTF from November 2008 until November 2013. He spearheaded the push at the ABL to reduce the time it takes to deliver technically accurate, relevant, and timely technical reports from 40 days to less than 20 days after the last flight, allowing warfighters to receive capabilities sooner. He was also in charge of the IT department's overall technical direction and the budget, timetable, and client interface.
From November 2013 to Now, Mr. Daneshmand managed several programs such as cyber security, technical data Link, and the B-52 data center program. He was able to define and deliver a broad range of data link and communications services to support data exchanges from airborne to ground command and control links and build system design and test documents for tactical data link (Link-16) capabilities. From contract award to project completion, he managed, oversaw, and coordinated various areas of complex data center projects, including overall site management of the project (s) to ensure successful and timely completion within budget as specified by the contract.
Wei “FUG” Lee is an Assistant Professor and Instructor Flight Test Engineer at the USAF Test Pilot School. He serves as the school’s Test Management Program Director where he oversees about a dozen student and staff flight test projects each year. In addition, he is the Chief Test Safety Officer responsible for the safe execution of curriculum and flight test project safety packages. He has worked at TPS since 2018 but has worked as a Civilian Engineer at Edwards AFB since 2007. His previous test assignments included weapons testing on the F-16 and F-22, Electronic Warfare testing on the B-1 and B-2, simulator instructor for the F-35, and Test Safety Engineer for the 412th Test Wing. He received a BS in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA and a MS in Aero/Astro Engineering from Stanford University. He is a member of the AIAA, ION, and SFTE and has authored numerous journal articles and conference papers.
Wei was born in Taiwan but grew up in Southern California. He credits his uncle, a fellow aerospace engineer, for developing his interest in aerospace from a young age through frequent attendance at airshows, including at Edwards Air Force Base. Little did he know he would one day work on many of the aircraft he saw in the skies over the Mojave Desert! Wei loves to fly and is currently qualified as non-rated aircrew in the F-16D, T-38C, and C-12C. As of September 2021, he has flown 31 different aircraft and is always looking for more opportunities to add to that list.
2013 MS Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University
2007 BS Aerospace Engineering, University of California Los Angeles
2018 – Now USAF Test Pilot School Assistant Professor/Instructor FTE/Chief UTSO
2016 – 2018 412TW Safety Office Test System Safety Engineer
2015 – 2017 461st Flight Test Squadron F-35 PVI Simulator Instructor
2015 – 2016 419th Flight Test Squadron B-1/B-2 EW Engineer
2013 – 2015 411th Flight Test Squadron F-22 Weapons Integration Engineer
2011 – 2012 Stanford University Graduate Student/SMART Scholar
2007 – 2011 416th Flight Test Squadron F-16 Weapons Integration Engineer
Ms. Lauren Kruszewski is the F-22 Structures Lead at the 411
Combined Test Force (CTF). In this roll, she leads an integrated government and contractor team through all phases of flight sciences testing, to include planning, execution and reporting.
Lauren was born at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, CO. Both of her parents were in the United States Army and she had the privilege of moving all over the country growing up. Lauren had three main passions: mathematics, planes, and golf. She began playing competitive golf at the age of six, and was recruited to play at the collegiate level. She chose to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Prescott, AZ where she both studied Aerospace Engineering (Aeronautics) and captained the women’s golf team. During her time at ERAU, Lauren completed three internships with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She supported the Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering group and spent a majority of her time working on the Mars 2020 program.
After graduation, Lauren moved out to Lancaster, CA to work as a flight test engineer with the Structures Flight (ENFS). She spent 1.5 years at the 416th CTF testing the F-15 Saudia Arabia (SA) platform which upgraded the aircraft to a Fly-by-Wire control system with activated outboard wing stations, doubling the store capability of all previous F-15 models. Lauren was the primary F-15SA noise and vibration engineer, while also supporting the loads and flutter programs. Currently, Lauren is the lead structures engineer at the 411th Flight Test Squadron. Her team is responsible for testing various F-22 modernization programs that will ensure continued F-22 air superiority. While working at EAFB, Lauren has also earned a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering (Aeronautics) from Auburn University.
2021 MS Degree in Aerospace Engineering, Auburn University
2017 BS Degree in Aerospace Engineering, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Prescott, AZ)
2019 - Present: F-22 Structures Lead
2018 - 2019: F-22 Structures Engineer
2017 - 2018: F-15 Saudia Arabia Structures Engineer
2014 – 2016: NASA JPL Intern, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND AWARDS:
Sigma Gamma Tau Member (Aerospace Engineering Honor Society)
Tau Beta Pi Member (Engineering Honor Society)
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Athletics Hall of Fame, Golf
Team of the Quarter, 3rd Quarter 2021 – 411th CTF
Team of the Quarter, 2nd Quarter 2021 – 412th Test Wing (TW)
Team of the Year, 2020 – Air Force Material Command
Team of the Year, 2020 – 412th Test Engineering Group (TENG), 773rd Test Squadron (TS)
Team of the Year, 2020 – 411th CTF
Supervisor of the Year, 2020 – 773rd TS
Team of the Quarter, 2nd Quarter 2020 – 411th CTF
Team of the Quarter, 1st Quarter 2020 – 412th TENG, 773rd TS
Team of Quarter, 2nd Quarter 2019 – 412th TENG, 773rd TS
Air Force Association Howard W. Leaf Award (Test Team of the Year), 2018 – Air Force
Engineer of the Quarter, 3rd Quarter 2018 – 412th TW, 412th TENG, 773rd TS
Jared Thomas is an IT Project Manager for the 412th Communications Squadron where he oversees the planning and execution of technological infrastructure, both hardware and software, for Edwards AFB. He is also the Organizer for TEDxEdwardsAFB 2022 where he aims to “Inspire the Airmen of 2030 in Cyber, Space, and AI”. Jared received his first Masters in English from CSUN and pursued a second in Public Administration at USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.
Having grown up in Lancaster in a Hispanic family, and being the first to attend college, Jared originally pursued pre-med and/or law as he was always told to become a doctor or lawyer in order to be “successful”. By failing half a dozen courses he learned he was terrible at anything STEM, while having observed how toxic and competitive medical and law environments actually are, he decided to polish his talents in communication and critical thinking.
As a graduate student at CSUN, with a focus on studying abstract concepts such as creativity and the creative process, he worked as a technical writer and adjunct lecturer ultimately being awarded the University Ambassadors Polished Apple Award. While studying at USC he found a natural progression in transferring his focus and background in IT and creativity toward Technology and Innovation in government. He believes that by cultivating his talents in critical thinking, communication, and public speaking, all while pursuing his curiosity and/or interests, he was able to become an expert liaison and/or facilitator in innovation, technology, and government.
2018 Sustainability, UCLA –
Los Angeles, CA
2018 Adv Public Engagement Cert, Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership –
2018 Master of Public Administration (MPA),
University Southern California (USC)
– Los Angeles, CA
2017 Public Policy Analysis,
– Milan, Italy
2014 Master of Arts (MA) in English,
California State University Northridge (CSUN) –
Los Angeles, CA
2011 Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English,
California State University Northridge (CSUN) –
Los Angeles, CA
2009 Associates of Arts (AA) in Letters of Arts and Sciences,
Antelope Valley College (AVC) –
2006 High School Diploma,
Lancaster High School
– Lancaster, CA
2020 - Present: 412
CS IT Specialist (PLCYPLN) / Project Manager,
2019 - 2020: Project/Program Coordinator,
2019: Social Impact Consultant,
Seedling Consulting Group, LLC
2018: Administrative Assistant III,
Design & Project Management UCLA
2018: Lead Project Analyst & Liaison,
Sacramento Steps Forward
2012 - 2016 Adjunct Lecturer,
2012 - 2014 Technical Writer,
Academic Web Affairs CSUN
AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:
Place Capstone Case Challenge: Personal Data Privacy and Security
2016 Italy International Lab: Private-Public Partnerships, Management and Procurement,
2014 University Ambassadors Polished Apple Award,
2012 The National Honors Society,
Sigma Tau Delta
2012 Professional Medical Fraternity,
Phi Delta Epsilon (PhiDE)
Ms. Wendy Peterson is the Director for the 812th Test Support Squadron, Edwards Air Force Base, California. The Squadron is responsible for supporting the needs of the 412th Test Engineering Group’s developmental test mission through its Technical Library, Engineering Development, Statistical Methods, Test Techniques Development and Improvement and Modernization programs.
Ms. Peterson entered government service in 2006, where she was assigned to work at the 416th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS), Edwards Air Force Base, California. While at the 416 FLTS she served as the air-to-air missile asset manager and weapon systems integration engineer conducting developmental testing of air-to-air missiles, laser- guided bombs, and unguided bombs for foreign military sales (FMS) and European Participating Air Forces (EPAF) programs. Additionally, she represented the 416 FLTS during EPAF combined developmental/operational testing in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. In 2007, Ms. Peterson transitioned to the 419 FLTS where she performed similar weapon systems integration engineering duties on the B-1B. In 2008, she was given the responsibility of the B-1B Platform Lead of five engineers. Ms. Peterson returned to the 416 FLTS in 2010 to serve as the F-16 Weapon Integration Lead of 19 engineers and contractors for the next 3 years. Her team was responsible for testing 17 weapon types totaling $81M, covering 20 USAF, FMS, and EPAF programs. She also served as a Project Safety Lead and Project Engineer. Due to her trusted abilities, Ms. Peterson was specifically requested to backfill the sudden loss of the 416 FLTS munitions custodian for ten weeks, where she successfully supported all programs and maintained perfect custody of over 15k assets. In 2013, Ms. Peterson accepted a career broadening opportunity with the 412th Operations Group, where she was handpicked to support the $29.1B F-15 Saudi Advanced (SA) test program as the Flight Sciences Aircraft Lead. In this role, Ms. Peterson served as a Test Conductor, Test Director, and Unit Test Safety Officer (UTSO) where she conducted mission and airspace planning, test card development, and test execution of medium and high risk flutter, high angle-of-attack, and flying qualities envelope expansion testing. She also paved the way for non-TPS graduate civilians to obtain aeronautical orders at the 416 FLTS and perform flight test engineering (FTE) duties in the backseat of F-16s for programs across the 412th Test Wing. While on aeronautical orders, Ms. Peterson performed flight test duties in the backseat of F-16s for 12 test and proficiency sorties. In 2016, Ms. Peterson was promoted to the 775th Test Squadron Weapon Systems Integration Technical Expert where she provided technical weapon guidance and mentorship across four flight test squadrons covering seven aircraft platforms. In 2017, Ms. Peterson was given the great honor to serve as the Weapon Systems Integration Flight Chief, where she worked to shape her engineers into technical authorities and leaders. Most recently, Wendy assumed the role as the Director for the 812th Test Support Squadron where she leads five diverse teams responsible for supporting today’s mission, while also equipping airmen and advancing technology to enable the future of T&E! Throughout her career, Ms. Peterson has been passionate about breaking barriers for women in the workforce and developing and inspiring the current and next generation of professionals through STEM outreach, mentorship, 412 TW Innovation Team efforts, and as a 412 TW Leadership Instructor and Alumni Ambassador for her alma maters. She has attended over 35 leadership and technical training courses in addition to earning her Acquisition Professional Development Program Certifications in Test & Evaluation (Level III), Engineering (Level I), and Program Management (Level I). As a result of Ms. Peterson’s continuous dedication and hard work, she has received 25 awards over the course of her career. Wendy is a yoga and meditation enthusiast, licensed skydiver, certified scuba diver, and an avid reader with a passion for photography, music, and human capital development--particularly in the cognitive neuroscience field. Wendy and her three children, Zachary (8), Nolan (7), and Zoe (4) currently reside in Palmdale, CA.
2006, Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, University of California, San Diego
2016, Master of Science in Systems Architecting and Engineering, University of Southern California
2005 - 2006, F-22 Mechanical Engineer Intern, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Rancho Bernardo, CA
2006 - 2007, F-16 Weapon Systems Integration Engineer, 416th Flight Test Squadron, Edwards AFB, CA
2007 - 2010, B-1B Weapon Systems Integration Engineer, 419th Flight Test Squadron, Edwards AFB, CA
2010 - 2013, F-16 Weapon Systems Integration Lead, 416th Flight Test Squadron, Edwards AFB, CA
2013 - 2015, F-15SA Flight Sciences Aircraft Lead, 416th Flight Test Squadron, Edwards AFB, CA
2016 - 2017, Weapon Systems Integration Technical Expert, 775th Test Squadron, Edwards AFB, CA
2017 - 2020, Weapon Systems Integration Flight Chief, 775th Test Squadron, Edwards AFB, CA
2020 - present, Director, 812th Test Support Squadron, Edwards AFB, CA
2008, 412 TENG Annual Director’s Award
2008, 775 TS Notable Achievement Award
2008, 419 FLTS Test Team Award
2008, 775 TS Test Team Award
2008, 775 TS Time-Off Award
2008, 412 TW 2nd Quarter Test Team Award
2009, 419 FLTS Performer of the Month Award
2009, 419 FLTS 3rd Quarter Discipline Engineer Award
2009, 419 FLTS 3rd Quarter Test Team Award
2011, 416 FLTS 4th Quarter Scientist/Engineer Award
2011, 412 TENG 4th Quarter Supervision/Management Award
2012, 412 TW Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
2013, 416 FLTS 4th Quarter Test Engineer Award
2013, 416 FLTS 4th Quarter Test Team Award
2014, 416 FLTS 2nd Quarter Test Team Award
2014, 416 FLTS Time-Off Award
2015, AFLCMC Acquisition Team Award
2017, 775 TS Time-Off Award
2017, 412 Test Wing Test Team of the Year Award
2018, 775 TS 1st Quarter Team Award
2018, AFTC Science, Engineering, & Technical Management Team Award
2019, Engineers’ Council Distinguished Engineering Project Achievement Award (F-35 JSF Weapons Team)
2019, Engineers’ Council Distinguished Engineering Project Achievement Award (Weapons Integration Team)
2019, Engineers’ Council Distinguished Engineering Educator Award
2019, Air Force Brigadier General Wilma Vaught Visionary Leadership Award
2021, International Test & Evaluation Association Energizer Award