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ECE Advisory Board

Advisory Board

About the Board

The Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Advisory Board provides counsel to the ECE Department Chair and Associate Chairs regarding the mission, goals, and strategic plans of the Department, and seeks to promote the interests of the Department locally, regionally, and internationally. Members offer their insights, advice, and expertise on a wide range of issues that include undergraduate and graduate education, research activities, strategic planning, corporate partnerships, fundraising, and public relations. Members also serve as liaisons between the Department, industry, government, and other academic institutions.


Agam, Omesh
Information Security Officer

Omesh Agam is the Information Security Officer of Appian Corporation.  He is responsible for Appian’s global information security and trust programs. He oversees Appian’s compliance programs which include SOC 1/2/3, FedRAMP, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and others. Prior to Appian, Mr. Agam worked for a CPA firm for several years as an Information Assurance Sr Manager, providing security evaluations and assessments for Federal and private clients.  

Mr. Agam has over 15 years of related experience in the technology and information security field.  He participates as a Stars Mentor for the MACH37 Cyber Accelerator Program. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) in from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).


Amin, Dimple I.
VP, Networking Platforms Business Operations & Managing Director
Ciena India

Dimple Amin is currently responsible globally for driving Ciena's Networking Platforms Business Operations along with responsibilities as Managing Director for Ciena in India. Mr. Amin has held make senior leadership positions at Ciena over his 20 year career at the company including leading Optical Transport Engineering, Solutions Development & Integration, Product Validation & Test, Product and Supplier Quality, Program Management, Quality Management Systems, Corporate Social Responsibility, Digital / ASIC Development, and Advanced Technology.  He led a team on the research, development and commercialization of the world’s first single wavelength 100 Gigabit DWDM platform. He also has lead teams which introduced the world’s lowest latency platforms for data center connectivity, high frequency trading, and enterprise networks. When Ciena was a startup, he designed and developed hardware with industry leading capabilities for Ciena’s pioneering Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing Optical platforms.

With more than 26 years of experience in the technology industry, Mr. Amin started his career at the US Naval Research Laboratories at the Airborne Electronic Warfare Division, focused on synthetic aperture radar systems, hardware and software design, advanced signal processing and communications systems.

Mr. Amin holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University (1997), and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland (1991).  Mr. Amin is a member of the IEEE and the IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu Electrical & Computer Engineering Honor Society.


Barnette, Charles
Vice President, Engineering
Hughes Communications, Inc.




Betaharon, Ken
Chief Technology Officer
Asia Broadcast Satellite
With over 40 years of experience in the satellite industry, Ken has been involved in virtually all satellite communications-related activities, including the procurement, program management, launch, and operation of over 45 satellites. His experience also includes extensive research and development efforts, ITU filings, and establishing terrestrial infrastructure.
Ken began his career at Comsat Labs, right after graduating from University of Maryland. This was followed by a long career at Intelsat. Ken has been with ABS since 2008.
Ken graduated from the University of Maryland with a BSEE degree in 1969 and an MSEE degree in 1971. He is a member of Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi.
Cantor, James
Senior Vice President, Leidos Corporate Chief Engineer, Leidos Director for Program Execution and Enterprise Risk

Dr. James Cantor joined SAIC/Leidos in 1990 as a project manager and worked on several high-profile programs before entering line management as a division manager, operations manager and deputy Group President.  In 2014, Dr. Cantor became the National Security Sector Chief Engineer and Leidos Technical Director for Program Execution and in 2016 he assumed these same responsibilities for the entire corporation.   As part of his role, Dr. Cantor focuses on the technical and execution risk of Leidos’ most critical programs.

Dr. Cantor has over 30 years experience in program development, system engineering, statistical methods, sensors, signal processing, estimation and detection methodology, simulation system development, and simulation and information technology development primarily for national security applications. Prior to joining Leidos, he was a principal engineer for Computational Engineering, Inc., and also worked for the Naval Research Laboratory and the Department of Army Ballistic Missile Defense Program Office.

Dr. Cantor earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and a Master of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park and he received his Ph.D. in mathematical statistics with an emphasis on time series analysis from George Washington University. Outside activities include serving on the Advisory Board for UMD’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association.

Deshpande, Sonal
Vice President, Advanced Maritime and IAMD Systems Electronic Systems
Northrop Grumman Corporation

Sonal Deshpande (Sonnie) is currently the Vice President of Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics (EM&L) for the ISR&T Division of the Northrop Grumman Corporation. Ms. Deshpande’s team is responsible for all the EM&L activity in support of ISR&T System Programs.  

Ms. Deshpande joined the corporation as a hardware design engineer in 1986 and was responsible for digital processor design, test and delivery in support of various government programs. In 1999, she was appointed Program Manager and in 2003, served as Programs Director of a US Army helicopter program. In 2004, she was appointed Business Area Director of the USAF B-1 Programs and had business area and program management responsibility for the Development and Sustainment programs for the B-1 AN/APQ-169 Offensive Radar System. In 2007, Ms Deshpande was Business Area Director of Classified Advanced Technology Programs and in 2008 she was appointed Program Director of the S-Band Cobra Judy Replacement Program.  In this role, Ms Deshpande had leadership and program management responsibility for the delivery of the CJR S-Band Antenna.

In 2011 Ms. Deshpande was appointed Vice President of ES Logistics Services and was responsible for a comprehensive logistics services strategy that aligns product support and investment strategies to strengthen enterprise performance, customer satisfaction, and shareholder value. She had responsibility for the Logistics Homeroom, consisting of Logistics Systems Engineering, Logistics Program Management, Field Engineering, Technical Publications and Training, and Operations and Repair.

In 2012 Ms. Deshpande was appointed Vice President of Advanced Maritime and IAMD Systems, Ms. Deshpande was responsible for the sector’s advanced Maritime and IAMD solutions focused on innovation, affordable and open architecture concepts to grow and penetrate adjacencies in the maritime electronics and IAMD markets.

Ms. Deshpande received her Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from University of Maryland, College Park in 1986.  She completed her Master’s of Electrical Engineering degree in 1992 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Engineering.  Additionally, she has completed the Harvard Business School General Management Program and various program management and leadership training at Northrop Grumman.

Ms. Deshpande is involved with mentoring middle and high school students through programs which encourage students to pursue a career in Science, Math, Engineering and Technology.

Dodson, Carol
Vice President Customer Operations & Chief Customer Officer
Baltimore Gas & Electric

As Chief Customer Officer and Vice President of Customer Operations, Carol functions as executive
level management responsible for the overall processes, systems, and planning that support
internal and external customer interfaces. This includes customer contact center, billing and
related services, outdoor lighting, service quality investigations, new connections (including pre-
engineering and contractual activities), and key business relationships. She is also responsible for
accounts receivable management, energy assistance and the profitability of the outdoor lighting

Previously, Carol was the Vice President of Utility Oversight at Exelon Utilities shortly after BGE
merged with Exelon in 2012 leading the effort in replicating best practices among the three
utilities. During her 25 year career at BGE, Carol has held executive positions in the areas of
Engineering and Project Management, Vision 2020 – Business Transformation and Distribution
Construction Operations & Maintenance.

A Baltimore County native, Carol received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering
from the University of Maryland in 1988, graduating with honors – Eta Kappa Nu. In 1994, she
received a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Baltimore. Carol is
also a six sigma trained black belt.

Carol is a graduate of the 2009 Leadership Class of Baltimore County program. She is a board
member of the Engineering Society of Baltimore, Inc. and the League for People with Disabilities.

Eden, Dan
Director, Collections & Operations Division
Lockheed Martin Rotary & Mission Systems (RMS)

Daniel Eden is the Director for the Collections & Operations Division within the Rotary & Mission Systems business area at Lockheed Martin. He is responsible for a broad portfolio of Domestic and International programs providing innovative Cyber and SIGINT capabilities and operations support to governments and intelligence community customers across the globe. 

Mr. Eden has more than 30 years of experience supporting the Department of Defense and intelligence community in a variety of technical and leadership roles, including Chief Engineer, Program Manager, and Director of Programs. He is experienced in large-scale system design, development, deployment, and life-cycle support. 

Mr. Eden has a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, is a Project Management Institute (PMI) certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and is a graduate of the Program Management Development Program (PMDP). He has one daughter and lives with his wife in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. He enjoys chess, piano, woodworking, and a variety of outdoor activities. 

Gaske, Paul
Executive Vice President and General Manager, North American Division
Hughes Network Systems

Paul Gaske is Executive Vice President and General Manager of the North American Division at Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes). The Division offers the HughesNet(TM) Internet service which focuses on delivering the Internet to rural and underserved markets and is the largest Broadband Satellite Internet Service in the USA. Hughes' North American Division is also a leading provider of Managed Network Services incorporating satellite, wireless and wire-line technologies for medium and large enterprise customers, and offers numerous telecom and emergency service solutions for state and federal government customers. Mr. Gaske is an officer of Hughes Communications, Inc., the parent company of Hughes Network Systems and is a member of the Hughes Communications, Inc. Executive Committee. Mr. Gaske joined Hughes in 1977 as a digital design engineer, and has held a variety of engineering, marketing, and business management positions throughout his career. He has worked extensively on digital communication networks, serving enterprises and consumers throughout the world. Mr. Gaske holds a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland and a Master's Degree in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) and is a published author on satellite networking technologies and markets. He is also the holder of numerous patents in satellite communications and broadband networking.

Goodman, Dan
Entrepreneur in Residence Emeritus & Senior Fellow for Renewable Energy
Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

Dan Goodman is a serial entrepreneur, consultant, advisor and educator who has founded or co-founded 14 companies in his 40+ year career. He has held leadership roles in several fields including industrial product development, technology commercialization, renewable energy, venture capital, and organizational development.

Dan is the CEO of Relativity Sciences, Inc., a 10-person consulting firm he founded in 2008, which provides culture change services in the areas of intrapreneurship, innovation, and customer intimacy to Fortune 500 companies and government organizations. He has been an advisor and consultant to well over one hundred companies, from startups to venture capital firms to Fortune 100’s on entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship, strategy, commercialization, and culture change, and is a frequent lecturer and trainer on these topics. 

As Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EiR) for the Division of Research, Dan advises senior university leadership on innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercialization strategies for the research enterprise. He is an active member of the Corporate Connect Council, which fosters the university’s relationships with industry. Dan was formerly the Entrepreneur-in-Residence Emeritus and Technology Commercialization Fellow at the university’s Smith School of Business, where he co-taught MBA entrepreneurship classes. Dan also served as Research Development Lead for the Lockheed Martin strategic relationship, the university’s largest corporate partnership, where he developed and managed research collaborations in medical informatics, genomics, secure wireless communications, cyber-psychology, and robotics. Prior to that, Dan was EiR at the Office of Technology Commercialization, where he developed licensing deals for the university’s intellectual property portfolio.

Dan is co-authoring the upcoming book Disourcify, a practical guide for academic researchers interested in diversifying their research funding through industry sponsorship. He is an Electrical Engineering graduate of the University of Maryland’s Clark School of Engineering.


Gupta, Sonjai
Strategic Investment Manager
Sprint Nextel Ventures

Sonjai Gupta received his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Maryland in 1993 and 1996, respectively. He currently works at Spring Ventures in the field of technology product management, marketing and early stage company development. He previously served as Product Manager, Wireless Data, at Sprint Nextel. Before arriving at Spring, he served as Product Marketing Manager at Exostar; Senior Engineer, Digital Communications at Wireless Matrix; and also served as a Member of the Technical Staff, Digital Entertainment, at Hughes Network Systems. He lives in Reston, Virginia.

Howland, Jim
Director, Signal Processing Center

Jim Howland currently serves as the civil group director of strategy at The Aerospace Corporation overseeing corporate strategic development and sponsor relations.

For 34 years, Jim was at The MITRE Corporation and was a technical director of MITRE’s Electronic Systems and Technology division. He works across MITRE’s C3I Federally Funded Research and Development Center sponsors, and is dedicated to technical expertise focused on communications, electromagnetics, sensors, and signal processing technologies. He was also the corporate chairperson for STEM outreach and strategy. He previously served also as the corporate program lead for several counter improved explosive devices programs for both the DoD and intelligence communities.

Kosanovic, Bogdan
Manager/eSMTS, Embedded Processing Organization
Texas Instruments, Inc.

Dr. Kosanovic received his undergraduate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Belgrade, Serbia, in 1986. Between 1985 and 1988 he worked as a systems programmer at the University of Belgrade. In 1988 he joined the "M.Pupin" Research Institute in Belgrade where he was developing real-time digital signal and image processing algorithms. In 1991, Dr. Kosanovic entered graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh where he subsequently received his MS and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering in 1992 and 1995, respectively. His research was focusing on applications of Fuzzy Logic in nonlinear system modeling, signal processing, and bioengineering. Dr. Kosanovic introduced the concepts of Temporal Fuzzy Sets, Dynamic Fuzzy Sets, and Fuzzy Information Space.

Upon graduation Dr. Kosanovic joined Telogy Networks, a startup company in Maryland where he worked on developing Voice over Packet technology and associated real-time digital signal processing software architectures. In 1999, Telogy Networks were acquired by Texas Instruments, Inc. During his tenure with TI Dr. Kosanovic continued to manage and lead a team developing advanced real-time signal and image processing algorithms including acoustic and line echo canceling, multi-core software libraries for high performance computing, voice over packet, performance audio, and embedded software engineering technologies. Dr. Kosanovic has been supervising and coordinating research activities with the University of Maryland and George Washington University. He was teaching graduate courses in real-time signal processing and embedded systems at these Universities. Dr. Kosanovic holds 14 US patents and was a recipient of two Outstanding Inventor Awards from his business unit at Texas Instruments, Inc. in 2002 and 2006.

Dr. Kosanovic is also a classically trained pianist and composer. He spends considerable time in his music studio where he records original and classical music. During 1980's he led and performed in various jazz and fusion bands in Serbia. At the same time, he was a recording artist and music producer in Belgrade Radio. Dr. Kosanovic is a member of IEEE Signal Processing Society, Belgrade Society of Jazz Musicians, Serbian Society of Composers, and ASCAP.

Laroia, Rajiv
CoFounder and CTO

Rajiv is the cofounder and CTO of The Light Company, a company dedicated to reimagining photography. From September 2012 to March 2013 he was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Charles River Ventures. From February 2011 to September 2012 he was SVP and CTO of Sonus Networks. Prior to that he was SVP of Technology at Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM). In February 2000 he founded Flarion Technologies and was the CTO until it was acquired by Qualcomm for $805 million in January of 2006. Flarion was the first to develop OFDMA based all-IP mobile broadband technology which is now the basis of LTE. Before launching Flarion Rajiv had been with Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories since 1992 when he joined the prestigious Mathematical Sciences Research Center. In 1997, he became head of Bell Labs' Digital Communications Research Department in the Wireless Research Center.
Rajiv has a very broad background that spans wireless communication networks, data transmission, information theory, VLSI design and architecture, analog mixed-signal and RF circuit design, high-speed AD/DA data converters, speech image & video processing/compression and optics.
Rajiv received his Ph.D. and Master's degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, all in electrical engineering. His thesis also contributed to V.34, the ITU voice-band modem international standard. He has coauthored the book "OFDMA Mobile Broadband Communications: A Systems Approach" with Dr. Junyi Li and Dr. Xinzhou Wu. He has over 300 issued patents and more than 300 pending. Rajiv has won numerous industry awards. He was inducted to the Innovations Hall of Fame, University of Maryland, College Park, in 2006. In 2007 he received the IIT Delhi Distinguished Alumni Award and in 2013 the Distinguished Alumni Award from the EE Department, University of Maryland. He was awarded the IEEE Industrial Innovation Award in 2013. Rajiv is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Lee, Kevin
Engineering Teacher, SMCS Magnet Program
Poolesville High School

Kevin Lee is an Engineering teacher at Poolesville High School in the Math, Science and Computer Science Magnet Program. He has taught in the SMCS program at Poolesville for the past 11 years teaching courses such as Principles of Engineering, Robotics, Materials Science and Research & Design. In addition to his role as a classroom teacher he is the sponsor for the FIRST Robotics team and FIRST Tech Challenge team at Poolesville. Mr. Lee has been teaching in Montgomery County Public Schools for 25 years. Prior to teaching at Poolesville he taught Technology Education at Martin Luther King Jr Middle School and was a classroom teacher at Cashell Elementary School. Mr. Lee received his Bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and his Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Lyons, Greg
Consultant: Technology, Patent and Intellectual Property Law

Gregory is a technology, patent and intellectual property law consultant who advises his clients on all aspects of technology, patent and intellectual property procurement, protection and enforcement, including patent due diligence, portfolio infringement assessments and valuations and litigation monitoring.  He also assists clients with patent prosecution, post-grant reviews before the Patent and Trademark Office, federal court patent litigation and Federal Circuit appeals.

During his nearly 24-year career at Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, DC as an Associate and Partner of the Firm, he represented and advised clients on patent procurement, enforcement and defense matters involving a wide variety of technologies, including computer systems and software, network interface devices, data processing, Internet business methods, communications satellites, semiconductors, mechanical devices and pharmaceuticals.  He litigated cases in federal district courts throughout the country and argued before the Federal Circuit.

Gregory received his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Maryland in 1986 and 1988, respectively. He graduated with General Honors and won the Harry C. Byrd award for outstanding male senior in 1986.   Subsequently, Gregory earned his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1991.   He is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association and the District of Columbia Bar Association, and is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit Court, and the Eastern District of Texas.

He serves on the Board of Governors for the University of Maryland Alumni Association and on the AIPLA Quarterly Journal Editorial Board.   Gregory has been mentoring students as a volunteer at the University of Maryland for over 20 years.  He also volunteers at a House with a Heart, a senior dog rescue in Gaithersburg, MD.

McNeill, Reginald
Eleanor Roosevelt High School

Reginald McNeill received his formal education at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University, the University of Florida and Bowie State University, where he earned his Masters degree in 2003.  His entire educational career has been spent in Prince George’s County.  He started his education career in 1992 as an elementary school teacher at James McHenry Elementary School.  In 1996, Mr. McNeill was appointed Assistant Principal at Eleanor Roosevelt High School before finally taking the reigns as the Principal in 2007.  Last year, Mr. McNeill was awarded the 2012 Excellence in Education Award from the Kiwanis Club of Mitchellville, Maryland.

Mladenovic, Zoran
General Manager, Software Development Organization
Texas Instruments

Zoran Mladenovic is the General Manager of SDO (software development organization), DSP Systems Group at Texas Instruments. In this role, he is responsible for large global development organization, providing software development tools and embedded software for Texas Instruments processors. He is focused on organization execution and operational efficiency, as well as strategic technology direction with the particular emphasis on the open source software. Zoran has over 20 years of experience in all phases of software and hardware product development for the embedded systems. His prior professional engagements were in the area of data modems, voice over packet networks, Media Gateways and Wireless Base Station products, spanning over system engineering, software development and silicon architecture definition. Throughout his carrier he has been involved in both, product development and standardization efforts and holds multiple patents. He has a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Belgrade.

Nguyen, Hung
Associate Director
Aerospace Corporation

Dr. Nguyen has been working in the field of communications and signal processing for more than 25 years, with several published papers and patents in both areas. He has been a member of various technical committees in IEEE ComSoc, served in many ICC and Globecom conferences and symposia, most recently as leading Co-Chair of the Signal Processing Symposium for Globecom 2010. Currently, he holds the position of Vice-Chair of the Signal Processing and Communications Electronics (SPCE) Technical Committee in ComSoc. Dr. Nguyen was with a number of industrial companies such as ENSCO, Combustion Engineering, Raytheon, Orincon, Booze Allen Hamilton, ManTech and MedAcoustics before joining The Aerospace Corporation in Chantilly, VA where he is currently an Associate Director in the Engineering and Technology Group and provides technical direction and subject matter experts in the areas of wireless and optical communications, detection & estimation theory, modulation & coding theory, and networking for US government customers. Dr. Nguyen received his B.S.E.E. degree from the University of Maryland, an MS in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Ph.D. from George Mason University where he was also a Visiting Research Scientist in Array Signal Processing, and Adjunct Professor teaching wireless and multimedia communications. Dr. Nguyen was a recipient of several industrial awards & patents and is an IEEE Senior Member.

Olsen, Bill
Booz Allen Hamilton

Bill Olsen is a Director and System Delivery Lead for Booz Allen’s Cyber and National Agencies accounts. He is experienced in large scale systems development, high performance computing, and Service Oriented Architectures. Bill has over 25 years of experience working for large System Integrators which include: Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Westinghouse. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from Loyola University and a Bachelors of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. For the last three years he has served on the Executive Advisory Board for the STEM organization FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics.

Pontano, Benjamin A.
President (Retired)
Comsat Laboratories

Dr. Benjamin Pontano has worked for more than thirty years in the field of satellite communications developing systems, technologies and products for the global telecommunications market. He recently retired from Comsat Laboratories (currently a division of ViaSat) which he ran for nearly ten years. Dr. Pontano has published more than 50 technical papers in the field of satellite communications and holds patents on interference measurement and cancellation and has patents pending in the area of code division multiple access (CDMA) and hybrid antenna systems. He has taught courses in telecommunications at George Washington University and has served on the Industrial Advisory Councils at both Carnegie Mellon University and The Pennsylvania State University. On April 3, 2000, he was honored as an Outstanding Engineering Alumnus of Penn State. He is currently a member of the Entrepreneur in Residence Program at the University of Utah. Dr. Pontano serves on the Editorial Boards for the International Journal of Satellite Communications and The Journal of Space Communications. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and is a member of Sigma Xi scientific honorary society.

Vlajnic, Milan
ECE Advisory Board President, Chief Technology Officer, Vice President, Engineering & Operations
ComTek Communication Technologies, Inc.

Milan Vlajnic is Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Engineering & Operations, at Communication Technologies. He oversees day-to-day operations, product development, IT & engineering and technology strategy. He has a long track record of providing technology vision and business leadership in ever-evolving telecommunications marketplace.

Mr. Vlajnic has held senior executive positions in engineering, operations, general management and R&D with Nortel Networks, Bay Networks and Penril Datability, where he was leading advances in wireless, optical, signal processing, software engineering, IP media and voiceband modem technology. He received his Masters in General Administration from the University of Maryland and his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Belgrade.

Wolf, Buddy
Baltimore Poly-Tech High School