Blackrock Advisory Board Bios | 2010

Lee Beach

Beach is Executive Director of the Hampton Roads Research Partnership (HRRP), a consortium of seven universities, two National Laboratories, and a Research Institute focused on technology-based economic development. Dr. Beach culminated a long NASA career as Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Langley Research Center. He has B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from N.C. State University.

John Bradish

Bradish recently retired from the faculty of Princeton University, with an interest in innovative energy research. His experience is with magnetic confinement fusion reactors and data retrieval from same, the design of commercial computer peripheral devices, and design and construction of special-purpose lab equipment for the Mechanical and Aerospace Department at Princeton University. Bradish is an electrical engineer and holds an MSEE degree from Columbia.

M. Robin Church

Church is a chemical engineer by trade, gaining his BSc from Imperial College in London and his PhD from the University of Cambridge. He worked for a very large oil company for about 40 years. He started work in a refinery in England and covered most positions there, both technical and operations management. He came to the US in 1981 where he was employed planning refinery projects around the world. This usually involved managing a small technical team with interactions in all parts and levels of the company. Since retiring, he has given four courses on Future Energy Choices to the Christopher Wren Association, where he is also a board member. In the last two years he has presented his energy class to a small group of final year undergraduates at the College of William and Mary and has been asked to repeat this course early next year.

Doug Dwoyer, PhD

Doug Dwoyer retired from NASA in March 2007. Immediately prior to retirement he was Associate Director for Operations at the NASA Langley Research Center. In this position he was the Chief Operating Officer for a laboratory conducting research and developing technologies in systems analysis, advanced concepts, aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics, acoustics, structures, materials, guidance and control, flight deck design, flight electronics, electromagnetics, atmospheric science, and systems engineering for aeronautical and space applications. He also oversaw the operation, maintenance and modernization of a facility infrastructure valued at over $2B. He was also responsible for the transformation of the Center into a more flexible and cost effective organization. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a Research Engineer in the Aerospace Research Laboratories, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio conducting research in hypersonic shock-boundary-layer interactions. After leaving the Air Force he accepted a position as a Research Engineer at the United Technologies Research Center, East Hartford, Connecticut, where he conducted research in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for turbomachinary. He then served as an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Virginia Tech teaching and conducting research in CFD. He came to NASA Langley Research Center as an Aero-space Technologist in the Theoretical Aerodynamics Branch in 1977 and developed CFD analysis codes. At Langley he later served in numerous research management positions. He has 58 research publications and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and is a member of the Academy of Engineering Excellence at Virginia Tech. He has received the NASA Distinguished Engineering Achievement Medal, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and the Presidential Meritorious Executive Award twice. He serves on the Advisory Boards of the College of Engineering and the Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech, the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland. Dwoyer’s current interests are in technology-based economic development in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia and the physical, economic, public health and national security impacts of climate change on Hampton Roads and the nation. He currently works as a consultant for Innovate!HamptonRoads as well as a number of technology companies.

Dr. Wayne D. Erickson P.E., Sc.D., Chemical Engineer

Erickson began his career in June 1955 as Air Force 2/Lt assigned to the NACA-Langley Aeronautical Laboratory. He served at NASA Langley as research engineer, supervisor of various research sections and branches, Senior Scientist for Langley Research Center, Chief Scientist of various Divisions and Offices and numerous special assignments – including; Apollo XIII Accident Review Board 1970, NASA/OAST Research Council (Annual Basic Research Reviews at NASA Centers) 1972-1980, AGARD (NATO) Project 2000 Study 1974, Task Team to advise ERDA (Energy Research and Development Administration) Administrator on ERDA-University relations 1975, NASA Outlook for Space Study 1975, and Air Force Scientific Advisory Board 1981 to 1995. Also, since 1963, Erickson taught graduate engineering courses at various times for UVA, GWU, MIT, and NC State. He retired from NASA March, 1995, and has worked as a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) in Virginia since June, 1995. Erickson taught undergraduate Chemical Engineering at VCU, part time (40% -70%) May 1997 to January 2000. Some areas of interest and experience include: thermodynamics, combustion (including soot formation), energy technology of all sorts, computational chemistry, chemical engineering processes in general, and surface chemistry (with more interest than experience). Erickson received his BS & MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State, and SM & ScD degrees from MIT.

Carl Finstrom

Finstrom is a retired US Army Colonel. Army duties included 10+ years service as a military attaché-technical in London, Dublin, and Stockholm. His civilian employment included Universal Oil Products, pilot plant quality control, and fuel cell chemistry and catalysis research. He has a B.S. in Chemistry, an M.B.A., and an M.L.A.

Clifford E. Firstenberg

Firstenberg is a strategic environmental consultant and, since the early 1990s, has focused on issues related to contaminated sediments, including the determination of nature and extent of contamination; human and ecological risk characterization; hydrodynamic, sediment transport, and related modeling; and evaluation of remedial technologies. Since 1995 Firstenberg has been engaged at one of the most complex sediment Superfund sites in the United States. He holds an M.S. in Marine Environmental Sciences from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, NY and a B.S. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

Brad Hollomon

Holloman is an expert in engineering, economics, R&D management, and public policy, with specialization in renewable energy and efficiency, technology transfer, and market development. Holloman is a strong organizer and leader of projects and programs to promote technological innovation at the state, national, and international levels.

Bruce Holmes, PhD

Dr. Bruce J. Holmes is the CEO and Chief Strategist of NextGen AeroSciences, LLC (; the firm offers agent-based modeling and asset optimization solutions for aerospace industry and government customers needing tools for understanding, designing and managing complex systems. He is also the principal in Holmes Consulting LLC, supporting a variety of industry, government and university clients in strategy, technology, aviation systems development, and partnerships. He serves on boards of directors and advisory councils in government (including the FAA REDAC), industry, and academia. He also serves as a Senior Advisor for FOCUS, LLC - Investment Bankers, in their Government-Aerospace-Defense Group, and for The Chicago Corporation, a Midwest investment banking firm. His consulting activities include alternative energy applications in aerospace. Holmes was the Chief Strategist for DayJet Corporation from 2007-2008, supporting the launch of the industry's first per-seat, on-demand air carrier business model. In 2007, Dr. Holmes retired from public service of 33 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a member of the federal Senior Executive Service; his last position was Chief Strategy Officer at Langley Research Center. He led the creation and operation of large public-private technology development aviation partnerships. Holmes served in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in aviation policy analysis, and helped found the U.S. Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO), leading the development of the strategies for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). His contributions to the creation of the emerging market for on-demand air mobility were chronicled in the book, Free Flight – Reinventing Air Travel, by James Fallows (Public Affairs – Perseus Book Group, 2001). Dr. Holmes holds four patents and is the author of more than 75 technical papers. He is a commercial, jet-rated pilot of more than 40 years, a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and recipient of numerous industry and government awards, including two AIAA and two NASA medals, and the KU Aerospace Engineering Alumni Hall of Fame. His academic background includes undergraduate and Doctor of Engineering degrees from the University of Kansas and post-graduate work as a Senior Executive Fellow at Harvard in the Kennedy School of Government.

Sam A. Manning

Manning has 25+ years experience in market development; training; project management; sales; marketing and sales management; business/management analysis; including new product development; ISO 9000; Total Quality Management (TQM); Performance Indicator Measurement System (PIMS), benchmarking, facilitation, training, implementation; business process analysis, manpower development, human resource planning/staffing and personnel direction.

Dan Millison, P.E.- Manager, Transcendergy, L.L.C

Mr. Millison has 20+ years profession experience in oil and natural gas development, environmental services, and infrastructure finance. Since 1998, he has specialized in clean energy development with emphasis on power project financing, feasibility studies, due diligence, environmental assessment, and greenhouse gas accounting (carbon trading). His experience covers the full technology spectrum including: biofuels and biomass power/cogeneration; electric power transmission and distribution system expansion and upgrades; demand-side energy efficiency; hydropower; coal mine and coal bed methane for urban gas supply and power generation; district heating; super-critical coal-fired power; and natural gas supply and transmission system expansion projects. In mid-2008, Mr. Millison established Transcendergy, L.L.C., an independent consulting firm providing sustainable energy and infrastructure development services.

Robert D. Pacek

Pacek is a pioneer in the Direct Broadcast Satellite industry, having served as the Chief Information Officer for U.S. Satellite Broadcasting, Inc. (USSB) and DIRECTV, a subsidiary of Hughes Electronics. Before that, Pacek was senior executive in the information technology consulting industry. He started his career in the US Navy, where he served at sea as Commanding Officer three times and ashore in several senior computer systems management and weapons systems acquisition positions on both the NAVY and JOINT Staffs. Pacek has a B.S. degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, an M.S. in Computer Systems from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies at the Naval War College in Newport, RI.

Norbert Smith

Smith spent 43+ years in transport aircraft development with The Boeing Company, McDonnell Douglas Corporation, and the Douglas Aircraft Company. For 25+ years, he was the principal company interface with NASA and was responsible for the enabling technology development of aeronautical systems for advanced commercial transport aircraft.
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