Aviation Week’s 15th annual Program Excellence Symposium provides insight about the future shaping of programs in space, commercial air transport and defense. You’ll hear from the leaders who are guiding massive changes to the types of development, production, and sustainment that will form programs for the next decade.


Preliminary Agenda

8:00 am



Continental Breakfast




Redefining Defense Space and USAF Priorities
As ballistic missiles, hypersonics and space-based capabilities become more sophisticated, the USAF must redefine who and how space is used and protected while also entering a new phase of acquisitions for priority programs. The new Secretary of the Air Force will describe the challenges and some of the solutions.

Moderatedy by Jennifer DiMascio, Aviation Week Washington Bureau Chief and Managing Editor-Defense & Space

Matthew Donovan, Under Secretary, U.S. Air Force


The Art of Programs in a New Defense Environment
Shay Assad has led efforts to improve program performance and cost for over five years. He will return to the program conference to look at how industry and the Pentagon will work together to protect hard-fought ground gained and address changes required to bring a new wave of programs online.

Moderated by Dr. Mark Husband, Director, Executive Programs, Defense Acquisition University
Shay Assad, Director of Defense Pricing, U.S. Department of Defense


Future Tense: Creating Business Opportunity from Chaos
Forget Moore's Law—technology is creating all new ways of doing business and all new possibilities. Alex Vacca is among those who has his fingers on the pulse of this chaos and how it sorts into formidable opportunity.

Moderated by Carole Rickard Hedden, Aviation Week Executive Intelligence Editorial Director

Alex Vacca, Corporate Director, Business Assessment, Northrop Grumman




Space: An Economic Frontier
Understanding the intersection of defense, civil and commercial space is critical to outlining future strategies -- from open systems and shared data to space MRO and new launch capabilities.

Moderated by Jennifer DiMascio, Aviation Week Washington Bureau Chief and Managing Editor-Defense & Space

Frank DeMauro, Vice President and General Manager, Orbital ATK
Dr. Jamie Morin
, Vice President, Defense Systems Operations, The Aerospace Corporation


Air Mobility Drives Change to Commercial Transport
Moving passengers from place to place has followed a fairly specific pattern throughout the history of commercial flight. Now leaders in commercial air transport are looking at all-new ideas, from Boeing NMA to urban transport pods. Three leaders in this new arena will share their view of what commercial air transport programs could look like in the future.

Moderated by Graham Warwick, Managing Editor-Technology, Aviation Week
Scott Drennan, Director of Innovation, Bell Helicopter
Pradeep Fernandes, Managing Director, Disruptive Innovation, Boeing HorizonX
Rodin Lyasof, CEO, Airbus A^3

12:00 pm



The Next Military Aircraft Programs
While the industry continuously laments the lack of programs, the Pentagon has its sights on a range of new aircraft programs, from a sixth-generation fighter to UAVs to trainers to OAX. Those responsible for developing these new capabilities will share their views of what is needed.

Moderated by Jennifer DiMascio, Managing Editor, Defense, Space & Security, Aviation Week Network
Dave Bujold, Director, Fixed Wing Programs, Phantom Works, Boeing Defense Space & Security
Gene Fraser
, Executive Vice President, Engineering, Northrop Grumman
Duane A. Cuttrell
, Director, Operations & Deputy Vice President, Engineering & Technology, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics


It's a Digital World
Tools make a difference in the success of any program. And none has created a greater difference than the sensors and data weaving their way through the digitalization of design, build and sustainment. This session will provide an overview of how three companies are using digitalization to drive performance.

Moderated by Barry Chapman, Vice President, A&D, Siemens PLM Software
Elizabeth Bevacqua, Senior Product Marketing Leader, GE Aviation
Laura J. McGill, Vice President, Engineering, Raytheon Missile Systems
Dan Collins, Chief Operating Officer, United Launch Alliance


Innovative Practices to Improve Program Performance Right Now
As part of the Program Excellence initiative, the Evaluation Team identifies innovative practices and processes that created program success. The honorees will discuss the challenges they faced, the solutions developed, and the results achieved.

Moderated by Chris Seat, Senior Vice President, Program Management, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems
T.J. Pope, Director, Product Management-LED Searchlight, Honeywell Aerospace
Michael S. Torok, Vice President, 53K Helicopter Programs, Lockheed Martin
Jessica Hill, Program Manager, MH-60 Seahawk Stabilator Overhaul & Repair, CPI Aero
Doug Aiken, Program Manager, Gray Eagle Extended Range, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems


Program Excellence Reception


Program Excellence Awards Banquet

Who Should Attend?
Extended program management community:

  • Program managers/engineering project leaders
  • Engineering leaders
  • Quality and Process managers
  • Information Systems specialists
  • Strategic Planning and Business Development leaders
  • Operations and financial management



Don't Miss!
The 3rd Annual AerospaceDefenseChain Conference taking place on October 24-25 at the same venue will focus on key components affecting our industry and future programs as we seek to balance changing customer demands, global market conditions, macroeconomic challenges and A&D industry consolidation. Emphasis will be on forecasts and pursuing sustainable growth opportunities plus new initiatives. [More]

Platinum Sponsor:
Program Excellence Evaluation Team:
Boeing Elbit Systems General Atomic
Honeywell Lockheed Martin Moog
Northrop Grumman Rockwell Collins
Media Partners:
AWST   SpeedNews
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