Autonomous Vehicle Systems Team

Demonstration Vehicle Leads
Michael Vest, Ph.D. - President, Systems Integration & Test
Dr. Vest works full time for AVS ensuring integration of all subsystems. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics-Engineering Sciences from UC San Diego and San Diego State University. He has experience in a wide area of engineering disciplines. Prior to joining AVS, he worked at Northrop Grumman Unmanned Systems in guidance, navigation, and control as well as payload integration for the Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. He also worked at the Naval Ocean Systems Center (now SPAWAR) on sonar signal processing for the MK50 torpedo. Dr. Vest has been project manager for several million dollar R&D projects for McDonnell Douglas and Goodrich Corporation, and a part-time faculty member at San Diego State University.
Juyang (John) Weng, Ph.D. - Chief Technology Officer, Sensor Development
Dr. Weng is a professor of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University. His research interests include human-computer interaction, signal and image processing, pattern recognition, content-based information retrieval, computer vision, speech recognition, tactile recognition, language processing and understanding, biologically motivated models of cognition, learning, and development; humanoid robots; visualization and virtual reality; neural networks; computer graphics; and artificial intelligence. He is a co-founder of the Embodied Intelligence Laboratory, a member of the PRIP Laboratory, and a member of the MSU Cognitive Science Program. He is the author or coauthor of over one hundred research articles and book chapters.
Dan Komaromi - Vice President, Sensor Development
Mr. Komaromi designs sensor systems for autonomous vehicles, with a special interest in the application of neural networks and high-speed parallel architectures. After obtaining a degree in Neuroscience from University of California, Los Angeles, Mr. Komaromi designed large-scale software systems for clients including NEC, Ticketmaster Online, Western Digital, Warner Bros, and Northrop Grumman. Mr. Komaromi is an experienced pilot with Commercial and Instrument ratings.
Brian Nguyen - Software Development
Mr. Nguyen is a senior software engineer specializing in GIS and spatial database knowledge at Rand McNally & Company. With a MS in Computer Science from University of California, San Diego, Brian has performed semistructured database research at San Diego Supercomputer Center in information retrieval. He also worked on a JPL data mining project at University of California, Irvine that trains an AI system to analyze Mars volcano images. He is also experienced with building a broad range of commercial software products during his former employments at Gateway, Network Software Associates, and Allen Systems Group.
Matt Anderson - Actuation and Controls
Mr. Anderson is a design engineer at BioGeneral, Inc. He has extensive experience in a wide variety of mechanical systems and precision machining. He has developed several automated test systems. He has worked on the development of several vehicle systems, and spends much of his free time off roading in the San Diego deserts. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from San Diego State University.
Joe Komaromi - Vehicle Subsystem
Mr. Komaromi is a designer of a high performance automotive electronics and performance modifications. For more than 20 years, Mr. Komaromi and his team have expertise in designing and fabricating the vehicle subsystems for reliable off road competitions.

Lt. Col. David Boehm - Field Test
Lt. Col. Boehm handles all aspects of logistics, geospatial mapping, and testing operations. David Boehm is the commander of a Civil Air Patrol search and rescue squadron. He specializes in GIS mapping and database technologies and GIS applications including ESRI's MapObjects, ArcView, ArcIMS, and ArcSDE. He has a degree in Geography from California State University, Fullerton.
Abhijit Rao - Realtime Systems
Mr. Rao has hands-on experience in architecting and implementing solutions in the areas of Peripheral Networking/Connectivity, Realtime Embedded Systems, and Graphics Systems. He is currently leading a team at a Japanese Multi-National Corporation that is focused on building Wireless solutions for the emerging Connected Home market. He has led cross-functional teams for full lifecycle projects. He holds 1 patent (and 3 patents pending) in the areas of networking and Broadband Photo Systems. He graduated from BITS - Pilani in India.
Jared Morrow - Navigation and Guidance
Mr. Morrow works for Qualcomm on classified messaging systems. Prior to joining Qualcomm, he worked at Northrop Grumman Unmanned Systems in guidance, navigation, and control of the Global Hawk UAV. He has also worked in the avionics group for the Global Hawk. An avid off roader and well rounded software and hardware designer, Mr. Morrow brings a unique mix of talents to the team. He holds a BS in Computer Science and Engineering from University of California, Davis.
Zhengping Ji - Sensors
Mr. Ji is currently a first-year PhD student at Michigan State University, with the major of Computer Science and Engineering. His research interests are mainly focused on Perceptual Humanoid Robots and Autonomous Navigation Systems. He has been working in the Embedded Intelligent Lab at MSU from 2004, under the advice of Dr. John Weng and now is working on the development of outdoor navigation programs based on vision algorithms.
Andy Sanderson - Software Development
Mr. Sanderson is a programmer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. He has been working on server administration and database applications for the TeraGrid project which is funded by the National Science Foundation. After recieving his bachelors degree in Computer Science from Tulane University, he designed database driven web applications in Silicon Valley before relocating to San Diego. He spends free weekends on the beaches and dirt roads of Baja California.
Laszlo Pazonyi - Video Systems
Mr. Pazonyi runs his own business designing video systems and control circuits for sheriff and highway patrol departments and for the military. Prior to launching the vision technology business, Mr. Pazonyi was a technician for aircraft avionics in fighter jets, commercial aircraft, and helicopters.
Norm Koegel - Software Test and Integration
Mr. Koegel develops system testing and integration software for Northrop Grumman Radio Systems Division on communications, navigation, and identification for the F22 and Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. He is also experienced at hardware design and testing during former employments at General Dynamics, BAE Systems, and Terracom division of Conic Corporation (now L3 Communications). Mr. Koegel holds a BS in Computer Science from West Coast University, Los Angeles.
Thomas G. Komaromi, Esq. - Business Affairs
Mr. Komaromi assists in all aspects of business affairs. He is a Corporate Attorney at a leading business law firm in New York City, where he is responsible for all aspects of corporate transactional practice. Selected transactions include: $2.2 billion acquisition of a telecommunications company; $400 million offering for an international reinsurance company; licensing deals for a Fortune 100 media company; Chapter 11 restructuring of one of the nation’s largest cable television companies. Mr. Komaromi received his B.A. in Geography, cum laude, from UCLA and J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law, where he was Editor of the Rutgers Law Review.
Thomas "Chip" Finch, P.E. - Project Management
Mr. Finch is a Senior Systems Engineer for San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). He serves as a project manager for the San Diego Trolley system. After receiving his BS in Civil Engineering from San Diego State University, he worked for a consulting firm prior to joining SANDAG.
Frank Thornton - Telemetry Consultant
Mr. Thornton run his own consulting firm, Blackthorn Systems, which specializes in wireless network architecture, design, and implementation. In addition to his experience in the computer field since the 1970's, Mr. Thornton was a Law Enforcement Officer for many years. As a detective and forensics expert he has investigated approximately one hundred homicides and thousands of crime scenes. He helped establish ANSI Standard ANSI/NIST-CSL 1-1993 "Data Format for the Interchange of Fingerprint Information." Mr. Thornton is a co-author of "WarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend" and contributor to "IT Ethics" both by Syngress Publishing.
Reggie Williams - Vehicle Fabrication
Mr. Williams is a precision CNC machinist for Hydrafow Corp, involved in the manufacture of mission critical aerospace components for military aircraft including the Global Hawk UAV. Mr. Williams has expertise in applying advanced materials for the fabrication of vehicle assemblies. Mr. Williams has a Bachelor of Science degree from Norfolk State University, Virginia.
Berna Erol, Ph.D. - Sensors
Dr. Erol is a Research Scientist for Ricoh California Research Center. As an expert in video processing and software techniques, her research interests include video object retrieval and compression. Dr. Erol authored a chapter in the Handbook of Image and Video Processing, and has more than 10 patents pending in multimedia content analysis and applications. Dr. Erol has a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of British Columbia.
Mike Monaghan - Aerial Support
Mr. Monaghan is a helicopter pilot for Helinet Aviation Services, LLC on news contracts for Fox 11 and KTLA 5. He also flies emergency medical and organ donor missions, and is a partner in a helicopter leasing company. Mr. Monaghan has a degree in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, and a Master in Business Administration.

UC San Diego Vibration Isolation Team
Steve Geist - Student
Mr. Geist is a senior in the Mechanical Engineering department at UCSD and will be graduating in June 2005. His design experience comes from several internships including Agricultural Installations, Inc. and Bellingham Marine Industries. Steve has also worked on the development of grid computing tehnologies at Osaka University in Japan through the UCSD Pacific Rim Undergraduate Experiences program.
Annie Monkowski - Student
Ms. Monkowski is a student at the University of California San Diego studying mechanical engineering and will be graduating in the spring of 2005. Her studies have focused on various aspects of mechanics and design; both of which she applied through an internship with General Atomics where she headed several projects.
Kyung Park - Student
Mr. Park is an undergraduate student at UCSD and will be recieving a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering upon graduation in June 2005. Future plans for Kyung include pursuing an advanced degree in the engineering field. Kyung's main interests lie in the developing field of automotive techonology.
Rick Sozzi - Student
Mr. Sozzi is a Senior at the University of California, San Diego who is studying Mechanical Engineering and is scheduled to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in the Spring of 2005. After transferring to UCSD, Mr. Sozzi has excelled in the Mechanical and Aerospace Enginnering Department and gained valuable experience in mechanical design.
Chris Choi - Student
Mr. Choi is currently a student at the University of California, San Diego. He is a senior studying in the field of Mechanical Engineering and is expected to graduate in June 2005. He brings experience in the area of autonomous robotics through his senior design coursework at UCSD where he designed the navigation sensor system to optimize the tracking capabilites of his robot.