Recent Recipients

ITEA Test & Evaluation Professional Awards



The following individuals and teams were honored at the Annual Professional T&E Award Ceremony and Luncheon, which was held during the 40th Anniversary of the International Test & Evaluation Symposium, at the Hilton Sandestin Hotel in Miramar Beach, Florida, December 7 2023.

The 2023 Allen R. Matthews Award
Charles R. Garcia

Mr. Charles R. Garcia has over 56 years of experience in test and evaluation. During his federal career, he held various positions of increasing responsibility culminating as the Executive Director of the White Sands Test Center. He retired from federal service in 2003 and subsequently retired from private industry in 2019. Throughout his career, Mr. Garcia supported the International Test and Evaluation Association in many leadership roles, including serving as a Board Member at both the local and national levels. He was the Founder, President, and remains a current member of the White Sands Chapter. He also spearheaded the highly successful ITEA Modeling and Simulation Workshop and served as the workshop chair multiple times. As an ITEA Ambassador, Mr. Garcia continues to work with Chapter leadership to plan highly successful programs that result in scholarship earnings for the future T&E Workforce. Mr. Garcia has demonstrated leadership, professionalism, and integrity throughout his test and evaluation career. His efforts have benefited several professional associations and the services he performed have enhanced and strengthened the test and evaluation profession. He is a well-deserving recipient of the 2023 Allen R. Matthews Award for his lasting, significant contributions and lifetime of service to the field of test and evaluation.

2023 Technical Achievement Award
Advanced Warhead Characterization Team

The 2023 ITEA Technical Achievement Award is presented to the Advanced Warhead Characterization Team for developing innovative tools, methods, and processes to credibly and efficiently evaluate U.S. kinetic weapons against an array of adversary targets. The team leveraged emerging technologies to develop verified, validated, and accredited digital tools critical to the evaluation and planning of mission threads and kill webs in multi-domain operations. Their efforts have made significant strides in the DoD’s ability to identify vulnerabilities and limitations to the lethality, survivability, and responsiveness of the future Joint Force.

2023 Special Achievement Award
Jenna K. Frye

Colonel P.C. Merida awarded Mrs. Frye a Certificate of Appreciation from the United States Marine Corps for her support to the warfighter in 2021. Mrs. Frye displayed exceptional problem-solving abilities and leadership qualities through her Test & Evaluation efforts at the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit Realistic Urban Training Exercise & Deploying Group System Integration Testing and the 22nd MEU Intelligence Section. She utilizes her well-rounded knowledge of industry standards, integrated product team level processes, and project level systems in her approach to T&E activities. She has been heavily involved in innovating new test processes, which have resulted in expedited test events. As an Agile T&E professional, she utilizes her resources and knowledge to improve the quality of the test program while relying heavily on her established relationship with field users.

2023 Richard G. Cross Award
Steven G. Potter

The 2023 ITEA Richard G. Cross Award is presented to Mr. Steven G. Potter of the United States Naval Test Pilot School for exceptional achievements in Test and Evaluation education. He was widely recognized this past year in student reviews for his exemplary classroom instruction. During his 20+ years in T&E education, he has played a direct role in transforming more than 1500 experienced pilots, flight officers, and engineers into critical thinking test and evaluation professionals essential to the successful execution of complex developmental test programs supporting the delivery of enhanced capabilities to warfighters. Mr. Potter’s contributions to the education, professional development, and mentoring of flight test and evaluation personnel exemplify the highest ideals represented by the ITEA and the Major General Richard G. Cross Award.

2023 Dr. Wilson N. Felder II Early Career Achievement Award
Corinne Stafford

For demonstrated potential to impact the test and evaluation community, we present Mrs. Corinne Stafford, TAT Expert at the Scientific Test and Analysis Techniques Center of Excellence, with the Dr. Wilson N. Felder, II, Early Career Award. New to the field, she has worked towards modernizing the culture of test and evaluation through consulting with the United States Department of Defense major acquisition programs, conducting applied research, and educating the test and evaluation workforce, resulting in best practices and advancing skillsets. As team lead for developing Model Readiness Levels, Mrs. Stafford developed a rigorous validation framework that quantifies how much trust can be placed in the results of a model to represent the real world. Her dedication shows great promise for the impact she will have on the field of test and evaluation.

2023 Publications Award
Christopher Collins and Kenneth Senechal

The publication “Test and Evaluation as a Continuum” introduces a new transdisciplinary approach to support DoD’s ability to rapidly respond to changes in current and future operating environments, and enable more responsive capability delivery to meet the Warfighter’s needs.  This approach – “T&E as a Continuum” – moves T&E from a serial set of activities conducted largely independent of systems engineering and mission engineering activities to a new integrative framework focused on a continuum of activities.  While “T&E as a Continuum” and similar integrated test concepts have been discussed within the T&E community for many years, the publication’s co-authors Mr. Christopher Collins and Mr. Kenneth Senechal bring renewed energy and thought leadership to the discussion. While Mr. Collins and Mr. Senechal’s primary focus is helping transform DoD’s delivery of capability at the “speed of relevance”, their leadership is equally transforming the T&E community at the same time.


The following individuals and teams were honored at the Annual Professional T&E Award Ceremony and Luncheon, which was held during the 38th International Test & Evaluation Symposium, at the Westin in Virginia Beach, VA on September 29, 2022.

The 2022 Allen R. Matthews Award
Dr. Darryl K. Ahner, PE

For a lasting and significant contribution to test and evaluation, we present Dr. Darryl Ahner, Dean for Research at the Air Force Institute of Technology, with the Allen R. Matthews Award. Over the past 10 years of service to the community, Dr. Ahner has impacted the field with founding the Scientific Test and Analysis Techniques Center of Excellence, his mentorship as a professor, and his commitment to the profession, seen in his roles in professional societies like this Association. Under Dr. Ahner’s leadership, the Center has saved Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security organizations over $232 million in costs and trained over 1,000 professionals. Additionally, the Center published 102 best practices and case studies, many of which are publicly available and collectively have been downloaded over five thousand times per month. Finally, Dr. Ahner assisted with the Certified Test and Evaluation Professional credential, developing the framework and contributing numerous questions to the exam. His dedication to the test and evaluation community has shown him to be worthy of this award named to honor the legacy of the founder of this Association.

2022 Technical Achievement Award
Life Support System Scientific Test Analysis and Qualification Team

For developing and employing innovate uses of automated laboratory technology in life support systems testing that increased information to the T&E customer, we present the Life Support System Scientific Test Analysis and Qualification Lab Team with the ITEA Technical Achievement Award. This multi-disciplinary and multi-organizational team was instrumental in the development of an innovative methodology and use of modern technology that revolutionized the Department of Defense On-Board Oxygen Generating Systems qualification testing. In December 2021, after developing novel automated technology and building a lab specifically to incorporate it, the team accomplished the most comprehensive unmanned testing of these systems to-date—all without increasing cost or lengthening the schedule. This directly led to a better understanding of system performance, increasing both the information collected and the customer confidence in system performance. The dedication to innovation, commitment to eliciting the maximum amount of information from testing, and ability to work within a program’s schedule and budget have shown the team to be worthy of this award.

2022 Special Achievement Award
Russell Kupferer

Mr. Kupferer provided exceptional benefit to the U.S. Navy with his support in the highly successful completion of full ship shock trials on the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) aircraft carrier from June 2021 to August 2021.  The shock trials, which included three shock events of increasing magnitude, will improve wartime survivability of the Ford-class aircraft carriers with crews of over 5,000 personnel each.  The shock trials were the most extensive on any Navy platform in recent history, requiring approximately 190 testers to execute and accurately document all effects.  Mr. Kupferer led all DOT&E efforts in the shock trials execution, providing exceptional oversight of a 900-page test plan.  His onboard presence, leadership, and guidance throughout all of the shock events and months of post-mission analysis directly led to the team’s success. Through his exceptional efforts and dedication, the lessons learned and best practices from this substantive major platform testing will serve as the standard for future shock trials in the maritime services. ITEA is proud to recognize Mr. Kupferer with the Special Achievement Award.

2022 Richard G. Cross Award
Robert B. Barthelmes, Jr.

The 2022 International Test and Evaluation Association Richard G. Cross Award is presented to Mr. Robert B. Barthelmes of the United States Naval Test Pilot School for exceptional achievements in Test and Evaluation education.  Throughout the past year as Chief Flight Instructor, Mr. Barthelmes led the rigorous flight course of instruction to train 59 test pilots, flight officers, and engineers enrolled in the 11-month curriculum and delivered classroom instruction to 107 personnel enrolled in flight test short courses.  He developed and conducted a comprehensive survey of Developmental Test Leadership to identify future skills required of United States Naval Test Pilot School graduates and implemented curriculum changes to address these emerging skill gaps.  Throughout his more than 11 years in Test and Evaluation education, he has played a direct role in transforming more than 800 experienced pilots, flight officers, and engineers into critical thinking Test and Evaluation professionals essential to the successful execution of complex developmental test programs supporting the delivery of enhanced capabilities to warfighters.  Mr. Barthelmes’ contributions to the education, professional development, and mentoring of flight Test and Evaluation personnel exemplify the highest ideals represented by the International Test and Evaluation Association and the Major General Richard G. Cross Award

2022 Dr. Wilson N. Felder II Early Career Achievement Award
Andrew “AJ” Rasure

This International Test and Evaluation Association, Dr. Wilson N. Felder, II Early Career Achievement Award is granted to Mr. Andrew “AJ” Rasure for enhancing the community approach to testing and analysis through rapid and innovative Tableau-based tool development. Cultivating this tool and identifying opportunities for extensibility across different projects resulted in cost and schedule efficiencies. It provides a faster and easier way to perform research and data analysis during a period of program modernization. Through his work, Mr. Rasure also provided critical skills development and coaching to other new members of the test and evaluation workforce at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division.

2022 Publication Award
Aaron Hendrickson

For recognition as a technical expert in the area of optical systems and contributions to the body of knowledge on photographic technology and scientific image capture. His research has improved optical-related test and evaluation instruments used across DoD. He has applied his expertise to testing high-speed, infrared, and other specialized cameras to improve the quality of data products. His publications continue to investigate and derive the centralized inverse-Fano distribution; develop an improved minimum variance estimator for the photon transfer conversion gain measurement; refine a generalized approach to the photon transfer technique; and apply methods in complex analysis to derive the Cauchy principal. He is sought out for his expertise by other authorities in the field and has collaborated with noted imaging and optical scientists and engineers on his research—from academia and across DoD. His research and subsequent publications have increased the general body of knowledge relevant to image capture technology and greatly improved DoD test and evaluation.


The following individuals and teams were honored at the Annual Professional T&E Award Ceremony and Luncheon, which was held during the 38th International Test & Evaluation Symposium, held Virtually.

2021 Allen R. Matthews Award
Kenneth G. LeSueur

Mr. Kenneth G. LeSueur is recognized for 35 years of meritorious civilian service to the United States Army. Throughout his civilian career, Dr. LeSueur has served with honor and distinction in the Test & Evaluation career field, starting as an intern in 1986 to becoming the Senior Experimental Developer for Redstone Test Center. His unchallenged technical acumen and unwavering dedication to duty have consistently earned the respect of subordinates, peers, and superiors alike. A forward-thinking engineer interested in enabling the Army to find better ways to perform intricate tests, his vast technical knowledge enabled the Army to develop a proven process for distributed testing while also advancing the adaptation of modeling and simulation techniques. The ability to bring national assets into a test, no matter where they are geographically located, and to also fully immerse the systems under test in a simulated yet operationally realistic environment, is a force multiplier and provides critical information directly to decision makers. His experience, gained over many years of service on multiple projects, is invaluable in training the next generation. His career achievements reflect great credit upon himself, the Redstone Test Center, the Army Test and Evaluation Command and the United States Army. ITEA is proud to recognize Ken LeSueur with this lifetime achievement award.

2021 Technical Achievement Award
Dr. Peter L. Wick Jr

Dr. Peter Wick for his contributions to laser weapon testing and evaluation from July 2020 through June 2021. Dr. Wick made significant advances to the state-of-the-art in testing High Energy Laser Weapons in both laboratory and maritime operational environments, despite the added challenges of COVID-19 travel and physical distancing restrictions. His innovative approach to testing and development of novel hardware and software solutions has helped ensure Directed Energy remains a key strategic thrust to support the United States’ defense in-depth, and ability to counter tactical and strategic threats to the warfighter. ITEA proudly recognizes Dr. Wick for his outstanding contribution to Test and Evaluation.

2021 Special Achievement Award
Detachment 5 Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center

Detachment 5, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California distinguished itself through outstanding service to the United States, from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. During this period, Detachment 5 planned, executed, and reported on operational evaluations for twenty[1]four acquisition programs valued at one hundred and ninety billion dollars. Additionally, Detachment 5 conducted sixteen cyber evaluations on ten weapons systems, safeguarding Department of Defense personnel and assets from current and future threats. Finally, Detachment 5 provided timely operational truth to senior Department of Defense leaders, assuring viable US, allied, and cyber combat capabilities across six major commands and NATO. The distinctive accomplishments of Detachment 5 reflect great credit upon itself and the United States Air Force. ITEA proudly recognizes Commander, Col Glenn A. Rineheart, USAF and his team for their outstanding accomplishments.

2021 Richard G. Cross Award
Ken Miller, NAWD AD

The Cross Award was established in honor of the late Major General Richard G. Cross, Jr ., USAF (Ret), one of the most highly respected individuals in the field of T&E in the 20th century. Mr. Ken Miller, with the NAWCAD Prototyping, Instrumentation and Experimentation Department, has demonstrated outstanding accomplishments by providing a variety of instrumentation courses to flight test engineers and instrumentation specialists from across the DoD and industry, using advanced technology and traditional methods. He moved more than 40 technical instrumentation training courses that he developed for department employees to a virtual platform so that, regardless of location, employees and outside organizations alike could take advantage of this essential instruction. He presents online courses on the basics of instrumentation for flight test engineers. In person, he provides guidance and mentoring to department employees to help educate future generations of NAVAIR engineers and scientists. He is committed to providing quality educational material to instrumentation professionals, which ensures top[1]tier data products are delivered to the test and evaluation community. ITEA proudly recognizes Mr. Ken Miller for his outstanding contribution to Test and Evaluation.

2021 Dr. Wilson N. Felder II Early Career Award
Captain Lauren Mount, USAF

Captain Lauren Mount distinguished herself as Chief of Training, 746th Test Squadron, Holloman AFB. Over the last year, she led a 25-member analysis team to execute 106 tests supporting 52 Department of Defense organizations. Her direction of analysis for the next generation GPS satellite program resulted in identifying an urgent deficiency and 59 other software issues prior to deploying the satellite worldwide. Additionally, Capt Mount overhauled the test execution training program, which focused on ensuring the unit had trained and qualified test control personnel, resulting in over 70 qualifications and increased the organization’s instructor cadre by 175%. Furthermore, she directed a 12-member team to develop and execute a hands-on training course for new squadron personnel. The focus of the training is dual-purposed: it informs new members of internal processes while instilling the ethics and test discipline expected of the test community. The pilot program alone slashed on-boarding time by 50%. Capt Mount’s professionalism, meticulousness, and dedication have greatly impacted the 746th Test Squadron and its test and evaluation mission. Her efforts and drive singlehandedly standardized training processes and will have direct impacts to the mission for years to come. ITEA proudly recognizes Capt Mount for his outstanding contribution to Test and Evaluation.

2021 Publications Award
Commander Donald “Bucket” Costello

The ability to field autonomous functionality within Naval Aviation may soon become a reality thanks to CDR Donald Costello’s game-changing research. During the award period, he successfully published his Doctoral Dissertation, Certifying an Autonomous System to Complete Tasks Currently Reserved for Qualified Pilots, and three peer reviewed journal articles, highlighting issues with current Test and Evaluation (T&E) procedures and practices for certifying autonomous systems. Current T&E procedures are designed for certifying an aircraft to operate with a qualified pilot in, or on, the loop. Autonomous systems will not have this capability. Industry is approaching a point where these systems are being developed. However, a path towards certification does not exist. CDR Costello developed and exercised a methodology for certifying autonomous systems using current T&E practices. His research developed critical lessons learned that will influence policies, procedures and certification standards as the Department of Defense prepares to begin fielding autonomy. ITEA is proud to recognize CDR Costello with this year’s Publication Award.



The following individuals and teams were honored at the Annual Professional T&E Award Ceremony and Luncheon, which was held during the 37th International Test & Evaluation Symposium, held virtually .

The 2020 Allen R. Matthews Award
Bernard (Chip) Ferguson

Mr. Bernard “Chip” Ferguson has dedicated over 30 years of his career at the forefront of improving Test and Evaluation (T&E) through engineering, procedural, organizational, and policy solutions for rigorous systems test and evaluation, enhancing national security through soldier and weapons systems operability. His leadership in implementing these concrete, actionable solutions to T&E challenges has shaped the breadth of the T&E community, including contractor support to technical and personnel solutions for financial systems planning, programming, and budgeting; Major Ranges and Test Facilities Base (MRTFB) management and oversight; expanded use and support of the Joint Test and Evaluation Program, spawning numerous solutions to Joint Operations with the data to provide confidence in execution; standing up the Joint Mission Environment Test Capability (JMETC) for classified, distributed T&E across the national test ranges; operationalization of the National Cyber Range (NCRC) for sustained DoD use; and standing up of the office of Executive Agent for Cyber Ranges, as its founding Deputy. Chip Ferguson has led the T&E community through creative solutions to numerous challenges, and his impact will be treasured far into the future. ITEA is proud to recognize Chip Ferguson with this lifetime achievement award.

2020 Technical Achievement Award
The John Akers Global Positioning System Solution Team

The John Akers Global Positioning System Solution (JAGS) team distinguished themselves from 8 November 2019 to 6 May 2020 in developing, installing, and testing a highly  accurate  and affordable TSPI  system, able to  score missile flight tests against aerial targets. The team responded to an urgent need from a high priority weapon system to develop an expendable, low  cost TSPI solution increasing accuracy by  85% through telemetry integrated with the Gulf  Range Infrastructure and full-scale aerial targets. With cost savings of $4 million and 9 months ahead of schedule, the JAGS team accomplished concept development,    detailed  design, flight  test, and  air  worthiness certification to  deliver  JAGS   early, enabling  real-time  scoring  capability of a high-profile missile system’s developmental test, exceeding the customer’s requirements. JAGS provided the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range real-time  TSPI scoring capability for new weapons technology that current scoring  system could not accommodate. The team proved the innovative use of existing technology,  integrated  with current Air Force platforms can provide improved capability for the weapons of  the future.

2020 Special Achievement Award
KC-46A Operational Test Team

The KC-46A Operational Test Team is presented this Special Achievement Award for innovative approaches, practices, and management processes applied while executing the KC-46A Initial Operational Test and Evaluation from July 1, 2019 to June  30, 2020. As a vanguard in global reach innovation, the $52 billion KC-46A program will significantly increase air refueling, aeromedical evacuation, airlift, and survivability across the spectrum of military operations.  To expedite real-time operational  test  results, the test team  pioneered an  adaptive  and  agile  test approach to deliver multiple platform firsts including cybersecurity and Aeromedical Evacuation testing, as well as passenger and international cargo transport testing. Moreover, AFOTEC’s early  involvement and innovative approaches to air refueling testing led to the identification of  acute Remote Vision System deficiencies and through collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory, drove a vendor-funded $551 million correction. Additionally, the test team identified  systemic cargo loading  shortfalls and, as part of  the contractor advisory board, designed new methodologies to reduce load times by 66%. Finally, the test team achieved strategic stakeholder involvement in  38 system recommendations across key performance parameters  by  pioneering  a groundbreaking  continuous reporting process, increasing speed  and  information fidelity  to  key  decision  makers by 360%. ITEA  proudly recognizes this outstanding team and their outstanding accomplishments.

2020 Richard G. Cross Award
Mr. Terry Murphy

The Cross Award was established in honor of  the late Major General Richard G. Cross, Jr ., USAF (Ret), one of  the most highly respected individuals in the field of  T&E in the 20th century. ITEA presents this award to recognize outstanding achievements in the development or administration  of  T&E  education. ITEA recognizes Mr. Terry Murphy for his exceptional efforts leading to a complete overhaul of  the T&E workforce development program at the Department of  Homeland Security. He converted the Department’s initial test and evaluation training program modeled on a Department of Defense curriculum to a program more suited to Department of  Homeland Security goals and policy. Mr. Murphy’s efforts have led to the increase in certified T&E professionals, who are trained in DHS T&E relevant policy and specialties within T&E such as reliability, STAT and agile development. This trained workforce has been a contributor to the increase in successful T&E outcomes within DHS, resulting in the fielding of  effective, suitable and resilient solutions to protect the homeland. Mr. Murphy’s efforts reflect great credit upon himself, the Office of Test and Evaluation and the Department of Homeland Security.

2020 Dr. Wilson N. Felder II Junior Achiever Award
Mr. Rigel Ifland

Mr. Rigel Ifland has exhibited unparalleled innovation, initiative, and ability in the adaptation and adoption of  new technologies that positively impact the Test and Evaluation community. He has introduced new software tools  that increase  the  fidelity, depth,  and rigor  of data  analysis while  concurrently  decreasing inefficiencies in data analysis  processes  and  procedures.  As  a  result,  stakeholders  receive  high  quality objective evidence to make risk-based decisions and in turn, can provide superior support the Fleet. ITEA is pleased  to  recognize Mr.   Ifland in his  new   role in the  T&E profession for his outstanding accomplishments and significant achievements that enhanced and strengthened the T&E profession.

2020 Publication Award
Dr. Ya Lun Li

Dr. Li’s article,  “Model-Based  Systems and Test  Engineering using  System Mission-Oriented Design  of Experiment Approach” published in the September 2019 issue of The Journal of Test and Evaluation is a great illustration of  how  interdisciplinary fields of research are needed   to  solve complex   test and evaluation challenges. Dr. Li identifies the disconnects between requirements-based T&E  and mission-based systems engineering (MBSE). Using innovative graphics and clear analytical processes, Dr.Li provides 4 steps connecting design of experiments test approach to MBSE.  His illustrative example shows the value of  the approach, which culminates in compelling contour plots that allow for mission capability assessment. The Journal of Test  and Evaluation is the premier publication  for the Test and Evaluation industry and ITEA is proud to recognize Dr. Li with this year’s Publication Award.


The following individuals and teams were honored at the Annual Professional T&E Award Ceremony and Luncheon, which was held during the 36th International Test & Evaluation Symposium, at the Kaua’i Marriott Resort, in Lihue, Hawaii, on November 13th.

2019 Allen R. Matthews Award
Steven Hutchison, PhD
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Dr. Steven Hutchison has spent 20 plus years at the forefront of improving acquisition outcomes through the application of rigorous test and evaluation to enhance National Security. He has shaped the test and evaluation community across the Federal Government through leadership and recognized expertise in key roles at the U.S. Army, DoD, the Defense Security Information Agency, and currently as the Director, Office of Test and Evaluation, Department of Homeland Security. He fundamentally changed the T&E communities within DoD and DHS by increasing the visibility and resources focused on T&E activities prior to initial production and deployment. A vocal champion of the T&E initiative “Shift Left”, which has now become commonly referenced throughout the Federal T&E community in casual conversation, briefings, speeches, and policy. His passion for improved T&E rigor led to the creation of the Scientific Test and Analysis Techniques Center of Excellence within DoD which now also supports DHS. Advocated for enhanced cyber security and cyber resilience T&E for the past decade. Instrumental in improving the T&E workforce within DoD and DHS. As a prolific writer he has influenced our T&E community and made us think. Dr. Steve Hutchison has directly improved acquisition outcomes and National Security.

2019 Richard G. Cross Award
Laura Freeman, PhD
Virginia Tech, Hume Center for National Security and Technology

For exceptional performance while serving as the Acting Science Adviser to Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E). Dr. Freeman distinguished herself by representing DOT&E interests in official Joint and Department of Defense committees and forums. She provided leadership, guidance on a variety of initiatives; and mentored staff, across the T&E community, in the planning and assessment of tests examining the effectiveness, suitability and survivability of multi-billion-dollar programs. Through her work in with the Chief Management Office (CMO) in advancing test science research and applications for OT and in advancing a “shift left” mentality throughout T&E, Dr. Freeman institutionalized scientific thinking in DoD testing and evaluation. Focus areas include test design, statistical data analysis, modeling and simulation validation, software testing, cybersecurity testing, reliability analysis, and human-system interactions. Dr. Freeman’s outstanding performance reflects great credit upon her, the Offices of the DOT&E, the CMO, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

2019 Technical Achievement Award
Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Big Data Analytics (BDA) Team
The Test Resource Management Center (TRMC)

The TRMC JSF BDA team, under the technical direction of Mr. Chris Moyer, Mission Enablement Software and Architecture Manager, distinguished themselves from 1 July 2019 through 30 June 2019 with the integration of commercial BDA techniques into the realm of T&E on the F-35. Their work has resulted in the discovery of previously unknown anomalies, development of predictive models for equipment failure, reduction of routine analysis processes from 9+ hours to <1 second, and the drastic optimization of F-35 post-mission data ingest which enables pilots to review video and data from their flight during AAR rather than days later. Additionally, the team developed a means for tracking changes between ICD releases, so analysts no longer had to go through timely trial and error to find where messages moved within the new ICD. This team also supported Northern Edge 2019, where pilots had auto-generated shot-sheets provided for the first time. These achieved results have led to KM tools being added into the JSF Block IV TEMP. The success of these tools, techniques, and hardware has resulted in programs across the DoD investigating how to apply the JSF BDA team’s work to their mission. The team has proven that big data analytics will revolutionize data evaluation across the DoD.

2019 Special Achievement Award
Mk 48 Heavyweight Torpedo
Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force (COMOPTEVFOR)

The Mk48 Heavyweight Torpedo test team is presented the 2019 ITEA Special Achievement Award for innovative approaches, practices, and management processes applied in Initial Operational Test and Evaluation of this critical weapon system capability from July 2018 to June 2019. The Mk48 Advanced Processor Build 5 variant is the first of several planned updates to this key weapon system, significantly increasing capability and lethality as the primary submarine launched weapon against current and emerging submerged and surface threats. The test team, in close coordination with the undersea warfare test and evaluation community stakeholders, developed and executed a variety of innovative strategies to successfully mitigate schedule and cost risk factors. Their combined efforts resulted in an Early Fielding Decision by PEO SUBS in April 2019, providing improved lethality in today’s Fleet. These strategies included leveraging Fleet exercises to decrease the number of dedicated OT firings by 30%, using modeling and simulation to reduce the number of in-water runs and time to execute for future variants by 50%, executing a combined cybersecurity test event to reduce time for independent OT by 40%, all while providing interim performance data and identifying tangible performance improvements and performance concerns in a relevant time frame.

2019 Junior Achiever Award
Captain Trung Q. Nguyen

Captain Trung Q. Nguyen distinguished himself by meritorious service as a Test Director in the Defense Intelligence Agency, Directorate for Science and Technology, Office of Advanced Technologies Intelligence, Targeting and Test Division, Test and Evaluation Branch. During his first two years, Captain Nguyen’s technical competence, innovative thinking, and leadership were instrumental in the successful execution of 18 test events and 720 test hours, ensuring the success of 15 Intelligence Community projects. He led a four man, expeditious T&E team through a collective 18 weeks of testing, verifying and validating over 400 requirements, while introducing process improvements into his team and branch. Furthermore, Capt Nguyen spearheaded three operational test events resulting in direct contributions to the warfighters. Finally, his implementation of outside the box ideas has been adopted as best practices within his division. The distinctive accomplishments of Capt Nguyen reflect credit upon himself, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the United States Air Force.

2019 Publications Award
Laura Freeman, PhD, Virginia Tech,
Kelly Avery, PhD, Institute of Defense Analysis (IDA),
and Thomas Johnson, PhD, IDA

The authors clearly described the complicated task of validating simulations for use in development and testing of new systems. The authors explained the essential need for validated engineering-level and engagement–level computer models for systems engineers and developmental testers to refine system designs and conduct trade-off analyses. The authors show how Design of Experiments and statistical analysis techniques are the foundational tools for validating computer models for test and evaluation and for other high-value DoD tasks.

Everybody secretly wants to win an award. Just being nominated brings a huge array of benefits not just to the individual but also the entire organization.
Submissions due by
August 15, 2024
Special Recognition for Contributions to the Association:

Association Recipients Honored


2023 Board of Directors Award
Laura Freeman

Dr. Laura Freemen has been our Publication’s Committee Chair, and Editor in Chief of the ITEA Journal for the last five years and has been actively involved in ITEA for over fifteen years.  The Publications Committee Chair is typically involved in setting themes for each issue of the ITEA Journal, and then solicitating and selecting applicable abstracts and technical papers for publication in the Journal.  In addition to this, 2023 was the year in which we executed our plan to modernize the Journal, and Laura’s leadership, vision, and professional expertise in technical writing and publication is the reason we can all enjoy this new format for years to come. Laura produces results and she has been a key contributor to the growth, development, goals, and mission of the Association., and it gives me great pleasure to present the 2023 Board of Director’s Award to Dr. Laura Freeman.

2023 President’s Award
Linda A. Rapp

For twenty years, Linda Rapp of Linda Rapp Design, has been supporting ITEA with her creativity, positive attitude, and willingness to go the extra mile to ensure that ITEA’s brand speaks to its members. Linda is responsible for creating designs that are both functional and visually appealing. Her ability to listen to our needs, understand our vision and translate it into a beautiful and functional design is invaluable. This year, Linda was vital to the realization of our goral to modernize the ITEA Journal into an online, searchable and interactive experience.  Linda’s design expertise made our new Journal visually appealing and easy to use.  Linda also helps us communicate our message in a clear and impactful way with the re-design and re-branding of our website. As an integral part of our team, it gives me great pleasure to present the President’s award to Linda A. Rapp.

2023 President’s Award
Bob Shinn of DublinBlue

Over the past few years, Bob has been ITEA’s information and search engine optimization specialist providing his wisdom and expertise as we migrated from an outdated platform to a format that is embedded with data analytic tools and contemporary programming. This year, Bob was vital to the realization of our goral to modernize the ITEA Journal into an online, searchable and interactive experience.  Bob’s website design and programming expertise made our new Journal intuitive, easy to use and increased the value of the Journal to the T&E community. His dedication to providing continuous improvements is admirable. Always willing to help with any technical area, Bob consistently has fresh ideas and solves any problem thrown his way. As an integral part of our team, it gives me great pleasure to present the President’s award to Bob Shinn.


2022 Board of Directors Award
Peter H. Christensen

Each year the ITEA leadership selects an individual who has contributed to the growth, development, and mission of the association. During the past year, as Chairman of the Professional Development committee, Mr. Pete Christensen has led a team of volunteers as they overhauled ITEA’s T&E certification.  This significant undertaking led to the successful launch of our new two-tiered program. He also initiated a strategy to bring the ITEA technical courses to the Ranges, our industry partners, and the T&E community at large. Pete, while retired, is an educator, a consultant in the T&E community, and provides ITEA outstanding leadership in the growth of our educational programs. It is our pleasure to present Mr. Pete Christensen with the 2022 ITEA Board of Directors Award.

2022 President’s Award
Dr Adrian ‘Ade’ Britton

Dr Adrian (Ade) Britton has been an active member of ITEA and has served as president of the Western Europe Chapter since 2014. Ade’s commitment to this organization has been outstanding and this past year, under my term as president, I witnessed how he tirelessly ensured that the “I” in ITEA was upheld and highlighted during our 2021 and 2022 annual symposia. Ade was one of the key contributors to the success of the ITEA’s virtual symposium last year and his recommendations and follow-through to bring speakers and technical presenters to the program proved quite successful for ITEA. His passion for test and evaluation in his career with Qinetiq only further strengthens his commitment to the future workforce in the United Kingdom. Due to his volunteering efforts, he was responsible for his Chapter to receive a scholarship for their local High School’s STEM program. The time difference never seemed to be an issue with Ade as he called in to participate in planning meetings, Board meetings representing his Chapter, and answering emails during all times of the day and night. It gives me great pleasure to present the President’s award to a man whose positive attitude and professionalism inspires others within the association.

2022 Energizer Award
Shelby L. Pearce

Recognized as our “behind the scenes” volunteer, Shelby Pearce’s contributions over the past year have supported the Test and Evaluation community and this Association. Never hosting a workshop in her career and then taking on the responsibility of chairing the Cybersecurity Workshop, being held this October, was a challenge accepted by Shelby early in the process. Her leadership skills along with her positive energy inspired her team of volunteers to work along side her as she cultivated a technical program that has gained momentum and will surely be highly successful. Her efforts and service to the Association permit her Chapter to reap the benefit of additional scholarship dollars to be awarded to local students in the engineering field, thereby enabling visibility into the future T&E workforce.  We are proud to recognize Shelby Pearce for her role, behind the scenes, in ITEA.


2021 Board of Directors Award
Charles R. Garcia

The ITEA Board of Directors presents their award to Mr. Charles “Charlie” Garcia for his contributions to the growth, development, goals, and mission of the Association. Mr. Garcia has over 56 years of experience in Test and Evaluation spanning from his career in the federal government to his leadership roles within industry. His commitment to ITEA is unwavering, most notably in 1987 serving as the Founder and former President of the White Sands Chapter to his leadership role serving as an elected Board Member for two[1]terms from 2011 to 2017. Mr. Garcia volunteered as a Subject Matter Expert in the establishment of the Certified T&E Professional program and orchestrated the 2017 ITEA System of Systems workshop and the third Offset Environment Engineering Conference – Charlie Garcia has a proven track record of being a highly regarded advocate for this organization. The Board would like to recognize Charlie’s most recent accomplishment as he worked tirelessly to reinvigorate the White Sands Chapter by pulling together, nearly single-handedly, the successful Test and Evaluation in Multi-Domain Operations Workshop in El Paso in July. Charlie’s contributions during this difficult year have been extraordinary and we are grateful for his ongoing commitment to ITEA. It is with great pleasure that the Board of Directors recognize Mr. Charlie Garcia for his outstanding contributions to ITEA.

2021 President’s Award
ELK Management Group

Established in 1996, this award is presented by the President of the Board of Directors to recognize exemplary contributions to ITEA. This year, the President’s Award is bestowed on Eileen Redd, Lena Moran, and Kathi Swagerty of ELK Management Group for their exceptional efforts in transitioning the operational structure of ITEA to a more rigorous, accurate, and robust foundation. This transition included changing ITEA’s day to day operations from an Executive Director to an Association Management Company, managing the transition of ITEA’s fiscal management from cash basis accounting to accrual accounting, establishing a certified public accountant bookkeeping process, overseeing the review and reconciliation of past tax issues, and updating all aspects of the ITEA By-Laws and Operating Policies. This team also supported Chapter and Committee Chairs to accomplish their missions through the year. These outstanding individuals accomplished all of this during a Global Pandemic that devastated our normal operations and demanded incredible flexibility in meeting the demands for ensuring ITEA’s financial solvency. Eileen, Lena, and Kathi demonstrated amazing resiliency and tremendous abilities in overcoming the numerous obstacles to achieving success in 2021. It is with great appreciation that I award the President’s Award for 2021 to Eileen Redd, Lena Moran, and Kathi Swagerty of ELK Management Group.

2021 Energizer Award
Wendy M. Peterson

High energy and enthusiasm go hand in hand and describe Ms. Wendy Peterson perfectly. She was appointed President of the Antelope Valley Chapter at the start of 2021 and stepped up to host the virtual 24th Annual Test Instrumentation Workshop with only 5 months to plan it. Wendy Peterson overcame major obstacles in orchestrating the event and her positive attitude motivated her team through the process. The Test Instrumentation Workshop has a solid reputation within the T&E community for being an event with stellar presenters and technical tracks, and this year, thanks to Ms. Peterson, was no exception. During a year of isolation, she showed the community that we could continue to network and share knowledge regardless of what is occurring in the world around us. Behind the scenes, Wendy Peterson has made one of the biggest impacts on the Test and Evaluation community and the ITEA membership. The leadership of ITEA expresses gratitude to the Director of the 812th Test Support Squadron for her commitment to the organization and Test and Evaluation


The Board of Directors Award
Eileen A. Bjorkman, PhD.

A lifetime member of  ITEA, Dr. Eileen Bjorkman has contributed her time and skills generously and effectively to our Association and has been a mainstay in its growth, development, goals, and mission. Most recently, her term as Treasurer was distinguished by a long overdue analysis and overhaul of  ITEA’s financial management structure. Dr. Bjorkman was instrumental in identifying numerous improvements in the financial controls and was the  driving  force  in  updating ITEA’s accounting system to provide more insight into revenues and expenses over time for ascertaining the impact of financial results  from ITEA  events,  tracking  understanding  ITEA’s financial position,  and  managing  the  cash  flow in ITEA.    After  completing her term as Treasurer, Dr. Bjorkman  served as Chair of  the Ways  and Means  Committee to continue the financial rehabilitation of  ITEA.  Her service on the Board is ending this year but ITEA will be indebted to Dr. Bjorkman for years to come. Her persistent leadership and dedication have been instrumental in securing the future of ITEA. It is with great pleasure  that  the  Board  of Directors  recognize  Dr. Eileen  Bjorkman for her  outstanding contributions to ITEA.

President’s Award
Ms. Jeong Min Kim

Min Kim has been making a positive impact on ITEA and its membership for several years. As past president of  the Emerald Coast Chapter, Min was instrumental in bringing the ITEA Cyber Workshop to Eglin in 2018 and continues to lead her team of volunteers as they plan and execute this highly successful event.  Motivated to make a positive impact on the T&E community, she was responsible for creating a new Lunch and Learn Series to serve the ITEA membership and benefit the T&E community. Her innovative concept generates a broader audience – grows ITEA; promotes T&E education – aligns with the mission of  ITEA; and builds enthusiasm for the community – bringing ITEA into the future. It is my distinct honor to recognize Jeong Min Kim as the recipient of the 2020 ITEA President’s Award.

2020 Energizer Award
Danielle Kauffman

As a relatively new member at ITEA, Danielle Kauffman has earned the Energizer Award  for her behind the scenes work on the ITEA Journal of Test and Evaluation.  Whenever needed, Danielle quickly helps the Journal Committee with creative flair.  With tough deadlines and constant need for information, Danielle is always ready and always has an answer.  Her fresh and innovative ideas will help launch the Journal into the new phases for 2021 and beyond.  ITEA is proud to recognize Danielle Kauffman for all of her efforts.


2019 ITEA Board of Directors’ Award
Doug Armstrong, George Washington Chapter

For nearly thirty years, Doug played a keen role behind the scenes in fiscal health and well being of the Association. Doug’s steadfast and substantial financial support through EWA and his dedication to encouraging his employees to volunteer their time and talent for the success of the organization has been significant through the years. National President, Board Members, Chapter Presidents, writing articles for the Journal, volunteering at events, exhibiting at every Annual Symposium and other ITEA events and sponsoring them as well – Doug’s commitment has proved to strengthen the organization and its leaders. Within the industry, Doug was also considered to be the quite giant helping to shape the successful future of T&E. Whether on the Hill or in the halls of the Pentagon, Doug brought his influence to the decision makers because he understood the value of those working tirelessly on the Ranges making the warfighters safe with weapons that work.

2019 ITEA President’s Award
Doug Messer, White Sands Chapter

The President’s Award is presented to an individual who has contributed to the growth, development, goals, and mission of the Association. The 2019 ITEA President is pleased to recognize Doug Messer for his proven leadership and guidance throughout the years to the Association and the Board of Directors. From service at the Chapter level with the White Sands Chapter, running WSMR workshops, coordinating Exhibits, and as the Events Committee Chair, he has been a champion for ITEA and our membership. Doug has worked and continually championed 12 WSMR Chapter workshops starting back in 2007 when the Modeling and Simulation Workshop was held in Las Cruces, followed by the Live Virtual and Constructive workshop starting in 2009 and continuing through the present with the System of System workshop in El Paso. Doug has served for the past 10 years as the President of the White Sands Chapter. Doug served for three years as the National Exhibits chair and coordinator when we lost Milt Strickland and before we were able to hire Bill Dallas. Doug also served for 4 years as the National Events Chair. Doug has worked in some capacity in all of the Annual Conferences over the past 10 years. Doug is a “Can Do” guy and no job is too large or small when he is asked to serve. Finally, Doug is just a pleasure to work with. He has the heartfelt appreciation of the ITEA Board of Directors for his service to our organization. We look forward to his continued presence at the ITEA meetings, and look forward to his participation with ITEA for many more years to come. Doug will always have our gratitude for all he has done. Thank you, Doug, for a job well done!

2019 Energizer Award
Doresa Ringer, Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI)

The 2019 ITEA Energizer Award is presented to Doresa Ringer for her dedicated support of the Association. For the past seven years, Doresa has volunteered her time, energy and talents to help ensure the success of ITEA’s International Symposium. Wherever she is needed – registration, room monitoring, and especially, taking the lead of the Speaker Ready Room, Doresa gives 110 percent to take care of whatever is needed to ensure the attendees, presenters, and speakers have a stress-free and memorable Symposium. It is with great pleasure that the 2019 ITEA Energizer Award is presented to Ms. Doresa Ringer.

For more information or if you have any questions concerning the ITEA Awards, please contact:

Dr Robin Poston, Awards Committee Chair

Email:, Phone: (703) 631-6220