Subject Matter Experts


Senior individuals with deep and specialized expertise.

Melissa Emery

  • Director of SEAC
  • 25+ years of system safety experience
  • Extensive experience with US Army & NASA
  • Previous leadership positions in the International System Safety Society
  • Former President of System Safety Society Tennessee Valley Chapter

Tom Pfitzer

  • Chair IAASS Launch Safety Committee, 2008-2017
  • Fellow ISSS, 2010-present
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, 2017
  • Founder A-P-T Research, Inc. & SEAC

Saralyn Dwyer

  • Extensive experience with US Army and MDA development programs
  • 25+ years of experience
  • BS Electrical Engineering; specialized safety training in explosive materials safety, hazard recognition, evaluation and control

Bob Baker

  • APT Chief Analyst responsible for QRAs and range safety models.
  • 30 years as safety engineer
  • MS and BS Astronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology; BS Applied Mathematics

Tim Middendorf

  • Expertise in control room and flight operations
  • 30+ years experience in safety engineering and analyses
  • Experience includes range flight safety, spacecraft engineering/operations, and spacecraft launch operations
  • MS Astronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology; BS in Aerospace Engineering

John Frost

  • Former Chief Safety for AMCOM
  • Member NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (2006-2018)
  • Expert Witness testimony including Congress and Litigations
  • BS Electrical Eng; ME Industrial Eng (Safety Option)
  • 44 years System Safety experience

Barry Hendrix

  • Principal Engineer for Software System Safety
  • Former Lockheed Martin Technical Fellow for System Safety (member of G-48)
  • 45+ years integrated weapon systems, 35 years in System Safety.

Faysaal Safie

  • Former NASA Reliability Engineering Technical Fellow
  • 30+ years of NASA, industry, and university experience in Reliability and Maintainability
  • BS Science; BS, MS, and PhD Industrial and Systems Engineering

Susan Cantrell

  • System Safety Technical Lead for MDA
  • 30+ years safety experience in space flight and missile defense

Jerry Rufe

  • 35 years as safety engineer
  • Managed multiple tests to validate explosives safety and launch safety
  • Provides expertise in system, range, flight, explosive safety, hazard classification and insensitive munitions testing, quality and reliability.

Pete Yutmeyer

  • 35+ years of experience in explosives and range safety
  • Army approval authority for explosive facility siting and Hazard Classification for 15 years
  • Major contributor to the Risk-Based Explosives Safety Criteria Team
  • ME Industrial Engineering; MS Aeronautical Engineering; BS Aeronautical Engineering

Dr. Tyler Ross

  • Explosives Safety Site Planning and Protective Construction Design
  • Developer of the Magazine Storage Requirements Calculator (MSRC)
  • Licensed Civil Engineer
  • PhD Civil/Structural Engineering

Eric Olson

  • Former Deputy Chief of Weapons Safety, Air Force Safety Center
  • Former Chairman, Risk-Based Explosives Safety Criteria Team
  • Former Vice Chairman, Air Force Nonnuclear Munitions Safety Board
  • Former Chairman, Air Force Insensitive Munitions Technical Working Group
  • Former explosives hazard classification authority for US Army and US Air Force
  • BS Mechanical Engineering, ME Industrial Engineering

Mike Swisdak

  • International expert on explosives effects
  • 45+ years’ experience supporting Navy
  • BS and MS Physics

Dave West

  • Certified Safety Professional (in System Safety), P.E., CHMM
  • Chair of SAE G-48 System Safety Committee, 2010-2019
  • Vice Chair of SAE Systems Management Council, 2017-2018
  • Member NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel
  • Former member and Treasurer of BCSP Board of Directors

John Tatom

  • VP, Explosives Safety and Testing Division
  • Senior Explosives Safety Analyst with strong mathematical and technical skills, he has supported and led many explosive test programs and modeling efforts, as well as developing numerous algorithms to be used in explosive risk-based analysis models.

John Fellows

  • Program Management
  • Strategic and Business Development
  • Operations Management
  • Systems Engineering, Integration, and Acquisition

Clark Kilgore

  • PM for MDA safety support
  • 20 years as a Safety Engineer supporting Missile Defense Agency
  • Previously audited numerous major MDA suppliers’ program

Paul LaHoud

  • USACE Huntsville Center, Chief, Civil-Structures Division
  • 31+ years experience in Conventional and Nuclear Weapons Effects, Protective Construction
  • BS and MS Engineering

George Gafka

  • Executive Vice President of Safety and Mission Assurance
  • 30-year career at NASA
  • Former NASA Chief Engineer, Chief Safety Officer, and S&MA Director
  • ME of Space Systems, MS in Mechanical Engineering, BS in Aerospace Engineering

Rhonda Barnes

  • 25+ years of diverse experience in the software engineering and simulation industries with emphasis on software system safety and management
  • Leader in development of software safety policy used by DoD

John Hall, PhD

  • APT Technical Director
  • Member of the Gov’t team which validates assembly and testing procedures for the interceptor missile
  • Supported the NMD Production Directorate in development of a system-level transition to production plan
  • PhD Industrial Engineering; MS Industrial Engineering; BS from US Military Academy, concentration Aerospace Engineering

Wayne Devoid

  • 15+ years systems engineering, operations and analysis
  • ME Aerospace Engineering; BS Physics & Mechanical Engineering

Keith Rose, CHP

  • Certified Health Physicist
  • 35 years experience as a Health Physicist
  • BS major in Biology, minor in Chemistry