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AFWERX Prime: Emerging Commercial Markets


Darshan Divakaran
AFWERX, Senior Operations Research Analyst

Darshan Divakaran is an aviation innovation leader, technology evangelist, high-tech intrapreneur, executive consultant, geospatial strategist and technology keynote speaker with expertise in unmanned aviation, aviation development, flight operations, airborne safety, remote sensing, geospatial analysis and program management. His areas of expertise in unmanned aviation also includes Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM), Counter-UAS (CUAS) and Urban Air Mobility. He has been recognized by Interdrone and Commercial UAV News as one of the top commercial drone visionaries.

He works for the United States Air Force as the Senior Operations Research Analyst on the AFWERX program. He is also the program manager on Agility Prime and AFVentures, which are innovative programs under AFWERX. In addition he supports the industry engagement, outreach and educational initiatives for AFWERX.

Darshan holds a Master of Geospatial Information Science and Technology degree from North Carolina State University and BS in Professional Aeronautics and Aviation Management from Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University. He is also an FAA certified commercial pilot with multi engine rating and holds a FAA part 107 remote pilot certificate.

James Bieryla
AFWERX, Prime Division Chief

Mr. James Bieryla is the Chief of the AFWERX Prime Division.  He leads the acceleration of emerging dual-use technology markets by leveraging government resources for rapid and affordable fielding.

Mr. Bieryla was commissioned in 1994 following graduation from the United States Air Force Academy.  During his Active Duty career he was a command pilot with almost 3000 flying hours, including two combat tours over Iraq.  He served as an operational fighter pilot and an experimental test pilot, primarily in the F-15, F-117, F-22, and F-16.  Following his retirement from the Air Force in 2014 as a Lieutenant Colonel, Mr. Bieryla transitioned to the Air Force Research Laboratory where he led classified technology development efforts for five years. James and his family reside near Dayton, Ohio.

Lt Col Rock McMillan
SpaceWERX, Director

Lt Col Walter "Rock" McMillan is the Director of SpaceWERX.

Lt Col McMillan entered the Air Force in 2003 through the University of Southern California ROTC program. He has served in a variety of program management and staff positions within Air Force Materiel Command, Pacific Air Forces, Air Force Space Command, and Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. He served as a Program Element Monitor for Military Satellite Communications programs and as Congressional Liaison Officer, House Division, Office of Legislative Liaison.

A "Click and Watch" worthy event! Join this exciting panel that highlights AFWERX's Prime division! Our speakers will present on the AFWERX Prime Division's mission and vision for identifying and accelerating dual-use technologies for commercial success and defense utility. AFWERX's major lines of effort in this space include the Agility Prime and Space Prime programs.

Next, learn about how the Agility Prime program is accelerating the technology and markets supporting electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. This portion of the session will discuss the successes of the past year while detailing the road toward fielding this capability by 2023.

Then, time for take-off! Come hear about how the AFWERX Prime Division is "franchising" the Agility Prime framework to create "Space Prime" as we accelerate and transition dual-use technology related to the space domain.  

A Q&A will follow at the end.

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