Eric Watz

Vice PresidentsEric Watz

Vice President, Technology

Government Programs Group

As a member of Aptima’s Government Programs Group, Eric leads the transition of Aptima capabilities from the lab to the field, overseeing the combination of research-based innovations, mature technologies, and robust engineering services into solutions with real-world impact. Eric provides expertise in the areas of technical portfolio management, managed learning systems, human performance measurement, and integration of cognitive modeling architectures with distributed simulation and training systems. He also has extensive experience accrediting and transitioning technical solutions into live, virtual, and constructive training, rehearsal, and operational environments.
Eric has served as Lead Architect for numerous Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) efforts focusing on developing new innovative capabilities to train operational personnel in the tactical fast jet, remote piloted aircraft, and other domains. Prior to joining Aptima, he served as Chief Technology Officer at Lumir Research Institute (now part of Aptima), where he led the full software development cycle for foundational technologies including PETS™, an intelligent suite of data mining, performance analysis, and storage tools, and LNCS™, a comprehensive Instructor Operator Station designed for training and operational environments. PETS and LNCS were developed by AFRL/RHAS and Lumir as part of the AFRL’s Proficiency Based Training initiative under Air Combat Command’s Future Training Concepts 2030 initiative.
Eric holds an MS in Computer Information Systems from the University of Phoenix, a B.S. in Computer Science from Arizona State University, and a B.S. in Human Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He is currently studying a postgraduate program in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Texas-Austin. Eric is a member of the Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization (SISO), where he leads the Distributed Debrief Control Architecture (DDCA) Product Support Group. He has also authored and contributed to numerous conference papers and journal articles on the topics of human performance measurement, learning management systems, and integration of cognitive modeling architectures with distributed simulation and training systems.

Notable Publications

Freeman, J., Bennett, W. Jr., Watz, E. (2020). Assessing and Selecting AI Pilots for Tactical and Training Skill. In proceedings of NATO Modelling & Simulation Group virtual Symposium MSG-177 on “Towards On-Demand Personalized Training and Decision Support”.

Freeman, J., Watz, E., and Bennett, W. (2019). Technologies & Agent Architectures for The Future of Training. Presented at DSEI 2019, UK.

Doyle, M. J., Portrey, A.M., Watz, E. (2015). Flexible Frameworks: Agents-in-the-OODA-loop. Department of Defense Human Factors Engineering Technical Advisory Group (HFE TAG) Meeting 69:  Modeling and Simulation Sub-TAG. Orlando, FL. 4-8 May, 2015.

Mittal, S., Doyle, M. J., & Watz, E. (2013). Detecting Intelligent Agent Behavior with Environment Abstraction in Complex Air Combat Systems. In Proceedings, Systems Conference (SysCon), 2013 IEEE International. Orlando FL.

Watz, E. A., & DeFabritis, D. (2009). Performance Measurement across Virtual and Live Training Environments: Data Commonalities and Differences and Implication. Paper presented at the 2009 Fall Simulation Interoperability Workshop.

For more information about Eric’s publications, please contact