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2010 Aptima Achievement Awards

2010 Aptima Achievement Awards

Aptima Achievement Awards Recognize 2011 Employee Accomplishments

Recognizing individual employees, teams, and groups for exceptional performance, innovation, and leadership

Woburn, MA, December 13, 2010 – Aptima, Inc., a leader in human-centered engineering, distributed its annual Achievement Awards on Friday, December 3, 2010. The Awards are meant to convey the company’s appreciation for employees, teams, and/or groups that perform well above and beyond reasonable job expectation, or who contribute promising innovative ideas, or who demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities. Nominations may be made by any Aptima employee and winners are selected by three-person committees that change from year to year.

Best Paper

The Best Paper Award is intended to recognize excellence in preparing written products that disseminate Aptima’s work to a broader audience beyond employees and the company’s immediate customers. Andrew Duchon and Cullen Jackson received this year’s award for their paper entitled, “Chat Analysis for After Action Review,” presented by Dr. Duchon at the 2010 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), and published in the related Proceedings. Dr. Duchon and Dr. Jackson investigated predicting observer-based performance data using communication measures applied to chat, which were simultaneously recorded over the course of a week during a Training Research Exercise (TREX) conducted by AFRL/RHA. Results indicated that the communications measures can provide an adequate (r2 > 0.6) proxy for the average of the manual observer-based performance assessment of the team’s performance; thus, chat analysis could provide a mechanism for missions to be ranked automatically to facilitate after action review.

Best Teamwork

Adam Dziki, Caitlin Furjanic, Darby Grande, Chuck Kapopoulos, Can Keskin, Georgiy Levchuk, Stacy Lovell Pfautz, Matt Puglisi, Charlotte Shabarekh, Mark Weston, and Ian Yohai were recognized for their performance during Empire Challenge 2010 (EC10) held in September 2010. Empire Challenge is an Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)) sponsored, U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) executed joint/combined Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) interoperability demonstration. EC10 focused on improving the ability of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Afghanistan to effectively and efficiently manage, access and use ISR to improve command and control (C2), and enhancing information sharing and situational understanding to improve the effectiveness of operations while minimizing collateral damage in a complex environment. The Best Teamwork Award is intended to recognize cooperative groups that achieve Company goals or objectives of material value and quality by 1) pooling their complementary skills and knowledge, 2) holding each other personally responsible for doing their individual fair share of work, and 3) accepting mutual accountability for the ultimate outcome of their efforts.

Outstanding Initiative

Intended to recognize Aptima employees who pro-actively develop and successfully implement a new idea, this year’s award went to Alexandra Geyer for her work in developing an Aptima presence in the field of neuroscience. Dr. Geyer was recognized for leading research and business development efforts in an area in which Aptima had had no involvement, and turned it into one of the company’s fastest growing business areas. This included publishing Aptima’s first publication in the field; managing a successful SBIR Phase I effort and Phase II effort that is producing an innovative product in the area of neuroscience and recognition of that effort in a featured article in National Defense Magazine; and various white paper and proposal efforts that have led to contract wins. Her work in leading Aptima from the early steps of establishing a foothold in a new domain to growing a thriving business area – and the efforts that it took to do so – serve as an example to others in the company who want to grow new areas at Aptima.

Best Technical Achievement

This Award is intended to acknowledge outstanding performance within the structure of ongoing projects in the area of research and development. This year’s winners were Aptima’s MIMIC Project Team: Sylvain Bruni, Jared Freeman, Gabe Ganberg, Jonathan Lansey, Brian Riordan, and Jennifer Roberts. To meet the challenge of how human knowledge can be transferred to machine systems, Aptima and the Cognitive Engineering Research Institute are developing MIMIC, the “Mixed Initiative Machine for Instructed Computing,” a capability for capturing and conveying to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) the flight control and decision-making expertise lodged in the heads of humans. MIMIC is being developed through a contract with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), to help ONR to create a next generation of intelligent UAVs that can operate more autonomously, allowing the UAV for example, to infer mission threats and more quickly avoid adversary actions, to self-launch or land, and to make necessary flight control decisions when communications are disrupted, or the human operator’s attention is divided amongst several UAVs. For more information see https://www.aptima.com/news.php?subPage=newsAptima&id=69.

In addition to the Annual Awards, Andrew Duchon and Kara Orvis were recognized for their work in landing Aptima its first U.S. patent, “Method and System to Compare Data Objects” (U.S. Patent #12,014,750). The patent covers the innovative application of natural language processing “teambuilder” techniques to populate teams with members that not only have the required kinds of expertise but also have a high probability of working together effectively. Webb Stacy and Jay Brooks were also recognized their work for chairing Aptima’s Patent Committee and providing legal guidance over the course of the patent application process, respectively.