Meet the Helix team


Dr. Nicole Hutchison

Dr. Nicole Hutchison is a research engineer with the SERC. She has supported the Helix project since its inception and currently serves as its Principle Investigator. Previously, she supported the Body of Knowledge and Curriculum to Advance Systems Engineering (BKCASE) project (2009-2014). Before coming to Stevens, Dr. Hutchison worked for Analytic Services Inc. as a contractor working primarily on public health, biodefense, and full-scale exercise projects for the US Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services. Dr. Hutchison holds an MS in Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Disease from Georgetown and a PhD in systems engineering from Stevens.

Dr. Dinesh Verma

Dr. Dinesh Verma is the Executive Director of the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC), the first University Affiliated Research Center established by the DoD for Systems Engineering Research. He is also a Professor in Systems Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology as well as the Scientific Advisor to the Director of the Embedded Systems Institute in Eindhoven, Holland. Prior to this role, he served as the Dean of the School of Systems and Enterprises at Stevens institute of Technology (2007 -2017), as well as the Technical Director at Lockheed Martin Undersea Systems, in Manassas, Virginia, in the area of adapted systems and supportability engineering processes, methods and tools for complex system development and integration. Before joining Lockheed Martin, Verma worked as a Research Scientist at Virginia Tech and managed the University’s Systems Engineering Design Laboratory. While at Virginia Tech and afterwards, Verma continues to serve numerous companies in a consulting capacity, to include Eastman Kodak, Lockheed Martin Corporation, L3 Communications, United Defense, Raytheon, IBM Corporation, Sun Microsystems, SAIC, VOLVO Car Corporation (Sweden), NOKIA (Finland), RAMSE (Finland), TU Delft (Holland), Johnson Controls, Ericsson-SAAB Avionics (Sweden), Varian Medical Systems (Finland), and Motorola. He served as an Invited Lecturer from 1995 through 2000 at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. His professional and research activities emphasize systems engineering and design with a focus on conceptual design evaluation, preliminary design and system architecture, design decision-making, life cycle costing, and supportability engineering. In addition to his publications, Verma has received one patent and has two pending in the areas of life-cycle costing and fuzzy logic techniques for evaluating design concepts. Dr. Verma has authored over 100 technical papers, book reviews, technical monographs, and co-authored two textbooks: Maintainability: A Key to Effective Serviceability and Maintenance Management (Wiley, 1995), and Economic Decision Analysis (Prentice Hall, 1998). He is a Fellow of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), a senior member of SOLE, and was elected to Sigma Xi, the honorary research society of America. He serves an a member of the External Advisory Board on Systems Engineering at SAIC, on the Systems Engineering Advisory Council (SEAC) of the Systems and Software Consortium, and the Advisory Board of the Center for Systems Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Dr. Pamela Burke

Pam Burke is Founder of Unbound Edge, Inc., an organization development consulting business serving innovation units in the bio-medical, healthcare, education, publishing, communications, energy, defense, and aerospace industries. Key offers include leadership development skills training, team building, one-on-one coaching, and organization-wide collaborative innovation support. Pam frequently partners with colleagues at Stevens Institute of Technology and Columbia University where she teaches graduate courses on leadership, creative collaboration, constructive conflict, design thinking, and organization change to deliver custom cohort-based, multi-month leader development programs. Dr. Burke’s current academic research focuses on listening in teams and attributes of organization cultures that support effective systems engineering on large-scale, complex, diverse stakeholder technical projects. Before combining her consulting and academic interests, Pam received a PhD in psychology from Cornell, completed a two-year NSF Research Fellowship in decision making at Stanford, and led systems engineering and user experience technical organizations at Bell Laboratories.

Ralph Giffin

Ralph Giffin has over thirty-five years of professional experience in executive leadership and management. He is currently a Distinguished Service Professor within the School of Systems and Enterprises at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey where he served as Associate Provost and then Vice Provost for the University from 2009 until 2017. Prior to joining Stevens in 2006, Professor Giffin held a number of executive management positions at the Lockheed Martin Corporation. His last position there was Vice President for Operations at Lockheed Martin Simulations, Training & Support in Orlando, Florida. He also served as the senior Lockheed Martin procurement executive responsible for the global source selection of all maintenance and support equipment for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program. He successfully led a number of company initiatives including the expansion of lean manufacturing and six-sigma into the Lockheed Martin manufacturing and supplier base, the successful implementation of an Enterprise company IT system, and focused growth of a wholly-owned manufacturing business based in La Mesa, Mexico, where he served as that company’s Sole Administrator. He previously was responsible for Lockheed Martin’s Underwater Business Unit’s functional supportability organization with division-wide charter including supportability engineering and logistics planning. Predominate focus was on open systems, COTS-based programs including the Virginia Class Submarine Program (C3I system integrator) and the Navy’s Fixed Distributed System. The organization also supported a broad base of space, air, surface, and underwater programs. He successfully led an organizational re-engineering, enabling the transition from logistics engineering and support of traditional fully developed Mil-Spec products to supportability engineering and support of COTS-based weapons systems. Prior to Lockheed Martin, he spent over ten years at the IBM Corporation. Over this period he held a progression of management assignments with increasing responsibilities concluding as the Director of Operations for IBM Federal Systems Division in Manassas, VA. Professor Giffin has authored and co-authored a number of publications addressing COTS supportability and issues related to the support of COTS intensive weapons systems. He served six years in the United States Naval Submarine Service. He is a Graduate of Harvard Business School’s M&D Presidents Class program, and holds a B.S. from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and a Masters in Engineering (Hon.) from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Dr. Hoong Yan See Tao

Dr. Hoong Yan See Tao is a postdoctoral researcher at SERC. Hoong Yan graduated with a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in 2017. She has been working with the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) on various projects since 2015. She was the president of the INCOSE Student Division at Stevens (2013-2014). Hoong Yan earned her BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). At UTEP, she worked in the Research Institute for Manufacturing and Engineering Systems and was the team leader for two NASA and Texas Space Grant Consortium design challenges. She also worked as an engineering and technical writing specialist with EdComm, Inc.

Meet the Helix team

Previous Researchers

Dr. Art Pyster

Art Pyster is currently the Associate Dean for Research and a Professor in the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University. There he is responsible for growing and managing Mason Engineering’s $100M research portfolio. Pyster is also the Director for Strategic Integration and a member of Board of Directors of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). In his 40+ year career, he has led diverse organizations in academia, industry, and government to (1) create, apply, teach, and deliver advanced engineering, systems, and software technologies; (2) improve systems and software engineering workforces; and (3) implement innovative business and technical strategies. Pyster has a doctorate in Computer and Information Sciences from Ohio State University and is an INCOSE Fellow.
His previous positions included being a Distinguished Research Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology, COO and Deputy Executive Director of the US Department of Defense Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC), Senior Vice President and Director of Systems Engineering and Integration for SAIC, Deputy CIO and Chief Scientist for Software Engineering at FAA, Vice President and CTO at the Software Productivity Consortium, an Engineering Director at Digital Sound Corporation, a Manager of Systems Engineering at TRW, and an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at University of California at Santa Barbara.

Dr. Devanandham Henry

Dr. Devanandham (Deva) Henry is an assistant professor at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he leads the systems engineering program. Previously, he was a research engineer with the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) at Stevens Institute of Technology. He has supported the development of Systems Readiness Levels, the Graduate Software Engineering Reference Curriculum, the SEBoK, and the Graduate Reference Curriculum for Systems Engineering (GRCSE). He was a key member of the Helix project for several years. Before joining Stevens, he spent 9 years with the Aeronautical Development Agency, Ministry of Defense, India, working on aircraft design, aerodynamics, performance, optimization, and project management of the Air Force and Navy versions of the Indian light combat aircraft. He was also actively involved in promoting systems engineering among the aerospace community in India.

Dr. Sergio Luna

Sergio Luna recently graduated with his Ph.D. in Systems Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in May 2019. His research interests include the implication of social media information on emergency management systems, enterprise modeling, and network abstractions. Prior to joining Stevens, Sergio was a Research Assistant at The Research Institute for Manufacturing and Engineering Systems (RIMES) in El Paso, TX. Sergio holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a MS in Systems Engineering from The University of Texas at El Paso.

Dr. Jose Emmanuel Ramirez-Marquez

Dr. Jose Emmanuel Ramirez-Marquez is Director of the Enterprise Science and Engineering Division and Associate Professor in the School of Systems & Enterprises at Stevens Institute of Technology. A former Fulbright Scholar, he holds degrees from Rutgers University in Industrial Engineering (Ph.D. and M.Sc.) and Statistics (M.Sc.) and from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in Actuarial Science. His research efforts focus on the development of mathematical models  for the  analysis and computation of system operational effectiveness – reliability and vulnerability analysis as the basis for designing system resilience. He also works at the intersection of evolutionary computation for the optimization of complex problems associated with system performance and design. His most recent research explores the interplay between data visualization and analytical decision making. In these areas, Dr. Ramirez-Marquez has conducted funded research for both private industry and government and, has published over 100 refereed manuscripts in technical journals, book chapters and industry reports. Dr. Ramirez-Marquez has presented his research findings nationally and internationally in conferences such as INFORMS, ISERC, INCOSE, CESUN and, ESREL. He has served as the President of the Quality Control and Reliability division board of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers. He is a member of the Technical Committee on System Reliability for the European Safety and Reliability Association and Associate Editor of the IISE Transactions.

Araceli Zavala

Araceli is a Ph.D. candidate in Engineering Management at the School of Systems and Enterprises. She works under the supervision of Dr. Jose Emmanuel Ramirez-Marquez on supply chain resilience. She holds a Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering from the Instituto Technologico de Morelia in Mexico and a Master of Science degree in Quality and Productivity from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Araceli has worked since 2005 at the Industrial Engineering department at Technologico de Monterrey Campus at Guadalajara as a full-time professor. She has been a consultant for several small and big companies in Mexico like Hershey’s, Pernord Ricard, Arca Continental and others.

Bruno Salgado

Bruno is working towards a Bachelor’s of Engineering in Software Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, Class of 2020. He has formal education in general engineering and industry experience in software development and systems test engineering. In terms of software, he is currently a researcher for the Systems Engineering Research Center as part of the Helix team. The Helix team primarily concerns itself with the study of how Systems Engineers can be more effective in their work and how to get their organizations to pay more close attention to the training of Systems Engineers. His work focuses on creating the main website for the Helix project. In his free time, Bruno produces music using software and live instruments. He primarily focus on the Hip-hop and R&B genres but he loves all genres of music and different influences can be found in his work.

Suchita Kothari

Suchita Kothari is a Graduate Student Researcher at SERC. She has been working in Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) since September 2018. She is studying master’s in Information Systems at Stevens Institute of Technology. She earned her B. Tech degree in Information Technology from Vishwakarma Institute of Technology, Pune, India. She also worked as a Software Engineer at eQ Technologic.

Deep Makwana

Deep is a Graduate student pursuing Masters of Science in Computer Science at Stevens Institute of Technology. He has done his Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering. He is currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant at Systems Engineering Research Center. He has primarily focused on developing the Self Assessment Tool for Helix and the Helix website. He has previously worked as a Full Stack Web Developer where he worked on projects using technologies like AngularJs, NodeJs, ExpressJs, MongoDB, Laravel (PHP framework) and Flask API. His interests lies in learning new technologies and implementing projects in the domain of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Shikha Soneji

Shikha is currently pursuing her Master of Science in Computer Science from Stevens Institute of Technology and is expected to graduate in December 2019. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from University of Mumbai (India). During her Bachelors, she was actively involved in different research projects using the concepts of Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Software Engineering and Web Technologies. She is well versed with programming languages like Java, HTML, CSS, and MySQL and has elementary knowledge of Python, Erlang, Natural Language Processing and R. She has been an active member and an efficient leader in the various initiatives of Rotaract International. Shikha has been lauded for her management and teaching skills. She has worked as an Associate Software Engineer in Accenture Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai (India) for a period of 6 months. During this period, she was trained on the tools- Informatica and Abinitio. She performed all the tasks efficiently in a team of about 20 engineers to deliver state-of-the-art solution.

Yao Xiao

Yao is a Master’s student of Computer Science at Stevens Institute of Technology. She is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant of Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning courses at Stevens. She focuses on Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing and Data Mining by using Python, Neural Network and related technology. She has more than three years of software engineer work experience in Datang Telecom Technology & Industry Organization, Beijing, China. During the work, she engaged in Web application development and the whole product life cycle.