Staff Profiles

Lincoln Laboratory's reputation has been built on the strength and quality of its staff. Meet some of the people who are contributing to the Laboratory's commitment to providing "technology in support of national security."

Sara James

MS, Electrical Engineering, Northeastern University
BE, Electrical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology

Sara James"The Lab has a very supportive, inclusive atmosphere. I have always felt that my opinions mattered. At the Laboratory, all staff are valued contributors, each bringing unique experiences and perspective to the development of innovative solutions in support of national security."

Sara James is a staff member in the Air, Missile, and Maritime Defense Technology Division. Her efforts have touched upon electronic warfare concepts, signal processing, tracking and detection, and radar and electromagnetic simulations. She is currently working on developing and assessing signal processing algorithms for next-generation airborne surveillance radars. Alongside her work, Sara pursued her graduate degree by taking advantage of the Laboratory's flexible work schedule and tuition assistance program. Other Laboratory activities she is involved in include college recruiting, mentoring programs, and interviewing and resume-building workshops. Sara is particularly passionate about educational outreach that encourages students to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Last year, she was on the founding committee of the Intern Innovative Idea Challenge (I3C), a tournament that gave the Laboratory's summer interns an opportunity to exercise their technical skills by designing creative technological solutions to current problems.

Staff Profiles —

Electrical Engineering

Kevin Carter: Electrical Engineer/Computer Engineer
Shakti Davis: Electrical Engineer
Sara James: Electrical Engineer
Michele Schuman: Electrical Engineer/ Mathematician
Shelley Scruggs: Electrical Engineer
Vyshi Suntharalingam: Electrical Engineer
Pedro Torres-Carrasquillo: Electrical Engineer, specialty in speech processing

Physical Sciences

John Hybl: Physical Chemist
James Krieger: Physicist/Electrical Engineer
Dan Ripin: Physicist
Juliette Costa: Physical Chemist

Administrative Staff

Kathy Ryan: Financial Analyst
Alison Silva: Security Administrator



Jessica Brooks: Aerospace Engineer

Dennis Burianek: Aeronautical/ Astronautical Engineer
David Freeman: Mechanical/Systems Engineer
Bryan Reid: Aerospace Engineer
Yari Rodriguez: Mechanical Engineer

Computer Science/Engineering

Lisa Basile: Computer Scientist
Albert Reuther: Computer Engineer/ Electrical Engineer
Luke Skelly: Computer Scientist/ Engineer
Ngaire Underhill: Computer Scientist

Jean Sack

SB, Mechanical Engineering, MIT
SM, Mechanical Engineering, MIT

During her undergraduate studies, Jean Sack headed a 28-student team tasked with developing an underwater power system as part of a Beaver Works capstone project. She went on to volunteer as a teaching assistant during her graduate studies. Exemplifying the Beaver Works philosophy that student engagement in collaborative, real-world-inspired projects fosters innovation, Sack has continued to build upon her milestone experience since joining the Laboratory in July 2015.

Read more about Sack's journey from a student in a Lincoln Laboratory/MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering capstone course to a member of the technical staff in the Laboratory's Energy Systems Group.

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Yari Rodriguez

BS, Engineering, Smith College

Photo of Yari Rodriguez.“Lincoln Laboratory not only provides the resources I need to work on challenging projects in my field of interest but also the chance to collaborate with world-renowned scientists—the real celebrities of our time—who value my input and serve as a constant source of inspiration for my professional growth.”

Ms. Rodriguez first became acquainted with the Laboratory through her senior capstone project. Working under the year-long mentorship of several Laboratory employees, she prototyped a solar thermal concentrator for a residential electrical system. After graduating in 2010, Ms. Rodriguez became an intern and then a full-time staff member at the Laboratory, initially focusing on finding ways to mitigate the environmental impacts of aviation. She now develops nanosatellite technologies and control systems for laser communication. Ms. Rodriguez participates in outreach and recruiting efforts directed at women and minorities, engages children through classroom science presentations and library read-aloud programs, and speaks at various technical talks and conferences. Outside of the Laboratory, she is a private pilot in training. Her future plans include pursuing graduate school to study either bioastronautics or materials science, and fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming an astronaut.

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Ngaire Underhill

BA, Computer Science, Smith College
BA, Economics, Smith College
MSc, Professional Studies in Information Science, Pennsylvania State University  

Photo of Ngaire Underhill“At Lincoln Laboratory, I have worked on cutting-edge projects with real-world impact, received continuous encouragement to expand my knowledge and skills, and established ongoing relationships with mentors for guidance and advice along the way. This atmosphere makes Lincoln Laboratory not only a greenhouse for fostering research, but also a greenhouse for fostering researchers.”

Ms. Underhill joined the Laboratory in 2008 as an intern and shortly thereafter became a full-time staff member in the Air Traffic Control Systems Group. One of her first projects was the Route Availability Planning Tool (RAPT), an automated decision support tool that helps air traffic managers determine which departure routes will be operationally affected during thunderstorms. She is currently developing another decision support tool that strategically sets aircraft arrival rates at airports. Her other work involves identifying patterns in air traffic operations and evaluating how weather conditions impact those operations. Ms. Underhill is an active member of the Laboratory’s diversity and inclusion committee and technical women’s network, and also serves as a career mentor. Outside of the Laboratory, she is training to become a helicopter pilot.

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Kevin Carter

PhD, Electrical Engineering, University of Michigan
MSE, Electrical Engineering, University of Michigan
BS, Computer Engineering, University of Delaware

Kevin Carter"Working at Lincoln Laboratory provides a unique environment where I am able to focus on truly difficult tasks. The need for novel technologies that address specific sponsor requirements leads to a very innovative research environment."

Since joining the Information Systems Technology Group in 2009, Dr. Carter has focused on solving cyber security problems for national defense. By using network traffic data, he has worked on developing techniques to detect anomalous and malicious activities permeating Department of Defense networks. Dr. Carter uses his background in pattern recognition and machine learning to identify and isolate traffic patterns of concern, which often amounts to a "needle in a haystack" problem, given the sheer volume of observed traffic.

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Albert Reuther

BS and MS, Electrical Engineering, Purdue University
BS and PhD, Computer Engineering, Purdue University
MBA, Collège des Ingénieurs, Paris, France

AL Reuther"There are few organizations where you can work in an innovative culture with very bright people all working on technical problems that intrinsically matter to our country and world. Lincoln Laboratory is one of these. "

Dr. Reuther is a high-performance computing architect who has designed many sensor signal processing parallel computer systems. His designs take into account a wide variety of size, weight, and power challenges, software parallelism, and user requirements. In order to extract actionable intelligence from sensor data streams from radar, sonar, and other military sensing systems, high performance computing technology is essential. For several years, he was the research team leader for the Laboratory's central high-performance computing grid system, LLGrid, which enables on-demand interactive high-performance prototyping from the desktop computer.

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Bryan Reid

BS, MS, and PhD, Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan

"The laser communication program has been an exciting and eye-opening experience. I was immediately immersed in the design phase and took responsibility for the entire payload design in the early stages. I was allowed the opportunity to help guide an idea into a concept, and ultimately into a space-qualified payload. That kind of responsibility and exposure doesn't happen at many organizations."

Photo of Bryan Reid Photo of Bryan Reid

Dr. Reid works on a satellite program that uses laser communication from the Geo-belt to Earth. The goal of this program is to demonstrate a low size, low-weight, and low-power communication system that increases communication bandwidth by 10X over traditional RF communication systems. To support this program, Dr. Reid is involved with a variety of systems engineering trades, mechanical and optical design, structural and thermal analysis, and space qualification testing.

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Jessica Brooks

BS and MS, Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan
MBA, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Photo of Jessica Brooks"At Lincoln Laboratory, experts in the field help me learn a new technique, program, or method at each stage of the design. Their mentoring has greatly increased my ability to intricately tune my designs."

Since joining the Engineering Analysis Group in the Engineering Division, Ms. Brooks has used her aerospace engineering background to design hardware for a space laser communication payload and a target tracking satellite. These diverse projects have exposed Ms. Brooks to a variety of analysis techniques, programs, and methods. She finds that Lincoln Laboratory's method of working with different types of analyses simultaneously offers the opportunity to tune the performance of a component's design as it is developed rather than at the final design stage, offering greater control and optimization.

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Dan Ripin

BS, Physics, Emory University
PhD, Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dan Ripin"At Lincoln Laboratory, you work with a diverse team of technical experts to take an idea, refine it with analysis, demonstrate proof of principle, and, if you are lucky, show that your idea works in the field."

As Leader of the Laser Technology and Applications Group, Dr. Ripin has focused on the development of advanced solid state laser technology. He led a Laboratory effort to demonstrate power scaling of a novel cryogenically cooled laser capable of efficiently generating light with ideal beam quality. Since successful completion of the proof-of-principle demonstration, Dr. Ripin has been leading a multidisciplinary Laboratory-wide project to package and flight qualify a cryogenic laser for fielding into an airborne platform. He has also worked on mode-locked lasers and bioagent sensor development.

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John D. Hybl

BS, Chemistry, Michigan State University
PhD, Physical Chemistry, University of Colorado at Boulder

"Lincoln Laboratory offers the key attributes of working in academia, industry, and government: freedom to develop novel ideas, the opportunity to build prototypes, and a stable environment in which to pursue long-term research goals."

Photo of John Hybl Photo of John Hybl in Lab

Since joining the Laser Technology and Applications Group at Lincoln Laboratory in 2002, Dr. Hybl has been developing both laser-based detectors for biological agents and novel technologies that enable high-power lasers for Department of Defense applications. He has investigated laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy to augment existing fluorescence-based detectors with enhanced discrimination of bioagents from background aerosol particles. Currently, his work focuses on developing kW-class solid-state lasers based on cryogenically cooled Yb:YAG (Ytterbium: yttrium aluminum garnet).

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Michele Schuman

BS, Electrical Engineering, University of Wyoming
BS, Mathematics, University of Wyoming
BA, French, University of Wyoming
MEng, Electrical Engineering, University of California at San Diego
PhD, Mathematics, University of California at San Diego

"I enjoy working in a challenging, creative environment, performing research to advance our nation's current and future vital communications infrastructure. This innovative atmosphere is complemented by opportunities for personal and professional growth through courses and seminars on topics ranging from health and wellness to sophisticated detection and discrimination techniques."

Photo of Michele Schuman Schuman and colleague adjust antenna

In the Advanced Satellite Communication Systems and Operations Group, Dr. Schuman has contributed to the advancement of protected satellite communications (SATCOM). For the next-generation of highly interference-resistant communications satellites, she has developed spatial acquisition and signal tracking algorithms and steered the system-level implementation and evaluation of the government's interim command-and-control terminal. In the left photo, the antenna radome and terminal shelter are shown on the roof behind her; right photo, she and colleague John Pineau adjust antenna cables.

Dr. Schuman has worked on advanced concepts and technologies for the generation-after-next protected SATCOM systems, developing signaling techniques to ensure the secure transmission of data under stressing conditions such as jamming, as well as conducting system analyses and simulations. She has also explored approaches for aerial-layer augmentations of protected communications among ground forces.

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David Freeman

BS, Architectural Engineering, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
SM, Civil Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Photo of David Freeman"The Laboratory’s mission areas cover a wide range of advanced technologies, and one can find great personal satisfaction in meeting the challenges inherent in each new project."

Dr. Freeman's work focuses on mechanical design, and he has developed flight hardware for prototype development that supports the Laboratory's key mission areas. Dr. Freeman is also one of the Laboratory's systems engineering leads for major flight programs. As a systems engineer, he is responsible for the entire technical effort, integrating all components into systems and ensuring that requirements have been satisfied.

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Lisa Basile

BA, Computer Science, Wellesley College
MA, Computer Science, Boston University via Lincoln Scholars Program

Photo of Lisa Basile"At Lincoln Laboratory, I’ve never been asked to do the same thing over and over again. I’m constantly working on new projects that present new challenges. I’m always developing my skill set."

Since joining the Tactical Defense Systems Group, Ms. Basile has used her software engineering skills to contribute to a variety of homeland defense–related projects. After the events of September 11, 2001, Ms. Basile helped to develop software for a new network of infrared and radar sensors that was fielded and used to enhance FAA surveillance of domestic air traffic.

At Boston University, Ms. Basile conducted research in tracking algorithms used for tracking large numbers of bats in infrared videos. This research was used by ecologists to obtain more accurate census information on bat colonies in South Central Texas. After completing her master’s degree and returning to the Laboratory, Ms. Basile applied her knowledge of tracking methodologies to the problem of tracking aircraft using infrared and radar sensors. Her work is helping the Air Force assess the vulnerability of aircraft to weapons systems and electronic countermeasures.

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Shakti Davis

BS, Electrical Engineering, New Mexico State University
MS, PhD, Electrical Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Photo of Shakti Davis"Lincoln Laboratory provides a great environment for continued learning throughout your career. From working alongside some of the top researchers to the variety of formal classes offered, there are always opportunities to expand your expertise."

Since joining the Laboratory in 2006, Dr. Davis has worked on adaptive array processing for airborne radar applications. Some of the challenges in this area include signal processing techniques for improving detection of weak signals and suppression of interference such as unwanted backscatter from nearby terrain. Dr. Davis’ current work includes developing and analyzing adaptive array algorithms for ground moving target indication radar as well as coordinating the development of an airborne radar test bed.

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Dennis Burianek

SB, SM, and PhD, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Photo of Dennis Burianek"Lincoln Laboratory provides an atmosphere where you are encouraged to explore new areas and have the opportunity to work in cutting-edge technologies. You get to see a project through from initial inception to final delivery."

Since joining the Optical Systems Engineering Group in 2001, Dr. Burianek has focused on two different areas of directed energy. Through his exploration of the effects of different materials when subjected to laser energy, he has gained an understanding of various materials' behaviors and materials effects. This experimentation required an understanding of material- and system-level responses. Dr. Burianek's second area of study is the optomechanical engineering and packaging of a cryogenic laser for deployment on a flight platform. This Lincoln Laboratory–developed laser improves the efficiency and beam quality of solid state lasers.

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Shelley Scruggs

BSE, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Princeton University
PhD, Electrical Engineering, University of Michigan

Photo of Shelley Scruggs"The Laboratory’s ongoing partnerships with the defense community, all branches of the military, as well as organizations like the FAA, NOAA, and NASA, mean that Lincoln Laboratory staff members are actively engaged in the most up-to-the-minute challenges of national defense and homeland security."

Since joining Lincoln Laboratory in 1993, Dr. Scruggs has supported tactical air defense, ballistic missile defense, and space-based surveillance programs, first as a radar data analyst and currently as an optical data analyst. Dr. Scruggs' recurring role as a "mission director" has also required her to spend considerable time in the field in places as diverse as Nevada, New Mexico, and Maui.

Outside the Laboratory, she is very interested in improving science and technology education, especially for minority students, and has served as a middle-school tutor and a college mentor through Tutoring Plus, a program in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT is a partner and supporter of the Tutoring Plus program, which recruits highly educated volunteers to provide academic support, free of charge, to children in grades 4 to 12 in Cambridge Public Schools.

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Juliette Costa

BS, Chemistry, University of California, Davis
PhD, Physical Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

Photo of Juliette Seeley"I love the career flexibility that we are granted at Lincoln Laboratory. As we develop as scientists and our interests evolve, the Laboratory allows, and even encourages, us to take our research in new directions. Long-term Laboratory employees are often experts in many different fields."

Dr. Costa's work focuses on remote chemical sensing using infrared spectroscopy. Remote chemical sensing has applications in chemical threat detection, environmental monitoring, and weather sensing. Dr. Costa has contributed to the development of a linear variable filter-based passive imaging spectrometer and a bistatic single-pixel infrared sensor with cooperative source for monitoring the environment of large facilities. She has also participated in the development of a Fourier transform infrared–based hyperspectral imager using digital focal-plane array technology. Currently, she supports NASA in the development of the Advanced Baseline Imager, a passive multispectral imager that is part of the instrument suite planned for the future weather sensing satellite, GOES-R (for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite).

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Alison Silva

BA, Administration of Justice, Salve Regina University

Photo of Alison Silva"It is very rewarding to know that our efforts contribute to national security directly through the Laboratory's research and development."

Since joining Lincoln Laboratory's Security Services Department in 2005, Ms. Silva has been providing supervision and management for both personnel and special programs. She acts as the security liaison between government sponsors and Laboratory program managers and technical staff. Working with the technical community and information technology staff, she ensures programs' compliance with government regulations. She performs inventories, investigations, classified material control, reviews, and audits. Ms. Silva has also been instrumental in writing and maintaining plans for physical security, emergency action, and operations security, as well as developing standard operating procedures and security briefings. In addition, she provides support to large sponsored conferences and program-related meetings, and implements a security-education program.

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George Nowak

BS, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering, U.S. Military Academy, West Point
MEA, Construction Management, George Washington University
MS, Electrical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
PhD, Electrical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Dr. George Nowak

"There are great opportunities to help solve interesting problems—not only conceptually, but also by building the hardware and fielding systems that contribute to our nation’s security."

Since joining the Advanced Lasercom Systems and Operations Group at Lincoln Laboratory, Dr. Nowak has helped manage the group's work on designing and testing laser terminals to support high-bandwidth networking among aircraft and satellites. Specific initiatives in the group involve the design and construction of multi-Gb/s optical transceivers; a subsystem for conducting pointing, acquisition, and tracking among terminals; and optical assemblies to emulate free-space laser propagation over geosynchronous orbit distances. The group also develops high-speed electronic interfaces to provide forward-error correction and bit interleaving to mitigate the impairments of laser communication through the lower atmosphere. The group's efforts have contributed to accelerating the progress of national laser communication programs.

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Vyshi Suntharalingam

BS, Electrical Engineering, Yale University
PhD, Engineering Science and Mechanics, Penn State University

Dr. Vyshi Suntharalingam

"I love working in this multidisciplinary, hands-on environment, where you can work with a team to transform a paper design into a testable real-world system."

Dr. Suntharalingam leads projects to design and develop scientific image sensors for ground- and space-based telescopes. These next-generation technologies are built in Lincoln Laboratory's Microelectronics Laboratory (a class-10 semiconductor fabrication facility) and other on-site labs. Devices, circuits, and image sensors developed at the Laboratory are used as innovative prototypes for future satellites, telescopes, and communications systems.

"In the Solid State Division," says Vyshi, "we have projects that address fundamental research topics as well as larger-scale programs to innovate designs to meet specific system requirements. A key reason I came to Lincoln was the ability to publish at peer-reviewed technical conferences while working on much broader programs than could be tackled in an academic environment."

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Luke Skelly

BS, Computer Engineering, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
MA, Computer Science, Boston University via Lincoln Scholars Program

Luke Skelly

"The Lincoln Scholars Program gave me a chance to fulfill my educational goals and focus my attention on problems of interest to both myself and the Laboratory in research areas such as laser radar sensors."

Mr. Skelly has been developing novel data processing and computer vision algorithms with a concentration on state-of-the-art 3D imaging laser radar sensors developed at Lincoln Laboratory. With the support of the Lincoln Scholars Program, he has earned a master's degree from Boston University; his thesis focused on finding correspondence between 3D surface maps. This work can be applied to merging datasets from different sensors or sensors with unknown location and orientation; recognizing landscapes, cities, or objects; and tracking multiple targets of unknown shape.

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Pedro Torres-Carrasquillo

BS, Electrical Engineering, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
MS, Electrical Engineering, Ohio State University
PhD, Electrical Engineering, Michigan State University

 Pedro Torres-Carrasquillo

"Satisfaction at Lincoln Laboratory comes from working on problems on the edge of technology with resources available to pursue innovative ideas."

Dr. Torres-Carrasquillo's work is in speech processing. His research is focused in two areas: speech analysis for downstream processing and information extraction from speech. In speech analysis for downstream processing, he has worked on speaker diarization, which is the marking of speech into areas of similar speaker content. In information extraction from speech, he has worked in both speaker and language identification: speaker identification involves determining the identity of a speaker based on previously known voice examples, and language identification involves identifying the language spoken on a given voice message.

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James Krieger

BS, Physics, University of California at Santa Barbara
MS, Electrical Engineering, The Ohio State University via Lincoln Scholars Program

James Krieger

"I get to work with amazing people on projects that are always on the cutting edge. It’s great to know that everything you work on is somehow pushing the envelope and making an impact. Best of all, I get to see my contributions come to life in real-world applications."


Mr. Krieger has been working primarily on the electromagnetic design and analysis of rapid-prototype ultrawideband antenna arrays for sensor system applications. Part of this work has required electromagnetic analyses to characterize the phenomenology associated with the often complex environments in which these systems are utilized. These projects have involved antennas deployed on unmanned air vehicles and ground-based platforms. The challenge in many of these antenna development projects involves designing high-gain, high-efficiency antenna apertures meeting system performance over very wide frequency ranges.

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Kathy Ryan

BS, Business Administration, Bryant University
MS, Business Administration, Northeastern University

Photo of Kathy Ryan

"Lincoln Laboratory offers a wide variety of opportunities in nontechnical disciplines. Individuals are encouraged to seek out positions in areas of interest and to grow within the Laboratory."

Since joining Lincoln Laboratory in 2004, Ms. Ryan has been a commodities buyer in the Procurement Department, with responsibilities for the purchase of computer components and peripherals. As a member of the SAP team responsible for the successful implementation of Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), she performed system testing, wrote procedures for specific purchasing transactions, and trained coworkers. Recently, she worked with the Financial Services Department as a financial analyst with primary focus on allocated budget planning, tracking, and reporting. This budgetary management included the operational costs of maintaining the Laboratory and costs for technical projects that benefit the overall Lincoln Laboratory community.

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