Speaker and Moderator Biographies

Peter BergljungPeter Bergljung, Saab TransponderTech, Sweden
Peter holds a Master of Science in Automatic Control, Linköping University, Sweden. Peter is 54 years old and has been working with navigation systems for over 30 years. Currently Peter is Product Portfolio and Strategy Manager responsible for Saab TransponderTech and working with AIS, VDES, and DGNSS product portfolio development. Peter is also Saab´s Project Manager for the STM Validation Project

John BetzJohn Betz, Port Pilot, Los Angeles Pilot Service

Captain John Betz was raised near Los Angeles, California. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree, California State University Maritime Academy (1976), then sailed for Chevron Shipping Company in positions ranging from Able Seaman to Master and Alaska Pilot.

Captain Betz is currently employed as a Port Pilot with the Los Angeles Pilot Service. He is the vice-chair of the University of Los Angeles / Long Beach Harbor Safety Committee and he chairs that committee’s Navigation Safety Subcommittee.

His post-graduate work includes Juris Doctor degree, University of California, Hastings College of Law (1996) and Master of Science degree, California State University Maritime Academy (2015). He is a maritime litigation expert and, with his wife Heidi, owns and operates HAAVEN, a provider of collaborative housing in Los Angeles.

Helen BrohlHelen A. Brohl, Executive Director, U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) – Moderator
Helen A. Brohl was appointed as the first Director of the US Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) in July 2006 by US DOT Secretary Norman Mineta. Maritime transportation oversight and interest within the US Federal government is spread throughout many authorities, departments and budget line items. Ms. Brohl manages the CMTS partnership, created under Presidential Directive and authorized in 2012, that joins over 25 Federal agencies to address our Nation’s waterways, ports and intermodal connections. Working with senior political, military and civilian leaders in the Federal government, Ms. Brohl directed the development and Cabinet-level approval of the first-ever National Strategy for the Marine Transportation System to improve the MTS for capacity; safety and security; environmental stewardship; resiliency; and financing. During her tenure, the CMTS has engaged in a number of dynamic issues, including Federal infrastructure financing and investment; system performance measures; navigation technology integration and coordination; and integration of marine transportation issues into the President’s Ocean Policy and National Export Initiatives. Ms. Brohl was directly instrumental in the development of the CMTS Strategic Action Plan for Research and Development in the MTS; the CMTS response to the National Ocean Policy; the CMTS National Strategy for E-Navigation; and a marine transportation policy for the U.S. Arctic. From March to September 2012, Ms. Brohl was detailed by USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood to the US Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in Kings Point, NY, to facilitate the development of the USMMA Strategic Plan 2012-2017, which was issued August 1, 2012.

For the previous ten years, Ms. Brohl was the Executive Director of the U.S. Great Lakes Shipping Association where she worked with NOAA and Congress to build the Great Lakes Water Level Observation Network, a lakes-wide system of real-time water and atmospheric observations provided directly to the mariner. This quality controlled system of measurements assists “boat drivers” in monitoring the conditions in which they must operate the vessel safely and efficiently.

She also previously served for six years as the President of the National Association of Maritime Organizations, directing the collaboration with US Customs and Border Protection (and legacy INS) and the US Coast Guard to develop the maritime operational regulations under the Marine Transportation Security Action of 2002 and related post-9/11 legislation. The outcome was the development of a joint “notice of arrivals” system between the two Federal agencies which significantly eased the burden of increased reporting requirements in a post 9/11 environment.

Additionally, Ms. Brohl served four years as the national coordinator for the Marine Navigation Safety Coalition, which encompassed over 60 maritime related companies. The Coalition successfully improved the 300-year backlog of charts and surveys for our navigable waterways which resulted in a multi-million dollar increase in funding to the National Ocean Service and reduction in backlog by 100 years. Ms. Brohl served as the Director of Marketing and Government Affairs for the Illinois International Port of Chicago, where she developed a competitive new barge terminal to successfully address that growth niche market. She also served as a key team member of the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, USDOT in the implementation of first-ever trade development missions to Europe, Scandinavia and North Africa. Ms. Brohl was awarded a John Knauss Sea Grant Fellowship where she served with Congress as professional staff with the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee.

Ms. Brohl was appointed by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works as a Commissioner of the US Section of the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure, and she is a member of the Environmental Services Information Working Group of the NOAA Science Advisory Board.

Before joining the Federal government, Ms. Brohl served with two Federal Advisory Committees: the Great Lakes Pilotage Advisory Committee as appointed by the Commandant of the US Coast Guard and as Deputy Chair of the Hydrographic Services Review Panel as appointed by the Administrator of NOAA. Other associations have included the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, the Great Lakes Waterways Management Forum, and the Great Lakes Observation System board. Ms. Brohl has a coastal geology degree from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, and a Masters in Science from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, in Great Lakes Land and Water Use Policy. She is currently an alumni mentor with the John Glenn School of Public Affairs and sits on the board of the Women’s Aquatic Network which she co-founded 25 years ago. She is married and has two grown children.

Tamara BurbackCaptain Tamara Burback, California State University Maritime Academy

Captain Tamara Burback has been a Marine Vocational Instructor at the California Maritime Academy since 2015. Prior to her career as an educator she sailed on bulk, breakbulk, and heavy lift vessels in the international trade. She is alumni of California Maritime Academy, class of 2007.

Thomas ChristiansenThomas Christiansen, SMART-Navigation Program Consultant

Thomas has had a variety of managing roles in different areas such as head of department, technical director and QA manager. The fields have been ranging from Biotechnology to software development and medical equipment. In 2007 Thomas entered the maritime world as a project manager at the Danish Maritime Safety Administration, which later was merged with the Danish Maritime Authority.

From 2008, Thomas’s main involvement has been with e-navigation, and has from 2011 to 2016 been leading DMA’s e-navigation team. He has also been involved in a number of EU projects focusing on e-navigation; as work package leader in EfficienSea (2009-2012) and ACCSEAS (2012-2015) and project manager of EfficienSea2 (2015-2017).

In IMO and IALA, Thomas has been representing Denmark in e-navigation matters.

Furthermore, Thomas has been organising the international conference on e-navigation, “e-Navigation underway” under the auspice of DMA and IALA since its inauguration in 2011 to 2018.

Currently Thomas is working as a special adviser for the Korean national e-Navigation project: SMART Navigation project.

Michael HoldenMichael Holden, California State University Maritime Academy
Conference Chair

Michael Holden is a professor in the Mechanical Engineering department at California State University Maritime Academy, where he has been a faculty member since 2007. He primarily teaches courses in subjects related to mechatronics, instrumentation, and electronics. He has a background in autonomous aircraft design, and works with Cal Maritime students on research related to autonomous vessels, remote sensing, and data management.

David LewaldDavid Lewald, Program Analyst-Navigation Systems, Office of Navigation Systems, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters

David Lewald is a navigation systems and aids to navigation specialist for the U.S. Coast Guard. He served for 30 years on active duty in the USCG with 25 of those years spent afloat aboard numerous cutters in all positions including command.

He has been a USCG civilian employee since his retirement in 2014. David’s responsibilities include advisory and consultative services to USCG programs and managers on a broad range of navigation matters that involve legacy and future state technology. He serves as an advisor and subject matter expert to the Director of Marine Transportation Systems on digital and electronic navigation matters and systems, including electronic chart systems (ECDIS\ECS), automatic identification system (AIS), integrated navigation systems (INS), integrated bridge systems (IBS), navigation sensors (e.g. Radar, GPS, etc.), and electronic aids to navigation.

David serves as a navigation systems technical expert to standards development organizations such as International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA)(Vice Chair of the IALA-ARM Committee), Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA), and Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM).

Brandon LinkLCDR Brandon M. Link, USCG, U.S. Coast Guard Office of Port and Facility Compliance
Lieutenant Commander Brandon Link, Office of Port & Facility Compliance, Critical Infrastructure Branch. LCDR Link reported to the Office of Port & Facility Compliance, CG-FAC, in August of 2017. In this capacity, he serves as the Critical Infrastructure Protection Branch Chief.

Previous assignments include Waterways Management Division Chief at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach, Marine Inspector/Facilities Inspection Division Chief at Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur, Texas, Command Duty Officer/Senior Watch Officer at Coast Guard Sector New York, Resource Manager at Coast Guard Headquarters, and Deck Watch Officer onboard a high endurance cutter. Mr. Link is a 2003 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Government, and has since earned a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership.

Mayte MedinaMrs. Mayte Medina, Chief, Office of Merchant Mariner Credential,
U.S. Coast Guard

Mrs. Mayte Medina has been working in the development and implementation of domestic and international maritime safety, security and environmental protection standards since 1990. Her experience includes development of standards for the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Labor Organization (ILO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United States Coast Guard.

Mrs. Medina has been with the U.S. Coast Guard since 1999, under various capacities. She is currently the Chief for the Office of Merchant Mariner Credential at the Standards Directorate. She develops and manages legislative and regulatory issues concerning merchant vessel personnel and labor issues, including the United States compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, (STCW) 1978, and the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC), 2006. She continues to coordinate and lead the U.S. delegations to the IMO and ILO, on issues related to maritime safety and security, including merchant vessel personnel qualifications and training, and human element. In addition, she also leads the U.S. delegations to the ILO on maritime labor issues; and to the WHO on maritime medical issues. She currently chairs the IMO Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) sub-committee.

Mrs. Medina continues to distinguish herself as the domestic and international authority in the areas of seafarer training and credentialing, and maritime labor issues. Her advice and counsel is frequently sought by international organizations, industry and other administrations. She lends her expertise to the IMO, ILO, as an expert to assist other countries to establish their national infrastructures in compliance with international Conventions.

Mrs. Medina holds a Masters in Quality Management Systems from the National Graduate School, and a Bachelor of Engineering, Marine Engineering Systems from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY.

Adrian ParuasAdrian Paruas, Lead Engineer, Drilling Applications, Kongsberg Maritime

Born in Cuba in 1987, Adrian graduated with honors in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Orleans in 2010. Since then, he has been working as a software engineer specializing in dynamic positioning control of Drilling Vessels.

With his extensive knowledge of Kongsberg systems, Adrian also provides advice to special projects and operational support.

Samuel PecotaCaptain Samuel R. Pecota, California State University Maritime Academy

Captain Samuel R. Pecota is presently serving as Cal Maritime’s Interim Academic Dean.

After graduation from the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY, in 1980, Sam obtained his unlimited master’s license in 1984. He worked predominantly in the hopper dredging industry, starting as third mate aboard the USACE Dredge McFarland in September 1980 and Great Lakes Dredge and Dock’s Dodge Island in 1981. In 1982 Sam was hired as 2nd mate for the newly constructed 20,000-ton hopper dredge Stuyvesant. In 1989, at the age of 30, Sam was promoted to captain of the Stuyvesant, a position he held for eleven years. Twenty years service aboard large hopper dredges has given Sam significant and invaluable experience not only in shiphandling and vessel management, but also in shipboard maintenance, repair and modifications through many intensive shipyard periods.

In 2000, Sam left the dredging industry and sailed for various companies through the Masters, Mates and Pilots union as 2nd mate on containerships and general cargo ships and as maintenance chief mate on several MARAD Ready Reserve Force vessels. He remains a book member of the MM&P today.

In 2001 Sam joined the faculty in Cal Maritime’s Department of Marine Transportation. While maintaining a full teaching load he earned an M.A. in Transportation Management from American Military University from 2002-2005. He has held every faculty position from full-time lecturer to full professor. Sam specializes in radar and other marine electronics, and the development of new Maritime Education and Training pedagogies, with special emphasis on practiced-based learning through simulation. He is author of the textbook Radar Observer Manual (6th Ed., 2006) and numerous technical papers on e-Navigation delivered at several international conferences. He served as the Chair of the Marine Transportation Department from 2009-2011. Since 2009, Sam has led in the development of an experimental Augmented Reality Head-Up Display navigation device currently using Microsoft’s HoloLens as its hardware platform. In 2013, Sam became one of two Cal Maritime faculty members awarded the title “Distinguished Professor” for his research and scholarly work. In 2014 he served as Conference Chair of “e-Navigation Underway North America,” an international conference dealing with the latest developments in marine navigation equipment and vessel control systems, held on the Cal Maritime campus. In addition to Interim Academic Dean, he also serves as Director of Simulation (since 2013), Relief Master of the Training Ship Golden Bear (since 2011) and Council Member of the Nautical Institute, the governing body of the international organization for maritime professional based in London, England (since 2014).

Sam lives in Elk Grove with his wife Rose, a graduate of SUNY Stony Brook (Chemistry). They have two sons, Andrew and Quentin, graduates of UC Berkeley (History) and UC Davis (Civil Engineering) respectively. On 6 June last year, Sam became a grandfather with the arrival of Owen Thomas Pecota.

Fred PotMr. Fred W. Pot, AFNI, Principal, Marine Management Consulting

Mr. Pot has over 20 years’ management experience with ship owning companies including Matson Navigation Company, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. Early in his career he was Managing Director of a ship weather routing company in the UK. Later he started a company that developed and introduced AIS receivers for pleasure boats.

Mr. Pot specializes in managing ITC projects turning general user requirements into detailed system specifications (including data modeling), managing systems development, operational testing, user training and implementation.

Mr. Pot has over 15 years’ experience with developing standards for the maritime industry. He was a Member of the Technical Advisory Group to USCG during development of AIS, INS and Secure LAN standards participating in several IEC Working Groups. Early in the development of e-Navigation, he rendered high-level system design services to the Chair of IMO’s Correspondence Group on e-Navigation and, as an Industrial Member of IALA, is currently involved in development of Guidelines for a Common Shore-based System Architecture for VTS authorities and is leading a group that is developing a Guideline that will streamline vessel shore reporting (e-Navigation Service MSP8 “Vessel Shore Reporting”). He has attended many IALA’s ENAV Committee meetings and workshops. He presented papers at two plenary sessions.

Mr. Pot has attended the annual e-Navigation Underway International Conference in Copenhagen/Oslo since 2012 and presented papers at three of the conferences. He has been responsible for the Conference Program for AIS and e-Navigation Conferences for over 10 years. He currently acts as Secretary of the Steering Group for the e-Navigation Underway (North America) series of conferences.

Mr. Pot has written several articles for CompuShip and the Digital Ship and presented papers at two Digital Ship Conferences (Cyprus and Rotterdam). He also attended two CIRM Conferences (Cyprus and Annapolis) and several RTCM conferences and presented a paper at one of them.

Mr. Pot holds Master’s Degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the Technical University of Delft, the Netherlands and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Stanford University in California, USA.

Specialties: Represent industry at international standards organizations, develop and evaluate ITC architecture and (cyber) security plans, lead international project teams, analyze general user requirements that adhere to IMO/IEC Standards and IALA Guidelines, data modeling and system design, manage system development, operational testing and implementation.

Dimitry RostopshinMr. Dimitry Rostopshin, Ship Traffic Control Solutions Director, Wärtsilä

Dmitry Rostopshin has been working in Transas since 2000.

He started his career as a testing engineer, then a project installation engineer, and after that as a product manager in the R&D. He was involved in many vessel traffic service projects, as well as coastal and offshore surveillance projects globally.

Since 2016 Dmitry is a Director for the Ship Traffic Control and Management Solutions and is responsible for the VTS and coastal surveillance product line in Transas.

Dmitry graduated from the Saint-Petersburg State University as astronomer and mathematician. He also studied in the Blackpool and the Fylde Nautical College where he received a VTS Operator qualification, and is currently doing his PhD study at the Admiral Ushakov Maritime State University.

Jorn SpringerJörn Springer, Senior Director and Head of the Fleet Support Center,
Hapag-Lloyd AG

Starting off as ship mechanic in 1993, and then as a Master Mariner and Chief Engineer, Jörn entered the marine operations environment ashore in 2002 after some years at sea.

From 2006 he headed marine operation units for North Europe, later for Europe, where he continued for four years before joining Future Ship at Germanischer Lloyd in 2010 as Principal Consultant and Head of Operation Practice. Here he developed consultancy services in the maritime industry for vessels in operation including operational profiling, workshops, tool development and implementation to a profitable business unit.

Returning to Hapag-Lloyd, in 2013 he was tasked to establish the Fleet Support Center as a project to grow to a central unit, which he has headed since. His professional background in Naval Engineering, Nautic, Marine Operations and Central Planning in connection with experience in business consultancy, has enabled him to establish and manage the high performing team in FSC facing the pressing challenges in our industry.

Tor SvanesTor Svanes, Managing Director/CEO, NAVTOR

Few people have been as instrumental in the paradigm shift that has taken place in the nautical chart industry as Mr. Tor Andreas Svanes. Back in the late 1980’s he participated in projects that largely defined the further development of the ECDIS industry and international standardization. He was actively involved in the work in the early 1990’s that led to the adoption by IMO of the Performance Standard (PS) for ECDIS in 1995, a milestone in the implementation of the ECDIS concept.

Mr. Svanes has been active in developing the relationship between the industry and the international hydrographic community. He started to develop a close relationship with both NHOs and the IHO in the early 1990s. His dedication to the ECDIS industry and to electronic chart development has contributed greatly to building the required trust between the international hydrographic community and private industry.

Presently Mr. Svanes is appointed CEO of NAVTOR, a market leader in the provision of innovative e-navigation solutions, services and technology for the maritime sector. The company that he has managed for the last six years has grown from a local national organization to a global enterprise with presence and supply in 47 countries.

Brian TetraultBrian Tetrault, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Brian Tetreault is the e-Navigation team leader for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory. His projects include developing navigation systems to improve safety, efficiency and reliability of inland and coastal waterways. He is a US representative to national and international e-Navigation-related bodies, including the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC), International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM), and the US Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS). He is a graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, served in the Coast Guard for 22 years at sea and ashore, and holds an Unlimited 2nd Mate and a 1600 Ton Master license.

William WestmorelandWilliam Westmoreland, Compliance and Training Manager
Kongsberg Maritime, Inc.

William Westmoreland works for Kongsberg Maritime Inc. as the Compliance and Training Manager where he has the benefit of collaborating with many functions within Kongsberg Maritime. He has worked at Kongsberg since January 2009. For the first six years, he was an instructor delivering operational and technical training on Kongsberg’s dynamic positioning, automation, and merchant systems.

Prior to working at Kongsberg, William spent 10 years in the US Navy. He served in various capacities on board six ships and completed four deployments. His final tours were as Chief Engineer on the Mine Warfare ships in both Texas and Bahrain.

William is an Iowa native. He received his Masters of Science in Systems Engineering & Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School and his Bachelors of Science from the US Naval Academy.

Neil WestonDr. Neil Weston, Technical Director, OCS, National Ocean Service, NOAA

Dr. Neil Weston has worked for NOAA for 27 years and is the Technical Director for the Office of Coast Survey within NOAA. He is responsible for overseeing the scientific research and technological operations of the agency and has developed a science portfolio that focuses on hydrographic surveying technologies, remote sensing, Earth observing systems, and global integration.

He enjoys working on significant challenges, enhancing technology communities and collaborating with colleagues on Federal, national and international levels.  Dr. Weston also holds positions as a Science/Technical Advisor for the U.S. State Department and the United Nations.

Alan WilsonCaptain Alan Wilson, Vice President Marine, Fleet Operations, Princess Cruises

Alan leads a team in providing day to day marine operational expertise and support; providing guidance and instruction for the navigation safety of the Princess Fleet. He also supports other shore departments and works closely with itinerary planning.

Alan joined the P&O group as an officer deck cadet in 1976 and completed his cadetship in 1980. He was then employed by P&O passenger division which included Princess Cruises in November 1980. He was involved in the Falkland’s conflict in 1982 onboard Canberra when she was requisitioned by the Royal Navy. His first Princess ship was the Island Princess where he joined as a Third Officer in 1983. He served in all ranks onboard Princess ships and was first promoted to Staff Captain on Dawn Princess in August 1997. His first command was onboard the Sun Princess in April 2003. He commanded Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Grand Princess, and Caribbean Princess. He was also part of the new build teams for Dawn Princess, Ocean Princess, Star Princess and Coral Princess. He came ashore as Fleet Captain in November 2005 and was promoted to Vice President Marine in 2006.

Alan was very involved in the development in the Bridge Resource Management currently practiced across the Carnival Corporation Fleet.

Alan was very involved in the development in the Bridge Resource Management currently practiced across the Carnival Corporation Fleet.

Alan lives in Santa Clarita with his wife Julie and they have two daughters Heather and Laura. Heather graduated from CSU Chico, Laura graduated from The University of Montana in May 2014. Alan’s interests include sailing, golfing, mountain biking and snowboarding.

Francis ZachariaeFrancis Zachariae, Secretary-General of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA)
Francis Zachariae began the work as Secretary-General of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) in February 2015.

Established in 1957, IALA enables marine aids to navigation authorities, manufacturers, consultants, and scientific and training institutes from all parts of the world to exchange and compare their experiences, achievements, and technical and operational policies via participation in IALA Technical Committees. The Committees work to create IALA Recommendations and Guidelines which are recognised worldwide as the international standards for the implementation and operation of aids to navigation. These standards help to ensure that the movements of vessels are safe, expeditious, cost effective and harmless to the environment.

After leaving high school Francis Zachariae joined the Danish Naval Academy, followed in 1983 by service aboard several naval ships. From 1988 to 1990 he was Aide-de-camp to the Minister of Defence, where he was in charge of the relations with the media, the armed forces and the public. Francis Zachariae went back to sea in 1990 on patrol vessel “Havkatten” which was one of new project “Standardflex” vessels. Two years later he became responsible for the procurement of such vessels as Project Manager at the Naval Material Command. At the same time as he was working with the Danish Ministry of Defence, Francis Zachariae completed a Master of Science, Public Administration, following which he was promoted to Captain (N) and appointed to Brussels to become Branch Chief and Advisor of the EU Council Secretariat. This was his second experience abroad. From 1993-1994 Francis Zachariae had attended the Collège Interarmées de Défense in Paris, France. In 2006 he was back at the Naval Academy, this time as Commandant, when the Academy was undergoing a comprehensive modernisation programme. Appointed Deputy Director General of the Danish Maritime Safety Administration (DaMSA) in 2007 he was responsible for navigational information, aids to navigation, coastal rescue, pilotage and regulatory tasks, until the merging of DaMSA with the Danish Maritime Authority. The merger was completed in 2011 when Francis Zachariae became one of its three Deputy Directors General. His main tasks were related to maritime regulation, safety of navigation and pilotage in the Danish, Greenland and Faroese waters.

Francis Zachariae resides in St. Germain en Laye, France where lives with his wife Jane. They have two grown sons.

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