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Team

Eugene Cilento

Eugene V. Cilento Ph.D.

Principal Investigator, Dean Emeritus and Professor Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

304.293.4088 - office

304.290.8881 - cell

gene.cilento@mail.wvu.edu

ESB 445

Gene served as dean of the Statler College from July 2000 to June 2019. He has been a faculty member in chemical engineering since 1979 and previously served as department chair from 1988-1999. He also served on the research faculty in the School of Medicine until 2013. He has a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Cincinnati. Cilento has served on numerous committees for the University and professional societies, and oversaw very significant growth in facilities, student enrollment and graduation, faculty, research and private giving during his tenure as dean. WVU is a public, comprehensive, multi-campus, land-grant University with R1 status. 

Giacomo Marani

Giacomo Marani, Ph.D.

Program Manager and Research Engineer

304.333.6071

giacomo.marani@mail.wvu.edu

WVRTC, Suite 152

Giacomo Marani received the "Laurea" degree (M.S.) in electronic engineering and a Ph.D. in robotics and automation from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 1997 and 2000 respectively. Until 2010 he has been with the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he served as acting principal investigator and project coordinator of the SAUVIM project — development of a Semi-Autonomous Underwater Vehicle for Intervention Missions.

He now serves as program manager and research scientist at the West Virginia Robotic Technology Center, affiliated with the Satellite Servicing Projects Division of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, with focus on robotic systems designed for NASA missions on satellite servicing.

He served as chair of the IEEE Marine Robotics Technical Committee until 2017. His primary interests are focused on the development of real-time algorithms for autonomous robotic intervention, including simulation of mechanical systems, sensor fusion, environment interaction with computer vision and control systems.

Alycia Gailey

Alycia Gailey, Ph.D.

Research Engineer

304.333.6081

alycia.gailey@mail.wvu.edu

WVRTC, Suite 152

Alycia Gailey works in the area of machine learning and artificial intelligence, with applications to robot vision for 6-DOF pose estimation. Other work includes incorporating parallel processing capabilities into multi-core CPUs using threading and field-programmable gate arrays using parallel processing directives.

Gailey holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master's and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Cornell University. She has previous research experience in the fields of radar meteorology, real-time neural control of external robotic devices and wireless electrochemistry instrumentation for neuroscience applications.

Patrick Lewis

Patrick Lewis

Software Engineer

304.333.6083

patrick.lewis@mail.wvu.edu

WVRTC, Suite 152

Patrick Lewis provides both software and electrical engineering support to the WVRTC. He primarily integrates hardware systems into both in-house and sponsor software systems. This includes the integration of robot systems and various sensors. Safety-critical and real time solutions are produced. He works directly with sponsors and partners to flow requirements for modifications to existing software and design of new software. He provides additional support to the team in the form general guidance, user interfaces and architecture solutions.

Lewis graduated from WVU and holds degrees in electrical engineering and computer engineering. His NASA experience includes support of NASA GSFC’s SSPD and NASA IV&V’s ITC team. Some of the operations supported include: the Asteroid Redirect Mission, the various Robotic Refueling Missions, Restore-L, Human Exploration and Operations and WFIRST.

Kevyn McBride

Kevyn McBride, Ph.D.

Systems Engineer and Data Analyst

304.333.6062

kmcbrid2@mail.wvu.edu

WVRTC, Suite 152

Kevyn McBride supports the West Virginia Robotic Technology Center across multiple disciplines including data analytics, robotic operations, test planning and documentation and robot safety. His work encompasses the full life cycle of test campaigns beginning with test plan development, continuing to test execution using various robotic platforms and finishing with the gathering and analysis of test data.

McBride received his undergraduate degree in applied mathematics from Alderson Broaddus College before earning his master’s degree and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from WVU. His previous research experience includes study in the fields of finite element analysis, embedded sensor systems and data analysis of sensor systems. Prior to joining the WVRTC, he spent 10 years working in the heavy equipment manufacturing industry.

Josh Milam

Josh Milam

Robotics Engineer

304.333.6064

jomilam@mail.wvu.edu

WVRTC, Suite 152

Josh Milam provides mechanical engineering expertise in the areas of mechanical design, robotic work area design for safety and robot controls and operations. Milam leverages his experience in the aviation industry and the rapid prototyping resources at WVRTC to provide apt solutions for the unique situations encountered in experimental robotics. As part of this multidisciplinary team, he also provides support in the areas of software for machine vision projects as well as facility operations.

Milam began working at WVRTC in 2016 as an undergraduate research assistant before receiving his degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering from WVU. His research assistantship continued through his graduate studies at WVU while he completed a master’s degree in aerospace engineering before becoming a full-time member of the WVRTC team.

Flying WV logo - this person does not have an available photo

Capt. Ken A. Olson

Engineering Technician

Capt. Ken Olson is the lead engineering technician at the West Virginia Robotic Technology Center and supports hardware fabrication and assembly for robotic test procedures. Olson’s tasks include design, fabrication, manufacturing and hardware assembly.

Olson is a highly trained and skilled technical engineer and has supported NASA missions for more than 20 years. Before joining the NASA team, Olson served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a squadron pilot and as an assistant officer in charge of Marine training. During his tenure at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Olson supported manned servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope as the astronaut extra vehicular activity and astronaut crew training manager. In this role, Olson coordinated HST EVA related FS&S simulations, developed neutral buoyancy engineering test procedures and directed astronaut crew members and NASA personnel on HST servicing operations.

Olson’s experience with astronaut servicing tasks and flight simulation hardware incorporates a realistic element to WVRTC test procedures for cooperative human-robotic space operations.

Andres F. Velasquez

Andres F. Velasquez, Ph.D.

Computer Vision Scientist

304.333.6078

avelasq2@mail.wvu.edu

WVRTC, Suite 152

Andres F. Velasquez is the Computer Vision Scientist at the WVRTC. He is responsible for the development of computer vision-based algorithms intended for pose estimation and tracking of cooperative and non-cooperative targets. He is also responsible for the design and development of experimental tests and virtual simulations used for algorithm evaluation and sensor calibration.

Velasquez received his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from WVU. His experience and interests include modeling and simulation of system dynamics, pose estimation and sensor fusion.

Flying WV logo - this person does not have an available photo

Eva Simmons

Business Operations Specialist

304.333.6082

eva.simmons@mail.wvu.edu

WVRTC, Suite 152