Speakers 2016

Kirk Bennett

Kirk Bennett is a PhD student at Arizona State University pursuing a degree in Exploration Systems Design. His research interests include undersea terrain mapping, underwater robotics and optical communication. Kirk has a B.S. in Mathematics from Wichita State University and a M.S. in Software Engineering from Colorado Technical University. In addition to his academic work, Kirk is also a Software Engineer for The Boeing Company where he has developed interactive trainers for the United States Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force. He has previously developed software for the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. Currently he works on Apache Helicopter flight software.



Peter Kampmann

Peter Kampmann is the teamleader of Hardware Architectures at the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence. He studied Computer Science at the University of Oldenburg, where he received his Masters degree in 2008. After working in several underwater and robotics projects, he is currently writing up his phd thesis dealing with the development of a fine-manipulation system with tactile feedback that can operate in depths of up to 6,000m.
Besides his research work at DFKI, he is also giving lectures in the field of marine robotics and is a reviewer for various journals with robotic focus.



Durval Tavares

Durval TavaresAquabotix is led and inspired by Co-Founder, President and CEO Durval Tavares, an experienced engineer, entrepreneur, and successful manager in large and small technical and financial services organizations. Mr. Tavares has logged over 20 years  working with underwater technology, including AUV and ROV systems development for advanced defense projects and private contractors. In addition, he spent several years leading various IT and product development departments for Fidelity Investments. Mr. Tavares earned a BSEE in Electrical Engineering, graduating first in his class, from UMass Dartmouth.



Christopher Hockley

HockleyChristopher has a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering focusing in Robotics and Unmanned Systems from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. Chris’ experience includes wind tunnel testing, systems engineering, and unmanned and autonomous systems. He has led the development of an autonomous monocopter and pioneered the use of DDM in its production. He has authored papers presented at the 1st and 2nd Symposium on Indoor Flight Issues, the 29th annual DASC conference, AUVSI Unmanned Systems International 2014-2016 and has had his work featured in publications including the AUVSI Unmanned Systems Magazine. Chris also led teams in the design and analysis of a small UAVs for The Boeing Company. Most recently Mr. Hockley was team lead for Embry-Riddle’s Maritime RobotX entry.


Chris Parker

parker_imageChris Parker attended McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, specializing in power & control systems.  Always interested in robotics, he went on to graduate studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton in the Dept. of Computing Science, where he earned his Master’s and Doctoral degrees.  The focus of his graduate work was cooperation between robots to achieve a common goal.  From there, he moved to Vancouver, BC, for postdoctoral research in human-robot interaction.  When the opportunity to work in the field of underwater robotics – a lifelong interest – came along in the form of an opening for an electrical engineer at SEAMOR Marine, he made the move to Nanaimo, BC, on Vancouver Island.  He currently is the Lead Engineer at SEAMOR, carrying out his own design work and leading that of the company’s engineering/design staff.



Stefan Helwig

Stefan L.  HStefan_L_Helwigelwig has studied geophysics at the University of Cologne, Germany, where he specialized in electromagnetic methods. Following his PhD., he became an assistant professor and leader of the exploration group at the Cologne University where he stayed for 7 years teaching geophysics and running large scale electromagnetic research programs and field surveys all over the world.

In 2007 he moved to the United States  to work for the hydrocarbon industry where his main focus is on the development of new methodology and equipment for subsurface resistivity detection. Since 2012 he serves as the CTO of PetroMarker, an innovative Norwegian provider of offshore subsurface resistivity measurements for the hydrocarbon industry.




Sheldon Rubin

Sheldon Rubin_headshotCorporate Manager, Engineering Manager, Project Manager and Electrical Engineer with over 40 years of hands-on, multidisciplined technical and management experience, both domestic and international, primarily in the areas of underwater robots, physical measurement sensors and marine instrumentation products.






Carsten Horn

carsten hornCarsten Horn studied engineering at the Hochschule Furtwangen University, Germany. In 2006 he started to work as Head of R&D Department and Executive manager at maxon motor GmbH. Since 2011 he serves maxon as a product manager and business unit manager of special gearheads. “