Carlos Alberto Castro received his Bachelors of Science in Aeronautical Engineering in June 1998 from I.U.P.F.A.N (Armed Forces University) of Maracay, Venezuela. He worked as a Component Control Manager and Heavy Maintenance Representative for ASERCA airlines in Venezuela. In August 2002, Carlos received his Masters in Aeronautical Science, with a Management and Safety Specialization, from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Carlos joined the Embry-Riddle NEAR Lab team in June 2003 as a Simulation Analyst, specializing in the Total Airspace and Airport Modeler (TAAM) simulation software. Carlos is currently the NEAR lab Project Manager.  His  duties include project lead and simulation support for different projects. He also is a simulation specialist for software such as TARGETS, SDAT, and TAAM. In addition to his NEAR Lab duties, Carlos is an Airport Planning and Design instructor for the College of Business at ERAU.


Abbayu Hussein received his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering in July 1997 from the University of Dar Es Salaam. He worked as Systems Analyst and Programmer at the ERAU Space Physics Research Lab and as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Embry-Riddle's Physics Lab. He received his Master of Science in Software Engineering in April 2002 from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is currently a Senior Software Engineer with the NEAR Air Traffic Management Research team. His other duties include modifying and maintaining the air traffic display applications for the Real-Time Distributed Simulation system (RTDS) and Aviation SimNet.


Mohamed Mahmoud received his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and Masters in Software Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, in Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1997 and 2002, respectively. Mr. Mohamed worked as a graduate student teaching assistant for an Introduction to Software Engineering course. Later, Mr. Mahmoud joined the Air Traffic Management Research lab as a research assistant, participating in various research projects, in the field of ATM simulation. Following his graduation, Mr. Mahmoud was promoted to the position of Software Research Engineer at the NEAR lab.  His other duties include maintaining the NEAR Voice Communication system for the distributed real-time simulation, PHAD (Probabilistic Hazards to Aviation Decision) support tool, and Aviation SimNet.



Johnathan Pesce received his Bachelors of Science in Engineering Physics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU)  in April 1996. He worked as a Senior Researcher and Systems Engineer in the ERAU Space Physics Research Lab from 1996 to 2002 studying Arctic and Antarctic Auroral optical emissions and space weather. In 1999 he earned his private pilot certificate. In 2002, John joined the NEAR Lab as a Senior Researcher. He completed his Masters of Science in Software Engineering at ERAU in April 2003. Johnathan’s focus is on aviation related modeling and simulation, data analysis, and system architecture and guidance for NEAR lab research.



Jayson Clifford received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Masters in Software Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2005 and 2008, respectively. While completing his graduate degree, he worked as a Research Associate for the ERAU College of Engineering. He has worked on a number of research projects involving the development of hardware, firmware, and operator interface software for unmanned vehicle systems. His graduate research explored the application of artificial life and genetic algorithms in optimizing the behavior of non-homogeneous groups of unmanned vehicles. At the NEAR Lab, Jayson creates simulations and develops tools that investigate incorporating unmanned aircraft systems into the NAS.


Ramin Rashedi received his Bachelors and Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1994 and 1998, respectively. He has worked as a Lead Software Engineer for ZWCAD Software Co, VX Corporation, and Control Automation over the past twenty-four years. Throughout his career with one company, from startup to maturity and acquisition, Mr. Rashedi was consistently relied upon by company leadership to evaluate and review new technologies required for major technical and strategic transitions. Due to his detail-focused nature and the breadth and depth of his CAD and CAM product knowledge, Mr. Rashedi was responsible as company’s gatekeeper for the final reviews of changes to mission critical code.


Jake Neighbors joined the NEAR Lab as a student at Embry-Riddle. He started programming video games in middle school and worked his way up to programming robots and conducting various simulation research. Jake was hired as a Software Engineer at the NEAR Lab following his graduation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a degree in Software Engineering, and has been a part of the NextGen Task O2 and Task W teams. Some of the projects he worked on while a student at Embry-Riddle include a student designed autonomous UAS, NextGen Task O, and several independent studies.