Is LA Ready for Self-Driving Cars?
Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian hosts a provocative panel discussion on the future of cars in Los Angeles and how government should prepare for this new exciting technological revolution.
Colin Peppard | Office of Extraordinary Innovation Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro)
Dr. Sheila Tejada | Professor, University of Southern California
Dr. Rajit Gadh | Founder and Director, Smart Grid Energy Research Center
Dr. Bernard C. Soriano | Deputy Director, California Department of Motor Vehicles
When & Where:
Thursday July 14, 2016
6 – 8 p.m.
High Tech Los Angeles
17111 Victory Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Bio of Panelists:
Colin Peppard is Manager for Outreach and Strategic Relationships with the Office of Extraordinary Innovation (OEI) at LA Metro, the transportation agency that serves the 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. His work is focused on Metro’s relationship with the private sector, and how the nation’s third-largest public transportation system can form partnerships to improve mobility in LA County. This includes managing the agency’s r Unsolicited Proposal Process, evaluating the potential to develop public-private partnerships around Metro’s individual project plans, and thinking about the role of emerging technologies in improving and expanding Metro’s service.
Previously, Mr. Peppard served as a policy advisor and senior legislative aide for U.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper, of Delaware. In this role, Colin oversaw policy development and legislative strategy to support the Senator’s work as the Chair/Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, including negotiations for the FAST Act and MAP-21 federal transportation bills. As part of this, Colin had a lead role in drafting several provisions to facilitate capital financing of public infrastructure, including through expansion of toll-based revenue sources and utilization of public private partnerships.
Before he began with Senator Carper, Colin was the Deputy Director of Federal Transportation Policy with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) where he focused on advancing policies and projects with mutual mobility and environmental benefits, and authored several publications on this topic. Has run transportation policy programs for several other national NGOs, and is a graduate of the University of Virginia.
Dr. Sheila Tejada is currently a professor in the computer science department at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles, where she teaches courses and performs research applying artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics in education. As the academic community leader for Anita Borg Institute LA, she is passionate about empowering a diverse tech community in Los Angeles. In 1993 Dr. Tejada received her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was awarded her master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from the University of Southern California in 1998 and 2002, respectively. Prof. Tejada has developed awarding-winning robots, such as the robot soccer team DreamTeam, that was the first world champions at the RoboCup International Robot Soccer Competion in Nagoya, Japan. She also chaired the RoboCup US Open 2004 in New Orleans, and is a speaker for the US State Department Speaker Program, delivering interactive presentations on artificial intelligence and robotics for young audiences around the world.
Dr. Rajit Gadh is a professor of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA, founder and director the Smart Grid Energy Research Center or SMERC (http://smartgrid.ucla.edu) and founder and director of the UCLA WINMEC Consortium (http://winmec.ucla.edu). Dr. Gadh has a doctorate degree from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), a master’s from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree from IIT Kanpur, all in engineering. He has taught as a visiting researcher at UC Berkeley, has been an assistant, associate and full professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and was a visiting researcher at Stanford University.
Dr. Gadh's current research interests include modeling and control of Smart Grids, wireless monitoring and control of distribution and consumer-premise power grids, electric vehicle aggregation, modeling and control, optimized EV charging under grid and local constraints, Grid-tovehicle, Vehicle-to-grid and Grid-to-home architectures, automation and home area network for Demand Response, Micro-grid modeling and control, and, wireless-sensor and RFID middleware architectures. Dr. Gadh is author of over 150 articles in journals and conference proceedings and four patents. His team has developed the WINSmartEV™ and WINSmartGrid™ research platforms at UCLA.
He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He has received the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award, NSF Research Initiation Award, NSF-Lucent Industry Ecology Fellow Award, Society of Automotive Engineers Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, IEEE WTS Second Best Student Paper Award, ASME Kodak Best Technical Paper Award, AT&T Industrial Ecology Fellow Award, Engineering Education Foundation Research Initiation Award, the William Mong Fellowship from University of Hong Kong, and other accolades in his career. He has lectured and given keynote/distinguished addresses worldwide in countries such as Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Holland, Hong Kong, Japan, S. Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and, Thailand. Dr. Gadh serves as advisor to a handful of technology-based startups.
Dr. Bernard C. Soriano is a deputy director for the California Department of Motor Vehicles and is in charge of the department’s autonomous vehicles program. He has over 30 years of engineering and management experience in the private and public sector. He previously held engineering and management positions at Hughes Space and Communications, Inc. in El Segundo, where he designed satellite attitude control systems and was involved in their launch missions. He was also the assistant technical director at the USGA Research and Test Center in New Jersey. In the public sector, Bernard was the chief information officer for the Office of the Secretary of State and was the information technology task force leader on Governor Schwarzenegger’s California Performance Review.
Bernard was also a member of the part-time faculty at the California State University, Sacramento, where he taught courses in the College of Engineering and the College of Business Administration.
Bernard holds a Ph.D. in engineering from U.C. Irvine, a M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern California, and a B.S. in mechanical and aeronautical engineering from U.C. Davis. He also holds an M.B.A. from California State University, Sacramento. He was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve and has numerous publications and patents. His honors and achievements include selection as a finalist in the NASA astronaut program.