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Our People

Michael L. Heil, President and Chief Executive Officer

Michael was appointed in January 2007 to oversee and lead the OAI strategic initiatives, as well as serve as ambassador for the organization’s economic development efforts. Previous to OAI, Michael had a long and distinguished military career and most previously served as Director, Center for Space Studies and Research at the Air Force Institute of Technology. His experiences include serving as Director of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Propulsion Directorate with responsibilities for propulsion and power research facilities both at Wright-Patterson and Edwards Air Force Bases. He oversaw facilities valued at more than $2.1 billion, while leading the efforts of more than 1,000 scientists, engineers and staff. His responsibilities included ensuring the directorate’s $300 million annual budget produced cutting edge technology results for the Air Force and the nation.

A distinguished engineering graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy, class of 1975, Michael was commissioned and immediately pursued his master’s degree in flight structures at Columbia University on a Guggenheim Fellowship. He received a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1986. His service to the nation includes engineering duties on the F-15 and program management on the C-17 and Advanced Cruise Missile. Michael held the positions of Deputy Director of the Astronautics Laboratory, Commander of the Phillips Laboratory and Arnold Engineering Development Center, Commandant of the Air Force Institute of Technology, and Special Assistant to the Commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory. He has served in two Air Force acquisition centers, four defense laboratories, a test center, a major command staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the faculties of the Air Force Academy and Air Force Institute of Technology.
Michael L. Heil
Phone: 440.962.3001
Fax: 440.962.3004

Ann O. Heyward, Executive Vice President

Ann O. Heyward serves as Executive Vice President at the Ohio Aerospace Institute, leading all of OAI’s programs and service lines in research and technology development; industry, university, and government partnerships; and workforce development and education. Her division employs more than 55 individuals earning more than $12M in revenue through contracts, cooperative agreements, membership, collaborative consortia, and other vehicles. Her responsibilities include oversight of OAI’s sponsored research in materials, structures, propulsion, vehicle safety and health monitoring, computational modeling, and other disciplinary areas; directing OAI’s Aeroacoustics Research Consortium; leadership of OAI’s industry and university membership programs; and leadership of OAI’s workforce development efforts. Ms. Heyward also leads OAI’s business capture efforts, leading to more than $50M in secured programs over the last 5 years. She has been with OAI since 2000. Prior to joining OAI, Ms. Heyward served as the Industrial Outreach Manager at the National Center for Microgravity Research on Fluids and Combustion, Cleveland, Ohio. There she led industry outreach/technology transfer efforts, formed an Industry Liaison Board, and increased visibility for the center’s research in industrial sectors. During 1985-1997, Ms. Heyward held positions of increasing responsibility at NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland Ohio, including Chief, Commercial Technology Office (leading all technology transfer and commercialization efforts for a 4000-person Federal laboratory); Customer Focal Point, Aerospace Technology Directorate (working with leading aerospace companies to develop technology collaborations with NASA and streamline collaborative processes); and Communications Engineer, Communications Systems Branch, Space Electronics Division (representing the United States on multiple international delegations to telecommunications regulatory bodies engaged in spectrum management for commercial communications satellite services). She began her career as a software engineer for ANALEX Corporation in Fairview Park, Ohio, where she developed software for applications ranging from management reporting to numerical modeling of space communications systems. Ms. Heyward earned her M.S., Systems Engineering, from Case Western Reserve University in 1990, and B.S., Mathematics, with Honors, from Case Institute of Technology, Case Western Reserve University, in 1983. She is a recipient of NASA’s Exceptional Public Service Medal, has authored/co-authored more than 65 papers, articles, speeches, and major presentations to date, and has received more than a dozen NASA Special Act/Service Awards, Group Achievement Awards, and awards of appreciation. She also co-chairs the Workforce and Education Committee of the Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Council. Ann Heyward
Phone: 440.962.3030
Fax: 440.962.3200

Tony H. Smith, Sr., Vice President, Finance & Operations

Tony has led the Operations Team since July 2004. Prior to joining OAI, Tony was the Chief Financial Officer for the multimedia organization ideastream for seven years; Controller and minority shareholder for transportation and inventory management corporation Industrial Transport for five years; CEO and founder of the CPA firm bearing his own name for ten years; Manager for a regional CPA firm for two years; and Staff and Senior Accountant for several international CPA firms for nearly five years. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Hospice and Palliative Care Partners of Ohio and Board Secretary for The Ohio Educational Credit Union. Tony Smith
Phone: 440.962.3010
Fax: 440.962.3004

Robert Bianco, Ph.D.
FASM – Manager – Materials R&D, Central Engineering
UTC Aerospace Systems
Materials & Simulation Technical Center

Donald J. Campbell
Independent Trustee

Gary Cates
Senior Vice Chancellor
Ohio Department of Higher Education

Lee Ann Cochran
Vice President and Manager
Battelle Memorial Institute

Wayne V. Denny, Jr.
General Manager of Aerospace New Product Development and Manufacturing
The Timken Company

NASA Glenn Research Center

Neil R. Garrigan
Executive Manager – Advanced Technology
Systems, Programs and Strategy
GE Aviation

Mario R. Garzia, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Center of Data Science and Information Technology
Interim Dean, College of Engineering
The University of Akron

Awatef Hamed
Director, Center for Intelligent Propulsion
Professor, School of Aerospace Systems
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Cincinnati

Michael L. Heil
President and CEO
Ohio Aerospace Institute

Paul Jackson
Senior Technology Commercialization Manager
Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Ohio Development Services Agency

Dennis Irwin, Ph.D., P.E.
Dean and Moss Professor of Engineering
Education, Thomas Professor of Engineering
Russ College of Engineering and Technology
Ohio University

John E. Leland
Director, Research Institute and Vice President for Research
University of Dayton

Lester McFawn
Wright Brothers Institute

Salvatore J. Miraglia, Jr. (Chairman)
Independent Trustee

Nagi G. Naganathan
Professor and Dean
College of Engineering
The University of Toledo

Raman Ras, Ph.D.
Director of Engineering and Technology
Parker Hannifin Corporation
Aerospace Group
Gas Turbine Fuel Systems Division

Heidi Ries
Dean for Research
Air Force Institute of Technology