WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – AFRL Inspire, a two-hour special event with eight TEDx-style talks, will be livestreamed from the Air Force Institute of Technology’s Kenney Hall Auditorium April 28 beginning at 2 p.m. EDT. Inspire showcases the innovative ideas and passionate people AFRL has to offer as they provide entertaining and thought-provoking talks, share personal stories and make complex topics more understandable.

The event features seven speakers from across the science and technology enterprise and one special guest speaker, Dr. Joel Mozer, chief scientist of the U.S. Space Force. Kenneth McNulty from AFRL Public Affairs will serve as the emcee for the program with four speakers delivering their presentations live while those based in California and Florida have prerecorded their talks.

AFRL Commander Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle said Inspire provides a unique opportunity to recognize the people across the lab and the technologies they develop for Airmen and Guardians. She is excited to welcome Dr. Mozer and highlight the significance of one AFRL supporting two services, which she calls a “phenomenal opportunity” for the entire enterprise.

“Dr. Mozer’s participation reinforces the fact that the technological landscape we live in today is multidisciplinary,” said AFRL Chief Technology Officer Dr. Timothy Bunning. “Many technologies being worked at the early stages support capabilities across multiple warfighter domains, ultimately benefitting both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force.”

Bunning said he appreciates how Inspire builds an atmosphere of great purpose and inclusion.

“We all have a story,” he said.  We are all part of AFRL, each contributing to its success in our own individual manner and telling that story is as important for the individual as it is for us as an institution to wear the AFRL moniker with pride.”

Pringle describes Inspire as “an excellent occasion to encourage our current and future employees and to engage stakeholders who depend on AFRL to deliver technology.” She explained that these talks “energize our minds by bringing us away from the daily grind and reminding us of the impact of our work.”

Back in 2020, when the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of Inspire, the planning committee said they hoped to bring the event back to life in a safe manner within the next year.

“We are thrilled now to be able to bring the workforce together (through a combined in-person and virtual event) to share lessons learned and celebrate their achievements,” Pringle said. “The timing of this engaging event, which boosts employee morale and encourages teamwork, is especially welcome as the world begins slowly emerging from the pandemic.”

This year’s lineup of speakers includes scientists, engineers and professionals from four AFRL Directorates including:

  • Dr. James Christensen, product line lead, Airman Systems Directorate, 711th Human Performance Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.
  • Lt. Col. Olivia “Pi” Elliott, test lead, Munitions Directorate, Eglin AFB, Fla.
  • Dr. Nia Peters, research electrical engineer, Airman Systems Directorate, 711th Human Performance Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.
  • Capt. Tylor Rathsack, engineer and combustion researcher, Aerospace Systems Directorate, Edwards AFB, Calif.
  • Dr. James Sumpter, senior scientist and program manager for the Weapons Digital Enterprise / Digital Twin Lab, Munitions Directorate, Eglin AFB, Fla.
  • Sara Telano, contract specialist, Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
  • John Henry Williams, materials engineer and assistant to the chief scientist of AFRL’s Munitions Directorate, Eglin AFB, Fla.  

To view the livestreamed event on April 28, please visit AFRL’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AFResearchlab.