GUTMA Board of Directors 2021-23

Co-President: Reinaldo Negron (Wing)

Reinaldo Negron is the Head of UTM for Wing, leading product development for UTM and Operator applications; UTM integration activities in the U.S., Australia and Europe, including how UTM services can provide SORA mitigations reducing operator risk; standards development including at ASTM; and fostering industry collaboration such as the InterUSS Open Source project. Reinaldo brings the perspective of an operator, service provider and manufacturer, and engages regularly with a broad range of stakeholders including ICAO, CANSO, CAAs and ANSPs, Federal, State and Local law enforcement as well as hobbyist and commercial UAS pilots and operators. He is a passionate advocate for the emerging UAS ecosystem and the role that UTM can play in accelerating access to the sky. Prior to Wing, Reinaldo developed technical solutions for large scale advertising clients at Google. He also spent nearly a decade designing air traffic management systems at Lockheed Martin – including integrated Arrival, Departure and Surface Management; Airport Collaborative Decision Making, and R&D in Collaborative Air Traffic Management focused on airspace constraint management and airline planning strategies.

Co-President: Sebastian Babiarz (DroneUp)

Sebastian Babiarz is Head of Airspace Innovation for Europe at DroneUp. Additionally, Sebastian advises and collaborates with European regulators and standards organisations as they work to build regional regulatory frameworks to enable safe and scalable drone operations. With more than 16 years of business experience in the drone and telecom industry, Sebastian is passionate about new technology and automation and how they can improve lives. Particularly, for the last 4 years, Sebastian was Heading Strategic Business Development at AirMap, successfully built the AirMap business across the EMEA region. Prior AirMap, he has focused on driving innovation within the mobile telecom industry through drones as well as the role drones play in a connected society and within the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Previously, Sebastian held various position in mobile networks R&D for Nokia, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent. He is a co-founder, board member and for the last 2 years co-president of the Global UTM Association.

Ralph Schepp (Droniq GmbH)

Ralph Schepp is co-founder and COO of Droniq GmbH, a joint venture of DFS the German Air Navigation Service Provider and Deutsche Telekom.
The 45-year-old is driven to create the future by bridging upcoming next generation technology to the market. Prior to Droniq, Ralph led the units Spectrum and Technology Strategy for the Deutsche Telekom Group as Vice President for technology innovations. 2016 Ralph initiated the project “Connected Drones“ which was the origin of today‘s Droniq.
As COO of Droniq Ralph continues to pursue his passion for identifying, developing and bringing disruptive ideas to market. At Droniq he leads technology, IT and product development. In this role Ralph benefits from over 15 years of professional experience in information and communication technology (ICT).
Ralph holds a Master in business administration of Lüneburg university. He has three kids.

Hrishikesh Ballal (Openskies Aerial Technology)

Dr. Hrishikesh Ballal is the Founder and Managing Director of Openskies Aerial Technology Pvt. Ltd.  He has extensive experience developing technologies, protocols, and interfaces in the context of secure drone operations and UTM. He is the Founder / Primary Technical Lead to well-established open-source projects in the context of UTM: Flight Blender + Flight Spotlight.
Dr. Ballal has expertise in building and managing complex engineering systems. Prior to his work in Openskies, he worked as a Systems Architect within the Microsoft Business Division and later as a Hardware Compliance Engineer in the Microsoft Devices Division. Prior to Microsoft, he worked in the automotive industry. In 2015, he completed his PhD in geodesign from the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London.  He is a Mechanical Engineer by training with a specialization in Engineering Systems Design. His engineering background includes Masters degrees from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, USA and a Bachelors degree from Nagpur University in Nagpur, India.

Amit Ganjoo (ANRA Technologies)

Amit Ganjoo is a serial entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of ANRA Technologies, an Award Winning UAS Workflow and Traffic Management Platform provider based in Washington DC. ANRA is a platform and technology provider to multiple commercial and government entities internationally.
Amit has over 20 years of aviation, telecom and wireless experience in both the federal and the commercial space. He is an engineer, a licensed pilot, following a lifelong passion in aviation and builds experimental aircrafts. Until December 2016, he acted as the co-chair for FCC’s Technical Advisory Council (TAC) for 5G and IoT, which included ground and airborne autonomous vehicles. He was the Director of Engineering and Principal Architect at Ericsson, providing telecom solutions to commercial customers and the Federal Government, where he was the recipient of the Athena Award. Previously, he was the co-founder of a Mobile Marketing company from which he had a successful exit in 2009.

Luke Gumley (Airservices Australia)

Luke Gumley is Head of Airservices Australia’s Integrated Airspace Program, responsible for the implementation of Airservices’ Flight Information Management System as part of Australia’s UAS Traffic Management ecosystem, UAS detection capabilities at civil controlled aerodromes, and tailoring Airservices’ data for UAS operations. He has over 11 years’ experience in senior management roles within the Australian Government’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) including as inaugural manager of the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems branch. Luke was instrumental in CASA’s adoption of the JARUS SORA as an assessment framework for BVLOS and complex operations, and the development of CASA’s RPAS and AAM strategic regulatory roadmap co-designed with industry. In previous roles in CASA, Luke worked as Regional Manager of CASA’s Central and Southern regions, and as a senior advisor. He has over a decade of experience as a pilot in general aviation and holds an Air Transport Pilot Licence (Aeroplane), Bachelor of Science in Aviation and an MBA.

Shinji Nakadai (NEC Corporation)

Shinji Nakadai is a Principal Researcher at NEC Corporation. He researches on market mechanism and automated negotiation for UTM and SCM (Supply Chain Management). He was involved in DRESS Project, which is a national project on UTM in Japan, from 2017 to 2022. He proposed eNegotiation protocol for SCM in UN/CEFACT, and it was accepted and published in 2021.
He used to work on an auction mechanism for UTM, and now he is working on negotiation and audit mechanism. The motivation of these research topics is to achieve fair and efficient use of airspace.
He has expertise in machine learning, market mechanism, wireless technology, network protocols and distributed databases. In 2003, he received his master’s degree from Tokyo University and joined NEC. In 2012, he was at UC Berkeley as a visiting scholar. Currently, he is a research member of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), and he also works for BIRD INITIATIVE, Inc.

Thomas Neubauer (Dimetor)

Thomas Neubauer is Co-founder and CEO of Dimetor.
He has about 20 years of experience in the management of wireless networks. Among other innovations, Thomas is a co-creator and inventor of AirborneRF, a software solution specialized for connecting cellular network operators with aviation (ATM/UTM/FIMS) systems.  Thomas also serves as VP of Business Development and Innovations at TEOCO.  On behalf of GSMA and GUTMA, Thomas is leading the “Interface for data exchange between Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and UTM ecosystem” Work Group of ACJA (Aerial Connectivity Joint Activity), since it was formed in 2019.  As such he is focusing on global standardization of interfaces between cellular and unmanned aviation systems including 4G, 5G and satcom technologies.  He holds a Ph.D. in telecommunications engineering from the Vienna University of Technology.

​Treasurer: Amanda Boekholt (FOCA)

Amanda is deputy head of the Strategy and Innovation Unit of the Federal Office of Civil Aviation. She is leading the legal implementation of the U-space regulatory package in Switzerland. She acts also as the industry stakeholders lead for the Unit. In parallel, Amanda is Secretary General of the SUSI (Swiss U-space Implementation) partnership. Amanda is a legal advisor and holds a Master’s degree in law with a specialisation in innovation, intellectual property and SMEs.

Secretary General

Koen De Vos retired from the European Commission in April 2020 and took a sabbatical. In the Commission, Koen had been working as senior drone expert since 2015. Before becoming drone expert, Koen had worked on airport noise and was between 2002 and 2009 attached to the Single European Sky team. He joined the services of the European Commission in 1993 to work on social and employment issues. Before the Commission Koen worked at the University of Antwerp and at the Higher Institute for Labour Studies in Leuven, Belgium.