ATA’s senior management team have worked together for many years. They are widely known in the structural dynamics field as industry leaders in the application of test and analysis to develop successful designs for aerospace and other highly engineered structures.


maryMary Baker, Ph.D., P.E.
Chairman and President

Dr. Baker’s expertise is in application of computer methods to structural dynamics and continuum mechanics with particular experience in liquid rocket development, satellite system engineering, launch vehicle and road vehicle dynamics, and simulation and testing of electronic equipment and consumer products for shock and vibration environments.

Dr. Baker brings more than 35 years of experience in project engineering to the ATA team. Prior to formation of ATA, Mary served as Vice President and General Manager of SDRC’s Advanced Test and Analysis Division and guided this group for most of its 24-year history.

Significant projects include dynamic analysis, testing, and design during the development of an upper stage engine with an extendible nozzle; modeling and simulation of many aspects of liquid rocket components including turbo-pump thermal and vibration issues; design of communications shelters for mobility and transport; integration of multidisciplinary simulations tools particularly for spacecraft; and mechanical engineering of medical products.

Dr. Baker earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in Applied Mechanics from the California Institute of Technology, and in 2014 she was named one of Caltech’s Distinguished Alumni for her pioneering entrepreneurship and leadership in aerospace. She received her B.S. from the University of Wisconsin in Engineering Mechanics. She is a licensed professional engineer in the state of California.


Paul_Blelloch_sm_0Paul A. Blelloch, Ph.D.
Vice President, Aerospace Analysis

Dr. Blelloch’s technical expertise is in the analysis of complex dynamic systems, particularly in the areas of control-structure interaction, optimization, model reduction, dynamic loads, model updating, and vibro-acoustics. He has written over 30 technical papers. As well as managing and performing a large variety of projects for various NASA centers and both large and small aerospace companies, Dr. Blelloch has developed advanced methods for analysis of control-structure interaction problems, model reduction of dynamic systems, damping of coupled systems, non-linear dynamic response, fluid slosh, pressure stiffening of tanks, rapid payload reanalysis, sensor selection for modal testing, model updating and development of launch vehicle buffet loads. He has also developed classes in structural dynamics and vibro-acoustics that he has taught at many NASA centers and aerospace companies.

Paul received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


clarkH. Clark Briggs, Ph.D.
Vice President, Aerospace & Defense Business Development

Dr. Briggs joined ATA in 2009 after retiring from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) where he was a Member of the Technical Staff for over 20 years, serving in various roles in support of program management; systems modeling and analysis; mechanical software tool selection & implementation; and requirements management. At ATA, Clark’s efforts are focused on several areas including multi-disciplinary engineering modeling & analysis with applications to a variety of complex aerospace structures and thermo-optical-electro-mechanical systems; and the planning & implementation of Siemens NX and Teamcenter in aerospace companies.

Dr. Briggs received his B.S. degree from the U. S. Air Force Academy, and his M.S. and D.E.Sc. degrees from Columbia University. He also holds an M.B.A. from the University of Utah.


ralphRalph D. Brillhart
Vice President, Test

Mr. Brillhart brings over 30 years of testing experience to ATA. His previous experience with SDRC includes project management in Testing Services, performing a wide variety of dynamic and static durability and qualification testing of structures. Just prior to the formation of ATA, Ralph was Director of Test Projects for SDRC’s Western Regional Operation where he helped transform a small troubleshooting test group into the leading independent modal test organization. He has become recognized worldwide for his modal testing expertise and has helped innovate many new methods implementing current computer technology. He has served as a member of the executive board of the Society of Experimental Mechanics and the International Modal Analysis Conference (IMAC) Advisory Board.

Ralph received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Dynamics and Control, from the University of California, Davis, and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.


cheromWilliam Cherom
Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Cherom has nearly four decades of diverse experience in budgeting, accounting, systems, databases, organizational communications, and technical marketing. He began his career at Hewlett Packard in Palo Alto where he worked in the Corporate Offices as well as Manufacturing Division and General Systems Division as a contributing manager in accounting and systems groups. After working several years for a startup, Covalent Systems, Bill moved back to his hometown of San Diego where he worked a progression of financial accounting and budgeting jobs at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). During this time, Bill was the Financial Officer for the General Campus of UCSD and also worked as Assistant Director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center and Assistant Dean of the Rady School of Management.

Bill received his A.B. in Creative Writing from Stanford University and an M.B.A in Accounting Information Systems from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Tom_Deiters_smallTom Deiters, P.E.
Vice President and General Manager

Mr. Deiters has over 25 years of consulting experience in applying computer-aided engineering techniques and structural testing to develop and enhance designs in many different industries. Mr. Deiters has had broad exposure to all of ATA’s primary capabilities, including structural design, testing, and analysis. He spent ten years in ATA’s testing group acquiring key knowledge related to modal and strain testing for complex structures. Afterward, Mr. Deiters transferred to ATA’s design/analysis group, where he managed the engineering staff and provided technical guidance for over fifteen years. Now he is in the role of general manager responsible for management of all aspects of ATA’s business but focused on talent acquisition and retention while maintaining ATA’s small-company, employee-ownership culture as we continue to grow technically and geographically.

Mr. Deiters is a registered Professional Engineer in California. He received both his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, and afterward Mr. Deiters immediately started working at ATA Engineering (SDRC at that time) in 1989.


Tricia SUrTricia Sur, Ph.D.
Vice President and Senior Director, Business Development

Dr. Sur brings more than 18 years of engineering consulting experience to the ATA team. Her technical expertise is in fluid mechanics, specifically multiphase flows. She is experienced with numerical, analytical, and experimental work in the laboratory, towing tank, and at sea.

Dr. Sur joined ATA in 2008 as Director of Business Development and initially focused on growing a new line of business in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to meet increasing customer demand for multidisciplinary projects. Over time, her responsibilities increased to include leading the identification, development, and closure of business opportunities across all ATA services and products, and providing key account management support for new and existing customers. Currently, Dr. Sur is Vice President and manages ATA’s growing business development team.

Prior to ATA, Dr. Sur was a senior research scientist in the Naval Hydrodynamics Division at SAIC (now Leidos), where she was the principal investigator for numerous research and development contracts with U.S. naval customers. Prior to SAIC, Dr. Sur was a member of the technical staff in the Thermal and Propulsion Engineering Section at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Dr. Sur received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and her B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.