Mr. Davis has been with ATA for nearly two decades. He has held roles in many of the company’s technical groups and has used that experience to investigate and apply multidisciplinary solutions for the design, analysis, and testing of complex products across a multitude of industries.
Eventually becoming Director of Technology Development and Innovation, Mr. Davis’s responsibilities have included enacting ATA’s research and development strategy and managing teams creating novel engineering methods and software products. In addition to overseeing the company’s independent research and development (IRAD) investment, he spent several years leading ATA’s efforts funded under the highly competitive U.S. Government Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, supporting ATA’s engineers throughout the proposal, execution, and technology commercialization of more than fifty Phase I, II, and III SBIR/STTR contracts. A key aspect of this work has been the formation of strategic partnerships with research collaborators in academia and industry. Mr. Davis’s expertise extends to intellectual property protection, technology portfolio management, and government contracting, and he maintains a central role in coordinating the continuous methods development that enables ATA to offer innovative and dynamic solutions to our customers.
Mr. Davis received his M.S. degree in Ocean Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his B.S. degree in Ocean Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology. He has also earned the Advanced Communicator Bronze award from Toastmasters International.
Eric Blades, Ph.D.
Vice President & Technical Fellow
Dr. Blades has over 25 years of experience in engineering consulting and methods development. His technical expertise is in fluid and structural dynamics, with a focus on fluid-structure interaction (FSI) problems. He leads advanced research and development efforts at ATA, including new multiphysics methods development in these disciplines.
Dr. Blades has worked on projects developing coupled simulation methods for predicting rocket engine nozzle side loads, ablation of solid rocket motor nozzle throat erosion, FSI and fluctuating sound pressure levels in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter weapons bay, ablative fluid-thermal-structural response of hypersonic vehicles, and other multiphysics applications. Dr. Blades has also authored or co-authored more than fifty conference papers and journal articles, is an AIAA Associate Fellow, an associate editor for the AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, and member of the AIAA Structural Dynamics Technical Committee. He has also taught multiple graduate-level academic courses and training classes in fluid-thermal-structure interaction and unstructured grid generation at many NASA centers, Air Force research centers, and aerospace companies.
Prior to joining ATA, Dr. Blades was an associate research professor with the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems and the Computational Simulation and Design Center at Mississippi State University (MSU) for over ten years, where his research focused on the development of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solvers, unstructured grid generation software, computational aeroelasticity methods, and application of those tools to unsteady aerodynamics and FSI problems. Prior to working at MSU, Dr. Blades was a project engineer with SDRC in San Diego (now ATA) for three years, applying advanced engineering analysis methods and tools to the dynamic response of aerospace structures.
Dr. Blades received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MSU and his M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from MSU.
Paul 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 vibroacoustics. He has written over fifty 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, nonlinear 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 vibroacoustics that he has taught at many NASA centers and aerospace companies.
Dr. Blelloch 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.
Ralph 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, Mr. Brillhart 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.
Mr. Brillhart 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.
Treasurer & 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, Mr. Cherom 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, Mr. Cherom 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.
Mr. Cherom 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, P.E.
Vice President & 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 Sur, Ph.D.
Vice President & Senior Director, Business Development
Dr. Sur brings more than 20 years of engineering consulting experience to the ATA team. Her technical expertise is in fluid mechanics and 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 CFD analysis to meet increasing customer demand for multidisciplinary projects. Over time, her responsibilities broadened to include leading the identification, development, and closure of business opportunities across all ATA services and products, and providing account management support for new and existing customers. Currently, Dr. Sur is Vice President and manages ATA’s 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 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.