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Daily Business Report-Aug. 30, 2016

Daily Business Report-Aug. 30, 2016

Scene from last year’s Contextual Robotics Forum launched by the Contextual Robotics Institute. The third annual Contextual Robotics Forum will be held on Friday Oct. 28. (UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering)

Well-Known Scientist and Entrepreneur

To Head Contextual Robotics Institute

Todd Hylton

Todd Hylton

Todd Hylton, a well-known San Diego scientist and entrepreneur, is joining the University of California San Diego to become the executive director of the UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute, which is charged with developing human friendly robotic systems for commercial, industrial and consumer applications.

Since 2012, Hylton served as executive vice president of strategy and research at Brain Corporation, a San Diego-based robotics startup. Its first product was an autonomous floor scrubbing robot targeted for big-box retailers, warehouses and other commercial application. “We discovered that applications like these are exciting, pragmatic business and technical opportunities,” said Hylton. “I am looking forward to Brain Corporation’s success and working with them as part of my new position.”

Hylton also launched a series of successful projects as a program manager at DARPA, including a multi-million dollar effort to develop a chip inspired by the function of biological nervous systems.

Robotic Olympics undergraduate class. (Photo: Erik Jepsen, UC San Diego Publications)

Robotic Olympics undergraduate class. (Photo: Erik Jepsen, UC San Diego Publications)

Hylton is stepping into a newly created position at the institute, one that will have him focused on industry, such as helping spin off startups and building more bridges to companies, among other duties.

The institute director is Henrik Christensen, a professor in the computer science and engineering department at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. I am excited that we will have Todd Hylton as the executive director,” said Christensen. “He will play a key role as we focus on industry collaborations both locally and globally. Todd has a strong history both from government positions and work in the local industry that will facilitate rapid growth of our project portfolio and industry network.”

Hylton will serve as a Professor of Practice in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Jacobs School. “I’m excited to work with Henrik and the rest of the faculty to create multidisciplinary teams that will develop research projects that are both ambitious and relevant,” he said. “We are looking to spin out startups, license our breakthroughs and feed the robotics talent pipeline in the region, state and nation.There are many difficult technical and business problems that must be addressed in order to bring robots into our everyday lives. We are going to address all of them at the Contextual Robotics Institute.”

Hylton will also teach courses focused on enabling technology for robotics and pursue research alongside the rest of the faculty, researchers and students who make up the Contextual Robotics Institute.

Artificial Intelligence that functions and learns in the real world is one of the focus areas for the Contextual Robotics Institute, which officially launched in October 2015 at the second annual Contextual Robotics Forum. The third annual Contextual Robotics Forum will be held on Friday Oct. 28.

“Our annual Contextual Robotics Forum on Oct. 28 is a great opportunity for the regional robotics community from industry, government and academia to come together,” said Albert Pisano, dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering. “This year’s theme is shared autonomy between humans and machines.”

The Contextual Robotics Institute is a partnership between the Jacobs School of Engineering and the Division of Social Sciences and includes the UC San Diego Qualcomm Institute, which houses parts of the institute. The mission of this interdisciplinary institute is to develop safe, useful and human-friendly robotics systems that are deeply integrated with how humans


Cubic Corp. Awarded $80 Million

Contract from Naval Air Warfare Center


Cubic Corp. has received an estimated five-year, $80 million task order from the Naval Air Warfare Center to support aviation training functions across the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

The company said Monday it will deliver F/A-18 and EA-18G aviation training device and simulator operations and maintenance support at Naval Air Station Oceana, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, NAS Lemoore, NAS Whidbey Island and MCAS Beaufort.

NAVAIR awarded the task order to Cubic under the Navy’s potential five-year, $1.75 billion Fielded Training Systems Support IV contract vehicle awarded in July to nine companies total.

NAS Lemoore, MCAS Miramar, and NAS Whidbey Island Navy and Marine Corps pilots and aircrew will receive simulator and academic classroom training from Cubic instructors.


Carol Williams to Step Down

As San Diego Civic Organist

Carol Williams, who in 2001 became the first woman to hold the title of San Diego Civic Organist, announced Monday night that she will be stepping down at the end of September.

Willaims and her husband, Kerry Bell, will be pulling up stakes and relocating to Virginia where Bell has accepted a job offer, and where they will be closer to family.

Williams will continue in her position as artistic director of the Spreckels Organ Society. She will join the Spreckels Organ Society and the San Diego Park and Recreation Department in sustaining the regular schedule of the Spreckels Organ Sunday Concerts during the search for a replacement.

Williams’ last Sunday concert will be on Sepg. 25 at 2 p.m. in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.

Williams said that, after the move, she is looking forward to performing more private concerts around the world, and spending more time on her own compositions.

Plans are already underway for Williams’ return to San Diego on Aug. 28, 2017, with the Carol Williams Band to perform the final concert of the 2017 International Summer Organ Festival — a tribute to The Doors, one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s.


FAA to Launch Online Portal

For Use by Drone Operators


The Federal Aviation Administration will launch an online portal that drone operators may use to request waivers of applicable regulations regarding the new small drone rule.

The FAA said Monday the rule formally known as Part 107 will allow operators to expand operations based on technology mitigations if they can make the safety case for a waiver of some provisions.

Drone users that apply for waivers may operate at night, beyond line of sight, above 400 feet and other specific types of operations.

The FAA added in a separate post that it encourages interested participants to apply as soon as possible because requests will be processed depending on the complexity and the volume of applications received by the administration.


Early Bird Tickets Go on Sale

For 2016 Orchids & Onions

The San Diego Architectural Foundation is now selling early bird tickets for its annual Orchids & Onions awards ceremony to be held on Oct. 13 at Horton Plaza Park and Spreckels Theatre in Downtown San Diego.

The foundation recognizes the best (and worst) in architectural design, form and function at the awards ceremony. Over 160 nominations in various categories have been submitted and are currently featured on the Orchids & Onions website ( Early bird ticket pricing is available for the first 150 tickets sold.


General Admission (Reception and Ceremony) Early Bird, $85; Regular, $105; Ceremony only, $20. Order on the website.

The 2016 Orchids & Onions Awards Ceremony, sponsored by NewSchool of Architecture + Design, will be held at 5 p.m. Cocktails are by Snake Oil Cocktail Company and food is by Home Kitchen Culture.

Produced by Breadtruck Films and sponsored by The Shiley Foundation, a special film will premiere at the awards ceremony that will look back on the past 40 years of Orchids & Onions.

This year the foundation is featuring a published book documenting awardees from the past 40 years. The celebration book, sponsored by BuiltCulture, can be purchased pre-sale with tickets on the ticket website beginning Thursday.

“People’s Choice” voting opens on Thursdayand goes through Sept. 15. The public can vote for their favorite Orchids & Onion online at, at various voting booths in famers markets throughout the San Diego region, as well as at the “People’s Choice” Event at the Quartyard on Sept. 15 from 4 to 7:30 p.m. This event is free to the public with food and beverages available for purchase.


Cal State San Marcos Sets Record

Enrollment for the Fall Semester

The fall semester at Cal State San Marcos kicked off Monday with nearly two dozen new faculty, several new programs, the grand opening of The Sports Center and the highest enrollment in campus history.

CSUSM is welcoming 15,000 students, highest enrollment in the university’s 26-year history.

  • CSUSM has 22 new tenure-track faculty members this fall.
  • Emmanuel Iyiegbuniwe, CSUSM’s first director for Public Health, is leading a new Master of Public Health program that will prepare graduates to be public health professionals and leaders in a variety of fields.
  • Pat Stall, a faculty member at CSUSM since 2003, has been appointed the new director of the School of Education.
  • New programs include master’s degrees in public health, kinesiology and healthcare information management; a bachelor’s in Speech Language Pathology; and a new medical assistant training program, created in partnership with the Vista Community Clinic.
  • The Sports Center is the new home for CSUSM men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball. The grand opening is Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Festivities begin at 11:30 a.m. The women’s volleyball team will host the facility’s first athletic event at 4 p.m. Thursday when the Cougars kick off the 2016 season against La Sierra.


New Commanding Officer to Take Helm

At Naval Medical Center San Diego 

Following a successful two year tour as the commanding officer for Naval Medical Center San Diego, Capt. Jose Acosta will relinquish command to Capt. Joel Roos, at a ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m. on Aug. 30, at the medical center.

The conclusion of the ceremony will mark the beginning of Acosta’s next assignment, where the Virginia native will serve as the lead medical officer for the San Diego-based U.S. 3rd Fleet. As the fleet surgeon, he will be responsible for the medical readiness of sailors and marines aboard ships, submarines, and aircraft stationed in California, Washington, and Hawaii.

Roos, an emergency physician by trade and native of Cincinnati, will assume command as the 43rd naval officer to lead Naval Medical Center San Diego.

 Roos previously served as fleet surgeon for the Japan-based U.S. 7th Fleet, where he was responsible for operational medical planning and execution, in addition to theater security cooperation engagements throughout the Western Pacific. His last assignment in San Diego was as the deputy commander for Naval Medical Center San Diego in 2009.


Navy Officials Assessing Breakdown

Of Another Littoral Combat Ship

By City News Service

Navy officials in San Diego Monday were assessing the damage in the third major engine breakdown over the past year in a littoral combat ship, prompting an admiral to call for improvements in engineering oversight and training.

The Navy said a leak last month from a pump seal on the USS Freedomresulted in seawater entering the lubrication oil system of one of the ship’s main propulsion diesel engines.

The incident occurred on July 11, but the Navy didn’t release the information publicly until Sunday. The Freedom returned to San Diego under its own power two days later, and eventually participated in the Rim of the Pacific exercise while operating on its gas turbine engines.

One of the diesel engines will have to be rebuilt or replaced because of rust and seawater damage, according to the Navy.

A statement said the cost and timeline for the repair are unknown and an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the breakdown.

Previous incidents damaged the propulsion systems of two other members of the LCS family, the USS Fort Worth and USS Milwaukee. The Fort Worth is on its way back to San Diego after being stuck in Singapore since January.

All are the single-hull variant of the class, produced by Lockheed Martin. The trimaran variant built by Austal USA has not experienced similar problems.

“Given the engineering casualties on USS Freedom and USS Fort Worth, I believe improvements in engineering oversight and training are necessary,” said Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, commander of U.S. naval surface forces.

“The recently completed LCS review of manning, design, and training looked at a number of sailor performance and ownership factors, to include crew rotation, size and proficiency,” Rowden said.

“From this work, I believe we will be able to make immediate changes to help reduce chance for future operator error. I am fully committed to ensuring that our ships and the sailors who man them have the proper tools and training they need to safely and effectively operate these ships.”

The breakdown on the Fort Worth stemmed from a lack of engine lubrication, according to a Navy investigation.

The commander of the crew onboard the Fort Worth at the time was relieved. The LCS operates with rotating crews so the ships can be deployed overseas for longer periods of time.

Personnel Announcements

Dave Schumacher Named Senior Planning Manager

Dave Schumacher

Dave Schumacher

Dave Schumacher has been named a senior planning manager in the San Diego office of WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global engineering and professional services organization. Schumacher will serve as project manager or lead planner on transit planning projects in Southern California.

Schumacher has over 30 years of experience in public transportation planning. Previously, he was a principal regional planner for the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). He led SANDAG’s transit planning section in the development of the regional long-range transit plan, corridor planning for light rail and bus rapid transit projects, the development of the Regional Short-Range Transit Plan, and coordination with the Metropolitan Transit System and North County Transit District on short-term planning and corridor planning activities.

Schumacher also oversaw the development of the Urban Area Transit Strategy, which outlines transit and land use strategy for the long-range transit vision in 2050 San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan, which was adopted in October 2015.


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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

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