About the Southern Maryland Chapter

Chapter History

The Southern Maryland Chapter of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) began in February 1998.  The core group of organizers recognized the sizable Systems Engineering infrastructure  in the Patuxent River area created by the presence of the Naval Air Systems Command, the Naval Air Warfare Center (Aircraft Division and Field Activity at St. Indigos), the Naval Air Station, and a growing community of Industry partners. Elections were held in December 1998, the Chapter bylaws were approved at INCOSE Headquarters and with 30 members, the Southern Maryland Chapter of INCOSE Charter was signed on January 1999.  The installation of new officers took place soon thereafter.

2000 - 2005: The INCOSE Southern Maryland Chapter quickly engaged at the local level with its members, and at the International level, participating in numerous working groups dedicated to improving the application of systems engineering.  INCOSE Southern Maryland Chapter was a catalyst for NAVAIR to join the Corporate Advisory Board (CAB) sending senior leadership into INCOSE forums and symposia to discuss critical issues while furthering INCOSE International objectives.  NAVAIR provided significant resources to the authoring of the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook as well as continuous and robust participation in conference/symposia activities and the establishment of a professional certification program.  Local efforts established a luncheon speaker program, periodic tutorials and networking opportunities.

2005-2009:  The Southern Maryland Chapter continued its primary goal advancement of the application of systems engineering.  The Southern Maryland Chapter activities improved the awareness of SE resulting in increased awareness of the Chapter.  The Southern Maryland Chapter embraced the much larger surrounding technical community and organizations. This included joining The Patuxent Partnership organization to improve networking in the community.  Key events included two multi-day conferences exploring Systems Engineering topicality related to battle space systems engineering for Department of Navy, actively partnering with the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) organization for a college level unmanned air vehicle systems competition, an active luncheon speaker program, and participation with the local school system science fair program which includes a formal awards luncheon being established. The Southern Maryland Chapter also organized and led a 2 ½ day SE Conference in Hampton Roads Virginia for INCOSE Region V, which was a rousing success.

2010-2016:  The Southern Maryland Chapter continued advancing the practice of systems engineering despite the signification decrease in Government support for the Chapter.  This Southern Maryland Chapter continued serving the technical community and expanded its outreach efforts toward the local community and its regional partners.  This included working closely with The Patuxent Partnership organization, the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) organization’s Seafarer Chapter, and INCOSE Region V’s Washington Metro Chapter.  Key events included organizing and hosting two local multi-day conferences exploring systems engineering topicality related to battle space systems engineering for Department of Navy, actively partnering with the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) organization for a college level unmanned air systems competition, an active luncheon speaker program, and participation with the local school system science fair program including a formal awards luncheon being established. Our regional involved participating in the organizing, planning and staging of two Region V 3-day conferences. 

2017 – 2020:  The Southern Maryland Chapter continues to better engage with its outreach initiatives with increased involvement with INCOSE International programs and an expanded role with student chapter participation.  The Southern Maryland Chapter focused on another level of education for its members by providing several low-cost tutorials dealing with “Agile Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Project Planning” and “Solving the Systems Engineering Puzzle: A Group Discussion About Lessons Learned and Establishing Best Practices”. Our next initiative is associated with Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE). NAVAIR is trying to move their Systems Engineering base to engage in all form of Model-Based Engineering. The SoMD Chapter sees and opportunity to provide Expert Level Training in MBSE to Government SEs and thus reestablish and strengthen it base inside the Government and hopefully attracts additional and new Systems Engineers to the Chapter.   Additionally, we have embraced a new initiative in conjunction with the Washington Regional Chapter to engage with international students interested in unmanned systems and this will be a year to test the waters on its ability to build membership. 


Chapter Officers

Board of Directors

James Holton

Chapter President

James Holton currently works for PRECISE Systems in the Systems Engineering field. James was previously employed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a the Chief Systems Architect and the Chief Systems Engineer for the Office of Satellite Ground Service in Silver Spring Maryland. In this position, James led the design and development of Weather Satellites while working with NASA, DoD and others. James became a SoMD INCOSE member in 2003. James work history includes NAVAIR (4.1 and 4.5), Navy ERP Program Office, the Office of Naval Intelligence and ASN (RD&A) Chief Systems Engineering (CSE) Office. As the CSE, he represented the Navy’s Systems Commands while working across the Navy and DoD. His is DoD Acquisition Professional certified at Level 3 in SE, Program Management and Information Technology. James earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University, Indian and a Master’s in Business Administration from Indiana University.

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Chapter Vice-President

Lyndsay Daniels is a Systems Engineer with 9 years’ experience in the SE field supporting multiple projects including PMA-280/281 and as a Control Account Manager (CAM) supporting PMA-272. She joined INCOSE in 2017. She has her CSEP, PMP and National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Engineer in Training (EIT). Lyndsay hopes to gain more involvement with the INCOSE SoMD Chapter and has interests in Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) and process streamlining. She has held board positions in the Southern Maryland Roller Derby (SMRD non-profit organization including President (2016) and Treasurer (2014-2015).

Steve McKeown

Chapter Secretary

Steve McKeown is currently employed by Booz Allen Hamilton on the Navy Marine Corps Team supporting NAVAIR Airworks and the Special Communications Missions Solutions (SCMS) 4.11.4 Division of NAWCAD, supporting multiple systems engineering initiatives.  He has been an active member of INCOSE since January 2006 and served as President, Director at Large and Secretary during this time.  Previous work experience includes providing interoperability certification support for numerous Navy and joint services programs (Air Force and Army) for 15+ years and working as a business analyst supporting the Battlespace SE organization (4.1) and NAVAIR CIO, 7.2. He moved here in 1977 as a student at St. Mary’s College and has lived here since then raising a family of two, Kate & Sam and now lives with his wife, Joann in Solomon’s Island.

Karl Geist thumbnail pic

Chapter Treasurer

Karl Geist is currently employed by PREISE Systems and is an acquisition professional armed with 40+ years of acquisition experience developing all aspects of a system throughout the lifecycle and an employee of Precise Systems. He possesses hands-on experience in Systems Engineering, Program Management, Software Engineering, Safety Engineering, Systems Analysis, Program Analysis, Technical Assessment, Technical and Team Leadership, Personnel Management, and Training. He is DAU certified at Level 3 in Systems Planning, Research Development & Engineering, and in Program Management. Karl was Maryland’s first Expert Systems Engineering Professional (ESEP) and a recognized SME in Systems Engineering and Software Engineering. He has served the SoMD Chapter as President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Director.

Cheryl Kinchen 2021

Past President

Cheryl Kinchen, a Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP), joined INCOSE in 2002 and recently served as President for the INCOSE SoMD Chapter (2019 & 2020).  Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems from Strayer University District of Columbia. and is a graduate of the INCOSE Technical Leadership Institute. Cheryl is a recognized expert specializing in systems engineering processes currently working for Zenetex. She has 20 years of SE experience providing technical assistance to Department of Defense C4I and ISR programs including PMA280/281, Distributed Common Ground Systems-Navy (DCGS-N) and P-8A Poseidon, the Navy’s newest maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. She is an active member of the Society of Women Engineers and Past-President of the Charlotte-Metrolina Section serving two terms. She gives back to her community by volunteering at Church, mentoring women professionals and as a STEM volunteer Judge at Science Fairs, FIRST Robotics Competitions, and International Student UAS Competitions.

james Carroll

Director At Large: James Carroll

Jim is currently employed by Avian as a Senior Systems Engineer supporting the Model Based Systems Engineering efforts of the USMC Attack Utility Replacement Aircraft (AURA). Prior to joining Avian in January 2020, Jim served 35 years in NAVAIR in varying roles. He has 5 years as the System Development Systems Engineer in the AV-8B Harrier Program Office and 3 years as a member of the NAVAIR Systems Engineering Transformation Team developing and implementing Model Based Systems Engineering throughout the Command and the Warfare Center. He hopes to build some relationships between NAVAIR programs and across the Systems Engineering discipline to share ideas and promote the practice of SE.


Director At Large: Gregory Olson

Greg is currently employed by KBR Government Solutions-US, as the UAS Program Manager (UAS, Sustaining Engineering, Flight Test). He has been in numerous roles including Flight Test and SE 1989-1991, 1996-1998, as well as Engineering Management including elements of SE 1999-Present. Greg is a firm believer in the benefits of Professional Affiliations and in addition to long standing INCOSE relationship (Science Fair, meeting sponsorship etc.), has been a PMI Board member, ITEA member, AUVSI, and Patuxent Partnership. His interest areas include: STEM, UAS, and Collaboration between Test, Program Management, and System Engineering communities. He would like to promote cooperation with TPP, AUVSI, ITEA, and PMI when and where appropriate for benefits to the professional community at large.

Ken Ptack

Director At Large: Ken Ptack

Ken career as a practitioner of sound systems engineering and leadership is highlighted in his distinguished career over a 40+ year period. Ken was a Marine Corps tactical jet pilot and the Lead Systems Engineer for two Marine Corps multi-faceted C2I training system and a Fires and Maneuvers system Ken supported the development of airborne electronic warfare (EW) counter measure systems and supported the development of integrated complex advanced airborne early warning command and control system. Ken was the INCOSE President in 1999 and is an INCOSE Founder and ESEP. Ken retired from Northrup Grumman in 2010.