Dr. Travis Axtell is a staff consultant for Ball Aerospace, focused on optical sensors, machine learning signal processing techniques, and multiple-intelligence source fusion in autonomous systems. Previously he was a career civil servant with the Department of the Navy and served at the Defense Pentagon as the founding technical lead of Project Maven, a Deputy Secretary of Defense-directed effort to rapidly field machine learning technologies to US military members serving in harm’s way. Travis evaluated and tested the first machine learning algorithms that were approved and successfully deployed into a combat zone -- a first-of-kind for the United States and completed in only 6 months from initiation. Travis chooses to take technical risk in the pursuit of breakthroughs so that others do not needlessly take safety-of-life risk; his research has greatly benefitted the Navy and is used widely throughout the Department. He earned his doctorate in electrical engineering (space systems engineering) at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California and is a Clemson Tiger. He is a senior member of the IEEE and member of SPIE.