The Night Rover Management Team


Joshua Neubert
Executive Director, @joshuaneubert

Josh is a innovative leader for all things geek. His passions are focused in technology, exploration, and entrepreneurship to help enhance a global, knowledge-based society. Mr. Neubert has extensive experience creating and managing innovative education programs and incentive prize competitions, most recently kicking off the Night Rover Challenge with the Cleantech Open and NASA's Office of Centennial Challenges. In 2008, he joined forces with the wife of late Apollo 12 Commander Pete Conrad, to create the Spirit of Innovation Awards – a high school science entrepreneurship program reaching over 2500 participants in its first 3 years. Prior to that, from 2005-2008, Josh led a team at the X PRIZE Foundation developing educational experiences for 12,000 students and 8,000 public attendees at the X PRIZE Cup. He researched lunar in-situ resource utilization at the University of Hawaii and received a Bachelors & Masters degree in Planetary Science from MIT.

Rebeca Hwang
Director of Partnerships

Rebeca is a geek turned entrepreneur. She has been intimately involved in the world of competitions since 1997. Rebeca has participated, won, organized and judged competitions with Junior Achievement, the World Bank, MIT and Stanford University. In 2006, she co-founded and led the judging process of the Cleantech Open Competition. The alumni of this program generated 2,000 jobs and raised more than $660M in capital and grants. Rebeca received a B.S. and a Masters degree from MIT in Chemical and Environmental Engineering. She co-founded YouNoodle during a leave of absence from a doctoral degree at Stanford and has led the company to manage entrepreneurial competitions and programs around the globe.

Diane Murphy
Director of Public Relations

Diane Murphy is on the Board of the X PRIZE Foundation and Youth Service America. She was a VP of Communications for EADS and Northrop Grumman, two $30B+ companies. She has organized major events at the National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian; and served as a consultant in the Office of the Under Secretary of Energy, coordinating all agency education programs with the White House.

Technical Team

David Skalny
Energy Storage Deputy Team Leader, US Army RDECOM-TARDEC

David Skalny received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University in 2005, a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Michigan State University in 2005, and a M.Eng in Energy Systems Engineering from University of Michigan in 2011. He is currently working at US Army Tank Automotive Research Development Engineering Center (TARDEC) in Warren, MI and holds the position of Energy Storage Deputy Team Leader in the Ground Vehicle Power & Mobility Directorate and has worked at TARDEC for 10 years. His research fields of interest include battery standardization, Li-ion battery adaption for military vehicle use, and battery management system technologies.

Michal Vakrat Wolkin
Chair, Night Rover Challenge Technical Committee

Dr. Michal Vakrat Wolkin is currently serving as the Chair of the NASA Night Rover Challenge Technical Committee. Michal led Better Place business-development and technology efforts for electric-vehicle batteries. She is a materials scientist with over 15 years of experience in interdisciplinary research with specific focus on transforming highly innovative technologies from ideas into working prototypes. Before joining Better Place, she was a member of the research staff at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where she managed a team of scientists creating and implementing materials and processes for PARC’s cleantech research program. Prior to joining PARC, Dr. Wolkin was a leading scientist in the research and development department of JDS Uniphase. Dr. Wolkin received a PhD in Materials Science from the University of Rochester and an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. She holds several patent applications and her research is widely cited (most notably, her paper entitled, “Electronic States and Luminescence in Porous Silicon Quantum Dots,” has been cited over 1,000 times). Dr. Wolkin currently serves on various industrial review panels related to battery technologies, advisory boards, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.

Eric Hsieh
Market Development Director, A123 Systems

At A123 Systems, Eric Hsieh promotes policy reforms that bring storage benefits to electricity users and markets. Previously, he was the Government Relations Manager at the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, where he supported advanced transmission technologies as solutions for climate, economic, and security challenges. He has also served as staff at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in economic analysis and enforcement roles. Eric has a Master in Public Policy from UC Berkeley and a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from MIT.

Ron Creel
Former Apollo LRV Thermal Control Engineer

Ron worked on the Apollo program for NASA designing the thermal management system for the Lunar Rover Vehicle. Ron continues to support NASA's educational efforts at Marshall Space Flight Center, in Huntsville, Alabama. He currently works for the Missile Defense Agency.

Gerald Hill
Facilities Manager, NASA Glenn Research Center

Gerald Hill is the Facilities Manager for the B-2 Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility at NASA Glenn Research Center's Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, OH. Mr. Hill is the primary logistics manager for the Night Rover Trials at NASA GRC.

Education Team

Alysia Caryl
Education Director

Alysia Carol has over 12 years of experience designing and developing educational programs. She was previously Director of Education at the Tech Museum of Innovation, Director of Education at NASA Ames Research Center, and prior to that has held leadership positions at other museums and has been a K-12 teacher.

Thomas Goodwin
Cultural Competency Lead

Thomas is the Executive Director of I.S.I.S. Youth, an educational organization focused on engaging under-served students in science and technology. He has led the development of numerous culturally relevant events to help inspire youth to be more creative and interested in their own education. Thomas also works with Anhk Marketing, a hip-hop, pop culture event management company.

Henrik Scheel
Innovation Lead

Henrik has created two companies and leads the Startup Experience, a program to guide student through the process of creating their own innovative business opportunities.

Phebe Wang
Youth Ambassadors Manager

Phebe comes to us from the City of San Francisco Innovation office. Her past experiences in programs helping under-served youth has led her to join our Education & Outreach team and help develop the Youth Ambassadors program.