Meet the EPIC Contract Team

Raytheon and its partners are bringing proven expertise in scientific leadership, software engineering, software infrastructure, and delivery of support services to government, academia, and industry researchers who will collaborate within the EPIC framework.

EPIC Contract Team Members

Contract Team, Christopher Domanti

Christopher Domanti

Program Manager

Chris graduated from Cornell University with a Masters of Engineering in Systems Engineering and has spent 12 years in the Raytheon organization supporting a variety of programs in the weather and climate domains including the Joint Polar Satellite System Common Ground System (JPSS CGS), The Earth Observing Systems Data and Information System Evolution (EOSDIS) and Development (EED) and the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS). Starting as a Systems Engineer and gaining experience in each step of the systems development lifecycle, Chris made the transition to Program Management where he is now the Project Manager of the Earth Prediction Innovation Center (EPIC) Task Orders.

Keven Blackman, Solutions Architect

Keven Blackman

Solutions Architect

Keven graduated from the University of Illinois, Springfield with a Masters of Science in Computer Science. For over 21 years, Keven has been working in the computer science and meteorology space. He has led weather programs ranging from Air Force Support applications, numerical weather modeling, cloud architect of meteorology applications, to migrating the Air Forces data to the cloud. Currently, he is working as the Chief Engineer of the Earth Prediction Innovation Center (EPIC) and is honored to be charged with driving community contributions to the United Forecast Model (UFS) weather model. He is also currently finishing up a Ph.D. in Information Technology with a focus on blockchain and machine learning and will retire next year after 20 years in Air Force Weather, both Active Duty and National Guard.

Contract Team, Luke Peffers

Luke Peffers

EPIC Program Leadership

Dr. Peffers brings over 22 years of experience as an active-duty service member, a civil servant for the USAF, the Chief Scientists for a DoD contractor, an adjunct professor of Meteorology for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus and now as Chief Weather Officer (CWO) of Dr. Peffers joined the USAF in 1999 and later moved on to earn his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science in collaboration with the U.S. Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC). After earning his Ph.D., Dr. Peffers worked at AFTAC and became the branch chief of the Meteorological Modeling and Analysis team that is responsible for designing and operating weather modeling systems that are used to monitor compliance with multiple global nuclear test ban treaties. Dr. Peffers then joined STAR, LLC to serve as Chief Scientist where he managed numerous DoD contracts and projects involving the development and sustainment of operational weather models and weather-driven Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) forensic analysis and forecasting systems for various agencies within the DoD and international governments. Today, Dr. Peffers manages the science and applied engineering team at and serves on the executive team where he helps manage the company and drives top-level innovation.

Contract Team, Silhouette male

Stylianos (Stelios) Flampouris

Solutions Architect

Stylianos -Stelios- Flampouris, Ph.D. (University of Hamburg), is the Vice President of Science and Technology for, leading edge-cutting multi-disciplinary (Numerical Weather Forecasting Modeling and Data Assimilation, Machine Learning Modeling, and Image Processing) research and operational teams and activities focused on Weather Prediction. 

In parallel, Stelios is in charge of designing, implementing, and scaling the infrastructure required for the UFS Weather Model and Applications in support of the UFS Community within the EPIC Contract. The dual role of Stelios is the first demonstration of the first public-private development of the UFS Weather Model.

Over the past two decades, Stelios has served at NOAA (USA) in multiple roles, Naval Research Lab (USA), and Heron Center (Germany), leading innovation and teams on the subjects of Coupled Modeling and Data Assimilation, High-Performance Computing, and Signal Processing.

Jong Kim, Code Management Team Product Owner

Jong Kim

Product Owner – Code Management

Jong Kim works as a lead configuration and code manager for the NOAA EPIC program to support the UFS Weather Model and application releases. Before joining EPIC, he led the Marine Data Assimilation Team at NOAA Environmental Modeling Center (EMC). Through the UFS-R2O marine reanalysis project, the Next Generation Global Ocean Data Assimilation System (NG-GODAS) was successfully demonstrated in the JEDI-based Sea-Ice Ocean and Coupled Assimilation (SOCA) framework. Jong also spent about 12 years as a lead software engineer for the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) at NASA. His early career included a computational scientist position at the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of the DOE Argonne National Lab. He holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Utah.

Contract Team, Farida Adimi

Farida Adimi

Product Manager

Dr. Farida Adimi is the EPIC product manager, she leads a diverse and talented team of scientists and engineers who are implementing EPIC’s work plan and vision. In her role as the EPIC product manager, Farida strives to strengthen the collaboration and communication between EPIC and UFS by active engagement with the UFS key stakeholders in the planning and implementation of EPIC program.

Prior to joining the EPIC program, Farida led a team of program managers at the NWS Office of Science and Technology Integration (OSTI), Modeling division. As a senior program manager, Farida led the implementation of the Next Generation Global System (NGGPS) program at EMC, NOAA labs, and DTC. During her tenure at OSTI, she helped transition NGGPS into the Unified Forecast System (UFS), led the establishment of the UFS-R2O project, and served as the UFS-R2O project engineer.

Farida has more than twenty-five years of experience supporting several NASA and NOAA missions. Her experience spans instrument calibration, science algorithm development, modeling and artificial intelligence, systems & software engineering, and project & program management. Farida graduated from the University of Maryland with a Ph.D. in physics.

Contract Team, Fredrick Gabelmann

Fredrick Gabelmann

Release Train Engineer

Fredrick graduated from Arizona State University with a Masters of Science in Software Engineering.  Before coming onto the EPIC program, Fredrick has spent more than fifteen years as a cloud native and mobile software engineer & architect across a number of software domains in the commercial and public sectors.  Some of the domains Fredrick has experience includes video on demand, data lakes, data pipelines and near-realtime data streaming.  Currently, he leads the EPIC program’s Scaled Agile Framework execution.

Mark Potts, Solutions Architect

Mark Potts

Solutions Architect

Mark graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a Ph.D. from the Program for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.  Mark worked for several organizations, including the Department of Defense, NASA, and private industry before coming to NOAA in 2015 as a Senior Computational Scientist for the Environmental Modeling Center.  He has 25 years of experience in scientific research and HPC software development.  Currently, Mark leads the Advanced User Support team for the EPIC program and represents EPIC on the UFS Release Coordination Cross-Cutting Team.

Picture of Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones

Product Owner – EPIC Community Engagement

Aaron is a retired Air Force veteran with over 20 years of experience in weather operations, forecasting, and analysis. During his career, he gained valuable experience through multiple deployments managing high-tempo weather operations, as well as in many diverse areas such as cybersecurity infrastructure development, network administration, and system implementation. His background provided him the experience needed to employ various project management methodologies, guide complex reorganization processes, and manage large teams. He aims to identify organizational needs and ensure that projects are delivered on time.

Apart from his military experience, Aaron received his associate’s degree in meteorology from the Air Force and a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from the American Military University and received his Master of Science in Cybersecurity in 2023. Having grown up in Spain, Aaron is bilingual and has traveled the world. He is determined to seek out challenging opportunities, fresh perspectives, and innovative thinking.

Kris Booker

Kris Booker

Product Owner – Platform

Kris leads the NOAA EPIC Platform Team. He worked for NOAA previously (NEXRAD Operational Support Facility) as an undergraduate student. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma with a minor in Management of Information Systems. Prior to joining as a DevOps Engineer, he was a Senior Systems Engineer at Perforce Software and has worked for various private weather companies (Vaisala, Universal Weather & Aviation) during his 20-year career. Kris is an avid aviation enthusiast and aspiring private pilot. 

Cameron Book, Software Integration Team Product Owner at NOAA EPIC

Cameron Book

Product Owner – Software Integration

Cameron currently leads the Software Integration Team at NOAA EPIC. Prior to joining the EPIC program, he worked on regional ocean data assimilation (MOM6-SOCA) as a support scientist at NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center (EMC). Outside of NOAA, he worked for several years on coupled earth systems modeling in both academia and government laboratories. He received a Master of Science in Engineering with a focus on solid and fluid mechanics from Brown University and holds a bachelor’s in physics from Emory University. 

Gillian Petro, User Support Team Lead for EPIC NOAA

Gillian Petro

User Support Team Lead

Gillian leads the User Support Team at NOAA EPIC and has worked on documentation for the Short-Range Weather Application, the UFS Weather Model, the Land Data Assimilation System, and the Unified Post Processor. Gillian brings a diverse range of experience to EPIC thanks to her previous work for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Baltimore City Public Schools, and the American University Law Review. Gillian received a Master of Science in Data Analytics from University of Maryland Global Campus and a law degree from American University Washington College of Law.

The EPIC Contract

EPIC’s Strategic Plan calls for the establishment of “an extramural, virtual center with strong connections to both the research and operational (i.e., National Weather Service) communities.” NOAA’s contracting partner, Raytheon, has been selected to lead initiatives around software engineering, software infrastructure, community engagement, and delivery of support services to the government, academia, and industry researchers who will collaborate within the EPIC framework. 

RI&S and its partners will be responsible for continuous connections between the research, modeling, and operations communities to communicate and align operational needs, innovation possibilities, and the programs that fund research and development. RI&S is also responsible for access to a hybrid high-performance computing integrated development environment (IDE) that is platform-agnostic. IDE’s are applications for writing code (similar to a word processor for writing text documents), and they come with tools, such as a debugger, used to troubleshoot the code. In addition to the usual features, EPIC’s IDE will offer the tools for users to conduct research in a cloud development environment, which includes access to a code repository, observational data, high-quality documentation, utilities, and user support services, along with community support and engagement.

Contract Phases

Phase One (near term, 2021-2022)

RI&S will provide infrastructure to facilitate innovation and accelerated research to operations to: 1) guide usage of cloud development environments; 2) provide a code repository, observational data, and required tools; and 3) provide community support and increased user engagement. This first phase will improve the global weather element of the Unified Forecast System (UFS), advancing global 7-10 day weather forecasts by incorporating contributions from the external research and modeling community. EPIC will also invite partnerships with other agencies, academia, industry, and the international community and support a user-friendly, well-supported modeling code base from which innovation can flourish. 

Phase Two (mid term, 2023-2025)

RI&S will extend infrastructure and user support for UFS to fully coupled Earth system prediction, transforming the operational suite of models into one modeling system. This work will transform the operational suite of models that are critical to improving forecast skill beyond 3 weeks.

Contract Features

$45M 5-year contract ceiling

Contract Type: Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ)

Prime Contractor: Raytheon, an RTX Company

Raytheon’s Partners: