Advisory Board

AEye Advisory Board posing in front of AEye's autonomous vehicle with AEye's iDAR smart sensor

AEye's Advisory Board: Luke Schneider, Willie Gault, Adrian Kaehler, Admiral David Bill, Scott Pfotenhauer, David Gardner, Greg Hitchan, James Doty, and Elliot Garbus.

Rear Admiral David S. Bill III

Rear Admiral David Bill is a highly decorated combat veteran with over 32 years of naval service, and is currently the Executive Director of the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation in Monterey, CA. He has held positions as Managing Director of a privately held development company, and served as CEO of Xslent, as well as CEO of the Northern California Golf Association. RADM Bill served as Commanding Officer of the USS Wisconsin, Deputy Commander in Chief of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe, and Head of Surface Ship and Combat Systems Directorate as a member of the Chief of the Naval Operations Staff. RADM Bill has been awarded a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, a Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit awards, and the Meritorious Service Medal. Bill attended the Royal Naval Staff College in Greenwich, England, and has an electrical engineering degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Jeff Clarke

Jeff Clarke is the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Kodak. Prior to joining Kodak, Clarke was a Managing Partner of Augusta Columbia Capital (ACC), a private investment firm he co-founded in 2012. From 2012 to 2014, Clarke was the Chairman of Travelport, Inc., a private, travel technology firm, where he served as CEO from 2006 to 2011, after leading its sale from Cendant Corporation to the Blackstone Group for $4.3 billion in 2006. Clarke was the Chief Operating Officer of CA, Inc., an enterprise software company, from 2004 to 2006. From 2002 to 2003, Clarke was Executive Vice President of Global Operations at HP where he was responsible for worldwide supply chain, manufacturing, procurement, and internet operations. Prior to HP, Clarke was the Chief Financial Officer of Compaq Computer. Clarke earned an MBA from Northeastern University, where he serves as a Trustee. He holds a B.A. in Economics from SUNY Geneseo.

Etienne Deffarges

Mr. Etienne Deffarges serves as a Co-Founder and Operating Partner at Chicago Pacific Founders. Prior, he was Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President at Accretive Health Inc. (now R1-RCM). He was an integral part of Accretive Health’s founding team, and took the company public in 2010, at an enterprise valuation of $1.2 billion. From 1999 until 2004, he was a Global Managing Partner and a member of the Executive Committee and Global Leadership Council at Accenture. Before joining Accenture, he spent 14 years at Booz Allen Hamilton where he served as a Senior Partner and Global Practice Leader of the energy, chemicals and pharmaceuticals practice.. Mr. Deffarges holds BSc and MSc Degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from the French National School of Aeronautics and Aerospace, a MSc in Civil Engineering from UC Berkeley, and a MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar.

Keith Dierkx

Mr. Dierkx has spent 30 years assisting freight, logistics and rail companies transform their operations. He is recently retired as an executive in IBM’s Travel and Transportation Global Markets organization and currently manages a strategic advisory service. Mr. Dierkx consults with start-ups and corporate transportation and supply chain companies on accelerating their digital transformation and innovation initiatives. He was previously Senior Vice President of Operations for Embarcadero Systems, the Information Technology arm of Marine Terminal Corporation (now PortsAmerica), a terminal operations and stevedoring company. He led the transformation of terminal operations through the utilization of digital technologies such as IoT, sensors, vision systems, and geo-spatial capabilities to automate and optimize processes. Mr. Dierkx was previously Vice President of Savi Technology, a pioneer in using technology to improve supply chain planning and operations, and began his career at AT&T. He holds a BA in History (of Science) with honors from UC Berkeley and received his MBA from Duke University.

James Doty, MD

James R. Doty, MD, is a clinical professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and is the founder and director of the University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Dr. Doty received his medical degree from Tulane University and completed his neurosurgery residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dr. Doty served 9 years on active duty in the U.S Army attaining the rank of major and has completed fellowships in pediatric neurosurgery and electroneurophysiology.

Tim Dunn

Mr. Dunn has over 21 years of extensive financial management experience and is currently an Operating Partner for TPG, a private equity firm in San Francisco. Previously, he was CFO of, CFO for the Gap Division of Gap, Inc., and held a number of senior management positions during his 12 years with PepsiCo, Inc. Prior to PepsiCo, he was with Price Waterhouse & Co., and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California. Tim graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Business.

Elliot Garbus

Mr. Garbus is a strategy & management consultant working with startups, established companies, and Venture Capital firms. Elliot retired from Intel in May of 2017, where he was the Vice President and General Manager of the Transportation Solutions Division, responsible for delivering Intel’s vision for connected cars, autonomous driving, and intelligent transportation systems. Having worked directly with technology companies, automotive manufactures, and automotive suppliers, Mr. Garbus has a unique perspective on the coming disruptive transformation that will occur as self-driving vehicles become reality. Elliot holds 15 US patents relating to microprocessor architecture and system design.

David Gardner

Mr. Gardner has founded several successful imaging companies, including Silicon Mountain Design and Salvador Imaging, and has over 25 years of experience in the visible, NIR and SWIR imaging, with customers ranging from BMW to Lockheed Martin. He served as a consultant to NASA on several imaging programs and started the Salvador Foundation in 2007. Mr. Gardner has published numerous papers and holds patents related to imaging technology.In 2014, Mr. Gardner founded Quantum Imaging, Inc., which specializes in high-performance SWIR and low-light visible cameras. Mr. Gardner received a BS with honors in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri in 1984 with special emphasis in synthetic-aperture radar, and his MS in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado in 1987.

Willie Gault

Willie Gault is a former NFL wide receiver and Olympic athlete. Gault was an All-American at the University of Tennessee from 1979 to 1982. He played in the National Football League for 11 seasons for the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Raiders. Considered one of the fastest NFL players of all-time, Gault was a member of the Chicago Bears team that won Super Bowl XX, and was also a participant of both the summer and winter U.S. Olympic teams. Gault is currently an investor, remains active, and holds several world records in masters track and field.

Dr. Bernd Gottschalk

Dr. Bernd Gottschalk brings significant commercial vehicle and trucking experience and relationships. With nearly 50 years of experience in the German automotive industry, he has held a number of executive leadership positions, including Executive Board Member for Daimler AG, responsible for the Commercial Vehicles Business Unit globally. Dr. Gottschalk was also President of Mercedes Benz Brazil, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), and serves on the Board of Directors of Schaeffler Group, Plastic Omnium, and Jost Werke, and previously served on the boards of Delphi and Voith.

Tim Harris

Mr. Timothy Harris is co-founder and CEO of Swift Navigation. Prior to Swift, he worked in supply chain consulting for ORSOFT Jaenicke GmbH in Halle, Germany, and in corporate finance for Emerge Digital Group, where he oversaw M&A and strategic partnerships for a digital media holding company. Tim holds a JD degree from Boston University and a BA degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Greg Hitchan

Greg Hitchan is a Founder and the Managing Partner of Tri Valley Ventures where he directs investments in early stage technology companies, such as AEye. Mr. Hitchan has over 20 years of experience in the investment business that includes forming and helping invest multiple billion-dollar funds and dozens of related investment partnerships. Mr. Hitchan was also a practicing M&A attorney in Palo Alto, representing both public and private companies, as well as several private equity firms. Mr. Hitchan received his BS from the U.S. Naval Academy, MS in Strategic Intelligence from the Defense Intelligence Agency, and JD from Stanford Law School.

Adrian Kaehler

Dr. Adrian Kaehler is an independent scientist, adviser, and start-up founder. He is currently founder and CEO of Giant.AI. His current research includes topics in deep learning, machine learning more generally, statistical modeling, and computer vision. Adrian received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Columbia university in 1998. Adrian has since held positions at Intel Corporation and the Stanford University AI Lab, is an Applied Invention Fellow, and was a member of the winning Stanley race team in the DARPA Grand Challenge. Dr. Kaehler was Vice President of Special Projects at Magic Leap, Inc., a startup company that raised over $1.4Bn in venture funding from 2014 to 2016. He is a co-founder of the Silicon Valley Deep Learning Group, has a wide variety of published papers and patents in physics, electrical engineering, computer science, and robotics.

Jonathan Lauckner

Jon Lauckner brings unparalleled experience in integrating and commercializing automotive technology. Lauckner was formerly Chief Technology Officer of General Motors and President of GM Ventures. Prior to his retirement in July 2020, Jon was responsible for executing strategic investments in innovative companies developing next-generation technology. As GM’s Head of Research and Development, Jon was also actively involved in the development of the latest and most advanced technologies into GM vehicles. Over his 40+ year career at GM, Lauckner also held senior positions in Global Product Planning and Global Program Management.

Dr. Karl Thomas Neumann

Dr. Neumann has over 30 years of automotive industry knowledge and experience. He was CEO of the German automobile manufacturer Opel (GM Europe) from 2013 to 2017. Prior to Opel, Neumann held multiple positions with Volkswagen AG, including Head of Research, Director of Electronics Strategy, and CEO and Vice President of Volkswagen Group China. From 2004 to 2009, Neumann was CEO of the German auto supplier Continental AG, where he was responsible for the Automotive Systems Division and took company-wide responsibility for electric propulsion. He began his professional career at the Fraunhofer Institute as a research engineer, before moving to Motorola Semiconductor, where he worked as an engineer and strategy director responsible for the automobile industry. He studied electrical engineering at the Universities of Dortmund and Duisburg, where he was also awarded his doctorate. Dr. Neumann is a current board member for Hyundai Mobis,, and indie Semiconductor.

Frank Petznick

Frank Petznick has many years of experience developing and deploying innovative new technologies in the fields of electronics, infotainment and sensor technology. Currently, Mr. Petznick is the Executive Vice President of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems at Continental. Prior to joining Continental, Frank was Executive Vice President of Automated Driving at Hella and a member of Hella’s Electronics Executive Board. During his tenure at Hella, Mr. Petznick held executive roles on both a regional and global basis.

Scott Pfotenhauer

Mr. Pfotenhauer began his career at Intel in the mid 1970’s and has since been involved with numerous technology companies. Since joining Morgan Stanley in 1996, he developed and leveraged an expansive network of investment banking and wealth management resources to help clients formulate exit strategies for their businesses. He is a Senior Investment Management Consultant with Morgan Stanley, advising private client and corporate executives. Pfotenhauer obtained both a BA and MBA in Business from California Coast University.

Ryan Popple

Mr. Popple is a General Partner at R7 and co-founder and executive director at Proterra, the leading innovator of zero-emission, battery-electric buses. Previously, Ryan served as President and CEO at Proterra, helping lead the company from early commercialization to over $100 million in annual revenue, and raising several hundred million dollars of equity financing to support Proterra’s growth. Prior to Proterra, he was a Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where he sourced, led or supported investments in companies including Charge Point, Choose Energy, INRIX, Proterra, Telogis (Acquired) and Twitter (IPO). Ryan was an officer in the U.S. Army from 2000 to 2004, attended the College of William and Mary with an Army ROTC scholarship, served four years on active duty as a US Army officer, and attended Harvard Business School, graduating as a Baker Scholar in 2006.

Luke Schneider

Mr. Schneider is CEO of Silvercar, a personal transportation technology company combining hardware, software, and operations to provide innovative, seamless, branded customer experiences. Acquired by Audi in 2017, Silvercar has offerings in the rental car segment (Silvercar by Audi), auto dealership fleet management (Dealerware) and vehicle subscriptions (Audi select). Prior to joining Silvercar in early 2012, Schneider served as CTO of Zipcar, the world’s largest car-sharing company. He came to Zipcar by way of Flexcar, the United States’ first car-sharing company, where he served as CTO and VP of Strategy. Schneider conceived and drove development of new products, including the award-winning Zipcar iPhone app, which he debuted during a keynote presentation at Apple’s 2009 Worldwide Developer Conference. Schneider began his career at Ford Motor Company in 1992 and also served as SVP, Operations for Verticalnet, Inc., where he led post-merger integration efforts and product development for the software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider. Luke earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a MBA with specialization in Operations and Strategy from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

John Stanfield

Mr. Stanfield is an entrepreneur and adviser who has co-founded several startups, including, Local Motion. Stanfield also served as VP of Connected Car at Avis Budget Group for 2 years. John Stanfield holds a B.S. in Physics from Central Washington University and master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering & Design from Stanford University. His prior experience includes:Product Development, Product Marketing, Business Strategy, and Venture Capital.

Charles P. Zuhoski

Charles P. Zuhoski is a retired Senior Vice President from Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. He built a team of administrative, analytic and PhD level staff who provided extensive science and technology support to DARPA, Homeland Security, the Intelligence community, DOE and numerous other federal agencies. Before joining Booz Allen, Mr. Zuhoski was a Director of the Systems Analysis Group at United Technologies Corporation, where he provided operations and systems analysis support to the Comanche, X-Wing, and UH-60 programs. He retired from active duty in November, 1985. Mr. Zuhoski has a BS degree in Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MS degree, with distinction, in Operations Research and System Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School. Mr. Zuhoski holds several Military and Civilian Awards.