Dr. Kevin Ayer – APD Senior Capture Manager
At CAES, our people are our most important asset. We sat down with one of CAES' team members to learn more about his career path, interests and why he enjoys working at CAES. Read on to learn more about Dr. Kevin Ayer, Senior Capture Manager.
After graduating with his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Texas at El Paso, Kevin Ayer joined the U.S. Air Force in 1984 as an electrical engineer. He started his military career by returning to school at Auburn University where he earned a second bachelor's degree, this time in electrical engineering.
Kevin then was assigned working on jet engines at the depot overhaul facility at Tinker AFB, OK. After his Tinker assignment, Kevin went back to school to earn his master's degree in electrical engineering in Dayton, Ohio and then was assigned to the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), developing innovative imaging systems based on very short pulse, flood illumination LiDAR, the world's first polarization-based laser imaging and ranging system.
From AFRL, Kevin moved on to the System Program Office for the Advanced Tactical Fighter which later became the F-22. After the F-22 assignment, he transferred to the Pentagon to work at the Secretary of the Air Force, Office of Research (SAF/OR) on programs of highest national priority. After SAF/OR, Kevin was assigned to Rochester Institute of Technology as a doctoral student, earning his Ph.D. in Imaging Sciences, specializing in non-linear acoustics.
Kevin completed his military tour of duty as the Technical Advisor for the Signature Technology Office (now known as the Systems Technology Office) at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.
After 21 years in the Air Force, Kevin transitioned to government contracting work at Mission Research Corporation, which became Alliant Techsystems (ATK), and eventually became part of Northrop Grumman. From there, Kevin transitioned to Raytheon Missiles Systems, then to Applied Technology Associates (now known as Blue Halo), followed by Intel Corporation, and finally with us at CAES-APD in Colorado Springs.
Kevin shared that the number one lesson he learned coming out of the Air Force and into the contracting world was the importance of being a people person, especially when working in a business development role.
Having connections at Colorado Engineering, now CAES-APD, Kevin was familiar with the kind of work CAES-APD does and the culture they create. These two factors were the primary basis for his transitioning to CAES-APD. Kevin shared how excited he was about the various processes and technologies that come from the APD site.
“The most important piece of advice I could give is to stress the importance of two-way communication," said Ayer. “Really listening to what people have to say and giving thought to your response."
On the weekends, you can find Kevin spending time with his five grandkids, all of whom live nearby. Kevin says time with his grandkids keeps the energy high and allows him to learn from the next generation.