Douglas Bennett is founder and CEO of AURA Technologies based in Research Triangle, North Carolina. Mr. Bennett was previously the sole founder of Bennett Aerospace, an Inc. Magazine Inc.500 designated company, which he successfully grew to a $180 million dollar, global enterprise operating across 11 time zones around the world. Mr. Bennett started AURA Technologies in 2015, where focuses more fully on his core R&D passion.

Douglas Bennett has previously served as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences liaison to the New Zealand Royal Society. He has also served as a Study Director for the National Academy of Science’s / National Research Council’s Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board. In the role, he crafted public policy for the U.S. federal and state governments that shape the United State’s future technology development. While at the NRC, he directed numerous studies. Most notably, a committee on Mars exploration, the recommendations of which are being used by NASA to plan for Mars robotic exploration. Mr. Bennett’s other work at the National Academies included directing committees that assessed the technical quality of $2 billion worth of annual funding for research and development under NASA’s research program. The program covered all aspects of aeronautics and space applications including information technology, data management, nanotechnology, power and propulsion, aircraft design, bio-inspired design, and communications. For State-level efforts, Douglas directed committees that determined in which technologies the State of Ohio invested $40 million when establishing Ohio’s Wright Centers of Excellence in the fields of nanotechnology, information technology, power generation, and aircraft propulsion.

He has served as a consultant to NASA, the US Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare (SpaWar) Systems Center, the US Air Force Laboratory, and DARPA. For DARPA Mr. Bennett created visions of technological impact on complex battle spaces where computers read human bio-signs, including brain signatures, eye tracking and other physiological responses, to gauge a human’s mental operational capacity and adjust information flow accordingly.

Mr. Bennett has worked as a consultant for NEC Corporation in Japan, and a sales engineer in advanced electronics manufacturing for German-based Heraeus GmbH. He has spent over a year of his life on ships, some in oceanographic research and the majority working for the Marine Division of Schlumberger, Inc., as a navigator for oil exploration in the West Indies and the Gulf of Mexico. His work has included extensive international collaborations with Europe, Latin America, North America, Australasia, Japan, and the West Indies, including intensive “international relations immersion training” while working on oil exploration ships, the crews of which represented 10 nationalities speaking 7 languages.

Douglas Bennett received a Mechanical Engineering Degree from Georgia Tech. He also holds a Master’s in English – Creative Writing – from Iowa State University, and a second Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies – concentrating on Astrophysics, English, and Political Science with an emphasis on Technology, Policy, and Culture, also from Iowa State. He is a designated outstanding alumni from Iowa State and was credited with penning the first, and perhaps only, fictional short story used in a National Academy of Sciences report.

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The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.

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