Advanced science.  Applied technology.


IHPS 2023 Speakers

Speakers & Topics

We are excited to share this list of amazing keynote and lightning talk (approx. 15 minutes) speakers for the 2023 International Human Performance Summit. Visit the Registration page to reserve your spot on July 20-21, 2023, at the Southwest Research Institute campus in San Antonio Texas.


Johnny Owens

Johnny Owens
Keynote Speaker

CEO, Owens Recovery Science
From the Battlefield to Sportsfield: Lessons Learned from 14 Years of War 


Johnny Owens BS, MPT is CEO and Director of Clinical Research & Education for Owens Recovery Science, an "Inc. 500" company. He is the former Chief of Human Performance Optimization at the Center for the Intrepid at San Antonio Military Medical Center. He completed his undergraduate course work in biology at The University of Texas at Austin and earned his masters in physical therapy at The University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston. He manages lower extremity trauma and complex foot and ankle injuries of patients returning from the combat zone. He developed the Return to Run Clinical Pathway which focuses on returning service members who have suffered trauma back to high level activity and most recently the application of a novel technique, blood flow restriction training to help restore strength after injuries. He has numerous multi-center research projects involving regenerative medicine, sports medicine and rehabilitation of the combat casualty. He is also a consultant to multiple professional and collegiate teams. His work has been featured on NPR, Time Magazine, ESPN and 60 Minutes.

Portrait of John F. Drazan

John F. Drazan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Fairfield University
Take THAT for Data – Sport Scientists Can Revolutionize STEM Education

Dr. John Drazan is an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Fairfield University. His multidisciplinary research focuses on orthopedic biomechanics, muscle mechanics and STEM Education through sports. In addition to his technical research, Dr. Drazan serves as STEM Director for 4th Family Inc., a grassroot nonprofit started by his college basketball teammate, John Scott. Since 2012, Dr. Drazan’s programs at 4th Family have engaged tens of thousands of youth athletes in STEM learning across the country at venues such as the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, The NBA Rookie Combine and NBA All-Star Weekend. In recognition of this work, Dr. Drazan has won multiple awards including Best Research Paper at the 2017 MIT-Sloan Sports Analytics Conference and the 2020 Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Robb Rogers

Robb Rogers M.Ed., CSCS

101st DSB H2F Director, 101st Airborne
Science - Tradition - Culture: Training Today's Military Through Lessons Learned

Robb has an extensive history as a coach, teacher and consultant training national and world class performers in the world of sport as well as the military. Following a coaching career that included collegiate stops at Missouri, University of Southern California—and Baylor as well as in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues and in NASCAR with Richard Petty Motorsports—Robb shifted to training military personnel at the 10th Group Special Forces, 3/160 Night Stalkers, 38th Rescue Squad and the USAF Special Warfare pipeline at JBSA-Lackland before beginning his current assignment at the 101st DSB at Ft. Campbell. Robb has also traveled the world consulting and teaching across the United States as well as in China, Japan, Holland, and Germany.

Portrait of Dawn Kernagis, Ph.D.

Dawn Kernagis, Ph.D.

Vice Chair for Neurosurgery Research, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Cognitive Performance and Brain Health from Sea to Space

Dr. Dawn Kernagis is Vice Chair for Research in the UNC Department of Neurosurgery, where she studies neuroprotective strategies for individuals who will be exposed to high physiological stress. Protecting the brain and nervous system of people working in extreme environments (altitude, undersea, space), athletes and military personnel who are at high concussive risk, and patients undergoing clinical procedures that induce stress on the brain and nervous system is critically important for their resilience to these stressors and their long-term health. Her research is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and NASA, among other organizations. Dawn completed her Ph.D. and postdoctoral training at Duke University. In 2016, Dawn was selected as a crew member of the NASA NEEMO XXI undersea mission. Based on her background in underwater exploration and diving medicine research, Dawn was inducted as a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame and as a Fellow of the Explorers Club.

Portrait of Robin Thorpe, Ph.D.

Robin Thorpe, Ph.D.

Sports Science, Strength & Conditioning Lead, Red Bull
Novel Approaches to Enhance Recovery and Adaptation in Athletes


Dr. Robin Thorpe spent a decade (2009-2019) working as a Senior Performance Scientist and Conditioning Coach at Manchester United Football Club of the English Premier League. Robin worked with the First Team delivering performance support to players whilst overseeing and managing recovery and regeneration practices throughout the Club as Head of Recovery and Regeneration. During this time, Dr. Thorpe was part of a winning team achieving 10 national and international titles. Robin completed an applied Ph.D. with Liverpool John Moores University investigating methods of managing recovery, which has led to several original articles published in peer reviewed journals. Much of his work to date has centered around a model to maximize athlete availability, performance and the reduction of injury and illness risk. Dr. Thorpe also currently holds a position of Visiting Research Fellow at Liverpool John Moores University and Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University and has worked with many high-profile individual athletes including professional Golf and Boxing. Dr. Thorpe also assisted in the preparation of Mexico's national football team in the lead-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In May of 2019, Dr. Thorpe accepted a position as Director of Performance & Innovation working with World Class Track and Field athletes including Olympic Gold Medalists and World Record Holders in the lead up to the Olympic Games (Tokyo 2020). Dr. Thorpe has recently consulted in roles in the EPL, NBA, MLB, MLS and PGA Tour as well as the tech corporation Intel. Most recently, Dr. Thorpe leads the sports science and performance operation at the Athletes Performance Center in Los Angeles and also holds a role in supporting Red Bull Soccer Teams globally.

Portrait of Jill L McNitt-Gray, Ph.D.

Jill L. McNitt-Gray, Ph.D.

Professor USC Biomechanics Research Lab, Director Departments of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California
Measure What You Value: Implications for Athlete Performance and Coach Driven Research

Dr. Jill L. MicNitt-Gray is a Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. As the Director of the USC Biomechanics Research Lab, she researches the control and dynamics of movement in realistic contexts using experimental and modeling approaches.

Andy Galpin, Ph.D.

Andy Galpin, Ph.D.

Professor, CSU Fullerton
Biomolecular Athlete: Advanced Scientific Tools for Enhancing Human Performance


Andy Galpin is a tenured full Professor at California State University, Fullerton, where he is also Co-Director of the Center for Sport Performance and Founder/Director of the Biochemistry and Molecular Exercise Physiology Laboratory. He is a Human Performance scientist with a Ph.D. in Human Bioenergetics and over 100 peer-reviewed publications and presentations. Dr. Galpin has worked with elite athletes (including All-Star, All-Pro, MVP, Cy Young, Olympic Gold medalists, Major winners, World titlist/ contenders, etc.) across the UFC, MLB, NBA, PGA, NFL, Boxing, Olympics, and Military/Special Forces, and more. He is also a Co-founder in Absolute Rest, BioMolecular Athlete, and RAPID Health & Performance.

Alyssa Fry, PhD

Alyssa Fry, Psy.D.

Director of Psychological Health and Performance, War Horses for Veterans, Inc.
War Horses Elite: A Multimodal Approach to Warfighter Readiness and Longevity

Dr. Alyssa Fry is a clinical, military psychologist from Aberdeen, North Carolina. She earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from Colby College in Waterville, Maine and her master's and doctorate degrees from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She has additional credentials in aeromedical psychology, SERE psychology, operational psychology and sports psychology. Dr. Fry has worked with Special Operations Forces for the past five years and has been integral in developing the War Horses for SOF, War Horses Return and War Horses Elite programs for War Horses for Veterans, Inc.

Dimitrije Cabarkapa, PhD

Dimitrije Cabarkapa, Ph.D., CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT*D, USAW
Lightning Talk Speaker

Director of Basketball Research, Jayhawk Athletic Performance Laboratory – Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA
Biomechanical Characteristics of Proficient Free-Throw Shooters – Markerless Motion Capture Analysis


Dr. Dimitrije Cabarkapa is a Director of Basketball Research at Jayhawk Athletic Performance Laboratory – Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance at the University of Kansas. Strongly influenced by his personal experience and playing career, Dimitrije’s research interests in the field of exercise physiology are primarily directed toward the enhancement of sports performance. Some of his current and upcoming research projects are focused on examining the effect of resistance exercise and fatigue on basketball shooting mechanics and accuracy as well as the implementation of innovative technologies for performance analysis.

Portrait of Travis Eliason

Travis Eliason
Lightning Talk Speaker

Senior Research Engineer, Southwest Research Institute
AI Based Automated Error Detection for Training 

Mr. Eliason has been a key member of SwRI’s Human Performance Initiative and has assisted in the development of a SwRI’s Engine for Automatic Biomechanical Evaluation (ENABLE™), a markerless motion capture system for biomechanical analysis. He has taken a leading role in developing and deploying experimental protocols for the capture and subsequent analysis of human motion. This data serves as the foundational ground truth training data for the training of the deep learning neural network upon which ENABLE is based.

Portrait of Ty Templin

Ty Templin
Lightning Talk Speaker

Research Engineer, Southwest Research Institute
Investigation of Pitching Mechanics to Reduce Injury Risk Using Optimal Control

Ty Templin is a Research Engineer at Southwest Research Institute. He received a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. His research is focused on developing and applying multi-body dynamics human body models to support the continuing development of the SwRI markerless biomechanics technology ENABLE. This work includes developing tools to provide coaches and athletes with quantitative performance and injury risk metrics.

Portrait of Lance Frazer

Lance Frazer, Ph.D.
Lightning Talk Speaker

Senior Research Engineer, Southwest Research Institute
Predicting Injury Risk in Military Trainees Using Kinematic Screening

Dr. Lance Frazer is a biomechanical engineer with 8 years of experience in computational biomechanics. His work focuses on finite element analysis of the human body, artificial intelligence, and how the two overlap in the field of biomechanics. An image that we can use on the registration site and in the agenda that will be printed for attendees. We will need a high-resolution image for the printed agenda.

Omar Medjaouri

Omar Medjaouri
Lightning Talk Speaker

Research Engineer, Southwest Research Institute
AI Based Automated Error Detection for Training

Mr. Medjaouri's research interests lie at the intersection of machine perception and human performance with the primary goal of finding ways to better understand human activity. He received his bachelor of science degree from The University of Texas at Austin and his master’s degree from UTSA and has several years of experience using computer vision techniques to solve unique perception problems. His recent work has focused on developing models which can accurately characterize human motion, track objects of interest and even predict the future motion of pedestrians from a moving platform.


Related Links

The summit is hosted by Southwest Research Institute as part of our ongoing Human Performance Initiative. Contact Koen Flores at +1 210 522 4533 or Travis Thompson at +1 210 522 2974 if you have any questions about this event. If interested in discounted rates for Military, Student or One Day Pass please contact Michelle Valero at +1 210 522 2260.