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The U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) offers a talented technology tag team. Harry Sotomayor serves as the director of engineering and Dr. Jeremy Lanman is the chief technology officer (CTO).

They have different titles and different responsibilities, but they work as a team to accomplish PEO STRI’s mission.

“As director of engineering, I take care of everything inside and Jeremy [Lanman] is the face to industry and S&T [science and technology],” Sotomayor said. “My focus is more on policy that’s internal to the organization, making sure PEO STRI is moving forward with regard to processes, and helping people with anything that improves the processes inside the organization.”

In his role as director of engineering, Sotomayor also serves as a technical advisor to PEO STRI’s program executive officer (PEO) and deputy PEO, and to PEO STRI’s senior leadership team. He provides strategic technical direction and engineering support on all PEO STRI programs. As chief technology officer, Lanman is the principal advisor to the PEO on all science, technology and enterprise architecture matters, as well as issues of administrative and policy guidance regarding technical missions and objectives.

To accomplish his duties, Sotomayor spends a lot of time with the chief engineers in the project manager (PM) shops to standardize processes and put policies in place that can apply across PEO STRI. As an advisor to PEO STRI senior leadership, his input is often geared toward new projects and their modernization.

“That’s where I basically sit down with the PEO and the DPEO [deputy program executive officer] and say, ‘Okay, this is what we think we need to do from a strategic point of view or a technical approach for those programs,’” Sotomayor said. “If we have to engage with industry, then Jeremy engages with industry to address technical gaps as a result of the new programs. I also talk to people in industry every week, but I prefer they have a single point-of-contact (POC) for all the technical aspects.”

Sotomayor began his government career working for the Army Test and Evaluation Command as a test engineer after he earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico in 1986. He earned a Master of Science in Operations Research from George Washington University in 1993 and then began working for PEO STRI (called Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command – STRICOM – at the time) as a lead systems engineer for the Close Combat Tactical Trainer, an ACAT II program.

As the more public-facing person, Lanman serves as PEO STRI’s advisory board member on the Central Florida Tech Grove and typically interacts with vendors.

“My role is largely outreach to the Chief Technology Officer-equivalents at the other program executive offices, architects, vendors, and others in the S&T community, like those in academia and the cross functional team,” Lanman said. “Harry [Sotomayor] would direct the acquisition strategy, I’m more concerned with technology forecasting and advising Harry on what’s coming down the pike with what we need to consider for transition or integration into the bigger enterprise.”

Often, their roles come down to Sotomayor identifying issues, and Lanman coordinating to resolve those issues.

“When we go into a discussion with the PEO, especially on future strategies and modernization, I see my role is an advisor to [Ms. Saunders] on the different technical solutions from the PM shops and making sure they make sense with regard to where we’re going,” Sotomayor said. “Then, I talk to the chief engineers to ensure they are following the PEO’s vision. If an issue becomes more technical, that’s where Jeremy gets more involved to do market research and reach out to, for example STTC [Simulation and Training Technology Center], as well as STRI engineers to coordinate on how we’ll push forward.”

Lanman earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics from Butler University in 2001, a Master of Science in Software Engineering from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2003, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Modeling & Simulation from the University of Central Florida in 2010. He worked at Lockheed Martin as a software engineer and the MITRE Corporation as a senior systems engineer prior to his civil service.

Going forward, a common challenge Sotomayor and Lanman recognize is improving coordination to identify gaps within the organization to speak with one voice, not only to industry, but to the entire S&T community.

“To facilitate that one voice, we set up the enterprise engineering steering committee,” Lanman said. “We ask, ‘What are your challenges, what are your issues, what does the enterprise need to look like, and how are we facilitating that across the PM shops?’ [This can help coordination,] not just within STRI and Team Orlando, but across other agencies. ”

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