About MITRE Engenuity Open Generation

Join our mission to achieve breakthrough innovation in 5G

A Mission Rooted in Public Good


Open Generation is a privately-funded research and development community launched by MITRE Engenuity in 2020, with the mission to accelerate 5G innovation in the public interest. Our work seeks to advance the commercialization of revolutionary and beneficial 5G enterprise applications and unlock economic value in the United States and allied nations. 

To achieve this breakthrough innovation, we bring together diverse technical viewpoints and domain expertise from across industries and market verticals to identify and solve the most complex challenges to 5G realization.

Leaders in 5G: Open Generation Management Committee

Ajit Kahaduwe

Ajit Kahaduwe

General Manager, MITRE Engenuity Open Generation, Management Committee Chair
Managing Director of Incubation & New Product Development, MITRE Accelerator​​, Organizing Member

Dr. Leila Ribeiro

Dr. Leila Ribeiro

Technology Director
MITRE Engenuity Open Generation, Organizing Member

Dr. Leila Ribeiro biography

Prior to joining the Open Generation efforts Leila was MITRE’s Chief Engineer for the Aviation Concepts and Research division, which included Communications, Navigation, Surveillance and Spectrum aspects related to the civil aviation.

Leila is an experienced wireless communications engineer with a history of solving complex technical problems both for industry and government. As part of her work at MITRE, Leila has led several activities on multi-disciplinary concepts related to wireless networks design and optimization, spectrum engineering, satellite communications, aviation communications, navigation and surveillance systems, unmanned aircraft systems, and vehicular systems. With a solid understanding of U.S. spectrum policy and spectrum management, Leila has also served as a trusted advisor on some of the key questions currently being addressed by government on spectrum management.
Prior to joining MITRE in 2009, Leila worked as Director of Systems Engineering at CelPlan Technologies, where she developed solutions for design and optimization of wireless networks. She has also served as an adjunct professor in Satellite Communications at George Mason University, and co-founded a non-profit organization to help promote cultural diversity and inclusion of the Brazilian culture.
Leila holds a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech.
Dr. Thierry Klein

Dr. Thierry Klein

VP, Integrated Solutions and Experiences Research Lab
Nokia Bell Labs, Founding Member

Thierry Klein biography

Thierry E. Klein is the Head of the Integrated Solutions and Experiences Research Lab at Nokia Bell Labs. He is leading a global research team dedicated to applied research, innovation and advanced technologies with the mission to design, develop and prototype massively disruptive solutions, systems and experiences for the next human-industrial revolution. The research domains span new wearable devices, cloud robotics and drones, image and data analytics, industrial process optimization and automation enabled by 5G networking and edge computing technologies.

In previous roles, he was the Head of Innovation Management for Vertical Industries with a focus on the transportation, automotive and connected industries sectors. He also served as the Founding Vice-Chair of the Board of the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), a cross-industry association bringing together the telecommunications and automotive industries that he helped found and launch in September 2016. He was also the Program Leader for the Network Energy Research Program at Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent with the mission to conduct research towards the design, development and use of sustainable future communications and data networks. He served as the Chairman of the Technical Committee of GreenTouch, a global consortium dedicated to improve energy efficiency in networks by a factor 1000x compared to 2010 levels.

He joined Bell Labs Research in Murray Hill, New Jersey in 2001. From 2006 to 2010 he served as the Founder and CTO of an internal start-up focused on wireless communications for emergency response and disaster recovery situations within Alcatel-Lucent Ventures.

Thierry earned an MS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the Université de Nantes and the Ecole Centrale de Nantes in Nantes, France. He received a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He is an author on over 35 peer-reviewed conference and journal publications and an inventor on 36 patent applications. He is the recipient of a Bell Labs’ President Award and two Bell Labs Teamwork Awards. In 2010, he was voted “Technologist of the Year” at the Total Telecom World Vendor Awards and received the 2016 Industrial Innovation award from the IEEE Communications Society.

Paul Challoner

Paul Challoner

VP Network Product Solutions
Ericsson, Founding Member

Paul Challoner biography

Paul Challoner, vice president, Network Product Solutions for Ericsson North America, based in Plano, Texas is responsible for radio products including 4G, 5G, IoT & Open RAN. Prior to his current role, Challoner worked as Head of Product Line Wi-Fi and Head of Ericsson’s CDMA Product Line.

Challoner currently serves as Vice Chair, Board of directors of the CBRS Alliance, Large Company representative, for the Board Wireless Innovation Forum and on the Board of Governors for 5G Americas. He joined Ericsson in 2010 from Nortel where he held executive roles leading the GSM product line, Intelligent Networks and Broadband Wireless businesses. He has global experience working in the US, Canada, France, India and the UK. With 25 years in the telecom industry he possesses extensive industry experience and has innovated bringing numerous radio products to market specializing in the field of wireless communication.

Challoner holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from Brunel University, London, UK.

Ed Diaz

Director, Network Infrastructure Planning & Standards
Verizon, Founding Member

Anil Bhandari

Vice President of Product Management

Jon Hegranes


Jon Hegranes biography

Jon is the Founder & CEO of Aloft, the market leader in drone airspace systems & UTM technologies. Aloft’s patented technology is used in today’s leading recreational, enterprise, and government drone applications. Jon is a certified commercial drone pilot as part of FAA Part 107, serves on the board of the Commercial Drone Alliance, and is an active member of other industry groups including GUTMA, NBAA Emerging Tech, the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) and working groups, and is a founding member and data working group chair of the FAA UAS Safety Team. He’s a self-taught iOS developer, writes about drone topics for technology news outlets including VentureBeat, TechCrunch, and Forbes, and regularly speaks at industry events such as Commercial UAV Expo, 2B Ahead Future Congress, and DJI AirWorks. Jon graduated from TCU with a major in finance and received his MBA from Thunderbird Global School of Management (ASU).
Tom Sawanobori

Tom Sawanobori

Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer

Thomas Sawanobori biography

Thomas (Tom) Sawanobori is CTIA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. He is responsible for technology and technical matters concerning spectrum, network evolution, cybersecurity and device certification to benefit CTIA’s members and to serve as a technical resource to policymakers. He has 22 years of technology planning, network engineering and operational experience for Verizon, including lead planner for Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network. He was Vice President of Network Planning at Verizon, where he was responsible for technology planning and capital budget management. He led the technology evolution of the network including spectrum planning, 3G/4G technology, LTE and LTE-Advanced, and core network evolution. In addition to his career at Verizon, Mr. Sawanobori worked at Hughes Electronics on Navy Communications and Combat Systems. He served 5 years in the US Navy as a Submarine Warfare Officer and went on to complete 20 years total, retiring as a Commander in the Naval Reserve. Mr. Sawanobori holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University and a Master of Engineering from California State University-Fullerton.

Phil Burks

Phil Burks

Founder, Managing Member and CEO
FIRST iZ Solution 
Other Sites: GenesisPULSE.com | yourfirstport.com

Phil Burks biography

Since 1980, Phil has been the founder and CEO of five technology companies and exited one. FIRST iZ is likely THE most important one for the future to save time and save lives. It can go ahead of first responders to SHOW what they are getting into. 5G and beyond will enable this to happen.

Zachary Johns

CEO & Founder
HUSH Aerospace

Tommaso Melodia

Tommaso Melodia

William Lincoln Smith Professor
Northeastern University

Tommaso Melodia biography

Tommaso Melodia is the William Lincoln Smith Chair Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston. He is also the Founding Director of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things and the Director of Research for the PAWR Project Office. He received his Laurea (integrated BS and MS) from the University of Rome – La Sapienza and his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is an IEEE Fellow and recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award. His research on modeling, optimization, and experimental evaluation of Internet-of-Things and wireless networked systems has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Research Laboratory the Office of Naval Research, DARPA, and the Army Research Laboratory.
Prof. Luiz DaSilva

Prof. Luiz DaSilva

Bradley Professor of Cybersecurity and Executive Director, CCI
Virginia Tech
Other Sites: Commonwealth Cyber Initiative

Luiz DaSilva Biography

Luiz DaSilva is the inaugural Executive Director of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI), a statewide initiative in Virginia with a mission of research, workforce development, and innovation at the intersection of cybersecurity, autonomy, and intelligence. He is also the Bradley Professor of Cybersecurity at Virginia Tech. Prof. DaSilva previously held the chair of Telecommunications at Trinity College Dublin, where he served as the Director of CONNECT, a national telecommunications research center in Ireland. Prof. DaSilva’s research focuses on adaptive resource management in wireless networks, including cognitive networks and the application of game theory to wireless networks. He has published two books and more than 300 peer-reviewed articles, and chaired the Technical Program for ICC 2020, one of the flagship conferences of the IEEE Communications Society. He was an IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Lecturer (2015-2018), a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, and is a Fellow of the IEEE, for contributions to cognitive networking and to resource management in wireless networks.

Reaching the Future Faster through

Impact-Driven Collaboration


Open Generation operationalizes end-to-end collaboration of industrial partners from across the ecosystem to accelerate revolutionary 5G deployment. Our members and affiliates contribute key resources to working groups that identify valuable use cases, then develop the architecture solutions to support the use cases before testing and implementing them. Results help to inform standards and policy.

Turning Concepts into Realities

Advanced Use Cases & Devices


  • Identifies key use cases and corresponding challenges
  • Proposes innovation to improve and enable those use cases with 5G capabilities
  • Develops technical requirements and high-level experiment proposals


Architecture & Solutions


  • Reviews use cases and experiment plans proposed by the Use Cases & Devices group
  • Proposes architectures to support each use case
  • Identifies feasible implementation solutions for the conditions identified for potential experimentation testbeds

Implementation, Testbeds & Experimentation


  • Plans experiments proposed by the Use Cases & Devices group
  • Identifies testbed locations and feasibility of solutions proposed by the Architecture & Solutions working group
  • Launches, reports, and improves experimentation in testbeds



  • Provides respected, objective, and anonymized data from research and development.
  • Drives standards through materialized use cases.

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