The SA Board

Dr. Brien Seeley MD




Brien Seeley has led two concurrent 40-year careers. One is as a full time eye surgeon and medical leader in Sonoma County, California. The other is as an aircraft builder, pilot and pioneering leader of aviation technology. Brien has a long history of remarkable achievements. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Brien obtained his M.D. degree from UCSF in just three years. In 1973, while a medical student, he designed and hand-built his own 70 mph, street-licensed electric car and drove it to the hospital each day as an intern. During his residency in eye surgery at UCSF, he devoted his two-week vacation to earning his pilot’s license, and this began a life-long passion for aviation. He studied aeronautical engineering and helped build 2 experimental homebuilt aircraft. Brien founded the CAFE Foundation in 1981 to host the CAFE 400 flight efficiency prize competitions. These became annual technology prize competitions. Brien presided at CAFE for 34 years of successful aviation research. In 2003, Brien founded the Personal Aircraft Design Academy (PADA), an annual gathering of prominent aeronautical designers at Oshkosh AirVenture, and he serves each year as its organizer. He is a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

In May 2007, Brien conceived and organized the first-ever Electric Aircraft Symposium in San Francisco, going on to serve as its annual Program Chair for 9 years. That same year, Brien designed and wrote the competition rules for the first ever NASA Centennial Challenge for aeronautics. In 2011, he designed and chaired the NASA Green Flight Challenge sponsored by Google, which remains the largest prize ever given for aviation. In 2015, Brien founded the Sustainable Aviation Foundation (SA) in order to advance technologies and innovations pertinent to environmentally friendly, electrically powered aircraft and to help bring forth their implementation into safe, quiet, useful aircraft that can benefit the public, the environment and the transportation system. Brien authored the seminal 2015 AIAA paper that conceived Regional Sky Transit as a future transportation system. For 2016, Brien devoted his Program Chairing efforts to the first annual Sustainable Aviation Symposium, which convened a globally renowned faculty focused on the future of quiet, electrically powered aircraft.

Brien’s invited lecture on The Evolution of Transformative Flight to the Leadership Team at NASA Dryden (now Armstrong)

Brien’s 1982 article on his “Experimental” Mooney 201 mods.

Brien’s AIAA papers

Tyler MacCready, PhD

Tyler is Founder and President of Ocean Lab, a Swarm Engineering firm in Southern California developing water drones for distributed applications. This business emerged naturally out of his long history at AeroVironment, Inc., a company founded by his father, Paul MacCready.

In the 80’s Tyler worked in the shop at AeroVironment on a variety of innovative vehicles including the human-powered Gossamer Condor aircraft, the Solar Challenger airplane, the SunRaycer solar car, and the QN flying pterodactyl replica.

Following a ten-year hiatus to study geology, Tyler returned to AeroVironment to work on a number of ocean-based initiatives including wave and current power conversion devices, submerged solar power, and aquatic vehicles. At Ocean Lab he continues this legacy, applying AeroVironment’s high-efficiency and innovative design philosophy to fleets of autonomous aquatic vehicles.


PhD, Geology and Geophysics, 1998, Monash University, Australia.
MSc, Geology, 1993, University of Wyoming.
BA, Philosophy, 1984, Yale University.



Wayne Cook

Wayne Cook

Wayne has held a fascination for flight and innovation from quite early in his life. His first airplane consisted of a fan-driven electric heater (looked like a real propeller), boxes & blankets. It put out a very satisfying amount of noise and exhaust smoke, until his Mom shut down flight operations due to low visibility conditions.

As an adult, Wayne’s flying career began when he worked for a multi-faceted aviation company blending a builder’s assistance program (Seawind, turbine Legend, others), with an FBO and flight school, along with restoration of amphibious Grumman Widgeons. Although his role was as MIS, close association with a deeply experienced group of aviation professionals coupled with the ability to fly on the job led him to earning of his private pilot’s certificate. He went on to develop special interest in seaplanes and bush-flying. Wayne is currently restoring his Kitfox III/IV homebuilt aircraft to airworthy status.

Wayne was a building contractor specializing in architectural woodworking for many years. He developed a passion for boat-building, furniture and fine cabinetry in those years and he continues to enjoy hands-on design and building with quality tools.

Wayne served as President of EAA Chapter 124 in Santa Rosa from 2011 through 2014, and is a past member of the Board of Directors of that organization. He has also served on the Board of Directors of CAFE Foundation for a number of years. He designed and conducted all of the precision weighing of aircraft during the 2011 NASA Green Flight Challenge.