Our Team

The AppTek Team

ADAM SUTHERLAND
CEO
Mr. Sutherland is a strategic business development executive with more than 20 years of international media, corporate development and marketing experience. Having lived in Asia for 11 years, Adam has worked around the world with blue chip companies such as Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Travel Channel, Ogilvy & Mather, IBM, Nokia, McKinsey & Co., American Express and others.

MUDAR YAGHI
Chairman and Founder
Mr. Yaghi has over 25 years of experience in project management, software design, development and implementation. He has led information technology programs to meet mission-critical objectives. Mr. Yaghi has broad experience with technology and management. Mr. Yaghi has decades of natural language processing (NLP) and human language technology (HLT) experience. He has a Master of Science degree in Information Systems from the George Washington University and a Bachelor degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

MOHAMMAD SHIHADAH
Chairman and Founder
Mr. Shihadah has three decades of experience in the field of software design and development, project / program management, and technical consulting. His applications include financial and banking software, insurance programs, machine translation, and MT test corpus development. Mr. Shihadah has extensive experience in human language technologies and business development. He has a Master of Science degree in Computer and Information Science from the University of Oregon.

STEVE COOK
CTO
Mr. Cook has more than 20 years experience with all aspects of software development and production (design, architecture, implementation, project management). He specializes in the development and deployment of human language technology products and systems. Mr. Cook has deployed large-scale machine translation and media monitoring systems for U.S. government and commercial organizations. Mr. Cook has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the American College of Computer and Information Sciences.

JINTAO JIANG
Chief Scientist, HLT
Dr. Jiang has over 18 years of experience in speech and audio processing, statistics, and machine learning. Previously he was a Technical Fellow at SAIC, recognized for his exceptional scientific contributions. Dr. Jiang received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UCLA in 2003.

PROF. DR.-ING. HERMANN NEY
Director of Science
Professor Ney is a professor of computer science at RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany. His interests lie in the area of statistical methods for pattern recognition and human language technology and their specific applications to speech recognition, machine translation and image object recognition. In particular, he has worked on dynamic programming and discriminative training for speech recognition, on language modelling and on phrase-based approaches to machine translation. His work has resulted in more than 700 conference and journal papers. Based on Google Scholar, he has more than 31500 citations and an h index of 80. He is a fellow of both the IEEE and of the International Speech Communication Association. In 2005, he was the recipient of the Technical Achievement Award of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. In 2010, he was awarded a senior DIGITEO chair at LIMIS/CNRS in Paris, France. In 2013, he received the award of honor of the International Association for Machine Translation.

JÖRG ZAPLO
Senior Engineer, Speech and Language
Mr. Zaplo has 17 years of experience in speech recognition, pattern matching and machine learning. He received his Diplom in computer science from RWTH Aachen in 1998.

HENDRIK PESCH
Engineer, Speech and Language
Mr. Pesch has over four years of experience in working with language-related technologies. He has a strong background in machine learning and its applications to speech recognition and computer vision. Mr. Pesch received his M.Sc. in Computer Science from RWTH Aachen University.

PAVEL GOLIK
Sr. Speech Scientist and R&D Manager
Mr. Golik joined AppTek to lead the science R&D team in Aachen. His research focuses on acoustic modeling and adaptation.  He maintains the RWTH Aachen University Open Source Speech Recognition Toolkit and is one of main contributors of the DARPA Babel project.

PATRICK DOETSCH
Sr. Machine Learning Scientist
Mr. Doetsch joined AppTek as a Sr. Machine Learning Scientist, focusing on pattern recognition, human language technology, machine learning, recurrent neural networks and handwriting recognition. He was a summer intern at Google (California) in 2012 and 2014. He is actively published in journals and conference proceedings including the latest one from NIPS 2016 End-to-end Learning for Speech and Audio Processing Workshop.

ZOLTAN TUSKE
Sr. Speech Scientist
Mr. Tuske joined AppTek as a Sr. Speech Scientist, focusing on automatic speech recognition, signal processing, feature extraction, acoustic modeling, language modeling, and neural networks.

ALBERT ZEYER
Speech Scientist
Mr. Zeyer has been developing software since 1995. Mr. Zeyer joined AppTek as a Speech Scientist, primarily focusing on LSTM/RNN acoustic model training.

TOBIAS MENNE
Speech Scientist
Mr. Menne joined AppTek as a Speech Scientist, focusing on speech recognition robustness. His areas of research include human language technology, pattern recognition, noise robust ASR, and neural networks for signal processing. Mr. Menne participated in the 2016 CHiME Speech Separation and Recognition Challenge with audio recorded in challenging noisy environments using a 6-channel tablet based microphone array. The results from his team ranked 2nd among 15 teams from around the world.

HARALD HANSELMANN
Machine Learning Scientist
Mr. Hanselmann joined AppTek as a Machine Learning Scientist.  His research focus is on two-dimensional warping for image recognition.

EUGEN BECK
Speech Scientist
Mr. Beck  joined AppTek as a Speech Scientist, focusing on rapid development of ASR systems.

JAN-THORSTEN PETER
NLP Scientist
Mr. Peter joined AppTek as a NLP Scientist, focusing on Neural Networks.

ANDREAS GUTA
NLP Scientist
Mr. Guta joined AppTek as a NLP Scientist.

OSCAR KOLLER
Machine Learning Scientist
Mr. Koller joined AppTek as a NLP Scientist.  He actively works on machine learning and deep learning, with applications to gesture and sign language recognition.  He research interests include hand & facial features and tracking.

TAMIM SWAID
Product Manager
For more than 10 years Mr. Swaid’s passion is to create valuable and hassle free products for the user. As a founder of an award-winning startup and later as an UX designer and product manager in an interactive agency, he has worked in a wide variety of work settings from leading teams with very fast communication and quick iteration cycles to being active in larger teams of designers and developers. Tamim Swaid has a diploma in visual communication / human computer interaction from the University of Applied Sciences in Aachen, Germany.

VINCE SPICER
Software Developer
Vince has been a Full-Stack web developer on numerous projects over the the past 15 years and has an in depth knowledge of HTTP, Python & Javascript with 7 years experience specializing in the telephony and call management market. Along with his programming experience, Vince also has over 10 years experience with Linux systems and open-source projects and has contributed to numerous projects. Vince also has over 5 years experience as a DevOps lead which enables him to manage and build projects of all sizes.

DENNIS MANGINI
Sr. Software Engineer
Mr. Mangini, a Senior Software Engineer, is a talented C++ developer, specializing in developing Apple products, specifically iOS mobile applications, in addition to Android and other mobile devices.

MAMOUN AKASH
Web Developer, Backend Systems Engineer
Mr. Akash has over 10 years of experience in web development and the development of backend systems and web services. Prior to joining AppTek, he was a Senior Backend Systems Engineer at Maktoob and Yahoo!. Mr. Akash received his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Yarmouk University in 2004.

YEN TIEN
Sr. Systems Engineer
Mr. Tien has twenty years of software development experience, including designing, implementing, testing, and deploying applications on various platforms. He previously worked for SAIC as a Senior Programmer before rejoining AppTek. Mr. Tien received his B.S. at the University of Central Florida.

KATHERINE NGUYEN
Director, Business Operations and Data Integrity
Ms. Nguyen is the Director of Business Operations and Data Integrity at AppTek. She previously worked at SAIC as a Manager of Linguistic Resources before rejoining AppTek. Ms. Nguyen has a B.S. in Finance from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).

JIM CAREY
Program Manager
Mr. Carey has managed and consulted on Information Technology in nearly all major disciplines in the government and private sector for over 30 years. These experiences include Human Language Technology, Systems Analysis and Design, Software Development, Software Test Management, Configuration Management, End User Training, Global Systems Fielding, Operations Management, Customer Support, and Consulting Services Management. Mr. Carey has an undergraduate degree in Business Accounting and a Masters Degree in Computer Science.

HUSSAM SAWAF
Manager of Apptek GmbH
Mr. Sawaf is an electrical engineer with experience in embedded technologies, mobile devices, firmware and software. He has 10 years of experience in building speech recognition, machine translation and natural language processing interfaces for AIXplain which was acquired by AppTek. Manages AppTek’s German GmbH.