Dr. Cummings has over thirty-five years of experience as a software architect, engineering manager and consultant in technology areas including fault-tolerant computing, operating systems, networking, parallel and distributed systems, computer architecture, wireless communications, satellite communications, real-time embedded systems, spacecraft systems, automotive systems, hardware/software integration, storage area networking, backup/recovery, disaster recovery, transaction processing, database management and file systems. He has extensive hands-on experience in project management and the entire product development lifecycle, from initial product conception through requirements definition, design, implementation, test, deployment and support. Dr. Cummings also has significant experience as a technical expert in matters involving computer and smartphone forensics, patent infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and copyright infringement. He has testified at deposition and in court.

Dr. Cummings has built and managed world-class engineering teams and developed complex systems for large and small organizations, including Brocade Communications Systems, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Federal Aviation Administration, Teledyne, ComTier (a startup acquired by Andrew Corporation), and Wireless, Inc. (a startup acquired by interWAVE/Alvarion). At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he served as a consultant for over nine years, Dr. Cummings architected and developed a significant portion of the software for the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft, which successfully deployed the first rover on the surface of Mars in 1997. Just prior to joining KTG, Dr. Cummings was the Vice President of Engineering for Asempra Technologies in Silicon Valley (a startup acquired by BakBone/Quest/Dell). At Asempra, Dr. Cummings assembled a global team of engineers in the U.S., Russia and Ukraine and led that team in the development of a novel approach to backup, recovery and disaster recovery using continuous data protection.

Dr. Cummings has received numerous technical and managerial awards, including two NASA awards for his contributions to the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft, and an FAA award for on-time delivery with extremely high quality. Under his engineering leadership, Asempra Technologies was recognized within the storage industry as one of the top 10 startups of 2006.

Dr. Cummings was retained as a testifying expert for the defense in the U.S. Department of Justice's criminal prosecution of former BP employee Kurt Mix after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. On behalf of Mr. Mix, Dr. Cummings performed extensive forensic analysis and recovery of deleted text messages, voicemail messages, photos, and data files from iPhones belonging to Mr. Mix and others.


Ph.D.: Computer Science, University of California, Los Angeles

M.S.: Computer Science, University of California, Los Angeles

A.B.: Physics, Harvard University

Selected Honors

NASA Space Act Award for contributions to Mars Pathfinder spacecraft (2005)

Brocade CEO Pillars Awards (2001 and 2002)

NASA Honor Award for Mars Pathfinder flight software (1997)

JPL Technology and Applications Programs Honor Award (1993)

FAA Director's Award for on-time delivery with extremely high quality (1991)

Selected Publications

"'Toyota's Killer Firmware' and the 'Single Bit Flip That Killed'? Not!," Embedded.com, March 2, 2017.

"Embedded Software under the Courtroom Microscope: A Case Study of the Toyota Unintended Acceleration Trial," Published in IEEE Technology & Society Magazine, December, 2016.

"Maximizing visibility through logging, as on Mars Pathfinder," Published on Embedded.com, July 12, 2016.

"Managing Concurrency in Complex Embedded Systems," Technical Paper based on Invited Presentation at Fujitsu Laboratories Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems, Sunnyvale, California, June 10, 2010.

"Issues and Experiences in Developing Networked, Multithreaded Embedded Systems," D. Cummings, Invited Presentation at Fujitsu Laboratories Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems, Sunnyvale, California, June 10, 2010.

"Haven't found that software glitch, Toyota? Keep trying," D. Cummings, Los Angeles Times (latimes.com), March, 2010.

"Dataflow-Based Rollback Recovery in Distributed and Multi-Core Systems: A Novel Software Approach for Building Highly Reliable Distributed and Multi-Core Systems," D. Cummings, VDM Verlag, November, 2009.

"Software-Implemented Fault Tolerance Using Coarse-Grained Dataflow," J. Beahan, D. Cummings and L. Alkalaj, JPL Technical Report, 1995.

"Checkpoint/Rollback in a Distributed System Using Coarse-Grained Dataflow," D. Cummings and L. Alkalaj, Proceedings of the 24th Annual International Symposium on Fault-Tolerant Computing (FTCS-24), Austin, Texas, June 15-17, 1994.

"Report on the Portability and Performance of a Real-Time Ada Application Prototype," E. Colbert, D. Cummings and L. DeForrest, ACM/SIGAda TRI-Ada '88 Conference, October, 1988.