September 13-14, 2023 | The Sunset Room | National Harbor, MD

Information below pertains to the 2023 Symposium. 2024 details coming soon!

DSI’s 6th Annual Direct Energy Symposium will serve as a forum to promote discussions on the most recent developments of Directed Energy (DE) systems and technologies in support of U.S. national security and civil application. Esteemed leaders within the U.S. Government, military services, DoD, academia, and research labs will convene to share latest projects, foster open communication within the community and support the next generation of Directed Energy technologies operating in the 21st century.

This year’s Symposium will examine efforts of the Army, Navy and Air Force to champion and shape their respective investments in critical enabling technologies for DE Weapons and explore the gap between these technological goals in conjunction with the practical realities. The panel will provide a holistic view of bolstering naval offensive and defensive capabilities with DE technologies integration, hearing from operational and acquisition voices leading these efforts. Finally, this Symposium will also encourage an open discussion on establishing the collection, tracking, and incorporation of DE prototype user feedback during development and testing, to ensure DE weapons are not misaligned with operational needs.



2023 Confirmed Speakers Included:

Michael Holthe, SES
Acting Principal Deputy, Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Critical Technologies,
OUSD (R&E), U.S. Department of Defense

Dr. Frank Peterkin, ST
Principal Director, Directed Energy
OUSD (R&E), U.S. Department of Defense

Laura DeSimone, SES
Executive Director, Missile Defense Agency
U.S Department of Defense

COL Steven Gutierrez, USA
Project Manager, DE M-SHORAD
Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office

Amanda Clark
Acting Director, Directed Energy Directorate,
U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Technical Center

Christopher Lloyd, PhD, SSTM
Distinguished Scientist, Navy Laser Weapon System Lethality Naval
Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division

Event Moderator:
Thomas Karr, PhD
Former Principal Director, Directed Energy,

Download the 2023 Agenda


Why You Should Attend This Symposium:

Research and development on directed energy systems and weapons are in constant evolution with increases in funding, technological breakthroughs and out of necessity for ever evolving threats. DSI’s 2023 Directed Energy Symposium will highlight the latest initiatives across the Air Force, Navy and Army on programs focused on the development of the High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI), The DoD’s current roadmap for improvements and refinements of HEL weapons through 2026, and the successful outcomes of the M-SHORAD prototype abilities and integration. In FY2023, the DoD has been allocated over $1B for unclassified DE R&D, testing and evaluation, as well as, for technology and weapons procurement. The Office of the Secretary of Defense ad DARPA have been allocated funding totaling nearly $250M for High Energy Lasers and the WARDEN program to be applied towards research and effectiveness and limitation assessment.

The demands of the present era call for new operational concepts, increasingly joint operations, and quickly fielding emerging science and technology opportunities that complement existing systems. Harnessing the power of the electromagnetic spectrum enables the Warfighter to effectively and affordably strike critical targets at the speed of light. However, complexity and extensive factors contributing to successful operations incorporating DE can prove to be a limitation within human abilities.

DSI’s team specializes in the extensive research and development of our Symposium content and focus areas. We will assemble the most respected minds in the Directed Energy community, including DoD, Federal, and industry. Our non-partisan approach allows us to reach across all involved organizations bring together a truly holistic group of decision makers and solution providers.

Exhibit and Sponsorship Information:

The 2023 Directed Energy Symposium provides opportunities including exhibit space, round table discussions, product demonstrations, and networking receptions.


Topics to be covered at the 2023 Symposium:

- Identifying Current/Future Best Practices for DE Development & Use Across DoD

- Guiding RRCTO Initiatives Toward Developing Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for DE M-SHORAD

- Bolstering Naval Offensive and Defensive Capabilities with Directed Energy Technologies Integration

- Promoting Service and Industry Cooperation in Building the Next-Generation Laser Weapons

- Optimizing the Effectiveness of DEW with Complementary Artificial Intelligence

- Championing and Shaping Investment in Critical Enabling Technologies


At our Symposium You Have the Ability To:

  • Gain Education & Insight: Walk away with knowledge gained from our senior level speakers on some of the most complex issues facing the DoD and Federal Government as it relates to directed energy systems.

  • Build Partnerships: The agenda is designed to allow for ample networking opportunities and the ability to discover some of the latest operational energy priorities of interest to the DoD and Federal Government.

  • Influence: Help foster ideas. Share your own insight and knowledge during our interactive sessions. Our town hall format is your opportunity to address our speakers with questions or comments on the current mission.

Operating Guidance for Government Attendees:

DSI’s symposium directly supports DoD & Federal Government priorities by providing a conduit for officials to efficiently reach audiences outside of their respective offices that directly impact their organization’s overall mission success, at no charge to the government, and in an efficient expenditure of time.

DSI’s symposium will provide a forum to address and improve internal and external initiatives, meet with and hear from partner organizations, disseminate vital capability requirements to industry, increase visibility within the larger community, and generally support their mission.

The symposium is open and complimentary to all DoD and Federal Government employees and is considered an educational and training forum.