Keynote speakers Biographies
Future of Work Strategist
Leading Expert on Generational Diversity, Multigenerational Workforce Effectiveness & Employer Branding
Leading Future of Work Strategist and best-selling author of “Reframing Generational Stereotypes”, Rachele is a global thought-leader and public speaker on Generational Diversity, Multigenerational Workforce Effectiveness and Employer Branding. Over the last 20 years, Rachele has advised hundreds of Fortune 500 companies, NGOs and Government Agencies across the USA, Europe and Asia. She is passionate about helping organizations adapt to the needs of the new generations and make Generational Diversity a key item on their D&I Agenda by developing initiatives, programs and content that provide the opportunity for employees across all age groups to learn from each other, collaborate efficiently, and together drive change. . She is Chair of the Multigenerational Workforce Committee for the ASEAN Human Development Organization, Board Member Future Talent Council, Mentor at Workplace Accelerator and Founder of XYZ@Work (www.xyzatwork.com). Rachele is also a member of MENSA.
Founder/CEO of FUBU,
Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship,
Star of ABC's Shark Tank and CEO of The Shark Group
An entrepreneur in every sense of the word, Daymond John has come a long way from taking out a $100,000 mortgage on his mother’s house and moving his business operation into its basement. John is CEO and Founder of FUBU, a much-celebrated global lifestyle brand, and a pioneer in the fashion industry with over $6 billion in product sales world-wide.
John is an award-winning entrepreneur and has received over 35 awards including the Brand Week Marketer of the Year, Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign, Ernst & Young’s New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award and, most recently, was named #2 on LinkedIn’s Top 20 Voices, a list of the top influencers, who are using their voice to help us analyze today’s changing world of work, navigate our industries, and find balance through an unprecedented year!
His marketing strategies and ability to build successful brands has made him a highly influential consultant and motivational speaker today. His marketing firm The Shark Group offers advice on how to effectively communicate to consumers through innovative means and connects brands with the world’s top celebrities for everything from endorsements to product extensions.
John is also an author of 5 best-selling books including his New York Times best-selling books, The Power of Broke (2016) and Rise and Grind (2018). In March 2020, John released his fifth book, Powershift, that walks through his tried-and-true process of how to transform any situation, close any deal and achieve any outcome through his own experience and vast network of industry leaders.
Finally, John is celebrating his 13th season on ABC TV’s critically acclaimed business reality show Shark Tank by renowned producer Mark Burnett, which has reinvigorated entrepreneurship around the world. Shark Tank has now gone on to win five Emmys in the US and millions of weekly viewers world-wide tune into the show as John demonstrates his marketing prowess and entrepreneurial insights.
Founder and Chairperson
Marc Raibert is Founder and Chairman of Boston Dynamics, a company that creates some of the world’s most advanced robots, such as Atlas, Spot and Stretch. These robots are inspired by the remarkable ability of animals to move with agility, dexterity, perception and intelligence. A key ingredient of these robots is their dynamic behavior, which contributes to their effectiveness and versatility in the real world.
Before starting Boston Dynamics, Raibert was Professor of Computer Science and Robotics at MIT and Carnegie Mellon. While there, he founded the Leg Laboratory, a lab that helped establish the scientific basis for highly dynamic robots and that set the stage for the work done at Boston Dynamics. Raibert is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Executive Director, Vehicle Systems – Global Manufacturing Engineering
Douglas Stanguini [Stan] was appointed to the position of Executive Director, Global Vehicle Systems Manufacturing Engineering in January 2022, after 32 years of experience with global General Motors manufacturing operations.
Stan began his career with GM Brazil in 1990 as an apprentice in manufacturing operations. After 27 years of experience in his home country, working global collaboration, manufacturing execution, advanced vehicle development and international assignments, he moved across the globe to lead GM China Manufacturing Engineering in 2017.
Over his career, Stan has been responsible for flawless vehicle launches by integrating intelligent industrialization and lean manufacturing protocols, advanced vehicle development, and developing products with high manufacturability by collaborating with joint ventures and design/product engineers.
Stan holds a diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Santa Cecilia dos Bandeirantes University in Brazil and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Sao Paulo University.
AUTOMATE SHOW SPEAKER & PANELIST BIOGRAPHIES
CEO and Co-Founder
Sina Afrooze is CEO and Co-Founder of Apera AI. After studying Robotic Systems, he started his career in the field of digital imaging and video analytics as a founding engineer of a startup where he had a successful exit. Later he lead two deep learning services from idea to production at Amazon. At Apera AI, he led the technology development for the worlds most advanced robot vision.
Founder and Chairman
Dr. Prasad Akella, founder and chairman of the Drishti board, is creating his third massive market category that uses technology to extend human capabilities. In the 1990s, Prasad led the General Motors team that built the world’s first collaborative robots (“cobots,” projected to be a $12B market by 2025). In the early 2000s, as cofounder of the social networking pioneer Spoke, he envisioned and helped build the first massive social graph — a category now worth trillions. Today, at Drishti, he is working to combine the cognition of AI with the flexibility of humans in factories in the form of AI-powered production. Prasad is based in the Bay Area of California.
Gateway Technical College
Bryan Albrecht has dedicated his career to improving the lives of those he serves through a 38-year career in education. As a teacher, state administrator for the Wisconsin Department of Education through is 16 years as President of Gateway Technical College. Bryan has been instrumental in raising the dignity of technical education at the local, state, national and international level through his leadership and service. Cornerstone to his legacy is establishing a national model for business and education partnerships transforming Gateway’s prominence among America’s community college’s. Under his leadership Gateway has been recognized as a model of excellence by the US Department of Education, US Department of Labor and the American Association of Community Colleges.
Bryan has served on over 60 Boards for local, state, national and international organizations. His leadership service as President of the American Technical Education Association, National Center for Occupational Research and Development, National Occupational Testing Institute, National Coalition of Certification Center, National Association for Career and Technical Education, International Technology Education Association and American Association of Community Colleges has earned Bryan prominence as an expert in education and workforce development. Bryan served on the U.S. Department of Education, President’s Advisory Committee on Women and Technology and has testified as a witness for the US Congress and the White House on business and education best practices. In addition, he is a past President of the Wisconsin Technical College President’s Association as well as a current vice chair of the Coalition for Career Development Center, a think tank located in Washington, DC.
On a local level, Bryan has serves as Chair of the Mahone Charitable Fund, Racine Community Health Center, the United Way of both Racine and Kenosha, Kenosha Boys and Girls Club, Racine, Kenosha and Southeast Wisconsin Workforce Boards. Bryan also serves on the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, and is past chair of the Racine County Economic Development Corporation and Walworth County Economic Development Alliance.
Bryan holds a Bachelors, Masters and Education Specialist degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Minnesota. Bryan and Lisa have been married for 39 years and their daughter Alyssa and her husband Anthony have blessed them with two amazing grandchildren Bryan and Logan.
General Manager, Robotics and Autonomous Services
Amazon Web Services
Eric Anderson is the General Manager, AWS Robotics and Autonomous Services at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Previously, Eric lead strategy and delivery for Amazon Robotics simulation and robotic operations management tools.
Product Marketing, Robotics
Gerard Andrews is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager focused on revolutionizing the way intelligent robots are developed, trained, tested and deployed through driving the adoption of the NVIDIA Isaac Robotics platform. Prior to joining NVIDIA, Gerard was at Cadence where he was Product Marketing Director, responsible for product planning, marketing, and business development for licensable processor IP. He holds an MS in electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and a BS in electrical engineering from Southern Methodist University.
There is significant hype around AI and its potential applications in manufacturing. In this session, join A3's AI Technology Strategy Board member -Juan Aparicio- in discovering the common misconceptions and myths of AI in manufacturing. Mr. Aparicio will identify manufacturing and robotic manipulation challenges that can most benefit both from recent progress and advances in AI, while at the same time highlight where traditional automation and robotic approaches may perform better.
Technical Fellow and Lab Group Manager for Manufacturing Systems and Controls, GM R&D
General Motors Research and Development
Dr. Jorge Arinez is a Technical Fellow and Lab Group Manager of Manufacturing Systems and Controls Research at General Motors Global Research and Development. He is responsible for developing strategies and managing research project portfolios in Smart Manufacturing and AI-based decision support tools that enable GM’s plants to meet productivity and quality goals. Dr. Arinez’s research in production control, process design, advanced manufacturing analytics, and sustainability are vital to GM’s corporate strategy of an all-electric, carbon-neutral future. He has also received a Boss Kettering Award, GM’s highest technical innovation award and has 15 issued patents, 39 trade secrets, and over 120 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Arinez holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Business Development Manager
Dave Bader is the lead Business Development Manager for AWS Robotics, automation and Logistics within the World Wide Public Sector. Dave has been involved with industrial & warehouse automation for more than 30 years. Throughout his career Dave has been involved in several automation revolutions; including the evangelism of autonomous mobile robotics into industrial, warehouse and government markets. Serving as the Head of Sales, National Business Development Manager, National Sales Manager and Global Channel Manager for a variety of automation & robotics companies, Dave brings a unique ability to convey very highly technical solutions to both technical and non-technical customers. Dave’s passion for automation & robotics is helping him to bring AWS robotics and logistics solutions in support of customers’ mission priorities.
President & CEO
Center for Automotive Research
Carla Bailo is the President and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), and is a leader in engineering and vehicle program management with 35 years of experience in the automotive industry. Under her leadership, CAR continues to be a preeminent resource of objective and unbiased research, analysis, and information regarding the North American automotive industry.
In addition to her role at CAR, Ms. Bailo was the 2016-2018 vice president of automotive for SAE International, a global association of more than 138,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries.
Prior to joining CAR, she was most recently the assistant vice president for mobility research and business development at The Ohio State University. She also has 25 years of experience at Nissan North America, Inc., where she served as senior vice president of research and development. Ms. Bailo also spent 10 years at General Motors. She has a MS degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and a BS degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering University.
Director, Application Engineering, Robotics and Automation
Scott currently leads the 3M global abrasives application engineering team that is focused on engineering of robotic abrasive processes in collaboration with system integrators and end using customers.
He has been with 3M for 40 years within various abrasives related businesses and has held a variety of roles including new product development, technology development, business leadership, acquisition integration, and for the past nine years, application engineering.
Scott has a Bachelors of Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota and is a certified Black Belt in both Six Sigma and Design for Six Sigma methodologies.
Scott enjoys playing golf, often with his wife Lisa, when weather or travel allows and his new passion is spending time with his 1 ½ year old granddaughter, Julie.
Manager of Training Projects
Lorain County Community College
Lori’s focus is on helping with technology adoption and workforce needs for Industry 4.0 in Ohio, where she started with her work facilitating the Ohio Manufacturer’s Association Automation & Robotics Task Force in 2019, and now leads Automation and Robotics Initiatives across multiple platforms for LCCC. This includes their most recent planned classroom and program expansion, Industry 4.0 Training for Teachers, and the development of their newly approved Bachelor of Applied Science Smart Industrial Automated Systems Engineering Technology. Lori’s background is in Manufacturing and Research & Development. She has worked in the Consumer Product, Personal Care, Chemical, Industrial Construction and Commercial industries where she personally supported manufacturing plants globally and managed teams of engineers, scientists, technicians, and other cross functional professionals throughout her career. She helped develop and lead New Product Introduction and Project Management processes with great success and has a deep understanding of product development from idea through full scale production commercialization. She is trained as an Innovation Engineer, in Lean Six Sigma, and Project Management. Before joining Lorain County Community College, she conducted economic outreach to manufacturers in Northeast Ohio.
William A Beistline
EVP - Metals Manufacturing and Procurement
Executive Vice president of Metals Manufacturing and Procurement for the Flex-n-Gate Group of Companies. The metals manufacturing group consists of 33 manufacturing facilities in 5 countries with sales of $3 billion. Overall oversight for all aspects of procurement for the Flex-n-Gate group in total.
Regional President, US/Canada
Bryan Bird is Regional President for Universal Robots, responsible for the U.S. and Canada. Based in St. Louis, MO, Bird brings 20+ years of experience in industrial automation to UR, most recently as Vice President of Sales at TerraSource Global and Kollmorgen Corporation. Bird, who has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, has previously held roles at Danaher Motion and GE Fanuc. Bird has been with Universal Robots for two years.
As the CTO of FORT Robotics, Nathan Bivans oversees the development of safety, security, and control technology for intelligent machines. He was previously the CTO of Humanistic Robotics, Inc., where he developed and patented a wireless safety protocol designed for dangerous applications in landmine clearance. Nathan has worked with Motorola USA, in its Mobility’s Cable Headend group, where he designed high-performance multi-gigabit, fully-redundant systems for video and data transmission. He also spent several years at Apple Computer, where his team was central to mobile computer designs, including the world’s first 17″ laptop. Nathan holds both a B.S. and M.E. with concentrations in signal processing and computer systems from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a Certified Machine Safety Expert, CMSE®
AGILOX North America, Inc.
Andreas is a business development executive and global technology leader with more than 25 years of experience in the IT, telecommunications, electrical engineering, and factory automation sector. Combining an entrepreneurial vision with solid business skills has enabled Andreas to create effective and profitable solutions for companies across the globe. His core competence is understanding the demands of various cultural and contextual factors that impact international business. He successfully built his own telecommunications company from the ground up, which was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2004. Andreas has remained active in the high-tech sector, consulting for major international companies and clients around the world. In 2019, Andreas joined AGILOX North America, Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia, where he now serves as CEO. He believes AGILOX’s cutting-edge IGV/AMR technology is the future, and that future is here.
VP, IOTG - GM, Industrial Solutions Division
Christine Boles is a vice president of the Internet of Things Group (IOTG) and general manager of Intel’s Industrial Solutions Division. Her organization is responsible for Intel’s Industrial IOT business within the manufacturing, energy, logistics, and commercial building segments, including the product and ecosystem strategies for this rapidly evolving space. Boles joined Intel in 1992 as an application engineer for 16-bit microcontrollers. For over 25 years, she has led the development, delivery, and enabling of customers and ecosystems for Intel-based solutions in multiple leadership roles. These solutions span a broad range of embedded and internet of things applications across many industries, including communications, storage, retail, imaging, and commercial buildings. Boles holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Arizona State University.
Dynamic Horizons Automation Solutions
Bob has over 35 years of experience in the creative application of robotics, collaborative robotics, mobile robotics, and automation technology to solve challenging problems and create business opportunities. Prior to founding Dynamic Horizons, Bob was a Technical Director for Applied Robotics Innovation at Procter & Gamble. There he identified new and innovative robotic technologies to leverage throughout the company. He was also responsible for setting technical direction and deploying global standard approaches for robotics within P&G. Bob is also an active member of several safety standards committees, including industrial robot standards RIA R15.06 the industrial mobile robot standard RIA R15.08.
Dominik Boesl joined artificial intelligence company Micropsi Industries in 2022 as its managing director, responsible for further developing the company’s ready-to-use AI system that uniquely enables industrial robots to automate previously manual manufacturing processes. After initial positions at Siemens AG, Fujitsu-Siemens and Microsoft, the computer science graduate with an executive MBA from Pittsburgh University moved to KUKA Group, where he was responsible for innovation and technology management, and Festo. Since 2007, Boesl has also held a teaching and research position at the Technical University of Munich. He also joined the HDBW-University in Munich in the Department of Computer Science as a professor in 2019. Boesl is a regular speaker on robotics and AI governance at global conferences.
Dr. Rogerio Bonatti is a senior researcher at Microsoft's Autonomous Systems division. His research focus is at the intersection of machine learning and computer vision with robotics, where he creates methods for robust robot intelligence in real-world settings. Rogerio's work has been deployed in multiple applications ranging from aerial and ground vehicles all the way to manipulators. He holds a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University.
As Program Manager, Eric Bourbonnais oversees the development of cameras for the machine vision market at Teledyne Imaging. Prior to this role, Eric worked 18 years as a software designer with Teledyne Imaging, where he was involved in the development of various technologies related to image processing, frame grabbers and cameras. Eric has an active role in the development of the GenICam and GigE Vision standards since 2005 and was elected Chair of the GigE Vision Committee in 2017.
Vice President, Technical Initiatives
In his role as ARM Institute Vice President, Technical Initiatives, Dr. Brandt leads the ARM Institute's technology strategy and program planning, technical projects, and program management. Dr. Brandt has been with the ARM Institute since 2018 and has been integral in creating and executing on its strategic technology direction and initiatives.
Dr. Brandt holds a Ph.D. in Electronic Materials from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Illinois. He has presented over 50 papers and holds 6 patents.
Director of Electromagnetic Engineering
Todd has over 32 years of experience in the electromagnetic design of PM motors at Kollmorgen. This experience includes designing high-efficiency motors for a wide range of industrial and medical applications including servos, elevators, electric vehicles, heart pumps and robots. Todd has an Electrical Engineering degree from Virginia Tech (BS).
Southwest Research Institute
Mr. Brockschmidt is a robotics research engineer at Southwest Research Institute. He has worked on a variety of projects that include developing a robot to print graphics on airplanes, building small tools for handling delicate food products, and designing a system for robotic carbon fiber layup.
Head of Pulsed Laser Applications
Alonza Brown is the Head of Pulsed Laser Applications at TRUMPF in Plymouth, MI. Alonza began there in January of 2021. Prior he was a laser process developer at Cincinnati Inc. Alonza studied physics at Norfolk State University and Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State.
VP of the Advanced Technology Group
Gregory Brown is an executive leading the Global Advanced Technology Group that focuses on the new emerging technology for UPS, to further enhance and build out the UPS Global Smart Logistics Network. These emerging technologies include 1.) Data Driven Decisions with ML/AL, 2.) IoT and Sensor Technology, 3.) Robotics and Automation, 4.) Small to Large Drones, and 5.) Autonomous Systems like Autonomous vehicles.
FANUC America Corporation
Dave Bruce is an engineering manager in FANUC America’s Material Handling segment focused on supporting iRVision applications for FANUC’s Authorized System Integrators and end-user customers. Dave joined FANUC in 1997, and held engineering roles in the robot installation and application software groups before moving into his current position.
Vice President, Product
Mike Bruchanski is the VP of Product at Elementary with extensive experience in AI, security, analytics, and cloud connected devices. Prior to Elementary, Bruchanski was VP of Product at Blue Lava, VP of Product Management at Cylance, an engineer at The Boeing Company, and held numerous technical roles at Analytical Graphics, including sales engineer, business development, and product marketing. Bruchanski earned a Masters of Science in Computer Engineering from Villanova University and a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Gregory D. Buell
FANUC America Corporation
Greg Buell is a staff engineer in the General Industry & Automotive Segment at FANUC America Corporation, and works with machine tending applications. He came to FANUC with a BSEE degree from Tri-State(Trine) University and has made a career of working with robots and automation at FANUC for 27 years. His career includes countless hours working hand in hand with customers on engineering, implementation, and successful startup of numerous robots and automated systems. Next up was introducing human safe collaborative robots to the industry for FANUC. Greg’s work in development and testing helped to bring the first heavy payload industrial collaborative robot to market. For PackExpo2019, Greg developed a collaborative robot system that was used to pack meals for school children as part of the Blessings In a Backpack program at the show. The system successfully packed 1536 backpacks which were distributed to children who needed meals on weekends and another 1500 backpacks at the FANUC America North Campus grand opening ceremony. Currently Greg is working to develop a new suite of FANUC software aimed at quickly allowing customers to robotize their machine tending operations. With QSSR adding automation to the machining process is quick and simple.
AI Technology Manager
Musashi AI North America
Martin Bufi is the AI Technology Manager at Musashi AI where he leads a team of engineers designing and building computer vision software for quality assurance applications. Martin is also a technical advisor at MaRS where he consults and supports startups with the development of cutting-edge AI technologies across various industries. He is passionate about new technology, with a major focus in robotics and AI, automation and embedded systems.
Senior Application Engineer
ATI Industrial Automation
Tim Burns joined ATI Industrial Automation in 2016. He is a Senior Applications Engineer in ATI's Material Removal Product Group where he is identifying solutions for customers and developing product support programs. He is focused on bringing material removal to ATI's diverse customer base and motivated integrators. Tim is a graduate of Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
David C Bursell
Vice President of Business Development
David C Bursell is passionate about imaging technologies. For over 23 years, he has been extensively involved with infrared imaging science. He has worked for imaging companies, including Inframetrics, FLIR Systems, and MoviTHERM, where he is currently the Vice President of Business Development. His education includes a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Boston University. He has also studied Digital Marketing Analytics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. When not working with infrared cameras, David enjoys restoring old cars. A current project includes the restoration of a 1977 Toyota FJ40 Landcruiser.
Principal Program Manager
Benjamin is a technology enthusiast with a passion for empowering developers to build innovative solutions.
A long-time open source advocate, he co-founded the Eclipse IoT Working Group in 2011 and grew from scratch a vibrant open-source community of hundreds of developers and dozens of deeply engaged companies.
He is currently working at Microsoft as a Principal Program Manager for Azure IoT, where he is leading developer engagement initiatives with some of the top communities and companies in the embedded, AI, and open hardware space.
Michael K. Cadiuex
Director - U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command
Ground Vehicle Systems Center
Mr. Cadieux serves as the Director for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center, a position he has held since April 11, 2021. He leads a workforce of over 1,800 engineers, scientists, researches and support staff in delivering advanced technologies as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross Functional Teams. Mr. Cadieux also provides life cycle engineering solutions to the Army’s Ground Combat Systems and Combat Support & Combat Service Support PEOs, TACOM, and the broader Department of Defense.
In his capacity as the Director, Mr. Cadieux ensures the Ground Vehicle Systems Center is Forging the Future by developing world-class engineering talent in the areas of survivability and protection, autonomy and robotics, propulsion and mobility, electronics and power management, fuels and lubricants, and ground system design and optimization. The Ground Vehicle Systems Center is the Army’s primary organic engineering talent to develop the Next Generation Family of Combat Vehicles and thus deliver land dominance in the future fight.
Yaskawa America, Inc.
Chris Caldwell is Product Manager of Material Handling at Yaskawa America Inc. – Motoman Robotics Division (Yaskawa Motoman), where he is responsible for product planning and execution throughout the product life cycle. This includes gathering and prioritizing product and customer requirements, defining the product vision, and working to ensure customer goals are met. Caldwell holds a BS in business management from Wright State University. With over 15 years of experience in manufacturing and operations, he has worked in every corner of organizations to provide exceptional products and services, while optimizing costs, maintaining reliability and ensuring quality.
Littler Mendelson, P.C.
Michael Chichester is an experienced employment litigator and advisor who frequently collaborates with his colleagues to provide clients with practical solutions. As Co-Chair of Littler's Global Workplace Transformation Initiative, Michael has developed a deep understanding of the labor and employment law challenges employers face as they continue to adopt technology that transforms the workplace.
President and CEO
FANUC America Corporation
Mike Cicco is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FANUC America Corporation. As President and CEO, Cicco has responsibility for all of the company’s operations in North and South America. Cicco also serves as a Director on FANUC CORPORATION’s (Japan) Board of Directors. Cicco joined FANUC in 1999, and has held a variety of management positions over the years including software/controls manager and district sales manager at the company’s Southern California facility. In 2005, Cicco transferred to FANUC’s headquarters in Rochester Hills, MI to take on the role of national account manager of the company’s Authorized System Integrator sales group. As his career progressed, he was named general manager of several robot division groups including Material Handling Engineering, Authorized System Integrator sales, and Domestic Automotive/Michigan Regional sales. In 2015, Cicco was promoted to vice president of FANUC’s North and South American sales and execution. In April 2016, Cicco was named president and COO. Before joining FANUC, Cicco served as lead automation engineer for Northrop Grumman in the Automation and Information Systems group. Cicco holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. In addition, he is a board member of the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).
Director of Systems Integration
Brandon Coats is the director of system integration for Mujin Corp., an industrial robotics company that develops “machine intelligent” robot controllers that are designed as a common platform for industrial and collaborative robots specializing in logistics and other pick-and-place applications. Prior to joining Mujin, he served as an executive-level engineer and product manager at Material Handling Systems (MHS) in Louisville, Kentucky. Coats has broad engineering and solutions development experience, from implementing designs as an individual contributor to leading large engineering and cross-functional teams on major business strategies. In his current role, he is responsible for developing material handling systems that leverage robotics, sensors, machine vision, AI, and other exponential technologies.
Major General Richard Coffman Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross Functional TeamMG Ross Coffman graduated from Centre College and earned his commission as an Armor Officer from the University of Kentucky. He was first assigned to 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bliss, Texas where he served as a Platoon Leader, Troop Executive Officer, and Regimental Reconnaissance Detachment Commander. During this assignment, the unit deployed to Saudi Arabia and Iraq during Operations Desert Shield and Storm. Following the Armor Officer Advanced Course at Fort Knox, Kentucky, MG Coffman then served with 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment as Squadron Maintenance Officer, Adjutant, and Troop Commander with deployments to Haiti and Bosnia. After Troop Command, MG Coffman served as an Observer Controller at the National Training Center with the Cobra Team and attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He joined the 3rd Infantry Division in 2002 and deployed as an operations officer during the invasion of Iraq and later as a Brigade Operations Officer and Executive Officer during OIF III. Following his assignment to Fort Stewart, MG Coffman joined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force South (JIATF-S) in Key West, Florida and conducted counter narcotics operations in the SOUTHCOM AOR. MG Coffman next returned to Fort Stewart, Georgia and commanded 1-64 Combined Arms Battalion during its deployment to Northern Iraq, and later served as the 3rd Infantry Division G-3. MG Coffman then attended Harvard University as an AWC National Security Fellow and Commanded 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division and the NTC’s Operations Group. Following Command, MG Coffman served as the 1st Infantry Division’s Deputy Commanding General for Maneuver with service at Fort Riley, Kansas and Poland. MG Coffman has been a member of incredible units that were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, The Valorous Unit Award, The Joint Meritorious Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation, and The Superior unit award.
Product Manager - Heavy Duty Tool Changers
ATI Industrial Automation
Bethany has been with ATI for 18 years. She is currently the Product Manager for the Heavy Duty Tool Changer product line working in the ATI Michigan office. Previously Bethany led the Application Engineering team helping customers select and service ATI products.
Director - Product Management
Eaton Tripp Lite
Rick Conneely is Product and Business Development expert in Industrial and IT infrastructure hardware. Rick is passionate about high-growth areas where new technology is creating a disruption to existing processes and business models. He has led global teams to embrace these new technologies to realize the business value they can create. He has been with Eaton Tripp Lite for 2 years and has extensive manufacturing experience with HNI Corp and Panduit.
Caleb is on the forefront of deploying UnitX’s AI inspection systems in the world’s top EV & automotive manufacturers. He joined UnitX as a project Manager after a career in robotics and the semiconductor testing industry. Caleb leads post sales operations at UnitX. His mission is to automate the world through robotics. Caleb holds a degree in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley.
David L. Dechow
Vice President of Outreach and Vision Technology
David L. Dechow is VP of Outreach and Vision Technology with Landing AI where he works with cross-functional teams to support LandingLens, the company’s unique deep learning-based automated inspection product. He is an experienced engineer, programmer, and entrepreneur specializing in the integration of machine vision, robotics, and other automation technologies, with an extensive career in the industry. He was the founder, owner, and principal engineer for two successful vision systems integration firms. Just prior to joining Landing AI he was Principal Vision Systems Architect with Integro Technologies and previously served as Staff Engineer for Intelligent Robotics/Machine Vision at FANUC America Corporation.
Mr. Dechow is a recipient of the A3 Automated Imaging Achievement Award honoring industry leaders for outstanding career contributions in industrial and/or scientific imaging. He is a member of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) Imaging Technology Strategy Board, is a contributing editor for Vision Systems Design magazine, and is a technical advisory board member with Saccade Vision Ltd. As a key educator within the machine vision industry, Mr. Dechow has participated in the training of hundreds of engineers as an instructor with the A3 Certified Vision Professional program. He also is well known for his frequent informative technical articles, papers, webinars, conference sessions, and classes covering a wide range of technical topics involving machine vision and enabling technologies in industrial automation.
Senior Director Business Development
Dale Deering is the Senior Director for Business Development at Teledyne Imaging, responsible for oversight of product and business development for all machine vision camera products. Dale has worked in the field of machine vision for over 25 years in both development and business leadership roles, and has extensive experience with line-scan use for many high speed and novel imaging applications. His in-depth knowledge of application requirements and key performance factors combined with technical innovation have produced a succession of imaging products with industry leading performance and strong global demand.
Nicolas De Keijser
Director of Sales
Nicolas De Keijser is a Belgian national holding a Master of Science (MSc) in Applied Economics and International Management from the University of Antwerp (Belgium).
He joined Boston Dynamics in the fall of 2019 to lead the company’s sales efforts in the logistics industry. In this capacity, he is building a team to actively sell and support Stretch, the company’s mobile case manipulating robot.
Prior to joining Boston Dynamics, he has worked for 13 years at ABB Robotics where he held several international business and product management positions in China and in the USA. Earlier in his career, he was involved in business development for NVH testing equipment and software for LMS international.
Outside of work, Nicolas enjoys traveling and the outdoors with his wife and 2 kids. He is also an avid mountain biker and skier, has a passion for motorsports, and enjoys soccer.
Global Business Development Leader
Digital Transformation and Cybersecurity executive focus on helping our customers enable operational excellence through intelligent Solutions and Services in Supply Chain and Manufacturing Industries.
Jeremy began his 20+ year career in Information Technology and Cybersecurity as a Signals Intelligence Analyst for the United States Air Force. While in the armed forces, Mr. Dodson served in NSA’s Center for Executive Protection, where he performed nation-state threat analysis and conducted security briefings at the White House with the President of the United States and top government and military officials.
After leaving military service, Jeremy led the technical team for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Independent Enterprise Assessments (EA-21) performing full-scope assessments of critical national infrastructure, including 92 DOE sites, nuclear weapons complexes, Power Marketing Administrations, and Headquarters.
Now Mr. Dodson serves as the CISO for the Digital Transformation company NextLink Labs, where he assists other organizations in developing, maturing, and testing their own cybersecurity programs.
Principle Programmatic Advisor
Leah Dodson is a cybersecurity researcher and advocate with 10 years’ of experience analyzing cybersecurity programs and authoring technical documentation. She specializes in helping organizations aggregate and compile data from their environments and develop customized cybersecurity program plans. Leah dedicates time to continually educating herself and her clients on the latest cybersecurity innovations, tools, techniques, frameworks, and standards.
Mike Dooley is a leading pioneer in consumer robots, delivering millions of products into homes for over the past 20 years. He helped launch the original LEGO MindStorms product line, introducing millions of kids to robotics. He later co-invented and launched what is now the Braava series of smart robotic mops (acquired by iRobot) and helped develop the systematic mapping behaviors used in Roomba today. In 2017, Mike co-founded Labrador Systems to establish a new category of assistive robots, which are now in pilot. Mike has an MBA from Stanford and BA in Psychology from Tufts.
Kuka Robotics Corp
Pat Duda started working with robotics in the mid-1990s. He has extensive experience with robot simulation, process development, and software engineering with a special focus on making advanced technology easily accessible to all. Since joining Kuka Robotics in 2005, he has worked with many different technologies and processes including abrasives, plastics, welding, laser, vision, force control, and simulation. Pat brings creativity, passion, and innovation to product development and problem-solving.
VP of Business Development
Mandy Dwight is an accomplished sales leader who specializes in bringing new, cutting-edge technologies to industries that have been often underserved by advances in automation. Most recently, Mandy led efforts to bring robotic order fulfillment and reverse logistics solutions to market at Soft Robotics, Inc. as Business Director of Supply Chain Solutions. At Rethink Robotics, Mandy introduced a new genre of robot, the collaborative robot, to R&D labs around the globe. It was in this role that she worked for the first time with clients who were solving very hard problems that would forever change work on the manufacturing floor. Mandy spent the beginning of her career in education, a contributing factor to her later success in sales at Softbank Robotics where she introduced the NAO Humanoid Robot to college and STEM labs. Mandy has earned a BA degree from Providence College, and MS degrees from Mercy College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Regional Head of Advanced Robotic Applications
Denise Ebenhoech is Regional Head of Advanced Robotic Applications for KUKA Robotics. She works with local sales and account management to provide customers with innovative automation solutions utilizing human-robot collaboration and mobile robotics. She holds a Master of Science degree in business administration and economics from the University of Hagan and has spoken at several national conferences, including FABTECH 2019, the 2019 Autonomous Mobile Robot Conference, and the 2018 and 2019 International Robot Safety Conferences.
CEO & Founder
Lior Elazary has more than 20 years of experience as an executive in internet networking, robotics, software development, and enterprise architecture businesses. He has led and directed diverse teams developing everything from back-office systems to core enterprise technologies. In addition, he has a proven track record of scaling technology companies. He most recently co-founded and later sold EdgeCast, a content delivery platform, with enterprise customers such as Twitter and YouTube. Before that, he co-founded and later sold HostPro (now Web.com), an internet hosting company.
Elazary completed a master’s degree in computer science at the University of Southern California (USC) with a specialty focus on artificial intelligence. He attended a Ph.D. program in robotics at USC where he met his inVia co-founders. Their work together sparked a passion for the dramatic effect robots can have in driving efficiency and productivity, and most importantly in helping people live happier and more fulfilling lives.
In his free time, Lior enjoys sailing and studying astronomy.
Technical Marketing Manager
Adrian Ennis has been involved in the technology and automation world for more than 20 years. Most recently, Adrian oversaw the design, concept, and production of OTTO Lifter, OTTO Motors’ new autonomous forklift. Earlier in his career, Adrian spent more than 10 years at Raytheon in a wide variety of technical program management roles and responsibilities. Adrian is a graduate of the University of Waterloo with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. When not at work, Adrian is active in volunteer community justice efforts in Ontario.
Senior Research Scientist
Baris Erol is a Senior Research Scientist at Siemens Technology in the Sustainable Automation Solutions research group. Currently, he is leading the efforts of Siemens in Automotive industry to bring AI into the customer shop floor. His expertise is in signal processing, machine learning, and digital twin in which he has published more than 30 peer-reviewed articles. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Villanova University on Radar-based human activity recognition algorithms
Martin H. Ettenberg
President & CEO
Princeton Infrared Technologies, Inc.
Dr. Ettenberg is currently the CEO and founder of Princeton Infrared Technologies, Inc., a company dedicated to the commercialization of NIR/SWIR detection technologies. He has been developing InGaAs detectors for over 20 years with previous experience at Sensors Unlimited Inc./Goodrich Corporation.
Dr. Ettenberg graduated with a Masters and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Virginia Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering. He also received his BS in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University.
Dr. Thomas Evans
Robotics Chief Technology Officer
In his role as the robotics chief technology officer for Honeywell Robotics, Dr. Thomas Evans is responsible for providing the technical vision and development for robotics and AS/RS shuttle solutions. He works closely with the Honeywell Offering Management teams to target and develop robotic solutions to assist Honeywell customers in addressing their issues and technological advancement initiatives. Dr. Evans has 20 years of collective experience in robotics and engineering research and development. Previously, he served as the chief technology officer for Orbital Engineering in Pittsburgh. Prior to that, he worked as a research associate professor at West Virginia University and conducted consulting research for various robotics projects for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. In addition, Dr. Evans has received many notable awards and authored numerous publications throughout his career. Dr. Evans earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Wichita State University, as well as a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. from West Virginia University.
Werner Feith has over 30 years of experience in the machine vision sector focusing on FPGA interface IP in standard- as custom products around the world and he is working now with EMVA on developing and administering standards. Werner has been with his former company S2I an active contributor to A3, JIIA and EMVA standards development and is now active in coordinating and proliferating EMVA vision standards EMVA1288, emVision, GenICam, and OOCI globally.
Lou Finazzo is Vice President of FANUC America Corporation, responsible for Michigan Regional sales, Material Joining sales, the ROBODRILL and ROBONANO sales and engineering groups, and the Automated Systems Group (ASG). Finazzo joined FANUC in 1994, and over the last 28 years has held a variety of engineering and sales account management positions, as well as management roles in the company’s automotive system execution group. Finazzo holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from Central Michigan University.
Senior Director of Robotics Research, Professor
Dieter Fox is senior director of robotics research at NVIDIA and a professor in the Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. Dieter has published more than 300 technical papers and is co-author of the textbook "Probabilistic Robotics." He's a fellow of the IEEE, ACM, and AAAI, and recipient of the IEEE RAS Pioneer Award. He was an editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics, program co-chair of the 2008 AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, and program chair of the 2013 Robotics: Science and Systems conference. Dieter received his Ph.D. from the University of Bonn, Germany.
Director of Standards Development, Robotics
Association for Advancing Automation (A3)
Carole Franklin is the Director of Standards Development, Robotics, for the Association for Advancing Automation (A3). She leads A3’s standards development activities in developing the ANSI and ISO Robot Safety Standards. Before joining RIA, Carole spent over four years with management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, where she led projects on business process improvement, internal communications, and executive communications. Prior to Booz Allen, Carole worked for Ford Motor Company for ten years in the market research department, where she led consumer research projects and tracking studies. Carole holds BA and MBA degrees from the University of Michigan.
NorAm Accelerated Digitalization Sr. Director
DHL Supply Chain
Brian Gaunt is Senior Director of Accelerated Digitalization at DHL Supply Chain in North America, where he leads a team responsible for advancing digital supply chain transformation and ensuring that innovative products are implemented within DHL’s operations. Brian also is a member of the DHL Supply Chain Operational Excellence team.
In his role, Brian leads DHL Supply Chain’s Accelerated Digitalization efforts for North America, fostering innovation and digitalization to drive value for customers. Brian uses his deep expertise gained from more than 30 years in the supply chain industry to promote collaboration within the organization and to solve customers’ problems through continuous innovation.
Nocti Business Solutions
Anne Gielczyk is the Vice President of Nocti Business Solutions (NBS), the business and industry counterpart to NOCTI and has been a part of the organization for nearly 15 years. Together these two organizations provide assessment and curriculum development, delivery, and data analysis and reporting services for secondary and post-secondary schools, private industry, and certification associations across the nation. Ms. Gielczyk's primary focus is working with business and industry to determine assessment and training needs to hire or promote the most qualified individuals for job openings. This includes guiding certification organizations in developing nationally recognized, industry-based certification assessments through a rigorous validation process. In addition, NBS works with post-secondary institutions that provide assessment services to business and industry in their communities and with workforce development organizations to provide tools needed to determine an individual’s employability skills.
Founder & CEO
On Uber's Driver Engineering Team, Adam Gluck was responsible for the uptime of systems that helped power millions of trips every week. He then joined Uber's Engineering Strategy team, focusing on Uber's high-level systems architecture. Currently, he’s leading Copia Automation as CEO, a startup aiming to bring modern solutions to industrial manufacturing. Adam was recently recognized in Forbes' 30 under 30 for Manufacturing & Industry 2022.
Director, Product Management
Amit Goel is Director of Product Management for Autonomous machines at NVIDIA, where he leads the product development of NVIDIA Jetson, the most advanced platform for AI computing at the edge. Amit is also responsible for developer relations for the NVDIA Isaac robotics platform.
Amit has more than 15 years of experience in the technology industry working in both software and hardware design roles. Prior to joining NVIDIA in 2011, he worked as a senior software engineer at Synopsys, where he developed algorithms for statistical performance modeling of digital designs.
Amit holds a Bachelor of Engineering in electronics and communication from Delhi College of Engineering, a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Arizona State University, and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley.
GM North America and VP of Marketing
ACS Motion Control
Since joining ACS Motion Control in 2007, I've been proud to work closely with countless customers, partners, and colleagues to address exciting new opportunities and solve demanding motion control challenges. I enjoy building long-term relationships, leading high-performance teams, and simplifying complexity. When I'm not at work, I'm likely spending time with my wife and kids and our extended family and friends.
Ed Goffin is marketing manager with Pleora Technologies, a leading provider of machine vision and AI solutions for the industrial automation market. In his role, Ed is responsible for understanding customer requirements and market demands as manufacturers deploy new AI solutions to solve quality issues. Before joining Pleora, he held marketing, investor relations, and corporate communications roles in the semiconductor, managed services, and telecommunications markets.
Ken Goldberg is the William S. Floyd Distinguished Chair in Engineering at UC Berkeley and co-Founder and Chief Scientist at Ambi Robotics. Ken holds joint appointments in EECS, Art Practice, and the School of Information at UC Berkeley, and Radiation Oncology at UCSF. He and his students have authored over 300 peer-reviewed papers and 9 US Patents in robotics and AI. Ambi Robotics, based in Berkeley, provides state-of-the-art package handling robots to address increasing demand in the supply chain. Ken co-founded the Berkeley AI Research (BAIR) Lab, the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM) and the African Robotics Network (he was born in Nigeria). Ken is also an award-winning artist, filmmaker, and public speaker on AI and robotics. His artwork has been featured in 70 art exhibits including the 2000 Whitney Biennial and Sundance Film Festival, and he co-directed (with his wife Tiffany Shlain) the Emmy-nominated short documentary film “Why We Love Robots.” Ken earned dual degrees in Electrical Engineering and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania (1984) and MS and Ph.D. degrees from Carnegie Mellon University (1990). Ken was awarded the Presidential Faculty Fellowship in 1995 by Bill Clinton, the Joseph Engelberger Robotics Award in 2000, and elected IEEE Fellow in 2005.
Senior Director, Global Logistics Business
Zach Gomez has built a career by introducing disruptive technologies to companies around the world. In fields such as collaborative robotics, exoskeletons, vision, and AI/ML/RL, Zach has focused on helping customers maximize the value of these technologies and drive innovation throughout their organizations. He is currently the Sr. Director, Global Logistics Business, at Realtime Robotics focused on helping customers deploy industrial robots easier than ever before to meet the growing demand of the logistics market.
Chief Technology Officer
Todd is a seasoned technology executive and U.S. Air Force veteran with demonstrated success in executive leadership roles spanning a variety of industries. Todd has an impressive track record of achieving large-scale, technology innovation to drive top-line growth. He previously served in technology management roles at General Electric, Textron, Ingersoll-Rand (Allegion), and recently at SharkNinja where he was Senior Vice President of Robotics. Todd spent 8 years in the US Air Force where he was a Captain and oversaw the GPS Program Office. Todd has BS and MS degrees in Engineering from Notre Dame and is a Six Sigma Black Belt.
Kelleher R. Guerin
Chief Innovation Officer
Dr. Kel Guerin has been working in the robotics space for more than 10 years, focusing on the design and usability of a wide variety of robots, including systems for space exploration, deep mining, surgery, and industrial manufacturing. While obtaining his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University (Defended 2016), Kel worked specifically on the challenge of making industrial robots more flexible and easy to use. The result was his award-winning Forge Operating System and easy-to-use programming interface for industrial robots. Kel spun out his technology into READY Robotics, an industrial robotics start-up he co-founded in 2016. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and READY's products have been called "the Swiss Army knife of robots" by Inc. magazine.
Sr. Director, Business Development
Rajat Gupta is part of Microsoft's AI & Emerging Technologies business development group and focuses on Autonomous Systems, Mixed Reality, and Industrial Metaverse. As part of the business development group, Rajat focuses on strategic partnerships and acquisitions that are key to executing Microsoft's product and business strategy.
Before Microsoft, Rajat led business development functions at Daqri, PTC, and Qualcomm. Trained as an Electronics and Telecommunications Engineer, Rajat started his career as a Wireless Telecommunications Engineer working for Telcos such as Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications.
Personally, Rajat is always looking for opportunities to hike and do landscape photography.
Satyandra K Gupta
Smith International Professor
University of Southern California
Dr. Satyandra K. Gupta holds Smith International Professorship in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Computer Science in the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California. He serves as the Director of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing. He is also a co-founder of Gray Matter Robotics. Dr. Gupta’s research interests are physics-informed artificial intelligence, computational foundations for decision making, and human-centered automation. He works on applications related to Computer-Aided Design, Manufacturing Automation, and Robotics. He has published more than four hundred technical articles in journals, conference proceedings, and edited books. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Solid Modeling Association (SMA), and Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). He serves as the editor-in-chief of the ASME Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering. Dr. Gupta has received numerous honors and awards for his scholarly contributions. Representative examples include a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research in 2000, Robert W. Galvin Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 2001, CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in 2001, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2001, Invention of the Year Award at the University of Maryland in 2007, Kos Ishii-Toshiba Award from ASME in 2011, Excellence in Research Award from ASME Computers and Information in Engineering Division in 2013, Distinguished Alumnus Award from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee in 2014, and ASME Design Automation Award in 2021. He was named “The 20 most influential professors in smart manufacturing” by Smart Manufacturing Magazine in June 2020. He was given Use-Inspired Research Award by Viterbi School of Engineering in 2021 for creating solutions that are addressing US aerospace and defense industry’s needs in the advanced manufacturing area. He has also received ten best paper awards at international conferences.
Michael has a sophisticated technical background in mechanical engineering completed with profound international sales skills. As Vice President of FerRobotics, Michael is leading the North American operations. With his extraordinary expertise, he fully supports the ambitious FerRobotics customer network in the automotive, aerospace, and general industry on the challenges of flexible automation. Since 2015 Michael is the FerRobotics US expert in sensitive automation. Prior to that, he worked as a leading sales expert in the European, middle, and Far East markets.
Michael is living in Chicago and is a regular speaker at North American events like GALM events, AeroDef, CAMX, CMTS, RIA events, and webinars.
President / CEO
Elm Park Labs, Inc
Ms. Kimberley Hanke is a serial entrepreneur with four decades of leadership experience serving the automotive, aerospace, defense, and commercial industries. Kim’s expertise resides in providing design development, engineering, manufacturing operations, business strategic planning and technology innovation. Kim is the Founder and CEO of Elm Park Labs, Inc. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations, business development, investor relations, valuation, and strategic planning. Elm Park Labs develops extended reality (XR) experiences that are revolutionizing the way humans learn, work, and interact. Located in Ferndale, MI and is currently maneuvering expansion plans into the UK. Kim has held several positions within the automotive, aerospace industries, and Department of Defense. Founded a CAD Training Company in 1989, and an Automotive Design, Engineering Company in 1995, merging both companies to form Hanke Training & Design, Inc. The company grew and expanded to three locations: Detroit, MI, Fort Worth, TX, and El Paso, TX. She successfully negotiated the acquisition by Detroit based Mexican Industries in April 2000. Kim is a retired Associate Director, Army Civilian, DEVCOM, Ground Vehicle Systems Center. For her service, Kim was awarded the Department of the Army, Civilian Service Commendation Medal. She has held several board positions, including, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (current), National Chairperson (’99-’00) of the WAA (Women’s Automotive Association), Vice President (’98-’00) of the Detroit Chapter and the Treasurer (’98-’00) of the International Women’s Automotive Association. In her free time Kim enjoys golf and vacationing in Northern Michigan.
Will Healy III
Marketing Manager Americas
Will Healy III has been with Balluff Worldwide for over 15 years and is currently the Marketing Manager for the Americas Region. He is enthusiastic about manufacturing, workforce development, smart factory technologies, and raising the status of manufacturing in the community. A Purdue University mechanical engineer who loves to share his passion for automation, Will is a board member for the Advanced Manufacturing Industry Partnership (AMIP) in Cincinnati and is active with multiple university advisory boards and associations. He brings energy to dry subjects and speaks from personal experience about the industrial revolution, managing culture change in organizations, bridging the manufacturing skills gap, and creating value through automation. Connect with Will on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, or Reddit with the handle @WillAutomate.
Applications Engineering Manager- Motors and Mechatronics
Mr. Holcomb studied at the University of Buffalo (MS 1994) and began his professional career at CSA Engineering in Palo Alto, California (now Moog). In 1997 Mr. Holcomb started his own consulting company, focusing much of work at KLA-Tencor, doing modal testing, and servo loop modeling, tuning and testing. Mark joined Celera Motion in October of 2015 where he wrote software for both motor analysis and automated testing of motors and mechatronics products. He also conducts training classes for sales and applications team members, and works closely with customers, assisting them in solving their motion control needs. In June of 2021, Mark accepted a new role as Applications Engineering manager for motors and mechatronics.
Ben Hope is the Product Manager for the SuperTrak CONVEYANCE™ platform at ATS Automation, which involves furthering the development of innovative conveyance products and establishing the go-to-market strategy for products under the SuperTrak CONVEYANCE™ portfolio.
Senior Vice President of Advanced AMR Solutions
Jeff Huerta serves as Senior Vice President of Advanced AMR Solutions for Vecna Robotics. In his role, Jeff is focused on scaling Vecna Robotics’s sales operations to meet the explosive demand for its world-class robotics platforms and orchestration software. Huerta brings more than 15 years of automation leadership experience to Vecna Robotics, with a strong track record of building diverse and experienced sales teams. Before joining Vecna Robotics, Huerta was Vice President of North America Sales at Balyo, where he led the go-to-market strategy for the company’s self-guided trucks. Previously, Jeff held sales and marketing positions with SICK, where he managed and developed the OEM packaging sales team for the North American market. Jeff holds a bachelor’s in computer engineering technology from Purdue University.
General Manager - Americas
OnRobot US Inc.
Kristian is the General Manager of the Americas division at OnRobot – the One-Stop Shop for collaborative and light industrial robot applications. He has been part of the collaborative robot market since its emergence and is a thought leader in cobot applications and activation of robots in the collaborative space.
Executive Director, Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines; Professor and KUKA Chair for Robotics, School of Interactive Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology
Seth Hutchinson is the Executive Director of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he is also Professor and KUKA Chair for Robotics in the School of Interactive Computing. His research in robotics spans the areas of planning, sensing, and control. He has published widely on these topics, and is coauthor of the books "Robot Modeling and Control," published by Wiley, and "Principles of Robot Motion: Theory, Algorithms, and Implementations," published by MIT Press. Professor Hutchinson has served as president of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), member of the RAS Administrative Committee, the Editor-in-Chief for the "IEEE Transactions on Robotics" and as the founding Editor-in-Chief of the RAS Conference Editorial Board. He is a Fellow of the IEEE. Hutchinson is an Emeritus Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was Professor of ECE until 2018. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1988.
Dean, Engineering and Advanced Technology
Macomb Community College
Donald Hutchison is the Dean of Engineering and Advanced Technology at Macomb Community College responsible for a wide array of STEM-related degree and certificate programs, federally funded grants, workforce and continuing education boot camps, and the college’s apprenticeship program.
Don, a native Detroiter, is a graduate of the Focus: HOPE Machinist Training Institute – an inner-city based non-profit workforce development program. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology from Lawrence Technological University, and a Master of Science degree in Manufacturing Operations from Kettering University.
Don was also employed by General Motors Corporation (GM) for ten years, holding several positions in the design and engineering disciplines; ultimately serving as Staff Manufacturing Engineer. During his time at GM, Don successfully completed multiple international assignments in Ruesselsheim, Germany to facilitate the implementation of a computer-aided-design and virtual simulation software platform to align manufacturing processes between GM North America and GM Europe.
Don has consulted state government, non-profit organizations and multi-national corporations on building and retaining a racially diverse workforce.
Co-founder and VP of sales
Misa Ilkhechi is the co-founder and VP of sales for Formic, a full service, one-stop-shop for automation. Prior to launching Formic with Saman Farid back in 2020, Misa held various sales and business development roles at companies such as Universal Robots, Dunkermotoren USA Inc, MW Industries, Inc., Robert Bosch Tool Corporation NA and John Deere. He earned a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Regional Sales & Engineering Manager, East Coast Sales
Jan is a proven engineer and sales professional. He has delighted all over the world, providing technical support and application assistance with motion control systems for machine tools, packaging systems, automation, and robotics. Jan takes great pleasure in sharing his knowledge of motion control, servo system sizing, and drive train optimization.
Kinetic Vision accelerates enterprise innovation with advanced technologies. Jeremy leads strategic development and growth in Artificial Intelligence, Digital Twins, and Synthetic Training Data. He has over 25 years of experience in simulation and software engineering for product development and advanced manufacturing automation.
Senior Expert 3D Vision
Mattias Johannesson holds the title 'Senior Expert, 3D Vision' within the
research and development of the German sensor company SICK. He has over 25 years of experience with 3D camera development, with the first laser triangulation product in the Ranger family released by IVP in 1993. The 3D camera development was a major part of his Ph.D. from Linköping University in 1995 and he has been awarded around 10 patents in the machine vision field. He has worked since 1998 at IVP/SICK in Sweden and the USA and is currently at the Innovation Center Machine Vision at SICK IVP in Linköping Sweden.
Dean of Instruction
Lone Star College
Steven is the Dean of Instruction for Business, Applied Sciences, Computer Information and Engineering Technology at University Park. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Abilene Christian University, an M.B.A. from Auburn University (WAR EAGLE) and a Ph.D. from Capella University in Higher Education Leadership. His work experience consists of three years teaching public high school in Abilene, TX, eight years working for various companies including Apple Computer, The Toro Company and a start-up company called Friendly Robotics. In 2002 he began working at Brookhaven College in Dallas, TX in the continuing education and corporate training area. He ultimately served as Associate Dean and Executive Dean at Brookhaven College until leaving to become an Academic Dean at Aims Community College in Greeley, CO. While at Aims, Dr. Kahla’s area received a 2 million dollar grant from the Department of Labor to build capacity in oil and gas programs. Dr. Kahla began serving as dean with University Park in January of 2015. During his tenure his department has been awarded numerous system and college grants as well as a recent NSF grant to build curriculum to expand the Mechatronics AAS. One of Dr. Kahla’s key passions in life is developing workforce programs to benefit individuals and businesses. He has driven innovation through developing new degrees as diverse as Data Analytics and Corrosion and adapting existing degrees in Robotics, Automation and Energy Production.
Program Manager, Robotics & Automation
Ashok is a robotics and automation evangelist, involved in developing multiple smart manufacturing solutions. He helps develop software-controlled automation applications which seamlessly orchestrate the field layer hardware constituting industrial robots, cobots, PLCs, AMRs, vision cameras, and other entities. Ashok has a decade & half of experience in the robotics and automation industry and has been working closely with many automotive OEMs to make their manufacturing lines futuristic.
Director of Business Development
Dave Kelly began his career in the 1980s at Perceptron, pioneering laser vision-guided robotic systems in Europe at customers Daimler Benz and BMW and robotic measurement systems in Japan and Korea in the 1990s. He spent ten years developing high-speed imaging and digital night vision systems for defense industry applications. More recently, he developed the high-speed 3D embedded imaging and guidance system incorporated in the Panasonic NPM PCB assembly platform and laser 3D embedded adhesive bead inspection products. 2 ½ years ago, Mr. Kelly returned to Perceptron in the role of Director of Business Development.
Executive Director & CEO
Tom Kelly is a globally recognized expert on Industry 4.0 and its impact on business. As executive director and CEO of Automation Alley, a Michigan-based nonprofit Industry 4.0 knowledge center with a global outlook and a regional focus, Tom is often tapped to share his visionary leadership and expertise around digital transformation. As executive director and CEO, Tom has been instrumental to the success of Automation Alley’s Industry 4.0 initiatives, designed to help businesses jumpstart or accelerate a digital path to strategic success, including Integr8, the global Industry 4.0 conference; the 3D printing network Project DIAMOnD; and the formation of the World Economic Forum’s U.S. Centre for Advanced Manufacturing. Tom serves as co-chair to the World Economic Forum’s Global Network of Advanced Manufacturing Hubs and is a member of the Additive Manufacturing Coalition Steering Committee, Fraunhofer Technology Advisory Board, JAMA Board, and Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center Board.
Steven King has been in the automation field for 35 years, working both as a developer and as a solutions engineer in the fields of mobile robots, machine vision and code reading. For the past seven years he has put that technical and field training into practice as a product manager for Omron Microscan’s lineup of Smart Cameras, Code Readers and Machine Vision Lighting with the goal of creating innovative, capable and simple to use products.
Dr. Athinodoros Klipfel
Head of Sales
AT - Automation Technology GmbH
Dr. Athinodoros Klipfel is head of sales at AT – Automation Technology GmbH. His career in the company began 18 years ago as a 3D application engineer developing demanding 3D inspection systems based on laser triangulation, later he became product manager of the 3D cameras of AT and after 5 years he focused in 3D camera sales. In 2020 Dr. Klipfel became head of sales extending his product portfolio with the smart IR cameras of AT. He has an extensive 20 year experience in Machine Vision, especially in 3D laser triangulation sensors and applications.
Life Science Business Development Manager
Keith H. Knight is currently the Life Science Business Development Manager for Novanta IMS. In this role, he leads the business growth strategy within the life science markets. Prior to his current role, Keith held positions as the Manager of New Product Innovation, Product Manager, and Engineering Manager for HaydonKerk Pittman and has spent his entire career in the arena of motion control. Keith has been granted patents for noise mitigation in precision lead screw assemblies, and for wear compensation in compact linear stages. Prior to his professional career, Keith graduated with honors from Wentworth Institute of Technology of Boston MA with a BS in Electromechanical Engineering.
Technical Sales Manager
Alex has 10+ years of diverse experience in technology in both Fortune 500 and startups. Launching his career in engineering design in the Military/Aerospace industry, he helped design laser-guided defense products and infrared sensors. More recently, he managed multi-million-dollar semiconductor product lines and is now helping Zivid customers develop and deploy their 3D machine vision systems. Alex prides himself on leveraging an engineering background and customer-oriented mindset for consultative style sales. He has an Electrical Engineering undergraduate degree from Marquette University and an MBA from Rollins College.
Principle Cybersecurity Advisor
As a Principal Cybersecurity Advisor for NextLink Labs, Jay puts his 21 years of military service and strong social engineering skills to work in some of the most creative ways possible. Before retiring from the Air Force he was responsible for handling and protecting sensitive, mission critical data for one of the top weapons systems in the arsenal. Jay also was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to secure government contracts for large medical facilities, gaining invaluable experience coordinating cross agency federal teams. After his military service he was able to put his social engineering and physical security skills to use as a Principal Cybersecurity Advisor leading red teams for one of the nation's largest municipalities. During these full-scope adversarial attack emulations he was able to improve access controls and information security through the analysis of procedures done correctly and those needing a little more improvement. While executing his duties as a social engineering expert, he has been a janitorial custodian and CEO of a billion dollar company all in the same day.
Senior Director, Compliance
Khalil’s career path in technology has provided him with keen insights in the areas of network, system and database administration, software programming, system, software, and GUI design, project and product development, solution implementation, and much more.
For nearly the past two decades, Khalil has focused on data security, security investigations, cybersecurity, security training and awareness, and security compliance-- serving as an industry expert in key areas such as IT, NIST, Internal Controls over financial reporting, Sarbanes-Oxley, GDPR, CCPA, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and HITECH.
At Locus, Khalil is responsible for internal and external compliance programs, auditor education, alignment with industry best practices, and cross-functional support. With extensive experience in the technology space with more than 25 years spanning disciplines in software development, IT support, program and project management, and most recently IT Security and Compliance management.
Khalil holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Marquette University and CISA, CDPSE, and ITIL Foundations certifications. Additionally, he is an active member/contributor in ISACA, IIA, and Infragard.
Quinn Killough is a machine vision expert specialized in AI/Deep Learning integration. Leveraging his engineering background and over a decade experience in manufacturing, rules-based machine vision, and machine learning, he empowers industrial automation and manufacturing enterprises to achieve value from automated inspection. As a senior business development manager at Landing AI, Quinn collaborates with manufacturers to deliver and scale enterprise-wide adoption of automated inspection. He has a proven track record in deploying game changing machine vision solutions across various industries. Prior to Landing AI, he was a global account manager at a machine vision provider. He also served as manufacturing engineer and quality engineer at one of largest global manufacturers.
Global Industry Manager – Factory Automation
More than 30 years of experience in the industrial automation industry, with equipment/solution suppliers including GE Fanuc, Parker Hannifin, Omron STI, and Balluff. Focus on product management and business development for sensors, safety, and networking. Recent activities include work on robotics, material handling, condition monitoring, and general factory automation solutions and market development. Lead Balluff’s activities to evaluate and understand changes in robot and factory automation technologies and the marketplace, and help direct Balluff’s strategy and technology development path based on this information.
Vision & Controls Interface Engineer
Ford Motor Company
Walter LaPlante is a Vision & Controls Interface Engineer at Ford Motor Company in the Manufacturing Technology Development group. Walter is currently a Subject Matter Expert in machine vision. He is primarily responsible for developing and testing future machine vision and controls for standardized deployment. Walter holds an advanced diploma in Mechanical Engineering Technology from St. Clair College and a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from McMaster University.
Senior Product Manager
Nicolas Lauzier has been working with collaborative robots for more than a decade. During his Ph.D. in robotics, he developed ways to improve safety for rail-suspended robots working alongside humans. Since he joined Robotiq in 2011, he has been involved in various software development projects. He has also been Director of Engineering for 3 years, growing a highly-talented tech team from 7 to 50 people. He is now the product owner for the Robotiq Palletizing Solution, always looking to better understand the manufacturers' problems and how technology can solve them.
VP-GM of Zebra Robotics Automation
Zebra Technologies Corporation
As VP-GM of Zebra Robotics Automation, Jim Lawton works with companies around the world to harness advanced automation and collaborative robots to transform their operations with greater efficiency, higher productivity, and lower costs. His experience in developing and delivering leading-edge innovation – including early days in e-commerce, supply chain optimization, and the collaborative robotics market – has shaped his passion for helping manufacturing, warehouse/distribution and logistics organizations capitalize on the intersection of technology and business performance. He presented at Automate in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Jim holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University, an MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, where he was a Fellow in the inaugural MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program.
Author "The Toyota Way"
Dr. Jeffrey K. Liker is Professor Emeritus of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan and a professional speaker and advisor through his company Liker Lean Advisors, LLC, a network of associates to teach and consult in the Toyota Way.
Sr. Technical Robotics Product Manager
YJ Lim is a Senior Technical Product Manager of robotics and autonomous systems at MathWorks. He has over 20 years of experience in the robotics and autonomous systems area. Lim's responsibility in MathWorks includes long-term strategy development and product management of robotics and autonomous systems. Before joining MathWorks, Lim worked at Vecna Robotics based in Waltham, MA as a Sr. Project Manager focused on Vecna’s advanced robotics system development. Prior to Vecna, he served as the Chief Innovation Officer at Hstar Technologies, a startup focused on agile mobile robotic platforms and healthcare service robotics systems. He worked with government agencies and served on governmental working groups on matters of advanced robotics system research. Lim also led development teams at Energid Technologies, a firm that provides engineering services and products for advanced robotic, machine-vision, and simulation applications, for robotic software development. Lim received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and his Master's from KAIST in S. Korea.
Edge Product Marketing Manager
Chris Liu joined Siemens in 2021 as the Edge Product Marketing Manager. Prior to Siemens, he was the Product Manager for Schlegel Electronic Materials and has over six years of manufacturing and product management experience. He graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and is currently based out of Orlando, FL.
Managing Director, Global Robotics Practice Lead
Joseph Lui is Managing Director/Partner at Accenture leading the Global Robotics Practice. He has made a career of identifying emerging technologies, evaluating their readiness and opportunity for market, then commercializing them to profitability. Prior to Accenture, he was the Vice President and General Manager of Robotics, Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence at Honeywell, where he founded the Honeywell Robotics business unit and developed the company’s Smart Robotics system solution offering for retail, e-commerce, manufacturing, logistics and transportation customers. Joe was also previously Director of IIoT, Automation and Robotics at Amazon. A seasoned robotics executive and a digital transformation and IIOT pioneer, Joe designed and launched the world’s first fully autonomous operation. He also commercialized the world’s largest autonomous fleet for commercial use at Caterpillar.
Principal Product Manager
Vikram brings 19 years of experience in product management, delivery and sales of manufacturing software systems. He started his career with EDS at GM’s Linden Truck plant. He joined GE in 2006 and has spent the last 14 years in different roles focused on Manufacturing Operations Management across multiple industries.
Senior Application Specialist
SPECIM, Spectral Imaging
Mathieu Marmion holds a double MSc degree in Electrical Engineering (INP Grenoble France and NTNU Trondheim Norway) as well as a Ph.D. in Physical Geography (Oulu Finland). During the past 10 years, Mathieu was employed at SPECIM and has been a Technical Sales Engineer and a Sales Manager, before to be currently a Senior Application Specialist.
Group Product Manager
Scott Marsic has over two decades of experience successfully transforming diagnostic, technical, and business intelligence products into innovative, market-leading goods and services. As Group Product Manager at Epson America, Scott is responsible for developing strategic initiatives to help drive channel growth and end user demand across the industrial robotics product category. Scott holds a BS from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a MS from the University of Southern California, and an MBA from San Francisco State University.
Daryl L. Martin
Technical Sales and Product Specialist
Daryl Martin is Advanced illumination’s Technical Sales and Product Specialist, based in Ann Arbor, MI. He assists Ai’s strategic industry partners, Sales Channel and OE Customers in North America in developing custom-fit vision lighting solutions.
Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering Principal Research Scientist
Wayne State University
Experience in Industrial Engineering and the use of AR/VR/MR/XR in automation environments. Presently driving research and technology in improving Human-Robot Intention Prediction.
Neadvance Machine Vision
Graduated in Systems Engineering and Computer Science in 1991, by the University of Minho and IT Masters, at the same university in 1998, she began her professional career in software development in industrial weighing systems.
From 1998 to 2001, she leads the Artificial Vision Department at IDITE Minho, Braga, as a project manager, an area that became her professional pursuit since then.
In 2001 as co-founder, she created ENERMETER - Measurement Systems, consisting of two areas of operation; Measurement Systems and Artificial Vision Systems focused on conceiving, developing and installing automatic systems, based on image processing and artificial vision technologies, for the most varied industrial sectors of both national and international markets.
To encourage business growth, in 2017, Neadvance - Machine Vision is founded as a spin-off of Enermeter's Artificial Vision department, being the co-founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors.
In 2019, AI4Medimaging was born, a company dedicated to the research and development of solutions that support clinical diagnosis, as a spin-off of Neadvance's medical research department, Teresa Martins is the co-founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Senior Field Application Engineer
I've spent more than a decade selling and implementing products into highly technical customer applications. I am passionate about bleeding-edge technologies and sharing that excitement with the customers I support. During work, I enjoy taking lead on strategic engineering projects to close time-sensitive deals and helping develop IP. After work, I enjoy traveling, rock climbing, and scuba diving.
Senior Application Engineer
IDS Imaging Development Systems, Inc.
Kevin McCabe is a senior application engineer at IDS Imaging Development Systems Inc. Kevin joined IDS in 2012 as an application engineer and is responsible for technical inquiries across North America. He currently focuses on helping other engineers integrate uEye 2-D, Ensenso 3-D, and NXT AI Inference cameras and provides in-depth product training to customers, distributors, and resellers to ensure a quick time to market. Throughout his 9 years at the company, Kevin has helped integrate IDS cameras into applications such as bin picking, palletizing/depalletizing, logistics automation, quality assurance, and ITS. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Vision & Imaging Director of Standards Development
Association for Advancing Automation
Bob McCurrach has over 25 years of experience in the manufacturing and product development sector, with a focus on global engineering management, strategic program and process management, primarily for the nuclear, defense and automotive industries. He holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University as well as a MBA from Georgia Institute of Technology. Bob joined the Association For Advancing Automation (A3) in 2011 as their Director of Standards Development for Vision & Imaging. He has been a key leader in A3’s standards development and coordination of vision standard development globally. Standards play a key role in the Vision & Imaging industry by ensuring interoperability of components, increasing market size, and shortening the time it takes to get new products to market.
Christopher Mc Loone
Editor in Chief
Vision Systems Design
Chris Mc Loone is Editor in Chief in 2021 of Vision Systems Design. He has been in B2B media for over 25 years. He covers machine vision and imaging from numerous angles, including application stories, technology trends, industry news, market updates, and new products.
Terry Meister is the Controls Manager at Applied Manufacturing Technologies, Inc. and leads the controls and robotic team for AMT’s Automated Systems Group (ASG) delivering turnkey automation solutions. His focus on people has allowed him to build a team that ensures all systems from AMT are of the highest standard and meets today’s safety standards. As part of every system delivered by AMT, a safety risk assessment is conducted to RIA and industry standards. His expertise in electrical and pneumatic hardware engineering is a result of 26 years in the industry. As Terry continues his focus on safety, he is the Chairman of the AMT Safety Committee and has also been a valuable resource on its Technical Counsel looking at emerging technologies and industry trends. These groups help AMT to continue to develop resources to meet todays and future needs of the industry.
Director of Sales North America
Davide Migliore is Director of Sales for North America at Prophesee.
He received his Ph.D. (2009) from the Department of Electronics and Information of the Politecnico di Milano funded by a scholarship sponsored by the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT). Davide held a postdoc with Prof. Schmidhuber at IDSIA, where he worked on computer vision for humanoid robots. He was also a member of the team of Evidence Srl, the first company that proposed a certified open-source real-time operating system for automotive and automation industries.
In 2016 he started collaborating with Prophesee working on new algorithms for event-based sensors.
He contributed to creating the first product dedicated to industrial automation and participated in developing event-based SLAM solutions. At Prophesee, Davide also acts as a liaison with universities and research laboratories, contributing to the growth of the neuromorphic computer vision community.
Starting in 2020, he began to work as a business developer and technical reference for Prophesee in North America, and in 2021 he received the task of directing the business activities and the operations in North America and Australia.
Director of Robotics Mexico
Pablo Minjares serves as Robotics Mexico Division Manager of Stäubli Robotics, a world leader in industrial automation. He joined Stäubli in 2016 as an sales engineer and has been involved in the development of sales within a wide range of industries and fields in Mexico. Today Pablo manages Mexico’s robotics team and is responsible for developing revenues of the robotics division.
Global Business Development and Strategy, Industrial Sector
Piyush Modi is responsible for global business development and strategy for the industrial sector at NVIDIA. He is actively engaged with startups, OEMs, system integrators, research communities, and major industrial customers to advance repeatable and deployment-ready industrial AI technology and solutions. Previously, over 20+ years, he held CTO, senior VP and head of research lab positions at companies including Sentient, GE Global Research, BT, Ribbit, IP Unity, and AT&T Bell Labs. He helped to deliver major industry-forming solutions using speech recognition, Deep Learning, HCI, IOT and VOIP technologies. Piyush holds a PhD in electrical and computer engineering (speech recognition) from Rutgers, an M.S. in computer science from the University of Tennessee, and a B.Tech. in electrical engineering from IIT, Varanasi.
Chairman, CTO, VP of Product & Co-Founderg
Pablo Molina is the Chairman, CTO, VP of Product & Co-Founder of Avidbots. Pablo’s vision is to live in a world where robots and humans work together in everyday life. He has been building robots since the early days of his undergraduate program at the University of Waterloo. After graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechatronics Engineering (+Physics option), Pablo received his Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Carleton University (Space Robotics). He quickly applied his space robotics know-how working as an autonomous navigation designer at NepTec Design Group before co-founding Avidbots with Faizan Sheikh in 2014.
Chief Revenue Officer
Joanne has 32 years of experience in the high-tech and manufacturing industries, holding C-level responsibilities in Fortune 200 companies like Jabil, Dell, and HP. Her career spans software engineering, sales, marketing, and product management roles, with tremendous results in top-line growth, achieved by helping customers create high-value business outcomes.
Today she is the Chief Revenue Officer at Fictiv. Fictiv operates the world’s leading Manufacturing Automation Platform (MAP) that connects mechanical engineers and supply chain managers to over 250 global manufacturing partners across four geographies through a secure, cloud-based platform delivering virtualized manufacturing and automated procurement workflows. The Fictiv MAP increases productivity, drives down cost, frees up capital, and ensures a great customer experience overall.
Prior to being their CRO, Joanne sat on the board of Fictiv. Prior to that, Joanne was SVP and Chief Marketing Officer at Jabil, a Fortune 200 manufacturing solutions company. Prior to Jabil she held sales and marketing roles at tech giants HP, Dell, and CA.
Joanne has held many board roles including the UT Austin Advisory Board for Transformational Learning, the board of the IT Association of Canada, and the boards of startup companies Alteryx (now publicly traded), Fictiv, and DecisionLink.
Joanne is a Lean Six Sigma Master and is a Computer Science graduate of CDI Institute in Toronto, Canada.
Vice President of Manufacturing
Melling Tool Company
Mike Morse started working in manufacturing in 1985 as a Kettering University (GMI-EMI back then) student. The initial 25 years of Mike's career was primarily dedicated to automotive product manufacturing and design from an engineering perspective. The past 12 years of Mike's career have been focused on manufacturing leadership for Melling Tool Company which includes business aspects such as Production, HR, Quality, ERP/MRP, Project Management, Engineering, Equipment and Facility Maintenance, and Tool Room. Mike's approach of using teams to optimize efforts/decisions has helped him have a very happy and successful work life.
Head of Industrial and Energy
Niall leads business development for Cambridge Consultants' Industrial & Energy group, focusing on identifying new opportunities for ambitious companies through the leverage of emerging technologies and implementation of new business processes.
Director of Sales, North America
Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Tom Munger has been fortunate enough to spend his entire career in the robotics industry. Tom began working with Softbank Robotics (Formerly Aldebaran Robotics), helping k-12 and university students realize the importance of STEM disciplines, namely computer science, and programming. Shortly thereafter Tom joined the industry-defining team at Rethink Robotics as the collaborative robot category began to take off. While at Rethink, Tom relocated to Los Angeles, CA, and was responsible for building their West Coast business.
After a short stint at a Los Angeles-based robotics start-up, Invia Robotics, Tom joined Boston-based Realtime Robotics, whose mission is to transform how industrial robotic applications are programmed, deployed, and executed.
Tom is responsible for all commercial business in North America for Realtime and is currently managing the accounts of some of the world's most innovative and well-regarded manufacturing organizations.
Senior Technical Product Manager
Anthony Navarro is a Senior Technical Product Manager in the AI organization at Unity. Previously, he worked in the autonomous vehicle industry at start-ups like PolySync and large corporations like Lockheed Martin. As a Product Manager at Udacity, an online educational company, he helped train thousands of students in robotics and autonomous vehicles. He holds an MS in Computer Engineering from Colorado State University. Before his career in engineering and tech, he served in the US Army as an infantryman who deployed to Iraq and an aviation officer flying Black Hawk helicopters.
Founder and CEO
Plus One Robotics
Erik Nieves is co-founder and CEO of Plus One Robotics, a software company developing 3D and AI-powered vision software for robots in logistics automation. Prior to Plus One, Erik was Technology Director for Yaskawa Motoman Robotics where he was responsible for the technology roadmap and emerging applications. During his 25+ year tenure at Yaskawa, Erik held a variety of leadership positions in the U.S. and abroad. Erik serves on the board of directors at Robotic Industries Association (RIA) and is a frequent speaker and contributor to public policy on robotics.
Director of Business Development
Rob leads the Business Development organization for Moog’s Electromechanical Motion Control business and is focused on solving customers' most demanding motion control problems. Rob is well prepared to solve these problems have been at the forefront of the most demanding motion and automation challenges for over 25 years. Previously Rob developed self-guided robotic systems and high-speed robotics for the food industry. Later, creating intelligent machine tools to revolutionize the precision turning processes within the automotive industry.
Rob has a Master's in Mechatronics and Optical Engineering from Loughborough University, UK, and an MBA from the University of Buffalo, USA.
Søren E. Nielsen
Mobile Industrial Robots A/S
Søren E. Nielsen is the President of Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR), the leading manufacturer of collaborative and autonomous mobile robots.
Søren first joined MiR as CTO (Chief Technology Director) in early 2018 and has held the position of President since August 1st, 2020. As the President of MiR, Søren ensures the continuity of the corporate spirit and vision for the company, and he is leading the company through a period of rapid growth and high potential worldwide. In 2020, Søren introduced a 2024 strategy to ensure that MiR maintains its position as the global market leader by delivering industrial, high-quality robots that help companies maximize the efficiency of their logistics operations.
As CTO of MiR, Søren has played a significant part in the development of new products and during this period, MiR has launched mobile robots that set new standards for internal transportation, every year.
When Søren E. Nielsen joined MiR in 2018, he was employee no. 50. Today, the company employs around 300 people globally and was sold to American Teradyne in 2018 for 1.7 billion DKK. The company HQ is located in Odense, Denmark, and MiR has regional sales offices in New York, San Diego, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Singapore, Tokyo, and Shanghai.
Throughout Søren E. Nielsens’ 25-year professional career in an international environment, he was involved in the field of mechanical engineering. Previously as Director of Research & Development at Danfoss A/S and as Project & Technology Manager for Siemens Flow Instruments.
Søren was born in 1968, in Silkeborg, Denmark. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Aarhus University. He is also a graduate of managerial training courses at McKinsey & Company.
Servo Robot Corp.
My career began as a welding engineer for P&H (Komatsu) and since has worked for 35 years in all facets of welding automation. President of Servo Robot Corp., a leading supplier of laser vision camera systems for robot guidance and weld inspection. Welding engineer from THE Ohio State University and active with AWS D16 and D8 (Automotive committees) plus a CWI.
Chief Operating Officer
Jean Olivieri is the chief operating officer at Fictiv, a Digital Manufacturing Ecosystem that rapidly delivers custom mechanical parts through its quote-to-order platform and distributed network of global partners. Olivieri has over thirty years of experience in a range of senior operations roles at Motorola, Apple, and SpaceX. As Fictiv’s Chief Operating Officer, Jean drives operational excellence across the organization from quality to supply chain management to customer experience. From blue chip brands to innovative startups, Olivieri has extensive experience in operational capabilities. Olivieri earned her M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arizona where she graduated summa cum laude.
Global Systems R&D Manager
3M Company, Abrasives Systems Division
Marcus is the global systems R&D manager for the 3M Abrasives Systems Division where he leads a global team to develop hardware and software tools and systems to optimize abrasive performance and productivity for customers. He has 16 years of industrial controls leadership experience installing and commissioning large manufacturing process equipment for 3M’s factories globally, and a 3 years Lean Six Sigma business assignment before starting the systems team within ASD in 2020.
Matthew G. Pelletier
Product Training Engineer
Yaskawa America, Inc.
With a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Matt Pelletier has been with Yaskawa America since 1999. Matt has worked extensively with Product Engineering to develop interactive hands-on training for Servo Tuning, IEC 61131, PLCopen, and advanced programming workshops for Rotary Knife, PackML, Robots and Conveyor tracking. Matt has also created a library of training videos with hands-on access to remote servo and controller equipment. These courses are available free of charge on Yaskawa’s website (www.yaskawa.com). Otherwise known as "Matt Servo", he is a specialist in the application of Yaskawa Servos and Motion Controllers in a variety of industries, authoring several articles in various publications.
Florian brings over 15 years of experience leading products from startups to public companies including Facebook, Microsoft, and Adobe. With hands-on experience in enterprise, SaaS, and media products used by hundreds of millions of users, Florian shares a compelling vision and applies Lean Product principles to build and scale technology products and companies.
Senior Director of Industrial Innovation
Intel Internet of Things Group
Dr. Irene J. Petrick joined Intel in 2015 and is Senior Director of Industrial Innovation in the Internet of Things Group. Irene focuses on emerging technology, social, and global trends and their combined impact on the industrial space. Her work highlights the industrial internet of things, edge computing, the transition to intelligent manufacturing and the needs of the future workforce, 3D printing and distributed manufacturing and the new business models that are enabled by intelligent manufacturing. Prior to joining Intel, Irene was a professor at Penn State and has been actively engaged with companies in their innovation and technology strategies for over 25 years, including work with twelve Fortune 100 companies, the U.S. military, and a wide variety of small to medium sized enterprises. Petrick is author or co-author on more than 200 publications and presentations.
Business Development Manager
Sumer is a Business Development Manager for Universal Robots, covering the states of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. She has amassed 15 years of experience working in various engineering, technical sales, and account management roles in the manufacturing, automotive, and robotics industries. Previously Sumer worked for Durr Systems, Valeo Systems, Voss Automotive, Kuka Systems, and most recently Duo Robotic Solutions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University.
Sales Operations Manager
Panasonic IIoT Solutions
Christina Pierce is an Industrial IoT Solution Creator and Manufacturing Operations Leader. While at Xerox Corporation she led the manufacturing start-up of several new cutting-edge production printing machines. Christina went on to manage the manufacturing operations for Xerox's flagship iGen family of products where she led several initiatives including reducing inventory by over $1M and started the remanufacturing of the iGen machine.
Currently, Christina leads the Sales Operations for Panasonic's Industrial IoT Solutions Group which creates material flow solutions for leading Fortune 100 manufacturers enabling substantial cost savings.
Sr Director Robotics Center of Excellence
Dean started his Engineering journey in the US Navy Nuclear Power program where he served aboard a fast attack submarine. Dean brings more than 20 of years of engineering leadership experience within the medical manufacturing and grocery sectors including Novartis Pharmaceuticals, NNE PharmaPlan Inc., Covidien Surgical Devices, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Newell Brands, and now with Dematic. He has held multiple leadership roles in Supply Chain Operations Technology, Operations Optimization, and Automation & Robotic Solutions Engineering where he led the strategy, development and deployment of robotic solutions for multiple sectors of the supply chain.Dean holds an MBA from University of Connecticut, a BS in Workforce Education, Training and Development from Southern Illinois University, a BS in Nuclear Engineering from Thomas Edison State College, and is Six Sigma Black Belt certified.
Pilz Automation Safety
Jordan Punch has been with Pilz for 4 years as a safety specialist with highlighted experience in automatic guided vehicles, collaborative robots, and automated storage / retrieval systems. As a safety specialist, Jordan inspects various applications and systems across multiple industries. Maintaining a safe environment while also allowing for efficient production is what he strives for on a daily basis. Jordan has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
President - North America
Oli has 20 years’ experience of helping leading global corporations to develop breakthrough products and services in a range of markets – from consumer and industrial to logistics and transportation. At Cambridge Consultants, she now partners with Fortune 100 and start-up companies to launch digital transformation and automation initiatives. These leverage global organization capabilities in AI, advanced sensing, robotics and wireless communication. Oli holds a master’s in electrical engineering from WPI and an MBA from MIT. As well as serving on the WPI Engineering Advisory Board, Oli lectures at MIT Sloan School of Management. There, she mentors CXOs and executives on how to manage the most critical and complex organizational challenges in business, technology and global operations.
Business Development Manager - Cobots and Automated Machine Tending
With nearly 10 years of experience in automation sales, Cory Raizor is a rising expert in the robotics and End-of-Arm-Tooling industries.
Following responsibilities focusing in account-based sales, Cory now serves as Business Development Manager leading SCHUNK USA’s Collaborative Accessories Program, a national distribution channel supporting collaborative robot EOAT solutions.
He continuously strives to empower and assist manufacturers as they enter and advance through their unique journey into robotic automation.
Cory holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University
My passion is empowering manufacturing organizations to increase their productivity and competitiveness using robotic workpiece handling automation. I have 25 years of experience specializing in robot end of arm tooling for gripping/handling applications. This experience involves a range of technologies from mechanical gripping using pneumatics and electric drives, to magnetic, vacuum gripping, and more. Currently, I lead the SCHUNK USA sales team both advancing automation to new users and maximizing effective applications to skilled users. SCHUNK is a world leader in the development of standard gripping/handling components and custom solutions for a wide range of workpieces and industries.
In my spare time, I enjoy playing Disc Golf and spending time with my wife and three children.
Ametek - HaydonKerkPittman
Brian Regan has recently become an Applications Engineer working at HaydonKerkPittman an Ametek company. In this role Brian supports customers in their specification and implementation of both rotary and linear motion based products. Prior to being an applications engineer, Brian has held roles within quality and most recently research and development. While in research development Brian was responsible for the design of new products for the linear motion side of the business. Brian graduated for the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering in 2014.
Matt Rendall is CEO and Co-Founder of OTTO Motors, where he is responsible for driving the company's vision and strategic commercialization of the company's Autonomous Mobile Robots. OTTO provides self-driving vehicle technology for material transport to some of the world’s most successful companies, including Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Toyota Motor Corporation, and more. Matt began his career by developing and commercializing complex electro-mechanical systems and held various research and development positions in the automation, automotive, and defense industries. Matt holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from the inaugural Mechatronics Engineering class and a Master’s in Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology, both from the University of Waterloo. Matt has also been recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award for Young Entrepreneur and Business Insider’s 40 Under 40 People to Watch.
Jose Luis Susa Rincón
Project Manager R&D: Robotics & AI
Jose Luis Susa Rincón is a R&D Project Manager at Siemens USA working on autonomous machines, AI, and robotics. He has a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California Merced, a MSc in Robotics from the Ecole National d'Enginieurs de Brest (ENIB) of France, a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Colombian School of Engineering of Colombia, and is a passionate engineer for robotics. Currently, he is managing several US Government funded projects with the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute (ARM) and has previously managed other projects related to educational robotics and hardware development of a translation system from electromyography signals into speech. His most recent research contributions were presented at the International Multi-Robot Systems Symposium in August 2019, and published in the prestigious scientific journals: the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine. He has also worked as a lecturer for the University of California, Merced and at universities in Colombia. Finally, he is an author, having written a book teaching children the fundamentals of robotics and is a founder of 4 Venir, Inc., a nonprofit company for outreach in science and technology education in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
SVP Sales and Marketing
Silas Robertson is a leader in the automation space. Focusing on emerging technologies that help factories and logistics facilities in Robotics, Vision, Motion Control, and Industrial IoT products. He and his team have helped thousands of customers implement automation to help them compete in their industries.
Matthew M. Robinson
ROS-Industrial Consortium Americas Program Manager
Southwest Research Institute
Matt Robinson is the Program Manager for the ROS-Industrial Consortium - Americas, an industry-driven open-source program bringing advanced manufacturing solutions to the industrial robotics community. Prior to his current role, Robinson was team leader for Caterpillar’s Manufacturing Technology Automation Research where he led the development and deployment of automation tools to improve the performance and productivity of Caterpillar manufacturing facilities around the globe. Robinson also led manufacturing value stream design initiatives that led to the deployment of over 50 robotic/automated manufacturing systems around the world. Robinson holds a Master’s Degree from Ohio State University.
Bob Rochelle earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Engineering from Virginia Tech and his Industrial Automation career spans over 30 years where he has held a variety of engineering, sales, and management positions. He joined the Güdel team in 2016 as the Southeast Region’s Account Manager. Bob is a veteran speaker for industry groups, teaches engineering at the University and Community College level, and is a freelance author for technical journals. He is a regular contributor to educational committees for Industrial Automation Groups, has served on the RIA Board of Directors, and is a past Standards Committee Chair for the 3A Sanitary Standards Institute. He enjoys sharing his experiences through speaking engagements like this one.
Pilz Safety Automation
Johnny Rodriguez has been with Pilz for 6 years as a safety consultant with highlighted experience in control circuit design, standard and collaborative robots, and food processing automation. Johnny has held several roles in the automation industry, such as machine building, circuit design, automation maintenance, and risk assessment. Offering various points of views when providing machine solutions. He strives daily to provide practical solutions that can be applied harmoniously to all tasks, interactions, and production; while still providing a safe work environment. Johnny has an AA and AS in Electrical power technology from Palm Beach State, is CMSE certified, and a Laser safety officer.
Sales Manager Mexico
ATI Automatizacion Industrial
Introduction of Ruben Rodriguez – Sales Manager ATI Automatizacion Industrial Ruben has more than 15 years of industrial sales / sales management experience serving many manufacturing sectors within Mexico. He currently holds the position of Sales Manager – Mexico of ATI Automatizacion Industrial established in Queretaro Mexico in 2015. Ruben has established himself as a “Go To” source for his customers as he has built a sound reputation as local expert in the fields of Robotic End-Effectors, Wire and Cable and of the applications where these products are found. Ruben holds a Business Administration Degree from the Universidad Anáhuac del Norte (1998-2002) and a Marketing Degree from the Universidad del Valle De México (2009-2013) as well as a Diploma in Management Skills at the Universidad Anáhuac Campus Querétaro (2016).
Leonardo Arturo Febo Romero
Helmut Fischer México
Graduated major studies from Electrical and Power Electronics Engineering from Universidad La Salle in Mexico City in 2001. MBA in International Business from the State University of Queretaro in 2012. With 11 years of experience in Project Management and Order Development inside Siemens working across Mexico and Germany. Complementary studies on B2B Marketing Strategy by Columbia Business School in 2021 and current General Manager for Helmut Fischer Mexico since September 2017.
Group Product Manager
Dan is a 23 year engineering and product veteran of Microsoft. Dan has worked on products including the original XBOX and XBOX Live, Windows Media, Digital Rights Management, OneDrive, Windows Photos, Maker community, STEM EDU, KANO Windows PC, Windows App Ecosystem, Windows IOT, Azure Percept and Azure Robotics.
Dan has always been interested in robotics, and had the knack for engineering since he was young.
Dan recieved his Masters in Mechanical Engineering concentrating on Robotics and Controls from the University of Washington while working full time at Microsoft, and has a Computer Science degree from the Washington University in St. Louis.
Dan enjoys working with students, and is a volunteer head robotics coach and mentor at the high school, middle school and elementary levels with FIRST.
In his free time Dan can be found converting his DeLorean to an electric car, volunteering as a pinball tech at the Northwest Pinball Collective, where he is a founding member, or playing video games or on the water with his family - Alex, Haley and Ally.
Director of Engineering
Ted Rozier is the Director Of Engineering for Festo Didactic Solution Center North America, Headquartered in Eatontown NJ.
Before Joining Festo Didactic, He Brings 18 years of experience in leading the Automation Engineering Department for Doosan Infracore Machine Tool Corporation. He specialized in the design and development of Robotics and Machine tool turnkey systems for the Automotive, Aerospace, and Pharmaceutical industry.
Ted has managed the development of several User-friendly automation control turnkey systems on a global scale.
As Director of Engineering of Festo Didactic, Ted is passionately looking to advance Festo Didactic as a global leader in designing and implementing Industry 4.0 learning factories and training programs with the view to systematically prepare individuals to excel working in dynamic and complex industrial automation environments.
Director of Medical Robotics
Corey Ryan is the Director of Medical Robotics at KUKA Robotics Corporation. He joined KUKA in 2009 and has been responsible for all medical customer relationships for KUKA and leads the strategic growth objectives for KUKA Robotics’ healthcare industry for all of North America. Corey manages a small team and acts as the expert in collaborative robotics.
He just completed the AI for Leaders certificate program at the University of Texas Austin. Corey holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering Technology from Lake Superior State University and an MBA for Science and Technology from Queen’s University in Canada. Before joining KUKA, Corey spent 8 years with GE Healthcare in various sales and marketing roles.
Thomas Ryden is the Executive Director of MassRobotics, a non-profit organization whose mission is to support the robotics community and help grow the next generation of robotics and connected device companies. MassRobotics runs the world’s largest robotics and IoT focused co-working space. Prior to joining MassRobotics, Mr. Ryden was the founder and CEO/COO of VGo Communications where he helped launch the VGo telepresence robot. Previously, Mr. Ryden was Director of Sales & Marketing for iRobot Corporation, overseeing the development of some of iRobot’s most successful products. Mr. Ryden serves on the Tufts University Computer Science Advisory Board, the Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Robotics Engineering Advisory Board, the Mechatronics & Robotics Engineering (MRE) Education Advisory Board, and the Robotics Technical Advisory Panel for ASME. He is an advisor to a number of robotics start-ups. Mr. Ryden has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Bentley University.
John G. Salls
Vision ICS, Incorporated
John Salls has over 28 years of Machine Vision Experience, first at a vision system distributor for 3 years, then at Cognex as an award-winning Sales Engineer for 6 years, then 19 years as an Integrator focused 100% on Vision. Since founding Vision ICS in 2002, he has worked on 800+ cameras in Medical, Automotive, Electronics, Food & Beverage, Printing, and Plastic companies around the world.
John received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of North Dakota in 1990. He has been an active member of the AIA since 2002. His wife, Karen, owns her own Physical Therapy practice. They have one daughter, Demetra, who is 21 and will Graduate in 2022 with her Masters in Electrical Engineering.
Chief Operating Officer
Applied Manufacturing Technologies
Craig Salvalaggio is the Chief Operating Officer at Applied Manufacturing Technologies (AMT). He currently leads overall operations including sales, engineering, and talent management. His industry knowledge of automation, robotics, and manufacturing combined with his business acumen have allowed him to diversify the company into new markets. His strategic mission is to continue driving growth and diversity of both the automotive and general industries market segments. Craig brings over 19 years of automation experience to AMT and holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Lake Superior State University, a master's in operations management, and an MBA from Kettering University. Craig is actively involved in the Robotics Industry Association (RIA) as a board member, committee member, and the Co-Chair of the Certified Integrator Committee.
Robotics Application Director
Étienne Samson has been working with collaborative robots for more than 10 years. He joined Robotiq in 2011 to contribute to the mission of freeing human hands from repetitive tasks and has been involved in various development projects since then. As the Robotics Application Director, he’s managing a team of Application Experts who work on developing solutions that really answer today’s manufacturers' needs. Robotiq builds application solutions for collaborative robots that are used by tens of thousands of manufacturers worldwide.
General Manager – Automation Systems Group
FANUC America Corporation
Paul is responsible for business development and implementation of Robotic Automation Systems and ROBODRILL machine tools for automotive OEMs, tier suppliers, and general industry customers.
With over 35 years’ experience in the automation industry, he provides leadership related to systems for part processing, assembly, machine tending, inspection, and material handling utilizing Robotics, Machine Vision, Force Sensing, CNC, and Collaborative technologies.
Paul has been active with the A3 R15.06 Robot Safety Standard committee since 2002 and the A3 R15.08 Industrial Mobile Robot Standard committee since its inception. He serves as a member of the A3-OSHA-NIOSH Alliance Team, the U.S. Technical Advisory Committee to ISO TC299 for global Robot Safety Standards, and the A3 Technology Strategy Board for AI.
Paul also serves on Wayne State University’s Industrial Advisory Board for the Collaborative Robotics Learning Program. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University with focus on robotics and manufacturing technology.
Senior Research Engineer
Glenn Saunders is a Senior Research Engineer with the Manufacturing Innovation Center (MIC) at Rensselaer where he has been conducting industrially relevant, applied research for 22 years, specializing in robotics, manufacturing processes, and new product development. Prior to that, he spent 15 years in industry, where he worked in machine tools, automation systems, robotics, manufacturing, and machine design. He has an M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer. He is President and founder of the Upstate New York Laboratory Robotics Interest Group, a 501(c)(3) non-profit industry advocacy organization, and currently serves as the elected Mid-Atlantic Regional Robotics Collaborative Council representative within the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute.
President, Robotics Division
Marc Segura is the President of the Robotics Division at ABB. He was appointed to this role in January 2022, after being Managing Director for ABB's Consumer Segments & Service Robotics (CSSR) business line. As Managing Director of CSSR, he led the expansion of Robotics into new segments such as logistics, healthcare, retail and food and beverage, in addition to managing the integration of ASTI Mobile Robotics to expand the division’s portfolio with the addition of Autonomous Mobile Robots. Since joining ABB in 1998, Marc has developed a proven track record of execution and innovation, centered around customers across multiple sectors and regions globally. His experience includes working with leading automotive companies such as Ford, Renault and General Motors, helping them to find ways to implement robots into heir operations. Before becoming Managing Director of CSSR, he also ran ABB’s Robotics and Motion business in Spain for four years. Marc holds a degree in electromechanical engineering from the Catalonian Polytechnic University UPC and a Master’s degree in robotics. He also undertook two executive management programs in SDA Bocconi and IMD Lausanne.
Roberta Nelson Shea
Global Technical Compliance Officer
Responsible for global UR product compliance and reducing barriers to acceptance of UR robots for collaborative applications. Over 45+ years of experience in automation safety and standardization.
- Honored as …
- Recipient of the 2022 Goddard Alumni Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement by Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
- 1 of the “Twenty Women Making Their Mark in Robotics & Automation” by Smart Manufacturing (SME) in February 2021.
- 1 of the “100 Women in Safety in 100 years” by the American Society of Safety Professionals (known then as ASSE) in 2011.
- One of the 100 Women – Making a Difference in Safety
- Chair Emeritus of A3’s standardization activities in 2016. A3 was formerly known as RIA (Robotic Industries Association).
- Past member of the board of directors of ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and of RIA (now known as A3).
- National robot safety standardization activities:
- Since 1982, the only consistently active robot safety standards expert.
- Chair for 23 years of the US Robot Safety Committee (R15.06).
- Active for 40 years in various American National machinery safety standards.
- ISO and US national standardization in automation and safety:
- Convenor: TC299 WG3 Industrial robotics (ISO 10218 & TS15066).
- Convenor: TC299 SG1 Study group on TC299 Robotics structure
- Expert member: TC199 Safety of machinery & various IEC working groups.
- Certified Functional Safety Engineer (TÜV Rheinland).
BS Mechanical Engineering (WPI) and a Master's degree in Advanced Safety Engineering and Management (UAB).
Vertical Development Director
Stuart (“Stu”) Shepherd is the Vertical Development Director for the Americas region of Universal Robots. Stu’s career spans more than 40 years in automation, including roles at General Motors, FANUC Robotics, Shepherd Solutions (a boutique automation business consulting firm), KUKA Robotics, and Güdel AG. He joined Universal Robots in April 2018 and is currently responsible for growing UR’s metal fabrication and machine tending markets in the Americas, utilizing his deep experience ranging from large-scale automotive to small job shops to welding integrators. Stu is also a Past Chairperson and Board Member of the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) and Past Chairperson of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3).
Vice President of Membership & Business Intelligence
Association for Advancing Automation (A3)
Alex Shikany is the Vice President of Membership & Business Intelligence at the Association for Advancing Automation (A3). In his position, he researches and reports statistics for robotics, machine vision, and motion control markets. In addition to market research, Alex is a member of A3’s leadership team, leads membership and marketing efforts for the association, and is a frequent speaker at industry events around the world. He earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA from Michigan State University, where he majored in Marketing and Finance. Alex has over ten years of experience in marketing, brand strategy, and market research in the automation industry.
Stuart W Singer
Schneider Optics, Inc.
Stuart Singer is the Chief Executive Officer of Schneider Optics, Inc.
Stuart has over 40 years of optical engineering, optical manufacturing, lens design, and management experience, as well as his technical sales experience in the optical applications for Machine and Robotic Vision, Military Reconnaissance, Space Born Optical Systems, Industrial/Commercial, and Motion Picture/Television Industries.
Stuart had formerly been the Senior Vice President & CTO of Schneider Optics, the U.S. subsidiary of Schneider-Kreuznach of Germany for 7 years, and Technical Director for 17 years. Prior to Schneider, Stuart was the Optical Engineering Manager at Loral Fairchild Systems, formerly known as Fairchild Reconnaissance and Surveillance Systems for 14 years. For the last two years, Stuart served as the Senior Technical Director of Ruda Cardinal, Inc., a leader in design and the building of the most complex and intricate optical designs located in Tucson, Az.
Stuart is a Senior Member of the Optical Engineering Society - SPIE. Over the years, Stuart has published numerous technical papers for Schneider and various other publications and has been a frequent lecturer in the field of optics. Stuart was also one of the recipients of a National Emmy Award in 2012 for my contributions in the development of an IRND Filter for Digital Motion Picture Cameras.
Director, Imaging Product Development
Nick Sischka is the Director of Imaging Product Development at Edmund Optics’ Cherry Hill, NJ, USA office. Nick oversees the global strategy around the development of imaging products, determines which markets the Imaging Business Line should pursue, and how those products and strategies work together with the other divisions of Edmund Optics. Additionally, Nick serves as the A3 (Association for Advancing Automation) NextGen Chair. He holds a B.S in Optical Sciences and Engineering from the University of Arizona.
Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute
Michael Skocik is a Program Manager for the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute, one of 9 DoD-funded national manufacturing institutes. Michael is responsible for managing a multi-million-dollar portfolio of ARM’s Technology and Workforce Development projects and supporting the process by which they are selected. Through this work, Michael helps to fulfill ARM’s mission of increasing U.S. global competitiveness by accelerating innovative technologies and workforce programs that make robots more accessible to U.S. manufacturers.
Michael has over 20 years of manufacturing experience ranging from roles in quality to engineering management. Michael has led the development of the ARM Institute’s Flexible Roadmap Process and served as lead designer and facilitator for the recent Artificial Intelligence Discovery Workshops.
Prior to joining ARM, Michael was employed by Westinghouse Electric Company in the roles of Marketing Development and Product Management where he managed aftermarket and engineered products for the Global Commercial Nuclear Sector. While working as a product manager Michael was responsible for the identification, evaluation new and existing products, market analysis, product roadmap, and the identification of potential new business ventures.
Michael is a graduate of West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in the field of Chemical Engineering.
Chief Product Officer
Radix IoT, LLC
As Radix IoT CPO, Michael drives global Marketing and Product management, focusing on IP growth within PropTech space for commercial property, datacenters, edge data centers, and telecommunication verticals. With two decades' experience in control automation and IoT product design with Fortune 500 companies, he's focused on the intersection of software/hardware emphasizing data aggregation and analytics for mission-critical industries. A thought leader and contributor to top industry publications as Critical Facilities, Oilman Magazine, Datacenter Dynamics, IoT Playbook, Digitalisation World, LD+A, etc., he lecturers on outcome-based analytics, consolidated data methodologies for buildings driving efficiency & alternative business outcomes through data.
RIOS Intelligence Machines
Dr. Clinton Smith has spent his career working with and leading interdisciplinary teams to develop cutting edge technology for industries such as defense, industry, and medicine. Prior to his role at RIOS, Dr. Smith was a Senior Member of the Research Staff at Xerox PARC. At PARC, Dr. Smith's research focused on developing technology for the Internet of Things (IoT). He successfully executed on or achieved funding for ∼$15 million in projects with funding from sources including Xerox Corp., the United States Dept. of Energy, and DARPA. Example projects include the development of a printed CO2 sensor to improve demand control ventilation, a distributed network of IoT devices for ship monitoring, and a wireless mesh network of printed carbon nanotube methane sensors for natural gas leak quantification. Dr. Smith obtained his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University and his B.S. in Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
President, Industrial Automation
Greg Smith is the President of the Industrial Automation Group at Teradyne. The Industrial Automation Group includes three of the most innovative and successful companies in the robotics industry: Universal Robots, MiR – Mobile Industrial Robots and AutoGuide. Prior to leading the Industrial Automation Group, Greg was the President of the Semiconductor Test Business, Teradyne’s largest operating segment. During his tenure, Semiconductor Test revenue grew over 50%. Greg began his career at Raytheon as a test engineer and held numerous engineering and management roles in the semiconductor test industry before joining Teradyne in 2006. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Head of Research Group
Dr. Eugen Solowjow is Head of Research Group at Siemens’ central R&D division, located in Berkeley, CA, USA. His research interests are in the areas of Machine Autonomy, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence with applications to factory automation. Eugen holds a Ph.D. (Dr.-Ing.) from Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Germany, and was a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley.
Chief Commercial Officer
Currently CCO for Apera AI, previously Regional President LATAM for Universal Robots. 20+ years experience in breakthrough technologies and automation.
COL Warren Sponsler
Chief of Staff
Next Generation Ground Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team
COL Warren Sponsler was commissioned as an Armor Officer after graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1996. His military education includes the Armor Officer Basic Course, Armor Officer Advanced Course, and a Master’s degree in Military Science from the Marine Corps University, Marine Command and General Staff College. COL Sponsler was a US Army War College military fellow with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Security Studies Program.
COL Sponsler’s first assignment was to 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX, serving as a tank platoon leader, scout platoon leader, support platoon leader and company executive officer. During this time, LTC Sponsler conducted operational deployments to Kuwait in support of Operation Intrinsic Action in 1997 and to Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Forge in 1999. Following attendance of the Armor Officer Advanced Course, COL Sponsler served in the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, GA, as a Battalion S4, Headquarters and Headquarters' Company Commander and Tank Company Commander. While serving as a company commander, he deployed to Kuwait in 2002 in support of Operation Desert Spring and Operation Iraqi Freedom. After company command, COL Sponsler served as an Armor Branch assignment manager at the US Army Human Resources Command in Alexandria, VA, before attending the United States Marine Corps’ Command and General Staff College (CGSC) in Quantico, VA, in 2007. After graduation from CGSC, COL Sponsler returned to Fort Hood serving as a Battalion Operations Officer (S3) and Battalion Executive Officer in 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, deploying to Iraq in 2009 to Kirkuk Province. In 2010, COL Sponsler was assigned as the 2/1 CAV (ABCT) Brigade Operations Officer (S3), and again deployed to Northern Iraq in 2011 in support of Operation New Dawn. Upon return, COL Sponsler was assigned as an operations officer with the US Air Force Intelligence (A2) Field Support Office at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, NM.
COL Sponsler assumed command of the 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 3ABCT, 4th Infantry Division, at Fort Carson, CO, in December 2013 to conduct preparations for and execution of an operational deployment to Kuwait supporting Operation Spartan Shield. In 2015, COL Sponsler was assigned to Operations Group, US Army National Training Center, Fort Irwin, CA, where he served as the Senior Live Fire and later as the Senior Brigade Combat Team Observer/Control-Trainer. COL Sponsler is currently the Chief of Staff of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team (NGCV CFT), as a part of Army Futures Command. The NGCV CFT is charged with leading the Army’s #2 modernization priority to develop and field future ground combat platforms.
COL Sponsler’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (with 2 oak leaf clusters), the Meritorious Service Medal (with 4 oak leaf clusters), the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and the Basic Parachutist Badge.
HP 3D Printing
Liz Stortstrom is a 3D Printing Application Engineer (AE) with expertise in using HP's Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) Technology for industrial applications. She has a background in Mechanical Design and joined HP to support the development of the MJF technology. She now utilizes that experience to help people take their businesses to the next level with additive manufacturing. Liz received her BS & MS in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and currently resides in Portland, OR
Dr. Michael Suppa is the co-founder and CEO of Roboception GmbH, a Munich-based start-up company providing comprehensive 3D perception solutions for robotic applications. Michael received his Master’s Degree in 2000 and his Doctoral Degree in 2007 from the University of Hannover, Germany. From 2000 until 2009, he was employed as a project manager and researcher at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). In 2009, he was appointed Head of the Perception and Cognition Department at the same institute, and in 2014 he was additionally nominated Deputy Institute Director. In 2015, Michael co-founded Roboception, a DLR spin-off company.
Michael is key research topic is perception-driven appliedAI. He has been the PI in several European and national projects and was nominated for and received several best paper awards. He is a professor at the Institute of Artificial Intelligence of the University of Bremen.
Optical Metrology Solutions LLC
Mr. Tait has been working in the field of industrial imaging since the mid '70s. He has tested camera systems to track robots in nuclear reactors, and installed cameras to monitor system health in wind towers. He has been issued patents ranging from printed circuit board inspection, railroad track monitoring to ultraviolet scan planning for medical microscopes.
VP – Embedded and Edge Computing
Deepu Talla is Vice President of Embedded and Edge Computing at NVIDIA, where he is responsible for deploying AI technology in applications such as robotics, industrial automation, and intelligent video analytics. Previously, he was responsible for NVIDIA’s mobile business unit. Prior to joining NVIDIA in 2013, he worked at Texas Instruments for more than 10 years in various executive management and technical leadership roles. Talla holds a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
Founder & Chief Innovation Office
Daniel Theobald is the Chief Innovation Officer and founder of Vecna Robotics, the autonomous mobile robot, and workflow orchestration company. Daniel has decades of experience leading research scientists and teams of engineers in developing cutting-edge technology. He has 67 issued patents and more than 30 patents pending. Daniel has been at the forefront of robotics for more than 20 years, working closely with DARPA, DOD, NASA, NIH, USDA, and many others to advance the use of robots and AI software to improve supply chain automation. In addition to founding Vecna Robotics, Daniel also co-founded MassRobotics, a non-profit dedicated to the global advancement of the robotics industry. Daniel is dedicated to the idea that technology can be used to empower people worldwide to live more fulfilling lives.
Tara K Thimmanaik
Tara K Thimmanaik is a Systems Architect at Intel Corp working on AI/ML based solutions for the Industrial IOT market. Her work focuses on designing and developing solution for real-world Industrial Machine Vision use cases by adapting Intel’s key technologies such as OpenVINO, Movidius, and Algorithms etc. and bringing it to Industrial Marketplace through channel partners. With a degree in Computer science and Engineering she has spent 20 years working in IT industry with focus on product design, and development in embedded system.
Director of Product Marketing
Patrick Toner is the Director of Product Marketing at Veo Robotics, the creators of FreeMove®, a comprehensive 3D safeguarding system for industrial robotics that enables dynamic human-robot collaboration. FreeMove received safety certification in April 2021, making it a first-of-its-kind technology that deploys dynamic, 3D Speed and Separation Monitoring (SSM) for safeguarding in a manufacturing workcell.
Patrick has more than twenty years of experience in industrial applications and technologies, specializing in a wide variety of subject matters from material handling, to laser coding, and AIDC. Prior to working at Veo Robotics, Patrick worked in product marketing and strategic sales roles at Markem-Imaje, Honeywell, and Crane.
Patrick is currently based in the Boston area and completed his BA at the University of Pittsburgh and his MBA at Babson College.
Mikko has an extensive career at Visual Components, dating back to the year 2000 as a summer trainee. His vast experience includes direct sales, building a worldwide partner network, and managing reseller channels. His close cooperation with leading manufacturing, robotics, and automation system companies has resulted in in-depth knowledge of the role simulation software plays in bringing more efficient and smarter methods which produce goods.
Director, Principal Research Engineer
Dr. Uti is an accomplished computer scientist leading new discoveries and implementations of advanced technologies at Kroger. She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering with a specialization in Artificial Intelligence, is a National Science Foundation and Ford Foundation Fellow and is a founding member of Kroger’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Council, moving the company towards a more equitable future. Dr. Uti is Kroger’s lead scientist and researcher for Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Computer Vision, and techniques of Sense and Respond systems. She evaluates and recommends new technologies to Kroger leadership, translates business needs into innovative solutions and infuses AI into the company to streamline complex processes. Dr. Uti is also an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Northern Kentucky University where she teaches courses in AI. Prior to joining Kroger, she founded and managed two successful technology startup companies for web hosting and entertainment.
Managing Director North America
Pol is the Managing Director of Autis Engineering for North America and has dedicated 10+ years of his professional career to develop business profit centers internationally, especially automotive subsidiaries in Detroit, MI.
CEO and Co-Founder
Luca Verre is Co-Founder and CEO of Prophesee, the inventor of the world’s most advanced neuromorphic vision systems. Prophesee’s patented technology is inspired by human vision, giving sight back to the blind and unleashing new safety standards and autonomy to cars, robots and mobile devices.
Luca is a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer. He has extensive international management experience in the industrial and electronics sectors. His experience includes project and product management, marketing and business development roles at Schneider Electric. Prior to Schneider Electric, Luca worked as a Research Assistant in Photonics at the Imperial College of London. Luca holds a MSc in Physics, Electronic and Industrial Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and Ecole Centrale and an MBA from INSEAD.
CEO and Co-Founder
Dr. Massimiliano Versace is the CEO and co-founder of Neurala. With decades of experience and research in AI and deep learning techniques, Dr. Versace is now focused on making AI more applicable and useful in real-world applications, specifically in the manufacturing and industrial industry. Prior to co-founding Neurala, Dr. Versace co-founded the Boston University Neuromorphics Lab, and worked with government organizations such as DARPA and NASA to develop AI with the ability to learn in real-time, at the edge, and free of traditional constraints of computational hardware.
Dr. Versace has spoken at numerous events, including a keynote at Mobile World Congress Drone Summit, TEDx, NASA, the Pentagon, MIT Tech Review’s Future Compute and IMA Sensing Days. His work has been featured in Forbes, CNN, Fortune, MSNBC, the Associated Press, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.
He holds several patents and two PhDs: Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University; Experimental Psychology, University of Trieste, Italy.
Senior Staff Engineer
Houssaine Waled is a Senior Staff Engineer at KUKA robotics. He has more than 20 years of experience in development and advanced robotics applications. These include a variety of projects requiring high robot accuracy, co-bots and mobile robots.
VP of Market Development, Locus Robotics
and Co-Founder, WayPoint Robotics
Jason Walker is the Vice President of Market Development at Locus Robotics. Before joining the Locus Robotics organization, Walker Co-founded Waypoint Robotics, which designs and manufactures easy to use, industrial-strength, omnidirectional autonomous mobile robots. Prior to founding Waypoint, Mr. Walker Co-founded CyPhy Works where he served as Lead Roboticist and Director of Operations while working on contacts for DARPA, NIST, and the National Science Foundation. Walker helped grow CyPhy Works into a leading tethered drone supplier in North America. Prior to CyPhy Works, he was the quality and testing manager for the Roomba vacuuming robot at iRobot. Walker received a BSEE with a concentration in Robotics and Control Systems from Kansas State University.
Vice President of Sales
Steve is an international sales and marketing executive with 20 years of experience. He joined Neurala from Building Engines, a leading SaaS provider of real estate operations and tenant engagement solutions where, as VP Sales, he scaled revenues which culminated in a growth equity investment of $26.5 million. Steve was Co-CEO at datango AG (sold to SAP), managing international expansion, channel development, consulting services and direct sales. His career includes leadership roles at Enlight AB (sold to datango AG), x.hlp AS (sold to Enlight AB), Fast Search & Transfer AS (sold to Microsoft), and RM plc.
Keven Wang is the co-founder & CEO of UnitX, a robotics company automating visual inspection in factories. Keven previously led the desktop software team at RelateIQ (acquired by Salesforce for $390M). Keven graduated with an MS in Computer Science from Stanford University, and a BSE in Computer Science from University of Michigan.
JIIA CoaXPress Standard working group Chairman Since 2016, Adimec Electronic Imaging K.K. Application and support Engineer since 2004.
Perry C. West
Automated Vision Sytems, Inc.
Perry C. West is the president of Automated Vision Systems, Inc., a leading consulting firm in the field of machine vision. He has over 43 years of experience in machine vision. This experience includes system design and development, software development of both general purpose and application specific software packages, optical engineering for both lighting and imaging, camera and interface design, education and training, manufacturing management, and engineering management. He received his BSEE from the University of California at Berkeley, is a past President of the Machine Vision Association of SME, received the MVA/SME Chairman’s Award for 1990, and received the Automated Imaging Association’s annual Achievement Award for 2003.
Chris is a degreed Mechanical Engineer with 35+ years of industry experience. Chris has also completed extensive Executive and Leadership studies at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business and Harvard University. As an engineering executive, Chris has led regional and global engineering teams for three Tier 1 automotive suppliers. These companies all ranked in the top 20 in Automotive News annual supplier ranking based on yearly turnover. Chris’ background also includes leadership positions in Ops, Sales, Strategy, Government Affairs and M&A. Furthermore, Chris has been seated as a member of the Supervisory Board and Board of Directors for a previous and his current employer respectively. Chris’s current role is leading the Americas for Visual Components. As Chris has stated, “this is an exciting time within the manufacturing and logistics environments as companies begin their journey to the virtual world of 3D Process Simulation Software. Five years from now, industry will look back on 2021 as the year of true transformation.”
Director of Robotics
Matt leads the strategic development of Celestica’s global robotics portfolio. In this role he brings his passion for robotics automation and over 25 years of experience in senior roles focused on the development of advanced robotics solutions. Matt's deep expertise also includes material handling solutions and automation integration into high-volume manufacturing and distribution systems. A recognized and respected thought leader, Matt is the Chair of the Robotics Industry Association Board of Directors and proudly serves on several robotics and supply chain industry association boards.
VP Robotics Automation
Melonee Wise is the Vice President of Robotics Automation at Zebra Technologies. Melonee joined Zebra through the acquisition of Fetch Robotics where she was the CEO. Melonee was the second employee at Willow Garage where she led a team of engineers developing next-generation robot hardware and software, including ROS, the PR2, and TurtleBot. Melonee serves as the Chair of the IFR Service Robot Group, as a robotics board member for A3, and on the MHI Roundtable Advisory Committee. Melonee has received the MIT Technology Review’s TR35 and has been named to the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Women of Influence and 40 Under 40, the Robotics Business Review RBR50, and as one of eight CEOs changing the way we work by Business Insider.
Product Manager - Machine Vision and Fixed Industrial Scanning
Jim Witherspoon is a Product Manager with Zebra’s Machine Vision and Fixed Industrial Scanning group. He has more than 18 of experience within the machine vision and fixed industrial scanning industry and has worked in application engineering, sales, and management. Jim has worked with many of the world’s top companies to install thousands of machine vision and fixed industrial scanning systems and solutions.
National Sales Director
Visual Components North America Inc.
For the last 7 years in Visual Components, I have used my experience to understand and help my customers overcome challenges and solve “pain points”. By matching custom solutions with individual needs and goals I have developed strong ongoing relationships with the Visual Components user community.
Three years of record-breaking sales performance - As a National Sales Manager I took over and changed the approach of the Visual Components North American sales team changing from a "how" to a "why" buy strategy.
Market Product Manager - Industrial Safety
Aaron Woytcke has nearly 9 years of experience in Industrial Safety with SICK. Initially working as a Safety Application Engineer, Aaron provided in-depth technical support, application know-how, and training for SICK's safety products, systems, and services. Since then, Aaron has managed multiple product lines within the safety organization, continuously ensuring that customer's application needs are effectively met across Factory Automation industries such as Automotive, Consumer Goods, and Electronics & Solar, as well as Logistics and Process Automation industries.
Professor and Head, Department of Robotics Engineering
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Jing Xiao received her Ph.D. degree in Computer, Information, and Control Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is the Deans’ Excellence Professor, William B. Smith Distinguished Fellow in Robotics Engineering, Professor and Head of the Robotics Engineering Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). She joined WPI as the Director of the Robotics Engineering Program in 2018 from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she received the College of Computing Outstanding Faculty Research Award in 2015. She led the Robotics Engineering Program to become the Robotics Engineering Department in July 2020. Jing Xiao is an IEEE Fellow. Her research spans robotics, haptics, and intelligent systems. She has co-authored a monograph and published extensively in major robotics journals, conferences, and books. Jing Xiao is a recipient of the 2022 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society George Saridis Leadership Award in Robotics and Automation.
Flexiv Robotics Inc
Xiyang Yeh is the co-founder and CTO of Flexiv, Inc., a company focused on developing robots with dexterous and intelligent behaviors through the integration of force and visual sensing technologies. These robots have been used in manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, and agriculture applications. Under Xiyang’s leadership, the company won the iF design award and the German innovation award. Xiyang holds a Ph. D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University where he developed a novel haptic teleoperated force controlled underwater humanoid robot that was successfully deployed in real-world expeditions at France and Greece. Xiyang is experienced in controls, optimization, teleoperation, simulation, and systems engineering. Prior to joining Stanford, he was a researcher at Singapore’s A*STAR institute where he worked on robotic surface finishing and machining applications for the aerospace and maritime industries
Peter A. Zink
Director, Education Engagement
Dr. Peter A. Zink earned his doctorate from Boston University in Materials Science and Engineering, and later joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Boston University where he taught for eight years. At BU, he designed and built a flexible automated manufacturing cell to give students an opportunity to work with CNC machines, collaborative robots, and other manufacturing systems. In his role at PTC, Dr. Zink works with K-12 and higher education institutions around the globe, enabling them to adopt PTCs product development technologies.