Robotics Alley 2014 is now soliciting industry leading speakers! We are looking for experts in the following robotics tracks: Agriculture, Healthcare & Medical Device, Manufacturing & Assembly, Transportation, Security & Defense, Retail & Commercial Logistics, Investment, Research & Development, Legal & Business. If you are interested in speaking or know an exceptional candidate, place your nomination today!
Head, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics and Co-Director, Control Science and Dynamical Systems, University of Minnesota
President, PaR Systems, Life Science & Process Automation
Donald E. Bossi
As President of FIRST, successful technology executive Donald E. Bossi brings deep technical and management skills to the organization. Bossi, who has excelled in a 20-year career with several high technology companies, primarily in the fiber optics field, is now anxious to give back and help develop the next generation of innovators.
Starting his career as a research scientist, first at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and then at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), Bossi was a part of an advanced project at UTRC which was acquired by JDS Uniphase (JDSU) and he moved to the new company. After a series of promotions at JDSU, he became Vice President and General Manager for JDSU Electro-Optics Products. The Division grew tenfold during his involvement there.
Bossi next served as Group President of JDSU Active Components Group for two years, and then as Group President, JDSU Transmission Products Group for two years. In 2005, Bossi joined Technology Ventures Partners to work with their high-tech portfolio companies. While at the venture group, he served as the CEO of Aegis Lightware, Inc. and then as CEO of Inlet Technologies, positioning the company for a beneficial acquisition by Cisco. Most recently, Bossi served as the COO of CIDRA Holdings in Wallingford, Conn. Bossi is the holder of four U.S. patents and author of numerous technical presentations. He holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and has completed executive education courses at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He served on the Boards of Directors of several privately held companies, and is also a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering.
Workforce Development Project Manager, Department of Employment and Economic Development
Jacqueline Buck is working at the Department of Employment and Economic Development as a Project Manager in the Workforce Development Division. With her passion and energy, she leads the statewide Business Services program and specializes in helping businesses with their workforce and recruitment challenges. Having 20+ years in public and private Human Resources, she helps businesses succeed through innovative talent attraction and retention strategies while providing up-to-date approaches for the adult job seeker-she has a true passion for making connections and building strong networks.
Systems Engineering and Architecture, Real-time, Dependable, and Assured Systems, Mixed-mode Physical, Cyber and Social Risk Assessment, Adventium Labs
CEO, Rowbot Systems
Kent provides the vision for the company as whole and its developing suite of product and service offerings. He also manages the company's portfolio of intellectual property, and works with the engineering team to develop specific requirements for the company's autonomous platform. Kent holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and biological engineering from Cornell University, a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Stanford University, and a doctorate in civil and environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This formal training enables him to work seamlessly across disciplines as diverse as agronomy and mechanical engineering.
Founder and Vice President of Engineering, TruTech Specialty Motors
Lowell Christensen is currently a Founder and Vice President of Engineering for TruTech Specialty Motors. Prior to Working at TruTech Specialty Motors, Lowell was working as a Permanent Magnet Motor Design Consultant. Mr. Christensen has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physics and Mathematics from Mankato State University and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. Mr. Christensen had worked as Director of Engineering at MCG Inc. from August 1992 to 2008. Prior to MCG Mr. Christensen worked as Motor Engineering Manager at ElectroCraft Corporation from 1978 to 1992. Prior to ElectroCraft, Mr. Christensen worked at Control Data Corp from 1972 to 1978 as a Motor Design Engineer at Cedar Engineering Division and as a Project Engineer in the Aerospace division.
Co-Founder, Pulse Therapeutics, Inc.
Co-Founder, Pulse Therapeutics, Inc.
Engineering Leader, Health Sciences Division, Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
For the past 13 years, Ben has provided comprehensive compliance solutions related to 60601-1, 61010-1, and 60950-1 to device manufacturers local and abroad. He has provided custom and standard technical training seminars to numerous health sciences organizations and serves as a technical auditor for the CB Scheme Manufacturer’s Testing Laboratory program. In addition, he is the site manager for the newly established 10,000 sq-ft UL facility and safety test laboratory in Mounds View, MN. Ben holds a BSEE from North Dakota State University and is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the state of MN.
Med Student, University of Minnesota
Program Manager - Life & Health Sciences, Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
Laura Élan is a Program Manager with the Life & Health Sciences Business Unit of UL LLC and the Global Service Leader for UL's eHealth and Interoperability Business. She is a former UL Associate with approximately 15 years' experience in Medical Electrical Equipment, X-Ray, and Programmable Systems. Ms. Elan rejoined UL in 2012 and is currently supporting software certification and operational efficiency for the Global Medical Device organization. Ms. Élan’s experience is grounded in 12 years in senior leadership roles with R&D and Manufacturing organizations including Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices, Commercial and Consumer Electronics companies. She has led cross functional product development organizations as both a technical and project leader. Laura holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana and a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois.
David Fuhr, RG
CEO, Airborne Data Systems
Since co-founding Airborne Data Systems Inc. in 1992, David Fuhr has been instrumental in developing an operational airborne multi spectral digital camera system Spectra-View. Spectra-View along with Band-Match imaging processing software has proven to be a leader in providing imaging that is both spectrally and spatially accurate while maintaining the rapid turnaround expected in today’s environment.
David has been instrumental in promoting the value of company owned, image processing software, to give the camera owner a single button processing routine, and the end user a desk ready product, in a format that is compatible with commercial off the shelf software.
Business Segment Leader, PaR Systems
Robotdalen - Manager Health Robotics, Technologies for Independent Life, Mälardalens University
Charles D. Hawker, Ph.D.
Scientific Director for Automation and Special Projects, ARUP
Dr. Charles Hawker is Scientific Director for Automation and Special Projects at ARUP, where he has been for 22 years. Dr. Hawker is also Professor (Adjunct) of Pathology in the University of Utah, School of Medicine. Prior to joining ARUP, over a twenty year period, he held various positions in research and development and management at Laboratory Procedures, Inc. (Upjohn) and SmithKline Beecham Clinical Labs. At ARUP he has installed several major automation and robotic systems that have made ARUP the most automated clinical laboratory in North America. He has received numerous awards including the 2013 MSPSD Division Award, the Professor Alvin Dubin Award of the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry (NACB), and awards from the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), the Association of Clinical Scientists (ACS), and the Association for Laboratory Automation.
Dr. Hawker received a BA (Chemistry) from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1962, an MS (Biochemistry) from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) in 1965, a PhD (Biochemistry) from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) in 1967, and an MBA from Washington University (St. Louis) in 1985. He is a co-author of chapters on clinical laboratory automation in the 4th and 5th Editions of the Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, and the 6th and 7th Editions of the Tietz Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry. He is a frequent lecturer on laboratory automation to national and international audiences. He holds three patents and has published 43 peer-reviewed papers, 14 book chapters or invited reviews, two invited editorials, and 47 abstracts.
Jerry D. Johnson
CEO and Founder, Superior Edge, Farm Intelligence2, FourthWing Sensors
Jerry Johnson is the founder and CEO of three sister companies that vertically integrate unmanned technology within the agricultural industry. His companies work together to provide the UAVs, analytical software, and sales tools for farmers and dealers to minimize crop inputs and maximize yields. In 1983, Jerry founded CWC, a prior startup that grew to $100,000,000 in annual revenue and completed an IPO in 2000. He was selected as one of the ten most influential people in CRM (software classification), and currently has 41 patents granted or pending.
Owner, LLJ Consulting & Business Development
Larry Johnson has operated his own consulting business, providing continuous services to the North American ethanol industry since 1985 with the exception of six years as Business Development Director for Delta-T Corporation. His deep roots in the agricultural community reflect the values and work ethics of Midwest agriculture. He was one of the founders of the public/private partnership in Minnesota that has come to be known as the “Minnesota Model” forerunner to today’s ethanol industry consisting of 230 ethanol plants. He has conducted more than 500 investor and public information meetings for dozens of successful ethanol projects. He is currently assisting several companies with introducing new technologies or products to the ethanol industry and has designed the business structure to collect, store and deliver 400,000 tons of corn stover annually to a cellulosic processing plant. He is also working with Tyton Biosciences to commercialize their modified tobacco strains for ethanol and biodiesel production. Larry and his wife Sandy have three grown children and reside near Cologne, Minnesota.
Founder, Aerovar Research LLC
VP Sales and Marketing, Oak River Technologies
Director System Engineering, Stereotaxis, Inc.
Executive Director, Defense Alliance
Chip Laingen is the Executive Director of the Defense Alliance, and Communications and R&D Director for Minnesota Wire. Defense Alliance is the region’s defense industry network, with members in 26 states. The Alliance won the Veterans Small Business Champion of the Year Award in 2007, and became one of the nation’s three Advanced Defense Technology Clusters in 2010. He is on the executive commission of the Minnesota Science & Technology Authority, the board of directors for AirSpace Minnesota, and was selected as an Executive Fellow for the University of Minnesota’s Center for Integrative Leadership in 2012. In 2011, he joined the graduate faculty at the University of Minnesota’s Technological Leadership Institute. He is a past President of the Twin Cities Council of the Navy League and is the owner of Laingen Communications.
Workforce Development Project Manager, Department of Employment and Economic Development
Mike Lang has worked for the Minnesota WorkForce Centers since 1999 and is currently the Job Service lead worker for Dakota and Scott Counties. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Creative Writing from Metropolitan State University. Mike has a strong interest in helping job seekers connect with career opportunities in new and creative ways. As a workshop facilitator, he presents a variety of different job search topics, such as job search, resumes, interviewing, networking and many others. For the past four years, he has been the facilitator of several popular workshops that demonstrate how to utilize LinkedIn in job search.
Engineering Fellow, PaR Systems
Director of R&D and Business Segment Leader for Security and Development, PaR Systems
Adam Marsh is the Director of Research and Development and Business Segment Leader for Security and Development for PaR Systems. He oversees the technological planning and growth of all the business divisions within PaR. In his business segment he is critically focused on advancing automation and technology for the Department of Defensive and Department of Homeland Security. In addition to Adam’s current role at PaR Systems he is the founder and President of Innaberry Creation LLC. a startup company focused on product development for improving the quality of education and life for children. Prior to PaR Systems, Adam held the position of Capture Manager for BAE Systems where he concentrated on new business growth in the areas of enhanced technology and automation for the U.S. Navy. Adam has an extensive background in leading and shaping the development of technologies and concepts in markets that span commercial to government. Significant achievements include technological developments in the area of human robotic collaborative environments, advanced amphibious rescue craft, blended sensor modalities for automation, affordable directed energy weapon systems, and air launched weapons assemble automation.
Dr. Bradley Nelson
Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, ETH Zurich
Brad Nelson has been the Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at ETH Zürich since 2002. He has thirty years of experience in the field of robotics and has received a number of awards in the fields of robotics, nanotechnology, and biomedicine. He serves on the advisory boards of a number of academic departments and research institutes across North America, Europe, and Asia and is on the editorial boards of several academic journals. Prof. Nelson has been the Department Head of Mechanical and Process Engineering at ETH, Chairman of the ETH Electron Microscopy Center, and is a member of the Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation. He is a member of the board of directors of three Swiss companies. Before moving to Europe, Prof. Nelson has worked as an engineer at Honeywell and Motorola and served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana, Africa. He has also been a professor at the University of Minnesota and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Agricultural Machine Systems Specialist, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, North Dakota State University
Mr. Nowatzki coordinates the NDSU Extension agricultural machinery systems educational program. Subject matter areas include agricultural machinery selection and operation, precision agriculture, conservation tillage technologies, agricultural chemical application technology, and remote monitoring applications to farming. In 2014, Nowatzki is the principal investigator on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) application to agriculture. This project will be a “proof-of-concept” demonstrating specific UAS applications in production agriculture. Project personnel will use of UAS-mounted sensors to collect data of ongoing crop and livestock research projects during the 2014 crop season at the North Dakota State University Carrington Research Extension Center (CREC). Project personnel will collaborate with NDSU research scientists conducting research at the CREC, and use UAS-mounted sensors to monitor research fields at specific times as identified by the individual researchers. The primary goal of this project is a proof-of-concept of the usefulness and effectiveness of UAS in crop and livestock management in North Dakota. Project personnel will demonstrate effective UAS applications in crop and livestock management, and demonstrate instances where UAS are not effective. We will also develop data processing methods and tools to convert image data to information that farmers, ranchers and consultants can use in their businesses.
Experienced Biomedical Scientist, Inventor and Visionary Entrepreneur
Business Segment Leader, PaR Systems
Brig. Gen. Alan W. Palmer
Director, Center for UAS Research, Education, & Training, John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Science
Patent Attorney, Partner, Patterson Thuente Pedersen, P.A.
Brad Pedersen is a patent attorney with more than 25 years of experience. He concentrates his practice on post-grant review proceedings and patent prosecution strategy, licensing and litigation. Working mainly with new technologies in the area of computers, high-tech, medical devices, nanotechnology, semiconductor processing, and software, Brad provides clients with practical and pragmatic advice on the development, management and enforcement of IP portfolios, based on his wide range of experiences. As an inventor, entrepreneur and former in-house counsel, he has a real-world foundation from which to create effective IP portfolios and strategies. Brad is also co-founder of QFO Labs, a startup company that is creating new concepts in high tech gaming.
Clinical Manager, North Central Center of Excellence – Minneapolis, Minnesota, Advanced Arm Dynamics (AAD)
Business Development, Northrop Grumman Corporation
Dairy Extension Educator, Stearns County
CEO Americas – KUKA Robot Group, KUKA Robotics Corporation
Stuart (“Stu”) Shepherd is the CEO Americas – KUKA Robot Group, a unit of KUKA AG of Augsburg Germany. KUKA AG is publicly traded (M-DAX: KU2). Stu’s career spans 34 years, including General Motors (7 years), FANUC Robotics (16 years), Founder/CEO of Shepherd Solutions (an automation business consulting firm – 5 years), and over 7 years with KUKA Robotics. Based in Shelby Township, Michigan, Stu is responsible for business development and performance throughout the Americas including four subsidiaries and multiple channel partners. Stu is also the 2014-2015 Chairman of the Robotic Industries Association, and Board Member of the Association for Advancing Automation.
Dr. Takanori Shibata
Chief Senior Research Scientist, Human Technology Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
Dr. Takanori Shibata was born in 1967 and received B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Electronic and Mechanical Engineering from Nagoya University in 89, 91 and 92, respectively. He was a research scientist at AIST 93 to 98. Concurrently, he was a visiting research scientist at the Artificial Intelligence Lab., MIT from 95 to 98, and a visiting research scientist at the Artificial Intelligence Lab., Univ. of Zurich in 96. At the AIST, Dr. Shibata was a senior research scientist from 98 to 13. Concurrently, he was the Deputy Director for Information and Communication Technology Policy, Bureau of Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan from 09 to 10. Since 2013, he has been the current positions. His research interests include human-robot interaction, robot therapy, and humanitarian de-mining. He was certified as the inventor of a seal robot named PARO, the World’s Most Therapeutic Robot, by Guinness World Records in 2002. He has received many awards including the Robot of the Year by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan in 2006, the outstanding young person of the world by Junior Chamber International in 2004, and the Japanese Prime Minister’s Award in 2003. Dr. Shibata is also Visiting Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology and Visiting Fellow at AgeLab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Control Systems Engineer, CAMotion
Senior Director – Automated Retail, Best Buy Co., Inc.
Associate Program Director, University of Minnesota Medical School
Urologic Surgeon, University of Minnesota Medical Center
Chief Technical Officer, PaR Systems, Life Science & Process Automation
MDC Fellow, University of Minnesota
Lt Col Cate Todd
Senior Manager, Newport Group, LLC.
Cate Todd has experience managing organizations from 5 to 800 people, leading headquarters teams, and a Masters of Industrial & Management Systems Engineering. Cate consults with the Newport Group, LLC using experience gained by piloting the manned C-135 and autonomous unmanned RQ-4 USAF aircraft for over 14 years, accumulating 2000 pilot flight hours and 1000 combat hours. Newportgroup, LLC, established by Virginia Tech’s Dr. Harold Kurstedt, combines business experience, engineering principles, and CEO coaching to deliver training to meet organizations’ challenges. Cate’s vision is to advance business productivity in high tech robotics corporations to lead innovation in the robotic age.
Director, Engineer - Facilities & Equipment, ATK Aerospace Systems
Product Manager, Polaris Industries, Inc.
Patrick Weldon is a product manager at Polaris, working advanced programs both in military, business to business and commercial lines. He has held product development and program manager positions at Honeywell Aerospace, L-3 Communications. Patrick served in the Air Force and as a Dept of Defense agency civilian conducting unmanned missions in support of national objectives. He is an avid snomobiler and off-road vehicle rider and sometimes wonders why anybody would want to make Polaris vehicles unmanned.
Senior International Trade Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce
Mathew D. Woodlee currently serves as a Senior International Trade Specialist for the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS)/International Trade Administration (ITA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, having returned to federal service in October 2010. Mathew first became affiliated with the USCS as an undergraduate in 1995 when he received the Ron Brown Fellowship administered by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. After graduate school, Woodlee served with the USCS in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland from 2002 through 2006. During that time, he served within the E-Business Development Unit, part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce/Director General of the U.S. Commercial Service. In Baltimore, Woodlee served as an International Trade Specialist, focusing on the aerospace, defense, security, IT and telecom industries. In 2005, he was the Aerospace & Defense Global Team Leader for the USCS/ITA.
In May 2006, Mr. Woodlee was appointed by Governor Bill Richardson as the Director of International Trade for the State of New Mexico. In that position, he led the efforts of the New Mexico Economic Development Department’s services that enhance New Mexico’s international economic competitiveness. In addition to his international responsibilities, Mathew led the Department’s efforts on Legislative Affairs and served as an advisor to the New Mexico Office of Recovery and Reinvestment. Mr. Woodlee has held other positions in his career, including Fiscal Analyst for the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee (1998-2002) and as a Managing Director for WG Scorpion LLC, a private consulting firm (2009-10).
Mathew received the Ronald H. Brown Commercial Service Fellowship in 1995, through which he completed a Summer Institute for Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1996. Mathew earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Economics Minor) and an MBA in International Management from the University of New Mexico. Mr. Woodlee has been active in the community in a variety of ways, including serving on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico, a contributor and volunteer with the United Way and a member of Social Lodge No. 1, F.&A.M., PHA, District of Columbia. He is currently a member of Minneapolis Rotary Club #9. He lives in the Twin Cities area with his wife and son.
Delore Zimmerman, Ph. D.
Executive Director, Red River Valley Research Corridor
Delore is the President of Praxis Strategy Group, which has managed the Research Corridor since 2004. Praxis Strategy Group is an economic research, policy, strategy and development company that works with leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators to build competitive, innovation-driven ventures and communities. Delore has been awarded eight Small Business Innovation Research awards to develop leading-edge strategy and development practices and tools. He has served as the Honorary Vice Commander at the Grand Forks Air Force Base and on North Dakota’s Advisory Council of the US Global Leadership Coalition, which supports a smart power approach of elevating diplomacy and development alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world. Delore is a native of Wishek, North Dakota. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of North Dakota and a doctoral degree from the Pennsylvania State University where his work focused on the mobilization of territorial-based alliances for economic development.