2014 Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Pete Wurman, Chief Technology Officer and Technical Co-Founder at Kiva Systems 

Wurman100x125Pete Wurman is the Chief Technology Officer and Technical Co-Founder at Kiva Systems where he oversees hardware and software research.  Prior to joining Kiva, Pete was an Associate Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University where he did research on multi-agent resource planning, game theory and computational mechanism design.  Pete holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.

Matt Smith, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Program Manager  Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)

MattSmith100x125Mr. Smith is guiding the development and use of ITS technical standards across MDOT and is responsible for implementing the Department’s strategic plan for the future of ITS and technology application. MDOT has a very strong focus on the application of advanced transportation technologies (V2X development and deployment, and supporting vehicle and infrastructure automation development).  Matt is a proud graduate of Penn State University, and worked in the private transportation consulting industry for several years before joining the Department in 2006.

Key Participants

Cindy Chestek, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan

Chestek100x125Cindy Chestek is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering. She did her PhD at Stanford in Electrical Engineering studying brain machine interfaces. Her research utilizes 100 channel electrode arrays implanted in motor cortex. The goal of this research is to eventually develop clinically viable systems to enable paralyzed individuals to control prosthetic limbs, as well as their own limbs using functional electrical stimulation and assistive exoskeletons.

CJ Chung, Professor of Computer Science, Lawrence Technological University

chung125x100CJ Chung attended HongIk University in Seoul, Korea, where he earned a B.S. degree. While he was working for Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute from 1982 to 1992, he was involved in developing TDX switching systems that became later the base system for the first CDMA system in the world. Chung also worked as a visiting researcher to develop AXE software for L.M. Ericsson Co. in Sweden in 1984. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Wayne State University in 1997. His doctoral research was the development of a self-adaptive system motivated by cultural evolution process, which was then applied to solve various optimization problems. His current research interests include evolutionary computation, cultural algorithms, evolutionary robotics, evolutionary-neuro-fuzzy algorithms, software engineering for robotics, and robotics education. Prof. Chung founded an autonomous robot competition, Robofest (www.robofest.net). Over 14,000 students from 14 states in the US and 7 countries have competed in Robofest since 1999. He launched numerous robotics education programs such as RoboParade in 2006, VCC (Vision Centric robot Challenge) in 2007, RoboMusic Camp in 2013, and GRAF (Global Robotics Art Festival) in 2013. He is the faculty advisor of Lawrence Tech’s humanoid roboCup soccer and IGVC (Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition) teams. His IGVC team, H2Bot won 1st place award in 2007. He received The Mary E. and Richard E. Marburger Distinguished Achievement Award in 2007 at LTU. In 2011, IEEE USA honored Dr. Chung with its citation of honor award for his leadership in founding the Robofest competition to inspire interest in engineering among pre-college students.

James Forbes, Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan

JForbes100x125James Richard Forbes was born in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada in 1982. James received his B.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering (Honours,Co-op) from the University of Waterloo in 2006. While attending the University of Waterloo James participated in the co-op program; James had the opportunity to work in the manufacturing, automotive, rail, and industrial automation (robotics) industries. James was awarded his M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Science and Engineering from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) in 2008 and 2011, respectively. He was awarded the G. N. Patterson Award for the most outstanding Ph.D. thesis in 2011. From May 2011 to August 2013 James was an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at McGill University located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. While at McGill University he was also an associate member of the Centre for Intelligent Machines. James is currently an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan. The focus of his research is the dynamics and control of aerospace systems including large flexible space structures, spacecraft, unconventional Mars rovers, and high-altitude balloons.

Edward A. Hurvitz is Professor and Chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at the University of Michigan Medical School

hurvitz100x125Professor Hurvitz is the  James W. Rae Collegiate Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Hurvitz attended Wayne State University in Detroit for undergraduate studies, where he was awarded the Howard A. Donnely award for class valedictorian. He graduated from Wayne State College of Medicine in 1984, and completed a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Sinai Hospital of Detroit. He joined the faculty of the University of Michigan Department of PM&R in 1989 after completing a one year fellowship there in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. Dr. Hurvitz also obtained certification in Electrodiagnostic Medicine in 1990. He was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in 2002, and then became department chair in 2006. He has also served as chief of service for PM&R at the Ann Arbor VA hospital. Dr. Hurvitz has been involved in the diagnosis and management of children with disabilities for over 20 years. His focus has been on individuals with cerebral palsy and other brain-related syndromes that start in the childhood years. His work covers such areas as spasticity management, motor control, and health and fitness. He has received support from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and from industry for these efforts. His current work focuses on body composition and fitness in children and adults with cerebral palsy, as well as overall health and function in adults with cerebral palsy. He also has worked to promote research in individuals with disability, serving as Co-Director of a National Institute of Health (NIH) sponsored rehabilitation research training program, and participating in panels and national courses related to this area. Dr. Hurvitz has gained international recognition for his work, lecturing around the country at national meetings and in Israel for the European and Middle Eastern meeting on cerebral palsy in 2006, as well as a recent conference in Jerusalem. He serves on several national committees, including a NIH review committee, and committees for the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine and the American Academy of PM&R. He has served as president of the Pediatric Special Interest Group of the American Academy of PM&R, and as a member of the Childhood Motor Study Group and Pediatric Hypertonia Task Force.

Charles J. Jacobus, Ph.D., President, Cybernet Systems Corporation

Jacobuse100x125Dr. Jacobus has performed and directed research and development in sensors, computer systems, robotics, medical devices and artificial intelligence for more than 30 years. He has been responsible for more than 30 U.S. patents and patent pending assigned to Cybernet since 1990.

Dr. Jacobus co-founded Cybernet Systems Corporation in 1988. SBIR technology products have powered Cybernet’s growth from a two-person R&D company in 1988 to a mixed commercial product and R&D company with approximately 50 employees today. Cybernet Systems’ commercial products include the NetMAXTM suite of thin server/Internet appliance software products, the OpenSkies simulation system, a gesture recognition system, the Fire Fly full body tracking system and an Internet-based telemedicine service.

He has had experience in basic and applied research at the University of Illinois, the Industrial Technology Institute, ERIM, and in commercial product development and support with Texas Instruments, Inc. Dr. Jacobus previously headed the NASA Center for Commercial Development of Autonomous and Man-Controlled Robotic and Sensing Systems in Space (CAMRSS). This center developed robotics and sensing technology for use in space applications and spin-offs.

Rick Jarman, President & CEO National Center for Manufacturing Sciences

Mr. Jarman leads NCMS, the largest collaborative R&D consortium in North America which is dedicated to driving innovation in commercial, defense, and robotics manufacturing. Prior to this position, Jarman was Director of Technology Partnerships at the Eastman-Kodak Company where he was a driving force to forge alliances with industry and government in order to improve commercialization processes through innovation and technology. Rick managed global relationships and programs with policy makers, partners, and consortia management in order to leverage synergistic and strategic partnerships.  In 1988, he represented Kodak on the President’s Commission on Executive Exchange. He played a key role on the trade committee during the Commission’s meetings in the USSR and Western Europe and served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Production and Logistics in the Pentagon. Rick serves on industry boards and advisory groups related to his work in building collaborative alliances. He is the Co-author of the book “Collaborative R&D: Manufacturing’s New Tool” published by John Wiley & Sons N.Y.

Dr. Giscard Kfoury, Assistant Professor, Director, Bachelor of Science in Robotics Engineering Program, Lawrence Technological University

KFOURY100x125Dr. Kfoury received a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from the  American University of Beirut in 2001, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University in 2003, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University in 2008. He joined Lawrence Technological University in 2008 as an assistant professor in the A. Leon Linton Mechanical Engineering Department, where he has been serving as the director of the Bachelor of Science in Robotics Engineering program since 2011. He is also currently serving as the faculty advisor for the Formula SAE team at LTU. His areas of expertise are nonlinear control, nonlinear observer design, modeling and simulation, dynamics, vibration analysis, robotics, and engine dynamics and vibration. Dr. Kfoury is a member of ASME (chair of the DSC Model Identification and Intelligent Systems (MIIS) Technical Committee) and SAE, and has published papers in numerous journals and conferences. He is a reviewer for a number of journals, and has been serving as an associate editor for the ASME DSC conference and the ACC. His research background lies in the areas of robotic manipulator control and observer design, engine vibration and friction estimation, and experimental engine friction measurement. His current research interests include hybrid powertrain modeling, analysis and control, engine controls, active suspension systems, medical and rehab robotics, and unmanned vehicle modeling and control.

Jeanne Murabito, Executive Director for Student Affairs, College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

Murabito100x125Ms. Murabito received her B.A. in Humanistic Studies from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame; studied in Rome, Italy through Loyola University, received her M.A. in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University, and completed all Ph.D. coursework in Higher Education Administration from St. Louis University.  Ms. Murabito has 30 years of experience in Higher Education Administration and prior to joining the University of Michigan she served as Dean of Academic Services at Lindenwood University in St. Louis, MO.  Ms. Murabito directs the units that comprise Student Affairs: the Engineering Advising Center, the Engineering Career Resource Center, Recruitment and Admissions, the Engineering Learning Resource center, the Scholarship Efforts in the College, Records and Assessment, and all student organizations and activities within the college.  She founded the Michigan Engineering Zone (MEZ), an outreach site in Detroit providing exposure for Detroit High School students to STEM fields. The centerpiece of the MEZ is the FIRST Robotics Program, engaging 230+ students a year in a collective build site in Detroit’s Midtown. Jeanne serves on the board for FIRST in Michigan, is a member of the Dean’s Cabinet, and serves as the point person in the College for issues involving students. She has received the Excellence in Staff Service Award from the College of Engineering, and various recognitions for her service to students through Tau Beta Pi and Epians.

Kenn Oldham, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering University of Michigan.

oldham100x125Prof. Oldham received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 2006, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2000. He joined the University of Michigan in 2007 following a post-doctoral fellowship at the Army Research Laboratory. Prof. Oldham and his research group study the intersection of control systems and micro-scale sensing and actuation, with interests in design for controllability, optimal and robust control, and novel sensor and actuator design. Applications of this research include terrestrial micro-robotics, endoscopic microscopy, and inertial and physiological sensing.

Dr. Mark J. Paulik, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Detroit Mercy

paulik100x125Dr. Paulik teaches courses in Engineering Design, Digital Signal and Image Processing, Embedded Systems, Hardware Description Languages, Digital Logic, and Controls. His areas of interest and expertise include Digital Signal and Image Processing, Engineering Education Pedagogy, Embedded systems, and Autonomous vehicle sensor and Navigation systems. His publications have focused on industrial and military object identification, handwritten signature analysis, and modern educational pedagogy. He is currently doing research on the combined use of computational intelligence techniques for vehicular fault detection, diagnosis, and health monitoring. He holds the Bachelor of Electrical Engineering Degree from the University of Detroit, the Science Master’s Degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Ph.D. Degree from Oakland University.

Huei Peng, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan

Peng100x125Huei Peng received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1992. He is now a Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. His research interests include adaptive control and optimal control, with emphasis on their applications to vehicular and transportation systems. His current research focuses include design and control of electrified vehicles, and connected/automated vehicles.

In the last 10 years, he was involved in the design of several military and civilian concept vehicles, including FTTS, FMTV, Eaton/Fedex, and Super-HUMMWV—for both electric and hydraulic hybrid concepts. He is currently the US Director of the DOE sponsored Clean Energy Research Center—Clean Vehicle Consortium, which supports more than 30 research projects related to the development of clean vehicles in US and China. He also leads an educational project funded by DOE to develop 10 undergraduate and graduate courses including three laboratories courses focusing on transportation electrification. He serves as the Associate Director of the University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center, a center that studies connected and autonomous vehicle technologies and promotes their deployment. He has served as the PI or co-PI of more than 50 research projects, with a total funding of more than 30 million dollars. He has more than 230 technical publications, including 100 in referred journals and transactions and four books. His h-index is 46 according to the Google scholar analysis, the total number of citations to his work is more than 8,300.

Huei Peng has been an active member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career award in 1998. He is both an SAE fellow and an ASME Fellow. He is a ChangJiang Scholar at the Tsinghua University of China.

Mohammad Poorsartep, Research Scientist, Texas A&M Transportation Research Institute

Poorsartep100x125Mr. Mohammad Poorsartep also serves as Project Manager for TTI’s Connected Transportation Initiative. In his current position, he is leading TTI’s activities further into the emerging area of automated and autonomous vehicles technology. Mr. Poorsartep has an extensive background in working with construction, telecommunications, automotive, and defense industries. Prior to his current position, he spent more than four years at University of Michigan as a project manager where he led the activities of the Connected Vehicle Proving Center (CVPC) in conducting research projects sponsored by automotive manufacturers and suppliers, Department of Transportation, Department of Defense, and other entities.

William A. Thomasmeyer Executive Director, Robotics Technology Consortium, President, WAT Associates LLC

billtWilliam A. Thomasmeyer has over three decades of experience as a CEO and senior executive in numerous, information technology ventures and technology-based economic development organizations.  His background spans a wide range of executive management, strategic development, merger and acquisition, product marketing, sales and marketing, and operations management activities.  Mr. Thomasmeyer is currently Executive Director of the Robotics Technology Consortium, a national consortium of robotics technology companies formed to support the Government’s defense robotics interests.  He is also President of WAT Associates, LLC, a consulting firm formed to help early stage technology companies develop and execute market need-driven business strategies.  Since 2002, Mr. Thomasmeyer has been involved with various regional and national robotic initiatives, including the formation of the Congressional Robotics Caucus, helping author the National Roadmap for Robotics, and helping found National Robotics Week.   From 1988 to 2001, he served as President and CEO of three small information technology companies after working 12 years for two Silicon Valley start-ups.  He is a 1976 graduate of the University of San Francisco and holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.  He and his wife currently reside in Pittsburgh, PA.

Dawn Tilbury, Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering, University of Michigan

DTilbury_100x125Dawn M. Tilbury is currently the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education in the College of Engineering, University of Michigan.  She received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in 1989, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1992 and 1994, respectively.  In 1995, she joined the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she is currently Professor, with a joint appointment as Professor of EECS. Her research interests include distributed control of mechanical systems with network communication, logic control of manufacturing systems, reliability of ground robotics, and dynamic systems modeling of physiological systems.  She was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 2008 and Fellow of the ASME in 2012, and is a Life Member of SWE.