2013 Speakers

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

governorGovernor Rick Snyder grew up in Battle Creek, Michigan. He holds three degrees from the University of Michigan. Following a successful career as partner at then-called Coopers & Lybrand, Snyder joined personal computer company Gateway. He was named president and CEO and guided Gateway to Fortune 500 status with more than 10,000 employees. He returned to Michigan in 1997 to co-found Ann Arbor-based venture capital fund Ardesta, whose mission is to be a source of capital to innovators and entrepreneurs and to turn budding ideas into exciting new Michigan companies.

Getting Michigan’s economy moving again is the Governor’s pledge. His goal is to continue to diversify Michigan’s economy to attract global companies, while providing a positive climate for existing companies and entrepreneurs to thrive.

In 1999 Snyder was named the first chair of the Michigan Economic Development corporation, where he helped lead the MEDC to one of the nation’s most respected public-private economic development programs. In Washtenaw County, Snyder provided the leadership behind nationally recognized local economic development firm Ann Arbor SPARK.

A political newcomer and self-proclaimed reformer with the moniker, ‘One Tough Nerd,’ the Governor has pledged a commonsense approach to efficient and effective government, applying business management principles for creating jobs and reinventing the economy, re-establishing Michigan’s innovative spirit, and restoring the state’s reputation as a place where families and individuals enjoy a high quality of life. Rick Snyder and Sue Kerr Snyder were married in 1987 and are the proud parents of Jeff, Melissa, and Kelsey.

Alberto Broggi, Ph.D., Professor of Computer Engineering at the University of Parma in Italy, and CEO of the VisLab

200px-Prof_Alberto_BroggiAs a pioneer of machine vision applied to driverless cars and unmanned vehicles, he led his groups’ efforts in many projects involving autonomous vehicles. Some important milestones include the ARGO project and its test in 1998, the TerraMax entry in the DARPA Challenges from 2004 to 2007, and the BRAiVE project. Under his leadership VisLab organized the first intercontinental driverless trip in history, named VIAC – VisLab Intercontinental Autonomous Challenge: a 13,000 km driverless trip from Italy to China in 2010. He acted as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Trans on Intelligent Transportation Systems from 2004 to 2008. For the term 2010-2011 he served the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society as President.Alberto is the recipient of two very prestigious ERC grants.

Sara Blackmer, Director of Government Markets for Pratt & Miller Engineering

Sara Blackmer Professional Pic_smSara is the Director of Government Markets for Pratt & Miller Engineering where she is primarily responsible for leading business strategy development and execution in defense and other federal markets. Prior to this, Sara was the Director of Defense Development for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation where she developed opportunities in Defense and other Federal sectors for companies and academic institutions in the State of Michigan, primarily in the research and development (R&D), robotics, and aerospace fields. Sara was also an Associate for Booz Allen Hamilton where she was a leadership consultant and executive mentor for Army research center senior leaders.

Sara has served 13 years in the United States Air Force as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer, and currently serves in the United States Air Force Reserves as the Director for Reserve Affairs for the Officer Training School in Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. She is highly skilled in leadership and management, project management, team building, creative problem solving, strategic planning, leadership training, supply chain management/logistics, and she is a skilled facilitator. Sara is also certified in defense acquisition logistics and test and evaluation through the Defense Acquisition University. Sara serves on the Executive Board of Directors for the Robotics Technology Consortium.
Sara earned a BSE Cum Laude in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan, an MBA and an MS in Global Supply Chain Management from Indiana University. She earned her Project Management Professional Certification in 2009.

Andrew Dallas, Vice President, Federal Systems, Soar Technology, Inc.

Mr. Andrew Dallas is the VP for Federal Systems at Soar Technology, Inc. Mr. Dallas brings over thirty years of extensive executive experience in the federal government.  His duties include directing:  external business relationships with the US Government and senior executives of Large System Integrators; international trade; bid and proposal activities, and customer outreach to foster external awareness of the company’s scientific and technical offerings as well as internal understanding of customer needs and requirements.  He is a founding member of the Robotics Technology Consortium (RTC) and currently serves as the President of the RTC.  As part of this capacity he works towards transitioning robotics research into the field.  Mr. Dallas also serves as a senior consultant on the State of Michigan’s 21st Century Job Fund which was created to help diversify and grow Michigan’s high-tech economy by investing in: basic research at universities and non-profit research institutions; applied research at small business; university technology transfer; and the commercialization of products, processes and services.

David Felten, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President of Research and Medical Director of the Research Institute at Beaumont Hospitals

Dr. David L. Felten, is the Vice President, Research, and Medical Director of the Research Institute at Beaumont Hospitals, Royal Oak, MI. He oversees the hospital’s research portfolio and actively participates in the development and commercialization of Beaumont’s intellectual property. Dr. Felton received a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969, an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1973, and a Ph.D. from the Institute of Neurological Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania in 1974. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Prize Fellowship. In addition, he has received two distinct NIH 10-year MERIT awards.

Ross Gordon, Washtenaw Community College, Interim Director of Career Services

gordon_smThroughout his career, Ross has been able to apply his passion for service on his commitment to address the industries recognized skills gap through education. At the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences he used his marketing and multimedia background to reach those in manufacturing with new technologies and workforce development. As manager of education and training at Automotive Youth Educational Systems, Ross was instrumental in updating over a thousand automotive instructors on new curriculum development and testing methods impacting the way students across the United States learned their craft. And now, at Washtenaw Community College, Ross is proud to be able to have a direct impact on the hundreds of students who come to campus each year to learn skills that make our community, state and country a better place. Under his leadership, the Vocational Technologies Division and now the Career Services have forged stronger partnerships with industry, honed curriculum to reflect the needs of today’s employers and re-inspired pride in the skills that keep our country strong.

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

charles-jacobusDr. 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.

Associate Professor Vineet Kamat, Civil and Environmental Engineering (University of Michigan)

vineetDr. Vineet R. Kamat is an Associate Professor and the Frank and Brooke Transue Faculty Scholar in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. Dr. Kamat received a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2003; a MS in Civil Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2000; and a BE degree in Civil Engineering from Goa University in India in 1998. He directs the UM Laboratory for Interactive Visualization in Engineering (LIVE). Dr. Kamat’s research focuses on Automation and Robotics, and its applications in the construction, operation, and maintenance of civil infrastructure systems. He is also conducting research in Real-Time Visualization and its applications in construction process monitoring and control. Dr. Kamat serves as the Chair of the 2013 Michigan Robotics Day planning committee.

Marty Linn, General Motors Principal Engineer – Robotics

marty_linnMarty Linn has over 28 years of working experience with General Motors, and has worked on a wide variety of manufacturing projects. Most of these projects have been centered on the development and implementation of unique technical solutions to satisfy difficult manufacturing problems. Marty has also had significant International experience with operations and suppliers in both Europe and Asia.

In 2000, Marty became the Principal Engineer of Robotics for General Motors. Marty worked on and managed the team that developed the programmable robotic body shop tooling system which is now in widespread use throughout GM. During this time, Marty also worked on the development of several other robotic manufacturing systems that have been implemented in GM Manufacturing plants around the world.

In 2007, Marty was assigned to lead the GM engineering team that co-located with NASA engineers at the Johnson Space Center to work on the development of the next generation of Robonaut, “Robonaut 2” (R2). The successful development of the R2 robot has been documented in numerous media appearances – including a 2011 Super Bowl pre-game promotion for GM – and the launch of a duplicate R2 robot aboard the Space Shuttle STS- 133. As the first humanoid robot to be sent to space, the GM-NASA built R2 robot is now a permanent “resident” of the International Space Station, and is used for scientific experimentation.

Marty is a graduate of the University of Michigan, and has degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. Marty is the holder of 14 US patents, and is the recipient of GM’s Manufacturing Center Special Achievement Award for extraordinary accomplishment and the GM R&D Charles L. McCuen Special Achievement Award for extraordinary technical accomplishment. Marty has also received two Charles F. “Boss” Kettering Awards – given for outstanding innovation of significant benefit to General Motors.

John Maddox, Director of Collaborative Program Strategies at both UMTRI and TTI

maddoxJohn Maddox serves as the Director of Collaborative Program Strategies at both UMTRI and TTI. In this position, he develops collaborative research strategies and opportunities for both organizations with federal/state agencies and industry stakeholders and other partners to tackle significant problems in transportation safety, the environment, and mobility that can be addressed only through collaborative research.

Broadly his work focuses on leveraging connected and automated transportation technologies and policy to achieve significant improvements in the safety, mobility, and environmental impact of the transportation system, and on positioning UMTRI and TTI within the automotive industry as a leader in the development of automotive-safety-technology roadmaps and precompetitive research topics.

Locally, Mr. Maddox plays a key role in helping to create and direct strategies that build, support, and promote Ann Arbor’s connected-vehicle test environment. This includes the development of a strategy geared toward maximizing the value of the test environment for innovation in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications technologies.  In turn, connected-vehicle innovations will further establish southeast Michigan as the nation’s preeminent region for safe and sustainable transportation.

Mr. Maddox has an extensive background at the U.S. Department of Transportation and in the auto industry. From December 2008 to August 2012, Mr. Maddox served as the associate administrator for Vehicle Safety Research at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While at NHTSA, he was responsible for all aspects of vehicle-safety research for the administration. He strategized and established NHTSA’s research vision, formulated multiyear roadmaps and priority plans, and implemented yearly operating plans to ensure that all research is aligned with DOT’s goals to save lives and reduce injuries due to crashes.

Before working at NHTSA, Mr. Maddox spent over five years with Volkswagen Group as a compliance officer, with the responsibility of ensuring compliance with all federal and Canadian motor-vehicle safety standards.  Prior to that, he spent fourteen years with Ford Motor Company as a senior research engineer and had multiple international assignments in product development, engineering design, and automotive safety.

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.

Professor Dawn Tilbury, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (University of Michigan)

dtilbury2Dawn M. Tilbury 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. She is Deputy Director of the US-Army TARDEC Automotive Research Center.  She won the EDUCOM Medal (jointly with Professor William Messner) in 1997 for her work on the Control Tutorials for Matlab.  An updated version was recently re-issued at the website http://ctms.engin.umich.edu.  She is co-author (with Joseph Hellerstein, Yixin Diao, and Sujay Parekh) of the textbook Feedback Control of Computing Systems.  She received an NSF CAREER award in 1999, and is the 2001 recipient of the Donald P. Eckman Award of the American Automatic Control Council. She is the 2012 recipient of the SWE Distinguished Engineering Educator Award.  She was a member of the 2004-2005 class of the Defense Science Study Group (DSSG), and was a member of DARPA’s Information Science and Technology Study Group (ISAT) from 2005–2008. 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 a member of the IEEE Control Systems Society Board of Governors from 2005–2008, and is currently Past Chair of the ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Division. She was Program Chair for the 2012 American Control Conference and will be General Chair for the 2014 ACC. She was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 2008 and Fellow of the ASME in 2012.