These Smart Manufacturing Experts are Presenting at the CESMII SM Summit 2021


They are CESMII employees, members and industry luminaries that will help you to understand the significance and value of Smart Manufacturing, from their various perspectives.


Niels Andersen

Chief Product Officer/CTO and Co-Founder


Ragu Athinarayanan

Professor, School of Engineering Technology

Purdue University

Henning Banthien

Secretary General

Plattform Industrie 4.0

Nick Barendt

Executive Director, Institute for Smart, Secure and Connected Systems (ISSACS)

Case Western Reserve University


Nick Barendt is the Executive Director, Institute for Smart, Secure and Connected Systems (ISSACS) at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio. He is also the Co-Executive Director of the IoT Collaborative, a regional partnership between Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University. He is also an Adjunct Senior Instructor in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering and the Department of Computer and Data Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. He has worked in a variety of industries: Industrial Automation, Robotics, Data Acquisition, and Test and Measurement. He has led technology teams as well as been an entrepreneur. He consults with industry and academia. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE.

Erich Barnstedt

Chief Architect, Standards & Consortia, Azure IoT



Erich has worked in various engineering roles at Microsoft for more than 18 years, initially in the Windows team and later in the Azure team. Throughout his career, he focused on the automotive and manufacturing verticals and has more recently shifted his work to the support of standards and commitments to open-source and consortia work at Microsoft. He holds a bachelor and two master degrees in computer science from Trinity College, Dublin.

Mark Besser

Senior Vice President – Customer Success

Symphony Industrial AI


Mark joined Savigent Software in 2013 and is responsible for all aspects of engagement with their customers.   He has been working in the software industry for more than 35 years, helping customers of all sizes and complexity realize the value of their technology investments.  Prior to Savigent Software, he held similar positions with Oracle Corporation, Guidance Software, and Cray Research. 

He has worked closely with leading manufacturing strategy and innovation organizations over the years.  He served on the Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA) International Board of Directors and their Executive Committee and has served on the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) Board of Directors.  He is currently working with the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) leading their Food and Beverage Affinity Group, serving on their Profile and Platform Working Group, their Sustainability Committee, as well as serving on their Governance Board and Executive Committee.

He is a contributing author to the book “Smart Manufacturing: Concepts and Methods” published by Elsevier in August 2020.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, and a Master of Business Administration degree in Information Management from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Ryan Cahalane

President of Industrial Technology
Industrial Tech

Feyen Zylstra (FZ)

Marcelo Carugo

Vice President, Global Hydrocarbons and Chem. Programs

Emerson Automation Solutions


Marcelo Carugo works with upstream and downstream manufacturers globally to create a clear and actionable path to operational excellence and digital transformation through applications of automation technologies.

Carugo joined Emerson in 1998 and has more than 30 years of experience in the chemical and refining process control industries both domestically and internationally. His prior experience included automation suppliers as well as industry manufacturers. With assignments in several different world areas, his responsibilities have included general management, marketing and sales, project management and engineering, and the implementation of control strategies and advanced control for a wide variety of processes in refining and chemicals.

Carugo received an electronic engineering degree from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; a post graduate diploma in electronic engineering from PIITS in The Netherlands; and a master of electronic engineering with honors from NUFFIC, also in The Netherlands.

Bernard Chukwulebe

Group Manager, Processing and Control & Digital Transformation Leader at Global R&D



Dr. Bernard Chukwulebe is head of Processing and Control Group and Digital Transformation Leader at ArcelorMittal Global R&D East Chicago Center.  Bernard joined ArcelorMittal predecessor company in 1999 as a Research Engineer after 4 years of lectureship at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Lagos, Nigeria. At ArcelorMittal, he advanced progressively through a series of increasing technical responsibilities to become the Group Manager of Steelmaking – a position he held for 11 years covering Liquid Steel, Continuous Casting and Refractories research. In his current role, Bernard and his teams are tasked with ensuring ArcelorMittal’s global leadership in New Product Manufacturability, Cost, Throughput and Product Quality through innovative research in Steel Manufacturing technologies for downstream and finishing lines. As a steel manufacturing expert with distinguished track record of developing and leading highly professional teams and advanced research programs, Bernard and his teams are working collaboratively with internal and external laboratories, universities and research organizations to develop and implement innovative and breakthrough process solutions for modern Steel Manufacturing with emphasis on data-driven Smart Manufacturing. He served over 4 years as Industrial Advisory Board of Kent D. Peaslee Steel Manufacturing Research Center at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and led ArcelorMittal participation in DOE proposal for the establishment of CESMII. Bernard has been an active member of AIST since 1998. He received his BS/MS. and PhD degrees in Metallurgical Engineering from the Moscow University of Science and Technology, Russia.

Greg Colvin

Technical Fellow for Advanced Manufacturing, Advanced Technology



Current Role

I am the Technical Fellow for Advanced Manufacturing within Advanced Technology at Honeywell Aerospace.  I am responsible for supporting the development and maturation of advanced manufacturing and additive manufacturing technologies helping to make these new technologies viable options to support Honeywell applications.   This role includes support for IIOT, Factory 4.0, advanced sensing, data analytics and other key elements of the digital manufacturing enterprise.  I am Honeywell’s representative on the Board of Governance for CESMII the National Institute on Smart Manufacturing sponsored by the DOE.  Additionally, I am the industrial base representative on the DoD’s obsolescence supply chain working group and co-author of the DoD official guidance SD-on obtaining supply of mechanical parts for military applications. 

My Career Story

My experience includes 10 years at the DOE’s National Security Campus operated by Honeywell-FMT supporting supply chain, advanced manufacturing and business development activities.  I began my career working for Howmet Castings in manufacturing technologies development and implementation.  There I invented multiple new casting technologies and alloy compositions authoring 17 patents and supporting the transition of several new manufacturing processes to production.   My education includes a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, a M.S. in Material’s Science from the University of Virginia and a Master’s in Manufacturing Management from Kettering/GMI University.   

Ken Creasy
Senior Director, Manufacturing Technology & Innovation and Advanced Engineering

Johnson & Johnson


Ken is Senior Director, Applied Technology and Innovation for Johnson & Johnson (J&J). In this role, he leads an enterprise-wide engineering organization supporting all segments of J&J.  He focuses on identifying, developing and implementing substantial and disruptive innovative technologies for the J&J Supply Chain.

Prior to moving into his current role, Ken served as Director of Research and Development for the Neurosurgery businesses for Codman Neuro for 4 years and Director of Quality for Codman 5 years prior to that. Ken has also served as a certified Master Black Belt in Six Sigma and Design Excellence for DePuySynthes and J&J.  Prior to joining J&J, Ken had roles in Operations and R&D leadership at Honeywell and AlliedSignal.  Ken started his professional career at Olin Corporation, with roles in R&D, Operations, Sales and Marketing. He is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and is a Graduate Fellow of ACS.  Ken has served as Industrial Chair of the Center for Process Analytical Chemistry and served as chair and keynote speaker for the International Forum on Process Analytical Chemistry in 2001.

Ken received his PhD in Physical and Analytical Chemistry from the University of Connecticut and a BS in Chemistry and Biology from Hartwick College.  He holds 12 US patents as well as numerous foreign patents.  He has authored over 50 items comprised of book chapters, journal articles, critical reviews and lectures.

Panagiotis Christofides

Distinguished Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of California, Los Angeles


Panagiotis D. Christofides was born in Athens, Greece, in 1970. He received the Diploma in Chemical Engineering degree in 1992, from the University of Patras, Greece, the M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics in 1995 and 1996, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering in 1996, all from the University of Minnesota. Since July 1996, he has been with the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is currently a Distinguished Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the holder of the William D. Van Vorst Chair in Chemical Engineering Education.

His theoretical research interests include nonlinear and predictive control, and analysis and control of distributed parameter systems, multiscale systems and hybrid systems, and machine learning with applications to chemical processes, advanced materials processing, particulate processes, energy and water systems. His research work has resulted in a large number of articles in leading scientific journals and conference proceedings and eight books that have earned him a Google Scholar h-index of 76 to date. He has advised over eighty graduate students and has graduated forty-one PhD students, many of whom hold leading positions in academia or industry including fifteen at the faculty of major universities worldwide. A description of his research interests and a list of his publications and students can be found at

He has received several awards for his teaching and research work including the Teaching Award from the AIChE Student Chapter of UCLA in 1997, a Research Initiation Grant from the ACS-Petroleum Research Fund in 1998, a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation in 1998, a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research in 2001, and the Ted Peterson Student Paper Award, the Outstanding Young Researcher Award and the Computing in Chemical Engineering Award from the Computing and Systems Technology Division of AIChE in 1999, 2008 and 2018, respectively. He has also twice received  the O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award in 2000 and 2004, and the Donald P. Eckman Award in 2004, all from the American Automatic Control Council, Over the years, more than ten papers of his group have received awards or recognitions. He is a Fellow of AAAS, AIChE, IAAM, IEEE and IFAC. He has served on the Editorial Board of leading control and chemical engineering journals and conferences.

Joseph Cuiffi

Program Coordinator, Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology Program

Penn State New Kensington


Dr. Joseph Cuiffi is the Program Coordinator for the Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology program at Penn State New Kensington. He is a graduate of Penn State with an honors B.S. and a Ph.D. in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, focused on semiconductor processing. Dr. Cuiffi is the former co-founder and VP of Engineering at NanoHorizons Inc., where he built production facilities and commercialized nanomaterial-based products. Dr. Cuiffi then spent 5 years with Draper Laboratory as a Principle Investigator fabricating microfluidic tissue model devices and exploring novel biochemical sensing techniques. His current interests are in Smart Manufacturing and workforce development for Industry 4.0.

Jim Davis

Vice President IT Office of Advanced Research Computing

University of California, Los Angeles


Principal CIO Advisor

Jim Davis is the PI for CESMII from UCLA as well as Principal CIO Advisor and member of the Governance Board. At UCLA, Jim is Vice Provost IT & Chief Academic Technology Officer – an executive leadership role focused on UCLA’s academic research and education mission. Jim has broad oversight of campus-wide planning, governance, and strategic investment of IT and manages the Office of Information Technology (OIT). Through OIT, Jim has oversight responsibility for the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, the Institute for Digital Research and Education, the Information System Associates, and the UCLA Office of the Chief Privacy Officer.

Jim has past work experience is with Amoco Chemicals. He is Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and is currently on the Board of Governors of the Manufacturing Leadership Council, the Leadership Council for Mforesight: Alliance for Manufacturing Foresight and the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Council. Jim led the Mforesight report on Cybersecurity for Manufacturers. He is a past Chair of the Board for the Corporation of Education Network Initiatives in California. Jim is also a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UCLA, where his research interests are in the areas of AI, data analysis, decision support, and intelligent systems.

With over 30-years’ experience in technology-based engineering research and application, he has been involved with research, development, and deployment of information technology solutions in a variety of industrial applications. Prior to Jim’s appointment, he served as Chief Information Officer/Associate Provost for Information Technology at The Ohio State University. At Ohio State, he had responsibility for institutional IT planning, instructional technology, policy, faculty/staff/student IT advisory committees, and all central infrastructure and support services for both academic and administrative applications. He worked extensively with the Ohio Supercomputer Center, the Ohio Academic and Research Network (OARnet), the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), and Internet2 on computing, network, research, and educational initiatives.

He holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Craig Dory
RPI SMIC Director

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Director of CESMII’s RPI Smart Manufacturing Innovation Center (SMIC)

Craig Dory is Director of CESMII’s Northern Smart Manufacturing Innovation Center (SMIC) hosted at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York, a Smart Manufacturing Center of Excellence. He leads the SMIC’s efforts to build and operate a rich Smart Manufacturing R&D and demonstration facility, create an agile Smart Manufacturing learning environment for RPI students, and connect manufacturers with a broad range of resources to help democratize and accelerate adoption of Smart Manufacturing technologies and systems.

Craig served on the Board of Directors of the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) for over 7 years and was a member of SMLC’s CESMII proposal team. He also served as CESMII’s interim VP for Membership where he led team efforts to recruit and sign the Institute’s first 100 members.

Prior to joining CESMII, Craig was Director for Business Development for the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) at RPI, an Institute-wide research center focused on industrially driven topics in advanced manufacturing. At RPI CATS, he led business development, strategic planning, intellectual property, technology transfer, and commercialization activities for the Center, helping partner companies realize nearly $400M in non-job economic impacts and create or retain almost 900 jobs through collaborative projects with the CATS.

Craig started his career at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey. There, he led strategic-planning, technology-transfer and commercialization activities targeted at integrating developments in telecommunications switching and transmission to provide new vertical services and reduce operating costs. He left Bell Labs to found Dorian Recordings, where he established the international award-winning classical-music production company and CD label as an industry benchmark for innovative Artists & Repertoire and bleeding-edge production quality. He led Dorian for nearly 20 years, growing it to be the 2nd-largest American-owned classical imprint.

Craig earned a B.S. in Mathematics (with Distinction) from Iowa State University and an M.S. in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan. He is an avid sports and nature photographer and, on occasion, dusts off his sax to play some jazz…

John Dyck
CESMII Logo with BorderPresident and CEO

CESMII – The Smart Manufacturing Institute


Chief Executive Officer

John Dyck was appointed CEO of CESMII – The Smart Manufacturing Institute in June of 2018. CESMII is a public/private partnership committed to transforming the U.S. manufacturing market and increasing global competitiveness through the application of smart manufacturing technologies. John brings a highly pragmatic perspective to CESMII, and a crisp focus on outcomes that will benefit the nation’s energy and economic security by sharing existing resources and investing to accelerate development and commercial deployment of innovative smart manufacturing capabilities.

John is an execution-oriented visionary with a passion for driving the actualization of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He’s known globally as a domain expert on both technology and business management in the nexus that often separates IT and Operations, and for the past 10 years, he has been at the vanguard of how innovations like Cloud and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) impact manufacturing. He has pioneered the application of these technologies in a wide range of manufacturing industries and supply chains. John was recently awarded a number of patents for the application of IIoT and analytics in manufacturing workflows and business processes.

John was recognized by the Society of Manufacturing Engineering (SME) in 2020 as one of ‘30 Leaders Transforming Manufacturing in the USA.

Prior to joining CESMII, John held senior leadership positions in large corporations like GE and Rockwell Automation, and was effective in raising VC funding and building a successful software startup called Activplant.

John currently serves as the past Chairman of MESA International’s (Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association) Board of Directors. Mr. Dyck holds a degree in Electronics Engineering from Conestoga College.

Andreas Faath

Managing Director, Machine Information Interoperability



Andreas Faath, Managing Director VDMA Department Machine Information Interoperability is responsible for the Interoperability activities including OPC UA. Regarding OPC UA he manages the development of the so called “Global Production Language” in which more than 600 companies worldwide are involved. This positions him as an important contact for the international mechanical and plant engineering industry regarding OPC UA standardization and intelligent production. Due to the close cooperation with numerous companies in the mechanical and plant engineering industry, he represents their wishes and requirements in those fields. Due to the strong international political networks of the VDMA, Mr. Faath was successful to introduce the OPC UA activities into the global politics. Prior to his employment at the VDMA, Mr. Faath studied mechanical and plant engineering and was a scientist at the Technical University of Darmstadt with focus on Digitalization and IIOT. Afterwards he worked in research and development for process optimization and digitalization in the field of vehicle testing at General Motors.

Jesus Flores-Cerillo
Associate Director – R&D, Digital, & Operations



Jesus Flores has 20 years of experience in the development and implementation of monitoring technologies, advanced process control and advanced analytics solutions.  Jesus has been with Praxair/Linde since 2004 where he currently manages the Smart Operations and Advanced Technologies Group in Linde’s Center of Excellence.  The Smart Operations and Advanced Technologies Group develops and implements novel monitoring, instrumentation, machine learning, IIoT and process control solutions to improve the efficiency and reliability of Linde’s processes and systems.  Jesus experience includes multivariate statistics, automation, novel sensors and advanced process control among others.  Jesus leverages his technical expertise, multidisciplinary project management skills and business insights to solve complex problems in collaboration with diverse business units.  Jesus holds a PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from McMaster University and he is author or co-author of more than 20 peer reviewed journal papers. Jesus is also a frequent reviewer in many Journals and invited speaker in multiple industrial and academic forums. He and his team actively collaborate with multiple universities and research consortia in the process systems engineering area.

Dominic Gallello


Symphony Industrial AI


Mr. Gallello is an established technology leader with a deep background in vertical software solutions.  Throughout his career, Mr. Gallello has established a track record of building great products, driving an intense customer focus and building global brands. His products have won more than 50 awards including 2 R&D 100s, considered the “Oscars of Innovation” as well as the company level, “Best Work Culture” Timmy Award.  He was named a SaaS Top 50 CEO in 2018. He has led three successful public & private software companies over the past 16 years, resulting in ~$1.3B in exit value, with a 300%+ average increase in value.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Gallello held Executive Vice President positions leading product development at Autodesk and Macromedia. Mr. Gallello has lived and run companies in China, Japan and Hungary and speaks several languages. Mr. Gallello holds both BS and MBA degrees from Monmouth University.

Howard Goldberg

CESMII Logo with BorderChief Operating Officer



Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Howard Goldberg was appointed to COO in July 2019 and was hired as VP of Business Development in May 2018. In his COO role, Howard ensures all aspects of HQ and SMIC operations, accounting, finance, compliance and Human Resource functions achieve the goals and objectives of CESMII. The COO has four major areas of responsibility:

  1. Membership Operations
  2. Institute Business & Operations
  3. Institute Compliance and Contracts
  4. Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centers (SMICs), which are visible, credible, high-value regional ‘lighthouse extensions’ of CESMII

Howard brings over 20 years of leadership experience in successfully growing the Business and Operations of leading-edge sensor-solutions companies. Howard was most recently the Executive Vice President of Operations for Pressure Profile Systems, a developer of tactile sensors that enable the “sense of touch” for electronic products, where he drove the launch of the most complex product in the history of the company and achieved a 14% increase in record shipment revenues. Additionally, Howard was the former President and COO of Interlink Electronics (NASDAQ: LINK) a globally recognized manufacturer of human-machine interface sensors, where he achieved a 36% increase in revenues. Howard presents an extensive portfolio of successfully introducing both product and supply chain solutions to a broad spectrum of industries: microelectronics and sensors, wearables and IoT, consumer electronics, medical devices and digital healthcare, automotive, industrial control, energy, aerospace and defense.

Howard holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), a B.S.E.E. from Lehigh University and an Executive Management Certification from Rice University. Additionally, he is an inventor on 10 issued patents related to sensor/actuator design and fabrication.


Howard Grimes




Dr. Howard Grimes is a noted research scientist and author with 25 years of success in directing complex university and National Laboratory research programs and entrepreneurial start-up initiatives. Currently, Dr. Grimes serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII), a pioneering institute led by The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Grimes also serves as the Associate Vice Provost and Associate Vice President for Institutional Initiatives at UTSA. Previously, he was Director for Innovation and Industry Partnerships (3 years) at Idaho National Laboratory’s Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES).

Stefan Hoppe

OPC Foundation



Stefan Hoppe is the OPC Foundation President and Executive Director since Nov 2018. Since begin 2015 he coordinated as Vice President  the worldwide OPC expansion into the Internet of Things & Industrie4.0.
Stefan has been the President of the OPC Europe organization since 2010 being the catalyst for initiating liaisons with other industrial consortiums that has resulted in OPC working groups developing companion specifications for the organizations respective information models – e.g. in 2008 he initiated and chaired the PLCopen OPC UA Companion working group which results are adopted in process industries and discrete manufacturing by multiple international well-known vendors.

Stefan Hoppe studied electrical engineering at the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany. In parallel, he worked on automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) at Fraunhofer Institut IML, Dortmund.

Since 1995 he has worked for BECKHOFF Automation, starting as a software developer later as a lead Product Manager with focus on PC based Automation, connectivity and embedded software products.

Simon Jacobson

Vice President


Jeff Kent

Vice President, Smart Platforms Technology & Innovation

Procter & Gamble


As vice president of smart platforms technology and innovation at Procter & Gamble, Jeff Kent has global accountability for driving intelligent manufacturing and industrial IoT breakthroughs. During his more than 23 years at Procter & Gamble, he has also served as technical director for smart platforms, global product supply engineering and innovation, as well as lead on key corporate intrapreneurial transformations in areas such as digital quality assurance, platform life cycle management, time synchronization applications in industrial automation, manufacturing execution systems and industrial IoT. Prior to joining Procter & Gamble, Kent served for four years as an avionics/smart weapons integration engineer and officer in the U.S. Air Force.

Gilad Langer

Digital Transformation Executive



Dr. Langer is an accomplished business leader with 25+ years of experience in IT, automation and engineering services delivery, technical operations, business development and sales. He has deep domain expertise in Digital Technologies and Manufacturing Business Systems (IIoT, Big Data, AI, MES, MI, PLM, QMS, DCS, & SCADA). He has an accomplished track record of Digital Transformation to drive high levels of operational performance in manufacturing industries with a specific focus in the regulated Life Sciences industries (pharma, biotech, & med device). He has also served as trusted adviser and business consultant in the areas of technology directions, industry strategy, and software implementations. His focus and passion is next generation (Pharma 4.0) digital technologies and IIoT for manufacturing. 

 Dr. Langer started his career in academia, researching concepts and architectures for agile manufacturing systems using emerging technologies such as multi agent systems and novel concepts that were the archetype for Industry 4.0 and Industrial IoT. He takes a systematic and strategic approach that he has honed throughout his career in different roles including consulting, sales, marketing, product strategy, project management, software development and implementation, and research.

Nathan Lasnoski

Chief Technology Officer



Nathan Lasnoski is the CTO at Concurrency, a Microsoft-focused professional services firm that helps organizations leverage technology to improve their businesses. He is a 12-time Microsoft MVP, speaks regularly at national business and technology events, and is known for his bold approach and ability to leverage technology to drive transformative change for organizations and the broader communities they serve.

Doug Lawson



Doug has founded, built and sold multiple software startups in the Industrial Sector. His understanding of customer challenges and his leadership creating innovative products to meet those challenges is widely respected in the Industry.

The products from his startups are used in nearly a million plants globally. On a personal level ThinkIQ is the logical culmination of his career and, as CEO, he is intentionally creating a company that will have global impact, delivering enormous value to its customers, creating safer, better and trustable products with less environmental impact.

His previous start-ups include Ptm Industrial SQL (Acquired by Wonderware), Data Works ActiveFactory (Acquired by Schneider Electric) and Incuity Vantag Point (Acquired by Rockwell Automation.)

Yuan-Shin Lee

Director, Smart Manufacturing Innovation Center

North Carolina State University


Professor Yuan-Shin Lee serves as the Director of the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Center (SMIC) at NC State University, funded by the Department of Energy (DOE). The SMIC Center is to link manufacturers, industrial technology vendors, systems integrators and equipment providers with academia, demonstrating and driving research and innovation that scales to all of US manufacturing.

Lee has been a professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at NC State University since 1995. He is a registered professional engineer (PE) in mechanical engineering. He is also a certified manufacturing engineer in system integration and control. Dr. Lee received the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. He also received the 1997 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the 1998 Norman Dudley Award from the Taylor & Francis Journals, London, U.K., the 1999 C.A. Anderson Outstanding Faculty Award, the 2000 Alumni Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award from NC State University, the 2001 ALCOA Foundation Engineering Research Achievement Award, the 2006 Technical Innovation Award from IIE, the 2007 IIE Fellow Award, the 2008 ASME Fellow Award, and the 2012 CAD Best Paper Award.

Lee is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE). Dr. Lee earlier served as a Department Editor for IIE Transactions, and an Associate Editor for several research journals.

Lee is also an FAA certified private pilot. He flies single-engine land-based airplanes.

Conrad Leiva

CESMII Logo with BorderVice President of Ecosystem & Workforce Development



Director of Ecosystem & Workforce Development

Conrad Leiva was appointed the Director of Workforce & Ecosystem Development of the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) in March of 2020. Conrad is a proven executive leader and recognized industry domain expert in Smart Manufacturing. He joins us from his previous role as VP, Market Strategy & Alliances at iBASEt, a developer of manufacturing software with a focus on highly regulated complex industries. Conrad worked several roles in 20+ years at iBASEt, including training, product strategy, consulting, marketing, and alliances with MES, PLM, ERP, plant automation, and systems integration partners.

Conrad holds an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, certifications in MES/MOM manufacturing operations management methodologies, and he is a certified Quality Auditor. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, and his writing includes guidebooks, whitepapers, online courses and articles. His recent works have focused on Smart Manufacturing, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and the digital thread between engineering, business, manufacturing and sustainment systems.

Conrad is a lifetime member of MESA International, where he is currently Chairman of the Smart Manufacturing Working Group. In this role, he has 10+ years of experience engaging with manufacturers, solution providers, business leaders and practitioners across all the dimensions of the industry creating education materials on both How and Why to leverage information technology. In 2019, MESA awarded him an Innovation Leadership Award for his leadership with the Smart Manufacturing Working Group and Community.


Amit Lopes

Assistant Professor, Master of Science in Systems Engineering

University of Texas, El Paso


Assistant Professor in the Industrial, Manufacturing, and Systems Engineering Department 

Dr. Amit Lopes is an Assistant Professor in the Industrial, Manufacturing, and Systems Engineering Department at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). He obtained his MS and PhD degrees in Industrial Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, from UTEP. Dr. Lopes has over 14 years of experience in developing manufacturing applications and his research interests focus on advanced and next generation engineering technologies. He has extensive background in additive manufacturing and its applications, with a focus on quality assurance. His expertise also includes Service Systems Engineering applications to additive manufacturing, healthcare, and energy systems. His current research involve application of smart manufacturing principles and technologies to improve operations optimization and advanced manufacturing workforce training. He has been PI and Co-PI on grants amounting to $1.7M over the last three years from federal agencies and industry sources such as Department of Commerce-NIST, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), BIO EPJ, Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing, Innovation Institute (CESMII), Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, and Lockheed Martin. He has published several papers in peer-reviewed publications such as Rapid Prototyping Journal, Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, Journal of Materials Processing Technology, Procedia Computer Science, Additive Manufacturing Journal, and IISE conference. He is extensively involved with the local manufacturing industry through his role of Regional Director for Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC), where he maps manufacturing industry needs (including AM potential) to drive the required training, research, and technology development that addresses those needs.

Haresh Malkani
CESMII Logo with BorderCTO




Haresh Malkani was appointed Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) in March of 2018.  In his role as CTO for CESMII, Haresh oversees the technology mission, road map and objectives of CESMII.  He will spearhead development of technologies spanning advanced sensors, controls, platforms, data analytics, modeling for manufacturing, and smart manufacturing standards and protocols. He will oversee the development and application of the nation’s first open, collaborative Smart Manufacturing technology platform for industrial applications. In addition, he will provide guidance on the institute’s technical program content for training and workforce development.

Haresh brings over 29 years of experience in an industrial RD&E environment covering development and deployment of Smart Manufacturing technologies including sensing, automation, control, modeling, simulation and analytics for applications in continuous, hybrid and discrete manufacturing operations.  Haresh comes to CESMII from a successful career at Alcoa/Arconic.  He most recently was Director, Digital Manufacturing & Automation Technologies.  In this role Haresh was responsible for developing the strategy for Smart Manufacturing and deploying solutions that drove productivity in excess of $40M/year.  His expertise in modeling, simulation, advanced sensing, automation, analytics and visualization were key to developing the technical strategy, architecture and approach. Haresh has a successful history of projects developing model-based control for several unit operations at Alcoa. 

In addition, Haresh has been involved with the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) for over 8 years.  He most recently held the position of Vice Chairman of SMLC.  Haresh holds a Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University and a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the Maharaja Sayajirao University (India).


Sherri McCleary

Executive Director

Digital Foundry at Penn State New Kensington


Sherri McCleary joined the Penn State New Kensington Team in late 2020 as the inaugural Executive Director of the Digital Foundry at New Kensington.  Sherri comes to this role as an experienced executive leader with a strong passion for connecting people and technology to deliver real value.  Her career spans more than 30 years of technology and business development experience driving strategy, technology transfer, and the launch of new business opportunities across market including automotive, commercial transportation, aerospace, defense, energy/oil & gas, architectural products, and consumer electronics.  

Prior to her current role, Sherri served as Director of the Additive Manufacturing Business at Kennametal.  In this role she was responsible for launching a new “start-up” for the company based on 3D printing technologies for high-performance metallic materials in demanding industrial and energy applications.  Prior to joining Kennametal, Sherri spent over 30 years with Alcoa then Arconic.  Her roles there included Director of Research & Development, leading a large R&D organization responsible for advanced materials, computational materials and process modeling, smart manufacturing, advanced analytics, automation, and additive manufacturing, and Vice President of Technologies & Operations for Alcoa Defense Inc., responsible for the capture and execution of Defense technology contracts in the Land, Air, and Sea Segments. Earlier in her career she led aerospace materials and process development projects, led the development and implementation new material and manufacturing technologies with major automotive and commercial transportation OEMs, and managed an advanced manufacturing development group.  Sherri’s accomplishments have been recognized through the award of U.S. and foreign patents, publications, corporate achievement awards, and an R&D Magazine Top 100 Technologies Award.

Sherri holds a BS in chemistry from Gannon University and an MS in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University, along with certified and accredited training in MBA essentials, Intellectual Property and Contract Law, and Executive Leadership.

Nikunj Mehta

Founder & CEO



Founder & CEO

Nikunj founded Falkonry after realizing that valuable operational data produced in industrial infrastructure can be utilized in a much better way to generate business insights. Nikunj believes hard business problems can be solved by combining machine learning, user-oriented design & partnerships.

Prior to Falkonry, Nikunj led software architecture & customer success for C3 IoT. Earlier, he led innovation teams at Oracle focused on database technology & led the creation of the Indexed DB standard for databases embedded inside all modern browsers. He holds both Masters & Ph. D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Southern California.

Aaron Muhl

Toward Zero


Aaron Muhl is passionate about helping manufacturing companies achieve maximum return with their smart manufacturing initiatives by aligning technology, processes, and culture. His vision is to help clients thrive and win in today’s complex competitive landscape.  He founded Toward Zero in 2015, backed by more than 25 years’ industry experience.  He continues to leverage his network of resources and put it to work helping companies understand the opportunities available with select technology, implementation, and change management. Aaron’s extensive background in management, manufacturing technology, and systems architecture has also helped him drive enterprise communication standards for manufacturing as a voting member of ISA-95 for over 12 years.  Earlier in his career, Aaron held key engineering and management roles for companies like Siemens and GE, and led engineering groups focused on automation and manufacturing systems.

Arlen Nipper
President and CTO at Cirrus Link, Co-Inventor of MQTT

Cirrus Link


Arlen Nipper has been designing embedded computer hardware, software and solutions for 42 years. Arlen graduated from Oklahoma State University and worked in the oil patch for 10 years learning tons of useful stuff about “how things work” in the real world. The next part of Arlen’s career path led to signing up with a startup technology company called NovaTech providing design and integration services using embedded computer technology. NovaTech was a successful startup and became Arcom Control System and then Eurotech Inc. over the last 20 years. Arlen was the President and CTO of these OEM computer-manufacturing and software solutions companies.

 Arlen is now the co-founder and President/CTO of Cirrus Link Solutions. Across his entire career Arlen has been passionate about applying embedded computer technology to existing paradigm problems in the industrial controls and automation market sector. But in recent years he has stepped back from just the hardware/software aspects of embedded systems and started to view the entire ecosystem of hardware, software, security, infrastructure, IT, and ultimately the people being served by the this hugely interesting, emerging “Internet of Things”.

Michelle Pastel
Sr. Manager, Mfg 4.0

Corning Incorporated


Senior Manager, Manufacturing 4.0

Michelle Pastel joined Corning 28 years ago as a Systems Engineer.  Today she leads teams responsible for pioneering collaborative, multi-organizational projects to develop and deliver digital solutions. These teams integrate materials, process, and equipment with measurements, process controls, modeling, analytics, and computing platforms to achieve faster fundamental understanding and real-time data driven manufacturing within a plant, plant-to-plant, and across the supply chain.  As a program leader, she works in partnership with multi-disciplinary colleagues across Corning to extend the portfolio of projects solving Corning’s business problems through digital solutions. She also engages and develops strategic collaborative external relationships in the areas of Industry 4.0, Smart Manufacturing, Industrial Internet of Things, and 5G, with standards bodies, national labs, universities, professional societies, other manufacturers, and solution providers.

Throughout Michelle’s career she has held technology, engineering and manufacturing positions. She has delivered new systems to manufacturing, supported 24/7 manufacturing operations, delivered process improvements, and innovated new products and processes.  She has led an organization responsible for developing revolutionary and step change solutions in the areas of measurements, advanced process controls, systems integration, software, and data systems to support Corning’s Research and Development programs.  Through this extensive process and systems experience, Michelle recognizes the value of a Smart Manufacturing approach.

Outside of Corning, Michelle has been active in the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) since 2011, pioneering with her colleagues what is globally known today as Smart Manufacturing.  She was appointed SMLC Secretary 2014-2017 and Chairwoman of the Board 2017-2020.  She is now the Chair of the Strategic Advisor Committee of the newly affiliated SMLC with Advance Manufacturing International (AMI).  She was a workstream leader on the CESMII proposal team and has served on the Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) Governance Board and the Enabling Technologies Standing Committee since its inception in 2017.

In 2017, Michelle was named to Smart Industry’s “Smart Industry 50” list of key innovators on the leading edge of digital transformation.  Michelle holds a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of New Mexico.

Philip (PJ) Penne

IT Manager of Applications

Tyson Foods, Inc


My name is Philip (P.J.) Penne and I’m an IT Manager of Applications at Tyson Foods, Inc. in the Poultry, Prepared Foods, Supply Chain area.  I’ve been with Tyson Foods working in the IT industry for over 24 years with many accomplished rollout projects.  Have an extensive background in analytics, database administration along with vast knowledge of SAP dealing with manufacturing modules. My passion is learning and understanding the new technologies that can drive our business to another level while building win-win relationships across the organization.  Process driven with accomplishments on delivering key outcomes, building amazing teams and quickly adapting to new learnings

Dr. Sudarsan Rachuri

Federal Program Manager and R&D

Department of Energy


Dr. Sudarsan Rachuri is a Technology Manager in the Advanced Manufacturing Office, EERE, and DOE. He is the Federal Program Manager for the CESMII. Prior to joining DOE, he was the program manager at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and also a research professor at George Washington University and worked in the CAD/CAE/PLM software industry. Dr. Rachuri is serving as Editor-in-Chief of ASTM International’s new journal, Smart and Sustainable Manufacturing Systems ( Rachuri is also a founding member and served as the vice chair of the ASTM subcommittee on sustainable manufacturing (E60.13). He also serves on ASTM International’s Smart Manufacturing Advisory Committee. Rachuri is the founding member and the Chair of the standards committee on ASME V&V 50 Verification and Validation of Computational Modeling for Advanced Manufacturing.  Dr. Rachuri is a Fellow of ASME and AAAS.   Dr. Rachuri received the 2016 ASTM International President’s Leadership Award. Dr. Rachuri won first prize in the 2017 World Standards Day (WSD) Paper Competition, awarded by The Society for Standards Professionals. Dr. Sudarsan Rachuri was honored with the Excellence in Research Award by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Computers and Information in Engineering (CIE) Division.

Joe Sanguinetti
Engineering – Global Technical Services | Technical Leader

General Mills

Rob Schoenthaler

Founder and CEO



Rob started Atollogy to bring modern technologies to help a variety of industrial sectors he has served passionately throughout his career as a consultant and enterprise software provider.

Atollogy’s mission is make operational excellence easy and accessible for companies of all shapes and sizes with our Industrial Vision Platform that uses cameras as a “sensor” to digitize the activity of machines, materials and people. Atollogy’s proprietary algorithms and capabilities are revolutionizing how companies manage operations by integrating the physical world with artificial intelligence. Rob brings 25 years of experience in enterprise software, big data analytics, IIoT, operations strategy, supply chain, and large-scale program management to Atollogy.

Federico Sciammerella

President and CTO



Federico Sciammarella is the President and CTO for MxD.  In this role he is responsible for portfolio management including the prioritization of projects for the organization. He also leads the academic outreach engagement and launched a program in 2020 targeted for emerging technologies that connects academics to industry with the goal of bringing up early-stage technology through to later stages of technology readiness. He also supports the operational execution of MxD Cyber as the national center for cybersecurity in manufacturing to ensure its continued growth and impact within the American supply chain.

Prior to joining the institute, he served as the Interim Chair for Mechanical Engineering Department at Northern Illinois University’s College of Engineering & Engineering Technology for two years. He was also the Director of the Advanced Research of Materials and Manufacturing (ARMM) Laboratory, with a focus on Additive Manufacturing. He was the PI of a $2.4 Million NIST Measurement Science in Additive Manufacturing award entitled “Development and Validation of Physics-Based Additive Manufacturing Models for Process Control and Quality Assurance” and served as a Co-PI on an MxD subcontract, “Rapid Process Certification and Verification for High Value-Added and Low-Volume Production”. The team developed a solid foundation for processing control and modeling in metal 3D printing which is critical for the future success of the technology. In 2012 Dr. Sciammarella served as the Competency Area Manager for the Laser Materials Processing group within the National Laser Center at the Councill for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) located in Pretoria, South Africa where they developed a variety of laser material processing technologies that have launched into commercial products in South Africa.

Jon Sobel
Co-founder and CEO

Sight Machine


Sight Machine is the Manufacturing Productivity Platform, making manufacturing stronger, sustainable and resilient.

Sight Machine Co-Founder Jon Sobel has led Sight Machine as CEO since 2012, driving all aspects of the company’s business and setting its strategic direction. A visionary in the digital transformation of manufacturing, he has built a company that the world’s top manufacturers turn to for solving their toughest production problems.

Jon has served on the management teams of companies in pioneering industries including Tesla Motors, SourceForge, and in its early years, Yahoo. At both Tesla and Yahoo he served as general counsel and secretary.

Jon holds an A.B. from Princeton, a J.D. from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from Wharton.

E.B. Sonheim

Director, Marketing

Feyen Zylstra (FZ)


Through vision and strategy, E.B. Sonheim shapes Feyen Zylstra’s (FZ) brand as Director of Marketing. She is the architect behind FZimpact, the company’s employee-driven community outreach program started in 2016. A graduate of Calvin University in Business Marketing, E.B. is also a Leading by Design’s LEAD 365 graduate, and an Emerging Leaders program alumnus from the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. When she’s not at FZ, you’ll find her searching for beach glass on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Kelly Speakes-Backman
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary

Department of Energy

Juan Tabares

Research and Development 



Juan Tabares is a current Ph.D. Student in Civil Engineering at the University of Louisville. Juan also completed his Master of Science in Civil Engineering at Purdue University (USA) and his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering at Politecnico Colombiano “Jaime Isaza Cadavid” (Colombia).

Juan also has had the opportunity to participate as a graduate research assistant in the project “Smart Manufacturing of Cement” co-funded by CESMII and Argos Cement. His 12+ years of experience working for Argos Cement in the development of future technologies for both the cement and concrete industry across Argos geographies have contributed to integrate challenges of the cement industry to the best interests of academia and vice versa. 

Juan is also active member of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and is committee member in the ACI committee 242 for Alternative Cements.

Crystal Taton
Digital Factory Manager

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems


Crystal is currently the Raytheon Intelligence and Space (RIS) integrated Digital Intelligence & Automation Systems Engineering Chief Architect, reporting to the Advanced Manufacturing, Modernization and Technology (AMMT) organization.  Crystal and her team are responsible for creating lean, connected Smart Factories through the planning, development, execution and support across 5 RIS locations nationwide.  These projects include the Raytheon Digital Factory system as well as Industry 4.0, Smart Factory and Digital Thread initiatives that are used in each location to improve cycle time, reduce cost and deliver consistent high quality.

Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE: RTX), a leading aerospace and defense company of 195,000 employees worldwide and $74 billion in annual sales. Raytheon Technologies is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. Raytheon Intelligence & Space is a leading provider of advanced sensors, training, and cyber and software solutions. With a workforce of 39,000 employees worldwide and $10.8 billion 2020 sales. RIS is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with operations across the U.S. and internationally.

Crystal has received multiple awards for projects involving improved process repeatability, reduction in touch labor hours and error reduction in factories across Raytheon.  She received Technical Honors in 2020, received the Influential Women in Manufacturing award in 2019 and the SAS Operations Vice President’s Award in 2016.  She also holds a patent for a mortar launched surveillance vehicle system, a trade secret, received multiple Raytheon Science Technology Achievement Recognition (STAR) awards, and has spoken repeatedly at the Raytheon Manufacturing Symposiums as well as the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers conference in 2021.  She chaired the Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing track at the 2021 Manufacturing Technology Network Symposium and represents Raytheon on the CESMII Technology Standing Committee

Crystal Taton began her career at Raytheon as an intern while working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at Northern Arizona University.  She started in the Raytheon Missile Systems Engineering Directorate developing target recognition algorithms in 2001, then provided engineering and test support to the Advanced Cruise Missile and StormBreaker programs before transferring to Operations to work on multiple Factory of the Future initiatives.  Crystal was on the team responsible for delivering automation to 12+ Raytheon factories utilizing multiple Smart Manufacturing technologies including torque controllers, automated material movement and SAP connectivity before assuming the lead architect role.  She then moved to RIS to help create and manage the Digital Factory team. 

Crystal’s passion revolves around creating a stable, trusted solution that is easily maintainable and readily adaptable to differing factory requirements in order to create an environment where new ideas are embraced and creative engineers can thrive.  Opportunities provided by disruptive innovation can seem to be in direct conflict with the predictability expected by the factory floor.  Crystal welcomes this challenge and believes that protecting and enhancing the operator experience as well as enabling the responsible engineer are the central tenants to any successful factory system.

Russ Waddell
Managing Director

MTConnect Institute


Russ Waddell is the Managing Director for the MTConnect Institute and responsible for day-to-day business operations and standards development activity. Prior to this role, he worked at AMT as an Industry Economist where he provided statistical research for sales and marketing in the manufacturing technology industry. He holds a BA in Economics from The College of William and Mary.

Matt Wells

Vice President – Digital Product Management

GE Digital


Vice President – Digital Product Management

Matt Wells has 20+ years of experience with industrial automation, manufacturing execution, analytics/AI, and data management software. Matt currently serves as vice president of digital product management for GE Digital. In this role, he is responsible for the vision and management of GE Digital’s Manufacturing & Digital Plant software including the industry-leading Proficy family: iFIX, CIMPLICITY, Proficy Plant Applications, Proficy Historian, and more. With experience ranging from product management to implementation to strategy development, Matt has worked directly with hundreds of customers around the world, spanning nearly every industry. 

Scott Whitlock
President / CEO

Flexware Innovation


Scott Whitlock’s vision for Flexware grew out of his passion to strengthen manufacturing in America. He grew up in rural Indiana and saw first-hand how a manufacturing firm becomes the
life-blood of a community (Connersville, Indiana used to be home to a $1B Visteon manufacturing facility). Scott’s passion and work ethic for his customers translate possibilities into real-time, bottom-line realities. Ones that save time and money, increase quality and throughput, and make the manufacturer’s life easier…and more profitable.

Prior to founding Flexware in 1996, Scott was a Senior Electrical Engineer at Indiana Automation, Inc. in Noblesville, Indiana. Scott was also a Software Sales Engineer at Advanced Interface Solutions (AISI) briefly in the spring of 1996.

Scott holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Purdue University. He is a past board member for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He is also a past advisory board
member for Purdue University’s Technology Assistance Program (TAP) as well as current advisory board member for Purdue’s School of Engineering Technology (SoET) program within
the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. Scott is also currently the Board Chair for Springhill Experiences, a camping ministry based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Recently, Scott joined
the Board of Directors of CESMII–the Smart Manufacturing Institute.

Specialties: Manufacturing IT, Manufacturing Improvement, Lean Manufacturing, Automation, Controls, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence (EMI),
Tracking and Genealogy, Traceability, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Christians in Business, Digital Transformation, IoT, IIoT, RTLS, Precision Agriculture.

Jonathan Wise
CESMII Logo with BorderVice President and Chief Technology Architect



Vice President of Technology

Jonathan Wise was appointed the Vice President of Technology of the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) in July of 2019. Mr. Wise boasts an impressive background, strongly aligned to CESMII’s vision and efforts, developed through roles with industry leaders, like Rockwell, Amazon, Microsoft, GE and Activplant. He is a key member of the senior leadership team, reporting to CESMII’s Chief Technology Officer.

Mr. Wise possesses a unique and very valuable combination of integrated OT/IT (Operations/Information Technology) experience. While at Rockwell, he led product development for automatic discovery of industrial devices and data, as well as embedded industrial analytics, both key elements of CESMII’s Smart Manufacturing Platform™ deliverables. He was a software development leader for both GE Fanuc’s Proficy Production Management Software business and Manufacturing Intelligence-pioneer Activplant Corporation. Those leadership experiences were further sharpened through his role as a cloud platform evangelist with Microsoft and the product management experience he gained on Amazon’s digital device team.

Commenting on the addition of Mr. Wise to the leadership team, CESMII’s Chief Technology Officer, Haresh Malkani commented, “The integration of Operations Technologies (OT) and Information Technologies (IT) is central to accomplishing CESMII’s mission to democratize Smart Manufacturing Technology through our collaborative platform. Jonathan brings a unique combination of technical expertise and leadership experience to our team where he will spearhead the development and execution of our platform strategy – a critical part of bringing value to our members and U.S. manufacturers of all sizes.”


Bob Willig

Society of Manufacturing Engineers


Robert “Bob” Willig is a passionate business leader with a demonstrated track record driving financial and operational performance, turnaround leadership, lean implementation and new business development accomplishments over a broad range of businesses in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Willig has extensive global experience and has led teams across multiple cultures, regions and disciplines. He has served as a director on numerous boards in North America, Japan, Korea and China, and has directed several acquisition teams through diligence, acquisition and integration. Willig most recently served as president, Control Devices for Stoneridge Inc. He fully restructured the business, focusing on value creation and growth within the emerging autonomous and electrified vehicle segments. As the president and CEO of Plasan Carbon Composites, Willig reorganized this high-technology business to grow with lightweight solutions for key automotive customers. As president, GKN Driveline Americas, he led significant, profitable growth while driving investment efficiency and operational excellence. Willig opened five new facilities supporting the expansion of technical capabilities, new product introduction and an optimized manufacturing footprint. During his three-plus years as president of GKN Sinter Metals Americas, Willig delivered significant improvement in profit, cash and overall customer satisfaction while growing at more than twice the market. He guided a strong focus on cost management actions and a comprehensive preventative maintenance program, allowing improvements in OEE, machine utilization and reduced capital costs. Prior to GKN, Willig held increasingly senior leadership roles at Tomkins Plc. (Gates Corp.) including as president, power transmission and president, automotive. He is also the former president of Stackpole International, a North American-based supplier of powder metal components and engineered pump assemblies. Willig earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Lawrence Technological University and MBA from Wayne State University.


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