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CLS 2014 Speakers

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John Balistreri, professor, Bowling Green State University
Conference Dinner: Speaker


Biography: Since 1996, Balistreri has been the head of the ceramic program at Bowling Green State University. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1986 and his MFA from Kent State University in 1988. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Archie Bray Foundation. He has had his work published in a number of periodical publications, including “Ceramic: Art and Perception,” “Ceramics Monthly,” and “American Craft”. He was selected as an “Emerging Talent” at the 1995 NCECA. Balistreri’s work has appeared in five books related to Ceramic Art. He has conducted over 50 workshops and lectures throughout the U.S. and China. Balistreri has had nine solo exhibitions of large scale ceramic work and has been included in dozens of group exhibitions nationally and internationally. He is best known for his large scale ceramic sculpture, as well as his innovations using digital technology to create ceramic objects. He has received over $120,000 in technology grants, which have resulted in two patents on innovations related to printing ceramics 3-dimensionally using rapid prototyping technologies. Balistreri and his team lead the world in ceramic 3D printing for applications ranging from biotechnology to art objects.


Dick Brow

Richard K. Brow, Curators’ Professor of Ceramic Engineering, Missouri University of Science & Technology

Manufacturing and Workforce Sustainability Track: A New Role for The American Ceramic Society: Educating Engineers Before and After that First Job


Biography: Brow earned a B.S. in ceramic engineering and M.S. in glass science from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, and a PhD in ceramic science from Pennsylvania State University. An ACerS Fellow, Brow is a former member of the ACerS Board of Directors, past chair and member of the Glass and Optical Materials Division, and associate editor of ACerS International Journal of Applied Glass Science.


Wayne G. Butscher

Wayne G. Butscher, director, BioSTART and Lab Associates Program, BioTechnical Institute of Maryland, Inc.

Strategic Manufacturing: Finding and Developing Engineering Talent

Biography: Butscher earned his BS in Natural Resources Conservation at the University of Connecticut in 1979, his MS in Tropical Public Health at Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1984 and his PhD in Parasitology at McGill University Institute of Parasitology in 1992. He completed a second Postdoctoral Fellowship at The National Cancer Institute at the NIH, Studying T-Cell activation at the Molecular Level from 1995 to 2000. Butscher was a Peace Corps volunteer from 1979-81 where he worked with fishermen in Niger, West Africa. He worked as a Molecular Biology Field Application Specialist for NEN Life Sciences products/PerkinElmer Life Science Products. Then he became an application specialist supporting Bioinformatics Database and Oligonucleotide design for microarrays for Compugen. In 2003, he joined BioTechnical Institute of Maryland in 2003 as an instructor and became the director in 2006.


Bud Cass 

Bud Cass, managing member, Bud Cass Consulting LLC; former president and chairman, Advanced Cerametrics (ACI)

Manufacturing and Workforce Sustainability Track: Manufacturing and Workforce Sustainability Track: The Pluses and Minuses of Expanding Outside of the US. Where? Why? And When?


Biography: Cass is the former President and Chairman of Advanced Cerametrics (ACI) and is presently the Managing Member of Bud Cass Consulting LLC. Mr. Cass has authored or co-authored over 100 papers, book chapters, international magazine articles and has been featured in several TV programs (national and international). He established spin off operations in India, Thailand and China. His other successes include: 16 Phase I SBIR and STTR DOD and DOE awards, 7 Phase II SBIR and STTR awards and 5 Phase III awards leading to DARPA’s Outstanding Performance by a Small Business Contractor Award. Mr Cass holds 19 patents, including the ceramic fiber invention that is the basis for ACI’s current business. He received the 2003 and 2007 R & D 100 Award for ACI and led ACI to receive the 2007 Corporate Technical Achievement Award-the highest technical award from the ceramic industry. Among his many accomplishments, he co-invented smart, self-powered tennis rackets, skis and snow boards that became Head Sport’s flagship ‘Intelligence’ line of products, winning gold medals in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics and being the best selling rackets in the world in 2005 and the top rated skis in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and are the team choice of the 2014 US Ski Team. He currently serves as an officer and Director of several companies, where he provides technical and management support.


Lora Cooper Rothen

Lora Cooper Rothen, CEO, Du-Co Ceramics Company

Strategic Manufacturing: Finding and Developing Engineering Talent


Biography: Graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 1974, Cooper Rothen worked for David Morris & Associates, CPA’s in Morristown, NJ until 1976 when she discontinued pursuing a career in public accounting and co-founded Your Secretary, a firm offering a wide variety of office services to small and mid size legal, accounting and sales firms. In 1983 she sold her interest in YS to her partner and moved back to PA to accept the position of Controller at Du-Co. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Ceramic Society having served as the Society’s Treasurer from 2006-2008. Cooper Rothen is currently Vice President of the American Association of Ceramic Component Manufacturers (AACCM) having served as the AACCM Treasurer in the mid 1990’s and President from 2004-2006. She represented AACCM as an invited speaker at the 1st International Congress on Ceramics held in Toronto, Canada in 2006. Lora currently serves on the Board of Directors of Catalyst Connection, the SW Pennsylvania region MEP.


Martin J. Curran

Martin J. Curran, executive vice president, innovation officer, Corning Incorporated

Innovation Track: Innovation Strategies to Leverage Your Business


Biography: In his current role, Curran manages a portfolio of programs to increase the probability of success for new business opportunities. Curran joined Corning in 1984 and has held a variety of roles in finance, manufacturing and marketing. He has served as senior vice president, general manager for Corning Cable Systems Hardware and Equipment Operations in the Americas. He led efforts to grow Corning’s Connectivity business, including the first major fiber-to-the-home offering with Verizon FiOS. He has also served as senior vice president and general manager for Corning Optical Fiber and has served as Chairman of US Conec, a Corning Connectivity joint venture with Fujikura and NTT-AT. Curran graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in finance and received his master’s degree from the University of Virginia’s Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business.


Katharine Frase

Katharine Frase, vice president, CTO, Global Public Sector, IBM Corporation

Business Climate Overview: Technology Trends


Biography: Frase was appointed vice president and Chief Technology Officer, IBM Public Sector, in March 2013. As CTO, she provides thought leadership for IBM and its customers on innovation and strategic transformation specific to government, education, life sciences, healthcare and cities, driving the creation of new solutions. Prior to this role, she was Vice President, Industry Solutions Research, working across IBM Research on behalf of IBM clients, to create transformational industry-focused solutions, including the application of “Watson” technologies to business applications and the realization of Smarter Planet solutions. Earlier roles included technical and business strategy for IBM’s software business, corporate assignments on technology assessment and strategy, and roles in IBM Microelectronics in the management of process development, design/modeling methodology and production of chip carriers, assemblies and test. In 2006, she was elected as a member of the (U.S.) National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Frase received an A.B. in chemistry from Bryn Mawr College and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology and sits on numerous external committees and boards.


Christine Heckle

Christine E. Heckle, research director, crystalline materials, Corning Incorporated

Innovation Track: Track Leader


Biography: Heckle’s department consists of 30 scientists, engineers and technicians inventing new ceramic products for the company. Her group supports the Environmental Technologies, Specialty Materials divisions as well as new business and exploratory arenas. Before her role in research, Dr. Heckle led a variety of programs for the Environmental Technologies division introducing new products into the marketplace. Under her leadership our DuraTrap AT product was expanded into the Heavy Duty market and two new products offerings for the light duty market were initiated. In 2012 she won the inaugural R, D & E Leadership Award from NOBCChE in recognition of her track record of producing results with excellent use of emotional intelligence and people skills, as well as being a key advocate and champion of diversity initiatives. Heckle is a member of SPECTRA, Corning’s LGBT employee resource group and ADAPT, Corning’s resource group for people with disabilities and those who care for people with disabilities. She mentors and coaches members of EDGE (Ethnically Diverse Group of Employees) and SBP (Society of Black Professionals). Heckle holds a PhD in glass science from Alfred University.


David Johnson

David W. Johnson Jr.Journal of the American Ceramic Society

General Sessions: Moderator


Biography: Johnson is retired from Agere Systems where he served as director of the applied materials research department. He is currently an Adjunct Professor and Senior Adviser at Stevens Institute of Technology and an editor of the Journal of The American Ceramic Society. He earned a B.S. in ceramic technology and a Ph.D. in ceramic science from the Pennsylvania State University. He is an ACerS Fellow, a past chair and member of the Electronics Division, a member of the Basic Science and Glass & Optical Materials divisions and the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers. Johnson served as president of ACerS in 1994-95 and is the recipient of numerous ACerS awards, including Distinguished Life Membership.


Allen Kimel

R. Allen Kimel, assistant professor, associate head for undergraduate studies in MSE, Pennsylvania State University

Strategic Manufacturing: Finding and Developing Engineering Talent


Biography: Kimel completed his BS degree in Materials Science and Engineering at North Carolina State University. He then joined the US Peace Corps and was sent to Swaziland, Africa to teach math, chemistry and physics at the high school level. Upon returning to the states Dr. Kimel completed a MS degree in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. He then proceeded to Pennsylvania State University to complete a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering with a focus in Ceramics. Dr. Kimel joined the Penn State faculty in the summer of 2002 after completing his PhD. He was hired to oversee the design and building of the new undergraduate laboratory in Steidle Building and to re-design the undergraduate laboratory curriculum. Since joining the faculty, Dr. Kimel has created six new lecture and laboratory courses spanning such subjects as materials chemistry, materials sustainability, microstructural analysis, quantification of materials properties and characterization of polymers.


Al Lubrano

Al T. Lubrano, president, Materion Technical Materials and chairman, National Association of Manufacturers’s  Small to Medium Manufacturers

Strategic Manufacturing: Manufacturing in the United States of America….A Vehicle for National Economic Prosperity


Biography: Lubrano is responsible for the overall business operation of MTM. He was hired in 1992 as vice president and general manager and was promoted to president in 1995. Prior to MTM, he was vice president, business director at Engelhard Corporation. He was with Engelhard for nine years. Lubrano earned his MBA cum laude from Boston University and his BS in Management Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a co-founder of the Rhode Island Manufacturers’ Association (RIMA) and was Chairman for 15 years. He is a former member of the Governor of Rhode Island’s Economic Policy Council and a former trustee of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council. He also sits on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the National Association of Manufacturers, as well as being the Chairman of NAM’s Small to Medium Manufacturers, and a Steering Committee member of NAM’s U.S.-China Business Relations Task Force. He has also been appointed to the United States Department of Commerce Industry Trade Advisory Committee for Small and Minority Business.



James P. Meil, vice president, chief economist, Eaton

Business Climate Overview: Perspectives on Manufacturing: U.S. Competitiveness Today, and Prospects Ahead


Biography: Meil has been a recognized leading industry economist for 30 years. He is responsible for forecasting economic conditions and primary markets for Eaton, a $16.0 billion global diversified power management company.

He is a contributor to Blue Chip Economic Indicators, Consensus Economics, USA Today (ranked in their “Top 10 Forecasters”) and The Wall Street Journal (achieving first-place on a 50 forecaster panel). Meil served as a Director of the National Association of Business Economists. Prior to Eaton, Meil was a consultant with Chase Econometrics and with Burroughs Corporation. He holds an MBA in Finance and a BA (honors) in Economics from the University of Chicago. 


Petra Mitchell

Petra Mitchell, president, CEO, Catalyst Connection

Manufacturing and Workforce Sustainability Track: The Resurgence of Manufacturing Including Four Trends You Should Not Ignore


Biography: Mitchell holds a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Dayton, and an MS in engineering with a concentration in manufacturing management from the University of Cincinnati. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center Network, the Board of the American Small Manufacturers Coalition, Kopp Glass, Inc. and Keystone Powdered Metals Company. Mitchell’s experience in manufacturing operations, technology development, and business development stretches back to 1988. Before joining Catalyst Connection, she was employed by GE Aircraft Engines, now GE Aviation. Mitchell was named a 2011 Top Women in Business Leader and a 2012 Top Energy Leader by the Pittsburgh Business Times.


Anthony Nickens

Anthony D. Nickens, vice president, energy group, Ceramatec, Inc.

Innovation Track: Ecosystem Approach to Disruptive Innovation


Biography: In his current role, Nickens leads a group of 60 scientists, engineers and lab technicians. Before joining Ceramatec, he served as a Program Manager at the Office of Naval Research developing energy related technologies, and he held various management and engineering positions within Naval Sea Systems Command. Nickens has co-authored 14 technical papers and a paper on engineering leadership. He also holds the rank of Captain in the Navy Reserves. He holds a MA in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, MS in chemical engineering from University of Florida, MBA from Florida Institute of Technology, and BS from North Carolina State University. In addition, Nickens is a graduate of University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Executive Program and the Defense Systems Management College’s Program Managers Course.


Rick Norment

Richard Norment, executive director, National Council for Public-Private Partnerships

Manufacturing and Workforce Sustainability Track: Public – Private Partnerships To Build a Competitive Workforce


Biography: Norment has served as the Executive Director of the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) since 1999. He has over 40 years of experience in management and development of national associations. His areas of expertise include: organization and program development, public affairs and government relations, at both the national and international levels. His first experience with public-private partnerships was with housing programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the early 1970s. He has authored articles in trade and special interest publications, and has given numerous presentations at national and international conferences. Norment did his graduate work in U.S. History at The American University in Washington, D.C., where he also served as an adjunct professor.


Frank O’Brien-Bernini

Frank O’Brien-Bernini, vice president, chief sustainability officer, Owens Corning

Strategic Manufacturing: Sustainability – The Path to Wealth Creation


Biography: O’Brien-Bernini is vice president, chief sustainability officer of Owens Corning, a world leader in building materials and composite solutions. His role encompasses global accountability for Owens Corning’s sustainability strategy development and implementation, including Environmental, Health & Safety (EH&S). In 30 years with Owens Corning, he has held various leadership positions, including most recently, vice president, chief R&D officer. Prior to joining Owens Corning, Mr. O’Brien-Bernini ran a solar design/build firm. He is a frequent speaker on topics related to sustainability and has addressed multiple conferences, has been quoted in many industry reports/publications and currently serves on several Boards. An alumnus of one of the nation’s first interdisciplinary sustainability programs, “The Center for Resourceful Living” at North Adams State College, Mr. O’Brien-Bernini also earned a bachelor’s degree in science and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, where his research focus was solar energy.


Steve Rengers

Steve Rengers, R&D manager, Additive Development Center, GE Aviation

Strategic Manufacturing: Additive Manufacturing Techniques


Biography: Rengers leads the Research and Development team tasked with advancing additive technologies – equipment, materials, and processes – at the GE Additive Development Center (formerly Morris Technologies, Inc.) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Steve joined Morris Technologies in 2005 and contributed significantly to MTI’s substantial growth in size and capabilities. His responsibilities included managing sales, off-site contract services, and additive manufacturing in both plastics/polymers and metals, as well as tight-tolerance CNC machining: turning, milling, and EDM. Steve is an industrial engineering graduate from the University of Cincinnati and obtained a master of business administration from Xavier University. Prior to joining Morris Technologies, Steve’s career included multiple roles in manufacturing engineering and production management over the course of 10 years with a Fortune 1000, high-volume manufacturer of electro-mechanical devices. GE Aviation acquired Morris Technologies in November 2012 and established the ADC facility.


Steve Ritchey

Steven M. Ritchey, partner, Thompson Coburn LLP

Innovation Track: Patent Law in 2014: Act fast or get left behind


Biography: Ritchey is a St. Louis-based intellectual property partner at Thompson Coburn LLP who prepares and prosecutes patents domestically and internationally. As one of the few attorneys in the country with a background in ceramic engineering, Ritchey works with clients across a wide range of technical disciplines to develop savvy patent strategies that protect an organization’s assets and enhance its business models. For these clients, he negotiates and prepares technology alliance and license agreements, and authors opinion letters regarding infringement and validity issues and freedom to operate. He earned his law degree, cum laude, from Saint Louis University School of Law, and a BS in ceramic engineering from Iowa State University.


Michael Silver

Michael N. Silver, CEO, American Elements

Innovation Track: Materials Sourcing Challenges and Strategies


Biography: Silver is considered an expert on the current and future demand for rare earths and the other critical metals such as lithium, indium, and tellurium. Mr. Silver’s expertise also includes firsthand knowledge of the corporate supply chain from mine to finished goods, the industrial and scientific applications that make these elements important and their commodity value to the investment community. He is considered a pioneer in the fields of nanotechnology, materials science and alternative energy. Mr. Silver was one of the first Americans to establish a direct production and distribution supply chain from the rare earth mines in Inner Mongolia, China to North America and Europe. The company has operations in Los Angeles, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; Monterrey, Mexico; Baotou, China; Manchester, UK and a global distribution network. Over the last twelve months alone, American Elements has co-sponsored over 375 industry and academic conferences. 

Daniel Tipsord

Daniel E. Tipsord, director of engineering, Trans-Tech, Inc; a subsidiary of Skyworks Solutions, Inc

Manufacturing and Workforce Sustainability Track: Maximizing the Benefit of Manufacturing outside the United States While Protecting Intellectual Property


Biography: Tipsord joined Trans-Tech in 1997. His responsibilities include R&D, process engineering, raw material evaluation, sourcing strategy, and powder preparation functions. Prior to his current role, his responsibilities have spanned a range of leadership roles within manufacturing, engineering, quality assurance and product management. His efforts at Trans-Tech support the technical needs of this diverse, multi-facility manufacturer producing hundreds of unique oxide compositions for use in products within the wireless communications, aerospace, medical and energy markets. He also serves as an executive committee member and current treasurer of the Association of American Ceramic Component Manufacturers (AACCM). Tipsord earned his BS in Ceramic Engineering at the University of Illinois in 1991 and held various engineering roles with Coors Ceramics (now CoorsTek) before joining Trans-Tech. He has continued his education in the areas of strategy, organizational development and finance, completing the Skyworks Solutions Leadership Development Program in 2008.


Eric Urruti

Eric Urruti, vice president, research & technology development, SCHOTT NA

Strategic Manufacturing: Finding and Developing Engineering Talent


Biography: Urruti is responsible for technology for SCHOTT North America. The portfolio of technology includes the laser program in SCHOTT; consisting of two primary areas of interest, eye safe laser glass and high power ultra-short pulse laser materials, innovative glass materials for infrared optics and fiber optics, and hermetic packages for the oil and gas industry. He is also responsible for growing SCHOTT’s efforts in armor materials, pharmaceutical packaging, and porous glass. Previously, Urruti was the CTO at NanoMaterials Innovation Center; the president and CEO at Red Sky Systems; and a general partner at Corning Innovation Ventures. He has 62 patents worldwide and numerous publications. Urruti earned his BS in Chemistry at Indiana University and his PhD in Chemistry from North Dakota State University.


Richard Weber

Richard Weber, founder & president, Materials Development, Inc. (MDI)

Manufacturing and Workforce Sustainability: Track Leader


Biography: Weber founded and is currently president of Materials Development, Inc. (MDI). MDI develops innovative instrumentation for processing materials in extreme conditions, in particular novel glass products. Prior to forming MDI he was VP for research at Containerless Research, Inc. a company that he co-founded and where he led the team that developed REAl(TM) Glass. The glass technology was sold to a fortune 100 company in 2006. In addition to operating MDI, Weber holds a Special Term Appointment at the Argonne National Laboratory Advanced Photon Source where he collaborates to develop beamline experiments to measure the structure of materials in extreme conditions. He is an adjunct professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee where he occasionally lectures on glass-related topics. He earned a BSc in Materials Science from Sir John Cass College in 1983 and a PhD from the Department of Materials, Imperial College London in 1986 and became a Chartered Engineer in 1990. He has authored/co-authored about 130 papers and has 4 patents.


Andy Zynga

Andy Zynga, CEO, NineSigma

Keynote: Strategic Open Innovation – Connecting with the Outside World to Advance Your Company’s Technology and Product Innovation


Biography: Zynga joined NineSigma in February 2008 as CEO of NineSigma Europe where he established and grew the company’s presence across Europe. In late 2009, Andy assumed the role of global CEO and has focused his attention on increasing the company’s revenues and global presence by entering new markets and expanding its portfolio of Innovation Services. Working closely with clients and his global team, Andy has overseen the introduction of several new offerings that help innovation-driven organizations accelerate product development, reduce risk in their innovation program, and dramatically expand their capabilities. Prior to joining NineSigma, Andy built, or turned around, four high tech businesses in the US and Europe. He earned a dual Master’s degree in Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany. Andy grew up in West-Berlin, Germany, and immigrated to the United States in 1985. 


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