Virginia Tech - Invent the Future

Conference Details - Keynotes

Michael F. Molnar PE CMfgE FSME FASME SES
National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce

Mike Molnar is the founding director of the interagency Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (AMNPO), with a mission to foster industry-led partnerships and to form a "whole of government" approach to strengthen competitiveness and innovation in U.S. manufacturing. This interagency team is responsible for designing and establishing the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), a Presidential and Congressionally authorized initiative with now eight established institutes with seven more in the pipeline. For more information please see Mike also leads the NIST Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), which coordinates extramural programs for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The AMO has now launched the first "open topic" NNMI Institutes competition, where any topic may be proposed. For additional information see

Dr. Sridhar Kota

Dr. Sridhar Kota is the Herrick Professor of Engineering, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and the Director of the Institute for Manufacturing Leadership, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is the founding Director of MForesight: The Alliance for Manufacturing Foresight.

MForesight: The Alliance for Manufacturing Foresight was launched in October 2015 with funding provided by NSF and NIST. MForesight serves as the voice of the national advanced manufacturing community to the public and provides the federal government with intelligence about emerging technologies to shape priorities for future federal and private sector investment and set the trajectory of U.S. advanced manufacturing. MForesight provides the federal government with intelligence about nascent and emerging technologies that will shape priorities for future U.S. investment in advanced manufacturing. MForesight will identify emerging technologies in advanced manufacturing-highlighting newly identified fields of basic, translational, and interdisciplinary research-as well as related technology and infrastructure creation, including private sector participation.

Professor Fritz Klocke
Head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT and Chair for Manufacturing Technology, Werkzeugmaschinenlabor, RWTH Aachen

Welfare and economic growths are inseparable. People do have individual and collective needs and natural resources do co me to an end. One of the biggest challenges is to realize economic growth with less resource consumption. Jung-Hoon Chun from MIT presented a report that this goal is still far away. The President of Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Professor Reimund Neugebauer, launched a research project in which strong focus is put on the design of energy- and resource-efficient production lines, layout of zeroemission factories and taking into account the working conditions of people. In this presentation research result and practical examples will be given to trigger further research and motivate companies to go for the implementation of sustainable production facilities. In this context a particular focus will also be put on the Industrie 4.0 initiative to analyze the potential of smart services in developing sustainable production networks.

Nanci Hardwick
CEO Aeroprobe Corporation

Nanci Hardwick is CEO of Aeroprobe Corporation, her second successful start-up. Aeroprobe provides air data measurement systems to aerospace, automotive, turbomachinery, wind turbine, and wind tunnel testing industries around the world. Aeroprobe's air data systems for unmanned aircraft provide real time air speed, angle of attack and angle of sideslip for improved flight performance. Nanci is an avid supporter of regional technology and business development. She was recently appointed president of the AUVSI Western Virginia Chapter and serves as vice-chair on the board of the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance (NRVEDA). Nanci has been recognized by Governor McDonnell for leadership in community and business and was named one of the "Top 20 under 40" business leaders in the region by the Blue Ridge Business Journal.


G. Don Taylor
Virginia Tech
Charles O. Gordon Professor and Department Head
Industrial and Systems Engineering

Virginia Tech - Invent the Future Continuing & Professional Education @ Virginia Tech

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