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Adi Leviatan

President - Abrasive Systems Division, 3M

Adi Leviatan is the President of the Abrasive Systems Division in 3M. In this capacity, Adi has responsibility for driving business growth and expanding profitability for 3M’s $1.5B industrial abrasives business. She is responsible for developing and implementing a global business strategy; directing the creation and execution of a long-term product development roadmap to maintain 3M’s technology differentiation in abrasives; and building a new business in robotics & automation systems for material removal.

Prior to this role, Adi served as Vice President in 3M’s Industrial Adhesives and Tapes Division, where she led the $2B industrial bonding business. Prior to that, Adi served as Vice President, Strategy & Business Development for SIBG, where she held responsibility for the development of the business group strategic direction, execution of strategic initiatives and M&A activity.

Before joining 3M, Adi was a Partner with the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, serving clients in the industrial, transportation and technology sectors in the US, China, East Africa, Israel and Europe. Earlier in her career, she was a Project Director at Kamsky Associates, a boutique consultancy in Beijing. Prior to that, Adi served as a Military Intelligence Analyst in the Israeli Defense Forces.

Adi holds a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in Economics and East Asian Studies from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and diplomas in Mandarin Chinese from Peking University and Tsinghua University in China. She is a Board Member of the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul and together with her husband Eli is raising three young children: Yotam, Yael and Tamar.


The Users Speak: The Next Automation Challenges | Wednesday, January 17, 2024 - 11:15 AM

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Alan Beaulieu

Principal, ITR Economics

With a reputation as an accurate, straightforward economist, Alan has been delivering award-winning workshops and economic analysis seminars in countries across the world to thousands of business owners and executives for the last 30 years.

He is co-author of Prosperity in the Age of Decline, a powerful look at how to make the most of the US and global trends over the next 20 years. Alan also co-authored Make Your Move, a practical and insightful guide on increasing profits through business cycle changes, and noted by one reviewer as “simple, yet awesome.”

As the result of his years of work with domestic and international associations, it has been remarked that Alan’s “insight into our business, a track record of accurate forecasting, and unparalleled knowledge of global markets has earned him the respect and appreciation of key business leaders in our industry.”

Pronouncements from ITR Economics™ and/or Alan have appeared in/on: the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Knight Ridder News Services, Business Week, Associated Press, The Washington Times, and numerous other outlets.


KEYNOTE: 2024 Global Economic Outlook | Tuesday, January 16, 2024 - 9:15 AM

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Alex Shikany

Vice President - Membership & Business Intelligence, Association for Advancing Automation (A3)

Alex Shikany is the Vice President of Membership & Business Intelligence at the Association for Advancing Automation (A3). In his position, he researches statistics and trends for global automation markets. Alex is a member of A3’s leadership team, leads membership and business intelligence efforts for the association, and is a frequent speaker at industry events around the world. He earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA from Michigan State University, where he majored in Marketing and Finance. Alex joined A3 in 2012 and has over a decade of experience in marketing, brand strategy, and market research in the automation industry.


KEYNOTE: The Latest Automation Statistics, Trends, and Key Market Drivers | Wednesday, January 17, 2024 - 9:45 AM

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Chetan Kapoor

Head of Optimization and Automation, Tyson

Chetan is responsible for leading Automation efforts that increase labor and food safety while delivering significant production efficiencies.  In this role, Chetan sets the strategy and priorities for delivering Automation at Scale across all Tyson operations.  Delivering on this strategy includes opportunity analysis, development of standard yet configurable automation product lines that are designed for optimal cost and operational efficiencies, development and enforcement of Standards and operating procedures to capitalize on Tyson scale, vendor management of automation providers, and leading high-risk, high-reward automation R&D.

Prior to joining Tyson Foods, Chetan was Business Leader at Yaskawa America, a leading provider of industrial robotics and automation.  In that capacity, Chetan led the incubation, development and launch of robotics and software products that made robots significantly easy to use, thereby opening new markets for industrial robots.  As a part of this, he introduced collaborative robots that enable safer and space saving automation that is ideal for brownfield operations.  Prior to Yaskawa America, Chetan was the CEO and Founder of Agile Planet, Inc. Agile Planet was a developer and provider of robotics software that simplified the integration and operation of robots with PLC’s provided by Rockwell Automation and Siemens.  This development was embraced by CPG customers such as Pepsico and P&G and was delivered to the market in partnership with Rockwell Automation and Yaskawa.  In addition, Agile Planet provided foundational robotics software and controls to NASA and Google.  Agile Planet was acquired by Yaskawa America, Inc. in 2013. Before Agile Planet, Chetan was the Associate Director of the Robotics Research Group at UT Austin. Here he led R&D efforts in robotics surgery, space robotics, nuclear robotics, and projects for commercial customers.  Software that Chetan developed at UT Austin was licensed to Agile Planet. 

Chetan grew up in India and has an engineering degree from Punjab University. He followed this with a Masters from Univ. of Alabama and a PhD from UT Austin.  He is the lead inventor on 6 patents, has over 50 publications, is a recipient of multiple awards, and has been featured in various industrial publications and in the NY Times.


Automating the Future: Exploring Emerging Applications in Robotics and Automation | Tuesday, January 16, 2024 - 11:00 AM

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Frank Abagnale

Frank Abagnale is one of the world’s most respected authorities on forgery, embezzlement, and secure documents. For over 40 years he has worked with, advised, and consulted with hundreds of financial institutions, corporations and government agencies around the world. Mr. Abagnale’s rare blend of knowledge and expertise began more than 50 years ago when he was known as one of the world’s most famous con men. His riveting story provided the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film, Catch Me If You Can, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Abagnale and Tom Hanks as the FBI agent fast on his heels. The Tony-Award winning musical, Catch Me If You Can, directed by the legendary Jack O’Brien, opened on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre.

“I chose to immortalize him on film because of what he’s done for the country for more than 30 years.” -Steven Spielberg

Mr. Abagnale has been associated with the FBI for over 40 years. He lectures extensively at the FBI Academy and for the field offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He is a faculty member at the National Advocacy Center (NAC) which is operated by the Department of Justice, Executive Office for United States Attorneys. More than 14,000 financial institutions, corporations and law enforcement agencies use his fraud prevention programs. In 1998, he was selected as a distinguished member of “Pinnacle 400” by CNN Financial News - a select group of 400 people chosen on the basis of great accomplishment and success in their fields. In 2004 Mr. Abagnale was selected as the spokesperson for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). He has also written numerous articles and books including The Art of the Steal, The Real U Guide to Identity Theft and Stealing Your Life.

“Abagnale’s lecture may be the best one-man show you will ever see.” -Tom Hanks

Mr. Abagnale refuses to accept payment for any of his government work. Today, the majority of his income is derived from consulting with major corporate clients such as LexisNexis, Intuit, AARP, and Experian and his public speaking engagements. Mr. Abagnale has conducted over 3,000 seminars on identity theft, cyber crime and fraud worldwide. Mr. Abagnale works as an advisor to a number of print and technology companies around the world. He spent 20 years as an advisor to the Standard Register Company, creating security features for negotiable instruments, car titles, etc. He spent 10 years as an advisor to the 41st Parameter which developed fraud detection technology, now used in 80 countries around the world and recently purchased by Experian.

In his latest book, Scam Me If You Can: Simple Strategies to Outsmart Today’s Ripoff Artists, Frank continues helping his audience by revealing what the world’s most skilled scammers are up to – and how you can stop them in their tracks.


KEYNOTE: Cybercrime, Identity Theft and Scams | Tuesday, January 16, 2024 - 4:00 PM

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Gary Chen

Co-Founder, Raise Robotics

Gary is the co-founder and CEO of Raise Robotics, a startup developing mobile manipulators to build and maintain the world’s physical infrastructure. Prior to Raise, he worked on autonomous vehicles, with a focus on problems in transferring models from simulation to work in the real world. He graduated from UC Berkeley where he contributed to research on self-driving cars.


Automating the Future: Exploring Emerging Applications in Robotics and Automation | Tuesday, January 16, 2024 - 11:00 AM

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Gregory Brown

Vice President of Strategy and R&D, UPS

Greg works on R&D and supply chain strategies that leverage First Mile to Last Mile solutions to meet the needs of UPS customers. His areas of focus include AI-enabled solutions like Next Generation Robotics, Automation, and new Hub/Facility modalities. He also works on areas like Autonomous Vehicles/Robots, Conversational AI, Digital Twins, and AR for workflow instructions.


The Users Speak: The Next Automation Challenges | Wednesday, January 17, 2024 - 11:15 AM

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Henrik Christensen

Director, Contextual Robotics Institute, UC San Diego

Dr. Henrik I. Christensen is the Qualcomm Chancellor's Chair of Robot Systems and a Professor of Computer Science at Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering UC San Diego. He is also the director of the Institute for Contextual Robotics. Prior to UC San Diego he was the founding director of Institute for Robotics and Intelligent machines (IRIM) at Georgia Institute of Technology (2006-2016). Dr. Christensen does research on systems integration, human-robot interaction, mapping and robot vision. The research is performed within the Cognitive Robotics Laboratory. He has published more than 350 contributions across AI, robotics and vision. His research has a strong emphasis on "real problems with real solutions". A problem needs a theoretical model, implementation, evaluation, and translation to the real world. He is actively engaged in the setup and coordination of robotics research in the US (and worldwide). Dr. Christensen received the Engelberger Award 2011, the highest honor awarded by the robotics industry. He was also named the "Boeing Supplier of the Year 2011" while at Georgia Tech. Dr. Christensen is a fellow of American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He received an honorary doctorate in engineering from Aalborg University 2014. He collaborates with institutions and industries across three continents. His research has been featured in major media such as CNN, NY Times, BBC, ...


KEYNOTE: Navigating the AI Landscape | Wednesday, January 17, 2024 - 9:00 AM

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Jeff Cardenas

CEO, Apptronik

Jeff Cardenas is the CEO and co-founder of Apptronik and specializes in new product development and go-to-market strategy. Cardenas received his Master of Science in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas at Austin. He previously worked in the Global Commercialization Group at the IC2 Institute at UT Austin, working with innovators from around the globe to take innovations out of the research lab and into the market. Cardenas holds an undergraduate Business degree from UT and worked in the technology practice of Deloitte Consulting. He previously founded several startups and a nonprofit. Cardenas has a passion for entrepreneurship and using technology to solve social issues and improve the world. 


Humanoid Robotics: The Convergence of Machine Vision, Motion Control, and AI | Tuesday, January 16, 2024 - 2:00 PM

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Katie Surkamer

President, 3P Mechatronics Group

I began my career in the motion control industry in 1995 as a talent evaluator with SAMES Association. For over 30 years 800+ engineers have entered the motion control industry. It is my passion to match the best of the best graduating engineers with top notch companies in the industry.  Spending the time with each candidate and learning from them about their journeys and helping them get matched with the best of our clients is what has kept me energized about our business model and the entire industry.  So many engineers I have met from the early days have gone on to run or own their own motion control businesses and that is the greatest reward of all.


Building Your Workforce Pipeline | Tuesday, January 16, 2024 - 3:00 PM

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Kyle Scheele

Kyle Scheele has been called "the patron saint of crazy ideas". Whether he's having a Viking funeral for the regrets of 21,000 people, hosting the world's first fake marathon, or gaining a million TikTok followers in just 25 hours, Kyle is always on the lookout for crazy ideas that produce wildly outsized outcomes.

Over the last decade, his projects have been featured in outlets like Fast Company, WIRED, The Washington Post, Yahoo!, BuzzFeed, UpWorthy, Goalcast, and more. His videos have been viewed over 250 million times, and he has spoken to hundreds of thousands of audience members across the United States. More than anything, Kyle hopes that his story can inspire others to chase their own crazy ideas and become the people they were meant to be.


KEYNOTE: Becoming an Idea Factory | Monday, January 15, 2024 - 6:15 PM

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Martin Buehler

Global Head, Robotics R&D, Johnson & Johnson MedTech

Martin Buehler is Global Head of Robotics R&D for Johnson & Johnson MedTech.

Martin is responsible for leading the end-to-end development for the MONARCH and OTTAVA robotics platforms as well as strategy and innovation cadence across surgical robotics for MedTech. He shapes and drives the innovation strategy for R&D teams across hardware and software and advances a collective vision and tactical program to make medical intervention smarter, less invasive, and more personalized.

Martin has a strong track record of inspirational leadership in technology innovation and a diverse robotics experience across a variety of industry sectors, including medical, industrial, consumer, food, agriculture, logistics, entertainment, and defense. He has technical expertise in the full robotics software and hardware tech stack and the unique ability to lead the design, development and productization of complex, multi-disciplinary systems. Most recently, Martin was the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Wavemaker Labs, a venture studio with startups in food and agriculture. He has held previous senior leadership roles at Creator, Walt Disney Imagineering, Medtronic, Vecna, iRobot, and Boston Dynamics. 

Martin served as robotics professor at McGill University for 12 years, where he held a tenured position. His 130 peer-reviewed publications have been cited over 10,000 times. For his academic and industrial contributions and leadership in robotics, Martin was named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and is a recipient of The Joseph F. Engelberger Award in Technology, one of the most prestigious awards in robotics.  

Martin holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Yale University and completed his postdoctoral work in the Artificial Intelligence Lab at M.I.T.  


Automating the Future: Exploring Emerging Applications in Robotics and Automation | Tuesday, January 16, 2024 - 11:00 AM

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Robert McElmurry

Director of Business Intelligence, Association for Advancing Automation (A3)

Robert McElmurry is the Director of Business Intelligence for the Association for Advancing Automation.   Robert McElmurry is a robotics and automation market expert with over a decade of experience in the industry.  Robert has worked with large robot companies on sales and market strategies. In addition, consulting with dozens of integrators and startups, providing strategic insights and guidance to maximize their success.  In addition to his consulting work, Robert is a seasoned public speaker with 100s of presentations under his belt on topics related to current and future trends in robotics and automation. He is skilled in economic modeling, and market analysis and has been featured as a guest speaker on applied analytics at his alma mater the Broad College of Business.  He is committed to using his expertise to help others succeed and to advance the automation industry.


KEYNOTE: The Latest Automation Statistics, Trends, and Key Market Drivers | Wednesday, January 17, 2024 - 9:45 AM

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Sarah Mendelowitz

Manager, MADE Automation and Robotics, New Balance

Sarah Mendelowitz is the Manager of MADE Automation and Robotics at New Balance. Sarah joined New Balance in 2022, where she is spearheading the effort to design and implement cutting-edge automation solutions within New Balance’s domestic manufacturing facilities. Prior to New Balance, she led engineering teams at two early-stage robotics startups where she focused on taking ideas from the lab and getting them ready for the marketplace. During her early career, Sarah was a design engineer working on robotic, automation, and sensor technologies for a variety of industries. Sarah attended MIT, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering.


Automating the Future: Exploring Emerging Applications in Robotics and Automation | Tuesday, January 16, 2024 - 11:00 AM

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Stephen Fischer

Operations Administrator, Mayo Clinic

Stephen Fischer currently serves as an Operations Administrator for Bold. Forward Unbound. in Rochester. In this role, he helps provide leadership and strategic direction across the program’s facilities, digital, and practice transformation workstreams. He also serves as the administrative lead for the Unbound. Robotics & Automation Steering Group, responsible for setting strategy and scaling robotics and other mechanical systems across the enterprise.

Stephen joined Mayo Clinic as an administrative fellow in 2016 and has supported several areas, including Human Resources, Research Administration, Supply Chain, Mayo Clinic Health System, and General Internal Medicine. Prior to Unbound. in Rochester, Stephen served as an Operations Manager in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology where he supported the outpatient clinics and served as the secretary for the several committees. Additionally, Stephen has helped create new service line integration strategies and previously served as secretary for the Diagnostic Stewardship Group, which was responsible for coordination of COVID-19 testing guidelines across the Midwest practice.

Stephen earned a Master of Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan, and Bachelors of Science in Biology and Biochemistry from Indiana University. He holds the rank of Assistant Professor of Health Care Administration from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.


The Users Speak: The Next Automation Challenges | Wednesday, January 17, 2024 - 11:15 AM