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Notes From the Front Speakers

Notes From the Front Speakers


Richard Arthur

Sr. Principal Engineer, Advanced Computational Methods Research / Sr. Director, Digital Engineering / HPC Exponential Program– GE Research

Richard Arthur (Rick) leads pathfinding efforts in applying computational methods at GE Research, supporting products and services that spanned diverse industrial sectors such as healthcare, air and rail transportation, media, finance, defense and energy. Rick represents GE in government policy and project discussions, including as co-chair of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness Advanced Computing Roundtable and on the Department of Energy’s Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee. He holds a B.S. and M. Eng. In Computer Engineering and an MBA and is a Senior Member of ACM.

Topic: A vision for engineering


Mark Meili

Owner/Founder– Modeling Enabled Innovation, Leadership, & Insight

Mark Meili held a variety of technical and management positions in both R&D and Product Supply Engineering within Procter & Gamble. Most recently he led Modeling & Simulation as a capability for the Corporation as well as Product and Package data systems spanning both organizations and technical work processes from research to commercialization to supply chain operation. Mark owned innovation strategy for these tools and methods as well as the computing hardware and software strategies that enables them. Mark received Bachelor of Science degrees from Kansas State University, one in Mechanical Engineering and one in Grain Science & Industry.

Mark served in the U.S. Department of Energy’s ExaScale Computing Project Industrial Advisory Board and currently serves the NAFEMS ASSESS Business Challenges Theme Committee. Mark has contributed to a Visioning Workshop with the National Science Foundation and a National Academy of Engineering workshop to accelerate Commercialization of U.S. Government sponsored research.

Mark now consults and does keynote speaking for a variety of for profit and nonprofit organizations on topics ranging from the benefits of Digital Transformation to Innovation, to applied problem solving.

Topic: Making the business case for simulation


Gene Allen

Principal – Decision Incite

Mr. Allen retired from the Navy civil service in 2017 to pursue efforts to use emerging technologies to ensure future economic opportunity is broadly available. He has a specific focus on simulation-supported experiential learning to support workforce development. This is based on the results of establishing and managing collaborative R&D programs to use computers to conduct better engineering since 1987, including: the DARPA Initiative in Concurrent Engineering as Senator Byrd’s Economic Development and Defense Procurement Assistant, the NIST ATP co-funded Rapid Response Manufacturing Program as NCMS Director for Collaborative Development, and the DARPA co-funded Robust Design Computational System while with MSC Software. His book, Collaborative R&D – Manufacturing’s New Tool, co-authored with Rick Jarman, captures the methods and processes used to establish and execute successful collaborative efforts. Mr. Allen established Decision Incite in 2008 to broadly deploy stochastic simulation working with MSC Software, IBM, Engineous, and Ontonix. He returned to the Navy in 2009, where he established and led a team to capture the ship design process while at NSWC Carderock. In 2013 he took a position with the Ohio Replacement/Columbia Class SSBN Acquisition Program at NAVSEA to coordinate life-cycle application of the program’s Integrated Product Development Environment. Mr. Allen’s experience with workforce development is from training nuclear propulsion teams as the Reactor Training Assistant on USS ARKANSAS, CGN-41, after participating in construction, testing, and operations as a U.S. Naval officer.Mr. Allen has a degree in Nuclear Engineering from MIT.He is currently the President of the MIT Club of Washington.He retired from the Navy Reserve as a Commander in 1999.He co-owns a patent with Dr. Jacek Marczyk on using fuzzy cognitive maps to display Monte Carlo simulation results.

Topic: The strong engineering culture needed to best use simulation


Dr. Mark Shephard

Johnson Professor of Engineering/Director of the Scientific Computation Research Center – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Mark S. Shephard is the Samuel A. and Elisabeth C. Johnson, Jr. Professor of Engineering, and the director of the Scientific Computation Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He holds joint appointments in the departments of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering and Computer Science. Dr. Shephard has published over 250 papers on the development of advanced mesh-based simulation technologies. He is a past President of the US Association for Computational Mechanics. He is editor of Engineering with Computers, an associate editor for the SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing and on the editorial board of six computational mechanics journals. He was a co-founder of Simmetrix Inc., a company dedicated to the technologies that enable simulation-based engineering.

Topic: Technologies to Meet Fusion Energy Industry’s Simulation Needs


Gavin Streather

Director Engineering Processes and Services– GKN Automotive

Current responsibility: Knowledge Management, CAE, CAD, Prototype and Test for the Driveline Business Unit.

Experience: GKN Automotive (Auburn Hills, MI - 29 yrs.)

  • Engineering Director Propshaft Product Development
  • Regional Engineering Technology, Associate Director
  • Manager Test Engineering Execution
  • Senior Applications Engineer
  • Propshaft Development Engineer (UK based)
  • Engineering Graduate Development Scheme Member (UK/Germany based)


Ford Motor Company (3 yrs.) Engineering Graduate Trainee

Loughborough University (UK - 1989 – 1993) BEng, Manufacturing Engineering and Management

Topic: How to move from simulation to reduce physical testing to simulation to replace physical testing?


Dr. Olivia Pinon-Fischer

Senior Research Engineer – Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL)’s Digital Engineering Division

Dr. Olivia Pinon Fischer is a Senior Research Engineer within the School of Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she leads the Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL)’s Digital Engineering Division. In her current position, Dr. Pinon Fischer leads and manages multi-disciplinary research teams in the fields of digital engineering, digital twins & ecosystems, model-based systems engineering, and ML/AI. Dr. Pinon Fischer is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a member of AIAA’s Digital Engineering Integration Committee, Design Engineering Technical Committee, and Air Transportation System Technical Committee. She also supports AIAA’s Transformative System Engineering Task Force towards its goal to transform government and industry system engineering approach and practices. She is a member of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS) Programme Committee and a member of NAFEMS’ Engineering Data Science Working Group. Finally, she serves as a liaison between AIAA and the OMG Digital Twin Consortium (OMG DTC) and is an active member of its Aerospace & Defense Working Group.

Topic: Implementation of UMC4ES efforts at ASDL


Dr. Alexander Karl

Associate Fellow for Robust Design and Systems Engineering –Rolls Royce

Alexander holds a PhD and MSc in Aerospace technology from the University of Stuttgart in Germany. He has 23+ years of work experience with Rolls-Royce. During this period Alexander was working in several major sites and sectors (Dahlewitz, Derby and Indianapolis). Alexander’s background is thermo-mechanical analysis but for the last 20+ years Alexander is working actively in the area of multi-disciplinary optimization, Robust Design (Design for Six Sigma) and Systems Engineering. His main focus is the application of these tools, methods and processes to real engineering challenges. Alexander is also an active member of NAFEMS promoting a wider application of these methods, processes and tools.

Topic: Best practices for enhancing engineering simulation business impact


Dr. Carmen Torres-Sanchez

Multifunctional Materials Manufacturing Lab– Loughborough University

Carmen Torres-Sanchez PhD CEng FHEA MIMechE leads the Multifunctional Materials Manufacturing Lab at Loughborough University, England (UK). Her work sits at the interface of mechanical, chemical, bio-engineering, materials science and embedded intelligence. Her multidisciplinary lab works in the design, manufacture and validation (both in- and ex-silico) of structures and materials with coupled functionalities (e.g., structural and biological; acoustic and lightweight). Close collaboration with industry has seen her innovations applied in sectors such as Automotive, Food Technology and Medical devices.

Topic: Design for multifunctionality: we know a lot and we know very little


Jillian Steffek

Modeling and Simulation – Oshkosh

Jill has an engineering background in Materials Engineering. She began her career as a Materials and Process Engineer, working at John Deere and Oshkosh Corporation where she was responsible for conducting failure analysis, material selection, application and process and procedure development. Jill transitioned into engineering management, first leading the finite element analysis team before leading the modeling and simulation team at Oshkosh. Throughout her career Jill has been a passionate advocate for STEM engagement in students and their parents. She has held numerous roles within the Society of Women Engineers at the local and regional level. Jill is an advocate for diversity within STEM careers and was a founding leader of the Oshkosh Corporation Women’s Network and the Oshkosh Corporation Women in Product Development internal group. Jill has a BS in Materials and Process Engineering and a MS in Mechanical Engineering - Polymer Science both from the University of Wisconsin Madison and a MS in Engineering Management from Milwaukee School of Engineering. She spends her free time with her husband, Mike, and her two young kids.

Topic: Simulation validation and verification challenges


Roger Keene

Roger Keene is a mechanical engineer and was Vice President, SIMULIA Worldwide Sales and Operations prior to his retirement from Dassault Systemes in 2018. Roger is currently the Chair of the ASSESS Business Theme Committee and also facilitates a peer group for senior executives.

Topic: Best Practices for Enhancing Engineering Simulation Business Impact



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