Larry Hornbeck (Keynote)

Professor,  University of Texas at Dallas; TI Fellow Emeritus, Texas Instruments, Oscar® Winner

Larry Hornbeck is the Academy Award-winning inventor of the digital micromirror device (DMD), a high-speed, spatial light modulator (SLM) that modulates light with the precision of time division, a unique characteristic of this game-changing technology. Known commercially as the DLP® chip, the DMD is the basis for disruptive innovations by Texas Instruments across a wide range of display and non-display applications that include digital cinema, pico-projection, maskless lithography, 3D printing, automotive HUD systems and 3D machine vision.

Hornbeck holds the foundational patents for the architecture, addressing, manufacturing and surface passivation of DMD technology including the seminal patent for his 1987 invention of the digital micromirror device, U.S. Patent 5,061,049, Spatial Light Modulator and Method. Altogether he holds thirty-eight U.S. patents in DMD (34), CCD (3) & IR (1) detector array technologies.

Hornbeck graduated from Case Western Reserve University in early 1974 with a Ph.D. in solid-state physics. He joined the Central Research Laboratories of Texas Instruments in late 1973.  He worked as an individual contributor his entire career, advancing on TI’s technical ladder as a Senior Member Technical Staff (1983) and TI Fellow (1993). He retired from TI in December 2016 and joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Dallas in early 2017. He is a professor in the Materials Science & Engineering Department, leading the Center for Digital MEMS, the first university research center to focus on Hornbeck’s pioneering technology.

Hornbeck is Member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the following professional societies: Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE). For his pioneering work he has received more than thirty national & international awards & honors, including an Academy Award of Merit (Oscar statuette) from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in 2015.

Maxim Jago (Keynote)

Award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, futurist & public speaker

Maxim Jago is a regular speaker at film festivals and media technology conferences, including Cannes, Sundance, Raindance, NAB, IBC, Adobe Max and BVE.

Maxim consults as a futurist for several media technology companies, describing future technologies, social change, the use of media technology for storytelling, and future social paradigms. He is CIO for FilmDoo, the online film distribution company, and is as a director he’s developing four feature film projects, including several VR elements.

He is an Adobe Master Trainer and the author of the official Adobe Premiere Pro Classroom in a Book (used by film schools all over the world), an Avid Certified Instructor and EDIUS Master Trainer. He creates official training tutorials Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro, and writes the official classroom book for Grass Valley EDIUS – he has created over 1,800 video tutorials describing post-production workflows.

Maxim is Chief Futurist at GameFace Labs, developing next-generation VR experiences. He lives mostly in the air but officially calls London, England home.

Steve Sasson (Keynote)

Inventor of the digital camera
National Medal of Technology and Innovation laureate
Formerly Kodak

Known as the father of the digital camera, Steve Sasson began working on the design, construction, and demonstration of the first digital still camera after joining Kodak in 1973. In 1975, his first prototype recorded a black and white image onto a cassette tape. During the 1980s, Sasson also served as a group leader and contributor for a number of other digital imaging projects at Kodak, including an image transmission system and the first megapixel digital still camera utilizing image compression and image storage to digital memory cards.

His invention of the digital camera was the catalyst for the way we use and implement photography and photos for both social and business purposes, in the modern age.

Sasson holds 10 key patents in the field of digital imaging. In November 2009, President Barack Obama presented Sasson with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to scientists, engineers, and inventors. Sasson was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2011. Recently, the Smithsonian acquired Sasson’s prototype of the first digital camera for display at the National Museum of American History.

Today, Sasson consults on intellectual property issues associated with digital photography.

Chef Patrick Stark (Keynote)

Philanthropist, Chef, Musician, Mohawk Madman

Seen on Cutthroat Kitchen (twice), ReWrapped, ABC’s The Taste, and Mystery Diners.

Patrick is the founder of the Mohawk Militia, a 5013C Charity focusing on the importance of clean NON-GMO food, that teaches and employs US Vets to grow healthy organic food. He is also the creator and owner of Tac-Zillas in Deep Ellum and the band “The SoundBites“.

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Featured Presenters

Natalia Baklitskaya

CAD Infrastructure Software Engineer as part of a Design Automation team at Intel PSG (formerly Altera)

Natalia is a Maker, and she loves playing with connected, wearable electronics and software, learning by doing, and sharing her love of electronics and code with the world. For the past 3 years, she has been teaching Arduino and Wearables workshops for high school female students in the Bay Area through programs sponsored by SWE and other organizations, and more advanced workshops within companies and at external events. Natalia develops curriculum to inspire makers from all generations and trains teaching assistants to increase the availability of STEM and maker program. Natalia has been very involved in the IEEE community since her college days and has served as Chair of the Santa Clara Valley Women in Engineering (SCV WIE) board. SCV WIE facilitates the personal and professional growth of women in technology in the Bay Area through tech talks, workshops, networking and professional development events, among many other initiatives.

Ajay Bhargava

CEO of Analytics Advisory Group

Ajay has more than 28 years of industry, research, and teaching experience in the areas relating to databases, enterprise data management, data warehousing, business intelligence, operations research, advanced analytics (data and text), NLP, AI, IoT, and Big Data. He has also contributed to SQL, ODBC, and IDAPI database standards.

Over the years, he has provided business and technology-oriented strategic thinking, advising, management consulting, and built customer-centric solutions. From 2010 till 2014, Ajay incubated and built a highly customer-focused, Global, Analytics & Big Data practice for TCS. His analytics-driven teams built and delivered IP-based, market differentiating solutions and services for Insurance & Healthcare customers to derive actionable value and outcomes. Prior to this, he built TCS’s global Enterprise Data Management practice. Internally, his team built & delivered competency plans and training curriculum in data and advanced analytics, benefitting 3500+ associates in 40+ countries.

Ajay has frequently spoken at industry conferences, webinars, authored whitepapers, articles, and has driven thought leadership globally in the Data industry to prospects, customers, industry groups, analysts, peers, and academia. He has also won numerous industry accolades and awards. Ajay has been an Adjunct Faculty at The University of Texas (Analytics, Database Design, and Data Mining etc.), College of Engineering Pune, and continues to give back to the community. He has also taught in the McCombs School of Business and guest-lectured in Graduate level classes in Executive MBA & Data Mining courses.

He currently teaches for various corporate clients as well as various industry-specific online courses in Analytics related to Retail, Insurance, and IoT. As a mentor & coach, Ajay continues to regularly guide students and professionals in the field of STEM, Engineering, Data & Analytics. Ajay is a TOGAF certified enterprise architect and holds an M.S. in Computer Science and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Texas at Arlington. He obtained his B.Tech. in Aeronautical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (I.I.T.), Mumbai, in 1984.

About Analytics Advisory Group

Analytics Advisory Group improves business outcomes by providing valuable services and industry solutions anchored in Analytics. Using an analytical approach, and cultivating a continuous-improvement, analytics-driven culture, they make a positive impact to leverage maximum value for businesses.

Chelsea Collier

Digi.City, Smart Cities Connect, Impact Hub (Austin), Texans for Economic Progress, Eisenhower Fellow (2016);

Chelsea fosters collaboration between the public and private sectors to solve civic challenges, leveraging her experience in tech, policy, social impact, civic engagement, and entrepreneurship.

Chelsea is the Founder of Digi.City, Editor-At-Large for Smart City Connect, Senior Advisor for Texans for Economic Progress, and Co-Founder of Impact Hub Austin, one of 84 community spaces around the world committed to social and civic good. She is also a contributor to where she writes about innovation and smart cities.

As a Zhi-Xing Eisenhower Fellow (2016) Chelsea traveled to China to study smart city innovation. She continues to build upon her knowledge of digital cities with recent travels and exploration of smart city strategies in Singapore, Manchester (UK) and Barcelona.

Chelsea is active in her local and state community and serves on the St Edwards’ University’s Dean’s Advisory Council, is Member of the Austin Forum Technology Impact Advisory Board and is a founding Board Member of the Austin Technology Alliance and the Austin Technology Council’s Policy Collation. From 2013 – 2015, she served as Vice Chair and Commissioner for the City of Austin Community Technology & Telecommunications Commission.

Chelsea is an Austin Under 40 Award recipient in Science & Technology (2015), a graduate of the Leadership Austin Essentials Class (2010) and has masters and bachelor degrees in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin.

Bryan Cover

Intel’s Progammable Solutions Group

Bryan Cover is a Strategic Technical Manager of the Customer Experience Group within Intel’s Programmable Solutions Group. He is leading a team of Application Engineers and defining customers’ use of Intel FPGAs in Autonomous Driving and Deep Learning applications.

Prior to joining Intel in 2015, Bryan has held several engineering positions, mainly within the field of embedded software. He has contributed to successful product launches at Juniper Networks, IBM, and Lutron Electronics.

Bryan volunteers his time for many initiatives and groups in the community including Toastmasters International, IEEE Santa Clara Valley Women in Engineering, and the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Bryan received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University in 2008.

Shawn Davis

Applications Engineering Director for broadcast products at Silicon Labs
Founding Member of UT’s Gigglepants

Shawn Davis believes in the value of being a generalist and has professionally strived to be someone who has experience in many areas.  He studied at a public domestic university (UT-Austin) and a private international university (Bond-Australia), held previous jobs in government agencies (Los Alamos National Lab, NASA) and private industry (Schlumberger, Microsoft), and has worked at/with companies all over the world.  Shawn is currently the Applications Engineering Director for broadcast products at Silicon Labs where he is creating hardware and software solutions that enable the next generation of automotive radio.

Shawn also balances his technical side with a passion for improvisational comedy and has spent nearly twenty years learning, practicing, and performing this craft.  Shawn was a founding member of ‘Gigglepants’ at the University of Texas and is currently a performing member of ComedySportz Austin.  He is eager to share how the art of improvisation can be applied to other collaborative efforts like engineering…and to make you laugh.

Donna Fernandez

Project Engineer, Operations Business Unit, New York Power Authority

Donna Fernandez was born in Panama and immigrated to the United States at the age of 5. With her mother unable to raise her and her sister, she was placed in the Foster Care system, after which she was eventually placed with a Puerto Rican family in the Bronx. Religion, hard work and the importance of education were strictly reinforced in her new home. Donna received a scholarship to Union College in Schenectady New York where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 2004.

Donna began her career as Associate in Con Edison’s Management GOLD Program and served in varying capacities including Operating Supervisor for the Gas division, Maintenance Manager supervising the maintenance and repair of 54 Traction Power Substations for the MTA Long Island Railroad. She then turned to Project Management, installing substations for the MTA Long Island Rail Road and the Port Authority of NY & NJ. She is now a Project Manager at New York Power Authority overseeing the construction of High Voltage Substations and Transmission Power Plant upgrades across New York State.

Donna is involved in several community-based initiatives that focus on providing food, clothing & career training to the less fortunate. She is also passionate about bringing awareness to the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the STEM fields and is a member of a few organizations including the IEEE-USA Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Courtney A. Gras

Innovation Consultant

Courtney is an engineer by training and an entrepreneur by nature. After leaving her job as a power systems engineer at NASA to work for her own startup company, she discovered a passion for helping others discover how they can be more entrepreneurial in their careers.

Courtney co-founded the Akron-based clean energy startup, Design Flux Technologies as an undergraduate student studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Akron. While serving as Chief Operations Officer Courtney was named a “Forbes 30 Under 30” in 2016. She has also been named to the “Top 40 Under 40” in Cleantech by Midwest Energy News, one of Crain’s Business “Twenty in their 20s” and received the ComEd Female Founder Prize in 2015.

After spending 7 years with her startup company, Courtney decided to fully-commit her career to supporting startup companies. She has previously served as Executive Director for Launch League, a local startup community, and most recently as Program Director for Bounce – Northeast Ohio’s first Open Innovation Hub.

Courtney loves sharing her stories of founding a company, discovering the entrepreneur mindset, and finding a fulfilling career. She has traveled around the globe speaking at venues such as TED Budapest, the Pioneers Festival in Vienna Austria, and the IEEE WIE International Women’s Leadership Conference in Silicon Valley. She is also author of the book “Entrepreneur is a Verb” – a book on applying the entrepreneur mindset to find career success.


Renee Jaikaran

ConEdison – Senior Planning Analyst: Substation Planning, Central Operations Planning

Renee Jaikaran, a first-generation American was born and raised in the South Bronx, New York. Renee grew up in a diverse household with Dominican, West Indian, and American influences. Renee Jaikaran graduated from Asa. Philip Randolph high school on the campus of City College of New York, then obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Managerial Economics with a Spanish Minor, from Union College and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Mercy College and recently a Construction Project Management Certificate, from The Mechanics Institute. Renee has worked in the Utility industry for over 14 years, holding positions of increasing responsibility at Con Edison Company in New York in Customer Operations, Finance Operations, and Corporate Accounting and Substation Operations.

Renee is a founding member of the American Association of Latinos in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math – AALSTEM. Renee loves her Community and strives to promote education, develop others and give back to her community. Volunteers for mentors, youth, and professionals.

Michael B. Junge

Author, Talent Acquisition Expert

Michael B. Junge is the author of Purple Squirrel, a recognized leader in the field of recruiting and talent acquisition, and a coach who specializes in teaching the art and science of attracting world-class career opportunities. He currently leads talent acquisition and human resources for a top quantitative hedge fund, and was previously an MVP and Top Performer award winner in the recruiting organization at Google. Over the past 15+ years, Michael has helped countless people land jobs at companies that include Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, GE, Disney, Microsoft, Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Boeing, Nestle, and other leading employers. His articles and advice have been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, Pop Sugar, Brazen Careerist, Life Hacker, and more. He lives with his family in Southern California, where he also writes books about magic and adventure.

Krenar Komoni

Founder and CEO, Tive

Krenar Komoni is the founder and CEO of Tive, a Boston-based startup that uses cellular-connected sensors and a cloud-based software platform to give manufacturers real-time visibility into their supply chain.

With over ten years of experience developing innovative chips and RF systems, Krenar has worked at a variety of startups in the wireless chip space, consulted for Fortune 500 companies on-chip and system-level wireless design, and filed several patents. In engineering roles with BitWave Semiconductor and Eta Devices, Krenar was responsible for design and development of a variety of novel RF architectures, chipsets and components. Krenar has extensive expertise on chip development toolsets from the inception of an idea and all the way to the realization of the final product.

Krenar earned his MS in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University and his BS in Computer Engineering and Mathematics from Norwich University, where he served as President of the Tau Beta Bi Association Vermont Beta Chapter, President of the Norwich IEEE Student Branch, and Support Coordinator for the IEEE Region 1 Student Activities Committee.

Guru Madhavan

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Guru Madhavan is a biomedical engineer and senior policy adviser at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. His portfolio of work has included leading: a global health program on infectious diseases, the creation of a decision support platform to help prioritize new vaccine development, the analyses and recommendations for making prescription medicines affordable in the United States, and the research for a national strategy for cancer control. He has served as a technical adviser to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and has been a strategic consultant for technology startup firms and nonprofit organizations. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and an M.B.A. from the State University of New York. He has worked in the medical device industry as a research scientist developing cardiac surgical catheters for ablation therapy and has advised the development and testing of neuromuscular stimulators for improving blood circulation.

Madhavan has served as a vice-president and member of the board of directors of IEEE-USA. A founding member of the Global Young Academy and a fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts, his honors include the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation’s AAMI–Becton Dickinson Award for Professional Achievement, the IEEE–USA Professional Achievement Award, and the Washington Academy of Sciences’ Krupsaw Award for engineering sciences and education. He has also received the inaugural Innovator Award and the Cecil Medal from the presidents of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. He has been named a distinguished young scientist by the World Economic Forum. He has co-edited seven books and is the author of Applied Minds: How Engineers Think (W.W. Norton) that has been translated into numerous languages.

Photo by Diana Lewkowicz

Chris Mahoney

Creative Technologist

Fjord Austin, Abstractron Games

Chris Mahoney is an Austin-based a creative technologist with a background spanning data migration, software development and design, and augmented/virtual reality systems. He believes strongly in self-directed, independent studies and mentorship as keys to success while getting started in technology fields.

Chris is a Senior XR Developer at Fjord Austin, and in his spare time develops novel game experiences as founder and developer of Abstractron Games.

Hannah Rose Marie

Wardrobe Stylist

Hannah Rose Marie is a prominent Wardrobe Stylist. Her expertise includes everything from knowing how to dress one’s body type, to knowing what is fashion-forward and acceptable in the workplace. She is a personal shopper and stylist for professional men and women across the country. Her clientele includes high profile clients in the music, film, and sports industry.

Hannah Rose Marie is recognized for being associated with the Fashion Industry since 2010. She chose to advance her education in fashion at her Alma Mater—Louisiana State University. On top of currently being the Creative Director for a New Orleans based apparel company, ‘Enjoy The Journey’,  she is also styling for television—with her first SAG project under her belt.

Visit her website:

Nancy R. Martin

Leadership Expert, Consultant, Retired General Electric Executive

Nancy is a retired executive from General Electric, and most recently led technical education for the company. She currently owns her own consulting company.

During her 35-year GE career, she held 17 jobs, mostly in engineering leadership, and was the head of the 94-year-old Edison Engineering program – an entry-level program for 1000 engineers and scientists around the globe. She was proud of all her program members and especially pleased to have hired gender balanced employees into STEM roles for 3 consecutive years.

She has two children, Jill and Jeff, and is married to a very supportive husband, Dave.

Nancy’s role models growing up were her mother, who was unconditionally supportive; and her math teacher, Mr. Arnold – who instilled a love of math when it wasn’t cool for girls to like math, and who supported her dreams of furthering her education in a town where less than 20% attended college.

Her fictional role model is Cindy Lou Who, who Nancy believes played an essential role in bringing out the Grinch’s humanity.

She has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Clarkson University and a graduate degree in electrical engineering from Syracuse University.

She is an emoticon enthusiast and her hobbies include running and doing the laundry.

Christiane Michaelis

Founder, The Dirty Easel

Christiane Michaelis is an expert on the subject of creativity. She studies the subject, speaks publicly about its benefits in the working world, and demonstrates it through her company, The Dirty Easel.

Businesses that fail to innovate will become obsolete. Companies that build a culture of innovation find themselves on the path to growth. Christiane founded The Dirty Easel to help organizations use their creative muscle to innovate and drive growth.

Through The Dirty Easel, she conducts team building workshops in which she uses experiential painting as a tool to stimulate the creative process. The painting experience helps people understand how to work creativity — both alone and in teams.

Twitter: @DirtyEasel
Instagram: @dirty_easel

Mike Mournighan

Power Applications & Systems Engineer at Silicon Labs

Mike has improvised or studied with Comedysportz NYC, Comedysportz ATX, the New Movement Theatre (Fallout), and MC Harold: an improv comedy hip-hop group. He finds a special reward in building something from nothing as part of a team, even if it only lasts a few moments (or 16 bars).

Professionally, he is a power applications & systems engineer at Silicon Labs in downtown Austin, TX working on a breadth of products and firmware in high-power markets. Annually, he provides a scholarship to a first-generation college bound student from rural New York. He also takes part in Silicon Labs’ giving culture by joining Habitat for Humanity builds whenever possible.

Before Austin, Mike was in NYC working for semiconductor startup, Ferric, Inc, after studying electrical engineering and embedded systems at Columbia University where he chaired the IEEE student chapter.

Kevin Noertker

Co-founder and CEO, Ampaire

Kevin Noertker graduated with honors from Caltech in 2009 with a B.S. in engineering. Kevin spent seven years in aerospace R&D and program management at Northrop Grumman, running multi-million dollar programs and developing and fielding advanced aircraft and satellite technologies. He has a proven track record for initiating and delivering innovative technical solutions, building and motivating teams, and optimizing systems. He now runs Ampaire, an aerospace startup based in Los Angeles that’s developing electric airplanes. Ampaire is nearly two years old and enables Kevin to combine his technical and management skills with his entrepreneurial vision, love for the outdoors, and passion for things that fly.

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