Keynote Speakers


Whurley is founder and CEO of Strangeworks, a quantum computing startup that makes the power of quantum computing easily accessible and available to all. He is an Eisenhower Fellow, A Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Chairman of the Quantum Computing Standards Workgroup at the IEEE, the first Ambassador to CERN and Society, a regular contributor to TechCrunch on the topic of Quantum Computing, and the co-author of “Quantum Computing For Babies”. Prior to starting Strangeworks he was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs [NYSE: GS]. He came to Goldman Sachs via the acquisition of his second startup, Honest Dollar. Prior to Honest Dollar whurley founded Chaotic Moon Studios which was acquired by Accenture [NYSE: ACN]

Tamara Dull

Tamara Dull is a Principal Open Source Technologist at Amazon Web Services in Los Angeles, focusing on enterprise blockchain technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT). Her biggest working IoT demo is her smart home; it’s still a work in progress. Tamara began her high-tech journey long before the internet was born, and has held technical, executive and marketing positions for a variety of technology vendors, consultancies, and nonprofits. When she’s not speaking, writing, or geeking out on emerging tech, you’ll find Tamara helping shelter dogs find their forever homes with Outta the Cage, a nonprofit she cofounded.

Keynote: How Blockchain-y Are You? Test Your Enterprise Blockchain IQ

On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you understand blockchain technologies? If you answered 7 or less, then this presentation is for you. The reality is that even though there have been many well-meaning attempts to explain blockchain – largely focused around Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investing – many of us still don’t get it. During this fast-paced, interactive presentation, we’ll take a journey through today’s enterprise blockchain landscape and test your blockchain smarts along the way. Some of the questions we’ll discuss are: What is enterprise blockchain? What’s the difference between DLT (distributed ledger technology) and blockchain? How do the four types of blockchain compare – public, private, permissionless, and permissioned? Do you even need a blockchain? If you’d like to understand blockchain well enough to explain it to a 5th grader or even your professor or boss, we’ve got a seat saved especially for you.

Session Speakers

Dr. Tekin Meriçli

Tekin Meriçli, Ph.D. is a co-founder and the CTO of Locomation. Prior to Locomation, he was a Special Faculty – Commercialization Specialist at the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) of Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute where he was also a Senior Robotics Engineer. Since 2003, Dr. Meriçli has been practicing systems engineering across a wide variety of robots and systems including autonomous and semi-autonomous ground vehicles, mapping, state estimation, and operator assist systems, perception and motion planning for ground and aerial robots, industrial automation and process improvement, wheeled tour guide and service robots, intelligent assistive robotic manipulators and search and rescue robots, and various legged robots. He also has over 40 publications in the areas of robotics and computer sciences, including best paper award recipients.

Session: Autonomous transportation: One step at a time

Long-haul trucking is one particular industry that currently faces serious and pressing challenges like driver shortage, and autonomous driving can help alleviate that pain. We founded Locomation with the vision of developing safe and robust commercial-grade autonomous driving technologies. Given the founders’ over a century long collective experience in building and deploying autonomous systems, we know that full autonomy in real world settings is a very long tailed problem. That is why we are starting with Autonomous Relay Convoying (ARC), which virtually connects two trucks together, keeping an active driver in the lead truck and allowing autonomous technology to operate the follower truck. The lead driver acts as an environmental filter to the autonomy system on the follower truck, greatly reducing the complexity it needs to handle. With the second driver taking mandated rest, twice as much freight volume is transported per driver shift. ARC will be deployed much sooner than fully autonomous trucks, penetrate the market much faster, and will be the first step towards achieving full autonomy.

Tim Worboys

Tim Worboys received his BASc in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Canada before starting his career at LinkedIn in 2012. Tim has worked at LinkedIn through its hyper-growth phase between 2012 and present where the number of employees grew from 2,100 to 9,200 in only four years. During this time he grew from an entry level Software Engineer to his current role as Sr Manager, Software Engineering. His team focuses on driving productivity on top of LinkedIn’s private cloud and Azure as well as driving knowledge sharing at scale across the company.

Tim is passionate about leadership and management and enjoys speaking and writing about these topics as well mentoring and helping people to grow their careers. Tim has held several positions in the IEEE including Vice Chair, Leadership and Training for the Young Professionals and his current roles as Region 6 – Central Area Chair, and Social Media Chair for the Communications Committee of the IEEE-USA. In his spare time, you can find Tim hiking, snorkeling, kayaking or whitewater rafting.

Session: LinkedIn’s Journey to Developer Agility and Productivity

In 2011 releasing a version of LinkedIn was hard. Releases happened once every two weeks and took a significant amount of time to do. 50% of the time the release of the site would fail leaving new product launches unreleased and engineers unhappy and discouraged. In 2011, we hit a tipping point and decided it was time to seriously invest in this problem. We stopped all product development in the company and invested in [in]Version – a way to exponentially improve developer productivity and allow us to more rapidly release. In this talk we’ll talk about [in]Version and how we changed development at LinkedIn to allow for our economies of scale, but how we’ve made other drastic changes to our deployment cadence through information, modeling, and automation to empower our engineers to go wicked fast.

Joe Decuir

Joe Decuir had contributed in diverse technologies, touching many lives.  He worked in medical electronics, video games, personal computers and network communications. He is an IEEE Fellow, cited for contributions to personal computer graphics and video games. He has been writing public engineering standards for connectivity in mass market products, including modems, USB and Bluetooth.  He supports IEEE in humanitarian technologies, including a new standard for DC Microgrids.  In his encore career, he teaches engineering

Tom Coughlin

Tom Coughlin, President, Coughlin Associates is a widely respected digital storage analyst as well as business and technology consultant. He has over 35 years in the data storage industry with multiple engineering and management positions at high profile companies.

Dr. Coughlin has many publications and six patents to his credit. Tom is also the author of Digital Storage in Consumer Electronics: The Essential Guide, which was published by Newnes Press. Coughlin Associates provides market and technology analysis as well as Data Storage Technical and Business Consulting services. Tom publishes the Digital Storage Technology Newsletter, the Media and Entertainment Storage Report, the Emerging Non-Volatile Memory Report and other industry reports. Tom is also a regular contributor on digital storage for Forbes.com and other blogs.

Tom is active with SMPTE, SNIA, the IEEE (he is Director for IEEE Region 6 and active in the Consumer Electronics Society where he is chairman of the Future Directions Committee) and other professional organizations. Tom is the founder and organizer of the Annual Storage Visions Conference (www.storagevisions.com), a partner to the International Consumer Electronics Show, as well as the Creative Storage Conference (www.creativestorage.org). He is the general chairman of the annual Flash Memory Summit. He is a Senior member of the IEEE, Leader in the Gerson Lehrman Group Councils of Advisors and a member of the Consultants Network of Silicon Valley (CNSV). For more information on Tom Coughlin and his publications go to www.tomcoughlin.com.

Dr. Nereida Rodriguez-Alvarez

Dr. Nereida Rodriguez-Alvarez is currently a scientist within the Planetary Radar and Radio Science group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology. She got her Ph.D. in Telecommunications, specializing in passive remote sensing applications, from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya. She has more than a decade experience in bistatic radar using signals of opportunity and the development of retrieval algorithms for Earth science. She was a post-doctoral researcher at the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University and was part of the science team of the CYclone Global Navigation Satellite Systems (CYGNSS) NASA Earth Venture mission for more than two and a half years. She has also engaged entrepreneurial activities several times along her scientific career.

Dr. Rodriguez-Alvarez interests are focused on using signals of opportunity to improve the remote sensing of wetlands, polar sea ice, crop growth and floods. Rodriguez-Alvarez has been recently awarded to lead the 2019 Blue Sky Study “The Feasibility of Using Near-Earth Objects as Transportation Vehicles for Strategic Small Low-Cost Sensing Instruments”. She extends her research activities into the planetary radar field by exploring the use of astrophysical radio sources as signals of opportunity to sense planets, moons and asteroids. 

Dr. Rodriguez-Alvarez is the recipient of a NASA Early Career Public Achievement Award in 2019. She is an IEEE senior member. She serves as technical reviewer of the IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing (TGRS), IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters (GRSL), IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing (JSTARS), and Remote Sensing MDPI journal. She is guest editor of a special issue in Remote Sensing MDPI journal. She is also part of the editorial board of Remote Sensing MDPI ‘Engineering Remote Sensing’ section

Session: Signals of Opportunity in Earth and Planetary Science

Signals of opportunity has proven an excellent tool to increase our knowledge in many Earth related natural phenomena. While I introduce the topic and its potential, the talk will focus on how my research expanded to bring innovation to the field.

Fawzi Behmann

Fawzi Behmann held various executive and leadership positions with Tier 1 companies in the areas of communications and networking in Canada and US. He championed the development of Telecom Network Management systems, led efforts in rolling out product releases for network edge and core switch and marketed SoC product line and roadmap. In 2009, Fawzi founded TelNet Management Consulting Inc. offering professional services in the areas of technology positioning, and building smart networking solutions. Fawzi engaged in international forums speaking on disruptive technologies and use cases. Fawzi co-authored a book on Collaborative IoT, and received several awards from Industry and IEEE. Fawzi holds a Bachelor of Science with honors and distinction; Masters in Computer Science and Executive MBA.

Kevin Noertker

Kevin Noertker is Co-Founder and CEO of Ampaire, an aerospace startup based in Los Angeles. Ampaire is on a mission to be the world’s most trusted developer of practical, compelling electric aircraft. The company is building commercial electric planes that are cleaner, quieter, and significantly less costly to operate.

Leading Ampaire enables Kevin to combine his technical and management skills with his entrepreneurial vision, love for the outdoors, and passion for things that fly. He graduated with honors from Caltech, and serves as a Director of the Alumni Association. Prior to Ampaire, Kevin held positions of increasing responsibility in research and development and program management at Northrop Grumman, leading the development and deployment of 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. Kevin is committed to building communities and connecting the world.

Session: Ampaire: Electrifying Aviation

Ampaire today is test flying the world’s largest hybrid-electric plane, with plans to conduct demonstration flights on commuter airline routes in the coming months. The company is on the fast track to introducing, cleaner, quieter, less costly aircraft to benefit airline and general aviation operators, and improve the passenger experience. The future begins with in-service aircraft adapted for electric propulsion and proceeds to exciting new, clean-sheet and high-performance all-electric aircraft. Hear firsthand from Ampaire’s Co-founder and CEO, Kevin Noertker on Ampaire’s vision, plans and industry-leading progress toward making a new era of electric aircraft a reality.

Sonita Lontoh

Sonita Lontoh is the Global Vice President and Head of Marketing of HP Inc.’s 3D Print & Digital Manufacturing. She came to HP from Siemens, the global industrial conglomerate, where she focused on enabling Industrial IoT and Digital Transformation. Sonita has more than 18 years of experience at the intersection of new technology, business models and policy, both at venture-backed Silicon Valley start-ups and Fortune 100 global companies.

Outside of work, Sonita is passionate about advancing more women in technology and in increasing global cross-collaborations in technology between the U.S. and emerging countries. She has been invited by the White House to speak at former President Barack Obama’s Global Innovation Summit and to attend an event honoring AAPI Women Champions of Change. In 2017, Sonita was inducted into the U.S. National Asian American Hall of Fame and MIT listed her as one of its Notable Women Alumni.

Sonita earned her Master of Engineering from MIT, her M.B.A. from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University, and her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Session: Enabling Digital Transformation and Creating Impact

Sonita will share about her work of how disruptive technologies and digital transformation are creating real impacts not only for companies, but more importantly, for customers and society. She will also share about her own personal leadership journey to give perspectives of some of her guiding principles and themes that she hopes will give some insights as the audience think of their own personal leadership journeys.