Speaker line up for the Forum Presentations at the  Materials Innovation & Advanced Technology Leadership Forum



List of speakers for the Presentations at the Materials Innovation & Advanced Technology Leadership Forum.

Adam Rawlett

Senior Research Scientist (ST) - Materials Science


Dr. Adam M. Rawlett was selected for a Senior Research Scientist (ST) position in March 2019. He is serves as the principal scientific leader for the Army's national and international fundamental materials science and engineering research programs as related to weapons, platforms, soldier equipment, and lifecycle affordability across ground, air, and soldier domains.


His personal research includes electro-optical materials research, self-detoxifying surfaces, synthesis of electronic materials, polymers, and nano-materials. After spending 3 years as a research scientist at Motorola’s corporate research and development laboratory in Tempe, AZ, he joined the United States Army Research Laboratory in 2003. He has more than 96 publications, 10 patents, and 7 book chapters.


His research has discovered the first reversible single molecule that demonstrates negative differential resistance (controlled single molecular switching) and true single molecular memory. Furthermore, his research advances have been documented in the New York Times, Houston Chronicle, ABC Nightly News, CNN, US News and World Report, and others and his research recognized as a contributor to Science Magazine’s “Breakthrough of the Year 2001”. His papers have been cited over 9771 times (h-index 30).

Alex Rubin

PSTF-Boeing Research and Technology

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Dr. Alex Rubin is a Principal Senior Technical Fellow in the Boeing Research and Technology (BR&T) organization. He has 35 years of experience in the field of composite and non-metallic materials and structures development and implementation, with the McDonnell Douglas and later the Boeing Company working on a variety of programs in the field of composite materials, structures and manufacturing processes development.


Alex has held various key technology leadership positions and has successfully implemented new composite materials and processes on Boeing military and commercial aircraft programs including: AV-8B, F/A-18, T-45, F-15, F-22, JSF, MA-31, J-UCAS, 787, 737, 777X, MQ-25 and Proprietary Programs. He has over 50 publications in the area of materials and structures, holds more than 30 patents and is a member of SAMPE and Associate Fellow at AIAA.


In his current position Alex is responsible for development of the key technologies necessary for implementation of cost and weight efficient thermoset and thermoplastic composite materials and manufacturing processes for BCA and BDS products and the development of the R&D strategy for Composite Materials and Fabrication Technologies. His responsibilities also include leading mutually beneficial collaborative development projects with multiple R&D partners in the US and abroad.

Avner Ben-Bassat

President & CEO, Plataine

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Avner Ben-Bassat is the President & CEO of Plataine, a leading provider of Industrial IoT and AI-based optimization solutions for complex manufacturing environments.

Avner leads Plataine’s product vision and global business strategy. Plataine’s solutions are used by leading manufacturers worldwide, from OEMs to Tier 2s - including Airbus, GE, Renault F1® Team, Stelia North America, Enercon, Muskogee Technology, IAI, Triumph, General Atomics, Alestis, Ethan Allen and Hengshi.

Plataine partners with SAP, Siemens PLM, Airborne, GE Digital, McKinsey & Company, the British NCC (National Composites Centre), the AMRC (University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre) with Boeing, and CTC-Stade (an Airbus Company), to advance the ‘Factory of the Future’ worldwide. For this work, Plataine has received a Leadership Award from Frost & Sullivan and Innovation Awards from the JEC and CompositesUK organizations, as well as the Shanghai Society of Aeronautics (SSA).

Mr. Ben-Bassat has been invited to speak at over 40 major composites & aerospace related conferences globally in the past 5 years, among which are Airtec, CAMX, SAMPE, JEC World, AeroDef, China Composites Expo and SME. He holds an MBA with distinction from Duke University, and a BSc (Magna Cum Laude) in Mathematics and Computer Sciences from Tel-Aviv University.

Columbia Mishra

Maxar Technologies

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Dr. Columbia Mishra is a Senior Staff Systems Architecture Engineer of Maxar Technologies, Inc. She holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and Columbia received her M.S. and Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech and Jadavpur University. During 15 years of industry and

research experience, Dr. Mishra has developed a deep knowledge of thermal fluids systems, consumer electronics and spacecraft engineering. Columbia designs spacecrafts, specifically NASA's Artemis Mission to the Moon, which will land the first woman and next man on the Moon and establish a permanent human presence in Lunar orbit. Previously Dr. Mishra worked as a Senior Thermal Engineer and in computational photolithography at Intel Corporation. Throughout her career she has worked in varied capacities in diverse technology sectors, including for Apple Inc. in California, Stress Engineering Services in Texas, Makino Asia in Singapore, and Tata Motors in India.


Dr. Mishra currently serves on the CTO Technology Advisory Council of the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE). She has served in multiple leadership roles within the heat transfer community including the Technical Program Chair for the American Society of Mechanical Engineer’s 2020 Summer Heat Transfer Conference. Dr. Mishra’s research has been published in journals such as Nature Materials, Journal of Fluid Mechanics and has been cited over a thousand times. She is a recipient of numerous awards including the 2020 Lakshmi Singh Early Career Leadership Award from the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship. She holds 5 patents pending, 1 granted for her work in thermal architecture and innovation in electronic systems.

Enrique Garcia

National Composites Center

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Enrique has extensive experience in technology strategy and product development working from the nanoscale to the largest structures. He has held senior manager positions in sectors including aerospace, automotive, railway, and renewables. He has focused on the development of design and manufacturing technologies to deliver industrial products with a special emphasis on how Digital Technologies can re-engineer engineering.

With previous work ranging from fundamental research all the way to serial production, Enrique is particularly interested in working closely with academia, government and industry to develop the right strategies to deliver capability and technology at the NCC that bridges the so-called “Valley of Death", transforming bright ideas into successful products.

Hendrik Mainka

Sr. Project Lead and Head of Innovation Hub Knoxville


After finishing his studies of chemical engineering with specialization in molecular and structural product design at the Otto-von-Guericke University in Magdeburg, Germany, Dr. Hendrik Mainka did his dissertation at the University of Bremen Germany in the area of production technologies (Prof. Dr. Axel Herrmann - Faserinstitut Bremen e.V. (FIBRE)) 


In 2011 Dr. Hendrik Mainka started working for Volkswagen AG in the Volkswagen Group Research, department Materials and Manufacturing Processes. The focus of his work was on automotive light weighting and alternative fiber reinforcements. 


Since 2015 he is working for Volkswagen Group of America, where he led the Product Innovation team in Chattanooga, TN from August 2016. 

In January 2020 Dr. Hendrik Mainka became managing director of the Volkswagen Group Innovation Hub Knoxville. Focus of the work is in the area of automotive light weighting using composites, electro-mobility and additive manufacturing. 


Dr. Hendrik Mainka spent one year at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he was involved in the development of cost effective automotive carbon fiber and he currently serves at the Board of Directors for the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).

Javed Fatemi
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Airbus Defence and Space

Javad Fatemi received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University Lyon 1 in France. After his Ph.D., he moved to the Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, where he worked as senior researcher on the development of Finite Element modeling of cancellous human bone using higher order continuum mechanics.


In 2004, he joined Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands. He is AIRBUS expert in composite structures and Systems Engineer for development and qualification of launcher structures. As program technical lead, he has developed technologies for application in thermal protection systems for hypersonic vehicles, and composite technologies for application in launcher structures.


He currently leads the development and implementation of new Engineering processes and methods, which heavily rely on credible simulations for risk-informed engineering decisions and product qualification. The new approach not only results in significant reduction of product development time and cost, but also enables quantification of the design robustness with respect to material and manufacturing uncertainties. Javad has led the development of the inter-stage 1/2 structure of the Vega-C launch vehicle, which resulted in a product qualified by simulation.

Javad Fatemi is also Associate Professor at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of the Delft University of Technology.

John Geriguis

Joby Aviation

Executing innovative advanced methods and materials to expand current engineering, processes, product development and management boundaries to provide an asymmetric advantage.

Matthew Parkinson

BASF Performance Materials

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As a Senior Manager at BASF Performance Materials, Dr. Parkinson leads the Application Development Engineering and Composite Technologies departments. Additional responsibilities include North American Technical Development lead point of contact for the Transportation market. Dr. Parkinson leads teams responsible for supporting customers from a technical perspective with their engineering plastic and polyurethane product development. The BASF’s Composite Technologies department develops high performance materials for the North American market with sustainability in focus.


This team that Dr. Parkinson leads develops thermosets with resin sourced from sustainably harvested castor beans in combination with various natural and recycled fibers along with recycled thermoplastics. Prior to joining BASF, Dr. Parkinson held various product design engineering positions with increasing responsibility at automotive OEMs Toyota, Honda, and Chrysler with focus on thermoplastic and thermoset component design.  Dr. Parkinson received his Doctorate degree in Material Science and Engineering from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, his Master’s degree in Automotive Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and his undergraduate degree with honors in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University.

Michael Assadi
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Electroimpact Inc.

Michael Assadi has worked in the aerospace industry for over 30 years at Electroimpact.  As a Chief Engineer and Senior Project Manager, he has been responsible for automation systems in assembly and additive manufacturing, for production as well as R&D.  He is currently the Director of Thermoplastic Research leading recent key developments that include the Variable Spot Size Laser heating system and high-speed thermoplastic processing.

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Nobuya Kawamura

Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

Responsible for advanced development of light weight Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) material and processes for the primary structures of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) on the joint project with Joby Aviation. The experiences gained in CFRP material and process development for Formula one racing and Lexus LFA supercar projects, combined with the knowledge of Toyota Production System (TPS) from various mass production applications, such as the interior & exterior trims and engine plastic components, are the key asset to this project where solutions for higher level of efficient manufacturing volume at closer to automotive costs are required in comparison to what conventional aerospace industries are accustomed to.

Peio Olaskoaga

IDEKO Research Center

Peio Olaskoaga is a Project Leader at IDEKO Research Centre based in the north of Spain and responsible for the ADMP demonstration cell located at its facilities. He graduated as Engineer at University of the Basque Country, UPV, and since then he has made a career at IDEKO in DANOBATGROUP.


In his more than 25 years of career, he has been involved mainly in the development of innovative machine tools for material removal in applications for sectors such as aerospace, railways, automotive and capital goods, for a variety of processes, from bending to high precision grinding. Since 6 years ago, he is Project Leader for composites manufacturing automation research group and since June 2020, responsible of the DANOBAT's ADMP demonstration cell with the purpose of demonstrate the capability, versatility and reliability of ADMP machines for the manufacturing of aerospace components.

Robert Yancey



Dr. Robert Yancey has filled numerous roles in his career including research, technology development, sales, management, business development, and executive roles. He currently leads business development for Hexcel in the Americas which includes advanced materials, manufacturing, and engineered products.


He has a technical background in composite materials, composite mechanics and micromechanics, design optimization, additive manufacturing, finite element modeling, and nondestructive evaluation. He holds a B.S. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT, an M.S. degree in Engineering Mechanics from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from the University of Dayton.  He is an AIAA Associate Technical Fellow and Composites Factory of the Future Technologies Lead for SAMPE.

Sam Tollesfen

Toray Composite Materials America, Inc.

Engineer, Technical Service (Prepreg)

Ass. Materials science & Engineering (EDCC)


Mr. Tollesfen has been working for Toray CMA for over 5 years. He specializes in material process support and composite part fabrication.

Todd "TJ" Chace
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Janicki Industries

Todd has been with Janicki Industries since 2012. He has worked as a Manufacturing Engineer, R&D Engineer, Lab Manager, and R&D Manager. In his current role as Director of R&D, he steers the company’s efforts to explore innovative materials and technologies in order to maintain Janicki’s position as a leader in the composite’s industry.

Todd has worked in the composites industry for more than 16 years including automotive, sporting goods, aerospace, tooling, and more. As an engineer, he specialized in secondary adhesive bonding applications, challenging composite molding processes, and materials characterization. He has worked on key programs for major commercial aerospace, military aerospace, private and public spaceflight, and many more.

William Ramroth

Dessault Systemes

William Ramroth is a Senior Industry Process Consultant at Dassault Systemes, focusing on Modelling and Simulation. He is primarily focused on the aerospace and defense industry, including composite materials. Bill has several years of industry experience in the analysis of delamination and postbuckled behavior of composite structures. He has a PhD in Structural Engineering from UC San Diego with research focus on the structural behavior of composites in fire.

Simon Pun

Divergent Technologies

Inspired by the art and science of next-generation materials, Simon has pursued a career in the crossroad of materials science and mechanical engineering. He is currently the Materials Engineering Leader at Divergent Technologies where he leads a team of engineers and scientists to develop innovative metal alloys for additive manufacturing in vehicle structure applications.

Simon began his career at the 3M Company as a Research Associate focused on Binder Jetting Technology. He later joined Aerojet Rocketdyne as a Materials and Processing Engineer to work on the AR1 booster engine program supporting U.S. Air Force and on the RS-25 engine program supporting NASA’s Space Launch System. Simon received his B.S. with dual majors in materials science and aerospace engineering, and M.S. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of California, Irvine. He has obtained Fundamental Engineer credential in the State of California and is on his way of pursuing a Professional Engineer license in the Metallurgical and Materials discipline. Simon continues to publish in research journals and is currently in collaboration with research institutions in the U.S.

Simon is a member of the ASM (American Society for Materials) Emerging Technology Awareness Committee and of the TMS (Minerals, Metals & Materials Society) Young Professional Committee. He has also served in the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and SAMPE (Society for Advancement of Material and Process Engineering) Technology Advisory Panel.

Julio C. Guerrero Ph.D.

Cambridge Research and Technology L.L.C.

Dr. Guerrero assists and guides corporations globally with their technology development needs. Dr. Guerrero is the CEO and founder of Cambridge Research and Technology L.L.C. , a leading science and engineering consulting firm offering R&D, business development (BD), and strategy services to corporations, governments, individuals, and law firms. He has also been serving in the University Grants Committee in Hong Kong, which is a multinational group or world experts responsible for evaluating and making recommendations about funding the Hong Kong top research and innovation proposals.

Dr. Guerrero has worked in research and development (R&D) and business development for several years in diverse companies such as Exponent in Boston, Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, MA; Schlumberger Research (SLB) in Houston, TX and Cambridge, MA; and FIAT-IVECO in Torino Italy. Dr. Guerrero's technical expertise includes analyzing, designing, and developing mechanical systems, including those for harsh and extreme conditions. He has extensive experience with the energy and oil and gas industries and is an owner of over 25 mechanical system patents worldwide. Dr. Guerrero earned his master's and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and was awarded the Honorary Doctoral degree from Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería in Lima-Peru in 2015. In 2014, he became a member of the Pan-American Academy of Engineering (32 countries). He served as the 2015-2016 President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Besides his passion for science, engineering, and business he is fluent in several languages and loves skiing and swimming, history, economics, and Renaissance Italian art.

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Anoush Poursartip

Convergent Manufacturing Technologies

Poursartip has worked on digital manufacturing of composites for over thirty years.  His initial digital focus at UBC was computer simulation of the manufacturing process to reduce risk, cost, and time for product development.  This work led to the founding of Convergent Manufacturing Technologies in 1998, now a world-leading supplier of composites process simulation software and services.

The focus now is the bigger concept of the digital twin – defining relevant measurements in a factory, how to measure them, and relating them to product quality and factory efficiency and robustness. At both Convergent and UBC, the goal is an innovative yet pragmatic approach to transition manufacturing (from early design to production) into the digital world of the future.  Simply put, how can companies make the best decisions in terms of timing and depth of investment, and magnitude of technical risk, in moving to this new digital framework?

Poursartip gained all his degrees from Cambridge University, has won multiple awards from Boeing; is a recipient of the Medal of Excellence in Composites and the ASTM Wayne Stinchcomb Award.  He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, ICCM, and SAMPE.