Designing the Future Summit 2019
June 27-28, 2019  |  Traverse City, MI
Overview »
Sessions »
Agenda »
Speakers »
Workshops »
Hotel & Logistics »
Register »


Keynote Speakers:

Jim Morgan

Jim Morgan
Senior Advisor, Product and Process Development, Lean Enterprise Institute

Jim Morgan, Ph.D. is President of EMC Network, a research and consulting firm specializing in new product and process creation. He is also Senior Advisor to the Lean Enterprise Institute for their lean product and process development initiative.  In these roles Jim has helped senior leaders from a wide variety of industries to improve their organizations development performance.  Dr. Morgan’s expertise comes from a rare combination of deep industry experience and rigorous scholarship.

His most recent industry experience was serving as Chief Operating Officer at Rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer that he helped lead through a critical transition period.  Prior to Rivian, Jim spent ten years at Ford Motor Company, first leading the development of Ford’s Global Product Development System (GPDS) then serving for eight and a half years as their Global Director of Body and SBU Engineering during Ford’s historic, product led revitalization under then CEO, Alan Mulally.  Prior to Ford, Jim worked at Troy Design and Manufacturing (TDM) for 15 years as Vice President of Operations. TDM is a tier one, global automotive supplier of engineering services, prototypes tools and low volume parts and subassemblies.

Jim holds a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Michigan where his original research into Product Development won two Shingo Prizes for Research Excellence.  In addition he co-authored (with Professor Jeffrey Liker) the award-winning book The Toyota Product Development System (2006) and Designing the Future (2018)He has also authored or co-authored several book chapters on product development, as well as related articles for the Sloan Management Review, The Engineering Management Journal and other publications.

Plenary and Breakout Speakers

David Crawley

David Crawley
Founder, Ubiquity Robotics

David Crawley is an entrepreneur who left his job at Cypress semiconductor where he helped cut Chip development lead time from 326 weeks down to 17 by applying Lean methods in radical ways to found Ubiquity Robotics.  David used those same lean tools, along with experimental methods and a shoestring team to accomplish what others thought was impossible – democratize the robotics industry.

  • Holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and a MPhys from University of Oxford.
  • Has published more than a dozen peer reviewed papers and holds 3 patents.
  • Author of the book "The People Equation" published by Berrett-Koehler.

Susan DeSandre

Susan DeSandre
Executive Leader

Susan DeSandre has been a supply chain executive at both Apple and Ford responsible for large global supply bases.  Many companies ignore the tremendous opportunities of supplier partnerships in order to chase dubious short-term gains. Susan will share how the same working together principles worked at two extremely different companies and improved, relationships, costs and most importantly, the resulting products.

  • Holds an MBA in finance from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s in packaging from Michigan State University.
  • Presently serves as an Advisor to Röchling Automotive in Mannheim Germany and is a Board Member of TheatreUntitled, a start-up, nonprofit, Theatre Company in New York, NY.

Andy Houk

Andy Houk
Vice President Product Development, TechnipFMC Schilling Robotics

Andi Houk will join Tyler Schilling to share how LPPD principles and practices enhanced Schilling Robotics’ culture of creativity and collaboration, enabling the development of their most complex and innovative product ever and now is helping to bring the entire enterprise together.

  • Has been developing new products for TechnipFMC for 13 years.

Frank Paluch

Frank Paluch
Executive Vice President, Honda of America Mfg., Inc.

Frank Paluch was the President of Honda R&D North America when he first began to employ LPPD principles and practices. The work he and his team did improved communication and problem solving throughout R&D, and resulted in better quality, cost, and delivery.  Frank is now using these same methods on a much greater scale to bring this thinking to manufacturing, suppliers and quality organization.

  • Earned a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 1986 while serving in the Army Reserve as a Combat Engineer.
  • In 2000, Paluch was recognized by the Automotive Hall of Fame and received the Young Leadership & Excellence Award.

Andi Plantenberg

Andi Plantenberg
Principle, FutureTight

Andi Plantenberg is an entrepreneur and principal at FutureTight, an innovation consultancy based in San Francisco, California.  Andi will share how the best companies identify where to focus their precious resources, how they generate bold ideas to make maximum impact and know when its time to kill an idea.

  • Co-founded Singlebound Creative in 2000, a Digital Product Studio / Design Agency that had an eleven year run and served Fortune 500 clients.
  • Faculty member at Lean Startup Co, and a long-time mentor for startups in Silicon Valley (500 startups, IndieBio, Singularity University).

Tyler Schilling

Tyler Schilling
President, TechnipFMC Schilling Robotics

Tyler Schilling is co-founder and the retired president of TechnipFMC Schilling Robotics. In 1985, he co-founded Schilling Robotics with Wes Gerriets with the vision of providing productive tools for remotely working in the deep ocean. 

The introduction of Schilling manipulators changed the capabilities of remotely operated vehicles and are currently used in 95% of subsea work. TechnipFMC Schilling Robotics now delivers work-class ROVs to more customers than all other manufacturers combined.

Schilling is an innovator, advocate, and sought-after speaker for the expansion of remote technology on the sea floor. Under his leadership, the company’s passion for excellence and focus on customer success, established a worldwide market supplying systems to virtually every operator of subsea ROVs. In 2019, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers awarded Schilling its Rhodes Petroleum Industry Leadership Award for demonstrating “management and motivational skills, entrepreneurship, innovative methods, and outstanding leadership.”

Steven Shoemaker

Steven Shoemaker
General Manager, Engineering, Caterpillar

Steve Shoemaker first employed LPPD practices as the Chief Engineer of the next generation hydraulic excavators at Caterpillar, the first all new platform in 25 years.  Steve is now applying what he learned as the head of Engineering for Caterpillar’s Earth Moving Division.  Steve will share his wealth of experience gained from more than ten years of employing LPPD methods in one of the most successful companies on the planet.

  • Holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Purdue University.
  • In 2006, Shoemaker was named Engineering Director for Caterpillar’s Building Construction Products Division based in Clayton, North Carolina.

James P. Womack

James P. Womack
Founder and Senior Advisor, Lean Enterprise Institute

Dr. James Womack is the father of the lean movement and has been talking about creating value through continuous innovation around deep customer understanding for many years.  Jim will share his insights about value creation in a fast moving world where customers often seek a solution to complex problems involving many products rather than a single product: Mobility rather than a car, or health support to prevent disease rather than just an insurance policy.  You can’t afford to miss this important talk.

Recieved a B.A. in political science from the University of Chicago in 1970, a master's degree in transportation systems from Harvard in 1975, and a Ph.D. in political science from MIT in 1982 (for a dissertation on comparative industrial policy in the U.S., Germany, and Japan).

Co-author of The Machine That Changed the World(Macmillan/Rawson Associates, 1990), Lean Thinking (Simon & Schuster, 1996), Lean Solutions (Simon & Schuster, 2005), and Seeing The Whole Value Stream (Lean Enterprise Institute, 2011).

Articles include: "From Lean Production to the Lean Enterprise" (Harvard Business Review, March-April, 1994), "Beyond Toyota: How to Root Out Waste and Pursue Perfection" (Harvard Business Review, September-October, 1996), “Lean Consumption” (Harvard Business Review, March-April, 2005).

Learning Session Speakers

Katrina Appell

Katrina Appell
Lean Coach

Katrina Appell is a Lean Product and Process Development Coach at the Lean Enterprise Institute. She is passionate about supporting organizations in improvement and transformation with 10+ years of coaching, facilitating, training, and team development experience.

Katrina has experience as a Senior Lean Consultant at Liker Lean Advisors focusing on supporting organizations in lean product and process development and as a Lean Coach at the University of Michigan Health System. Working with Jeff Liker, PhD and Jim Morgan, PhD, Katrina’s doctoral research looked at the effectiveness of different approaches to using lean thinking in complex environments through product development case studies. Dr. Appell is currently collaborating with Dan Cooper, PhD, who leads the Resourceful Manufacturing and Design group at the University of Michigan, to build low-carbon manufacturing principles into product-process development systems through lean product-process development to make this thinking more accessible to companies. 

Katrina co-developed and teaches Designing the Future: A Lean Product & Process Development Immersive Learning Experience workshop. She has previously taught classes for the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in lean manufacturing, lean-six sigma greenbelt, lean healthcare, lean office, lean supply chain for healthcare, lean supply chain and warehouse management.

Katrina has a Ph.D. and M.S.E. in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. She also has a B.S. in General Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is a member, and was formerly the President, of the Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering Alumni and Advisory Board. Katrina is President of Katrina Appell Consulting Inc. and organizes her thinking by blogging at

Amer Catic

Amer Catic
Knowledge Management, Volvo Group Trucks

Amer has deep experience in developing, training, and coaching engineers, as well as line and project managers in several critical areas: creating knowledge through problem solving and knowledge gap closure; capturing actionable, reusable knowledge; and reusing knowledge in key decisions in product development.

He was responsible for leading the development and implementation of a knowledge management framework aligned with Volvo Group Trucks' transformation towards lean R&D. He has a master’s in mechanical engineering and a PhD in knowledge management in product development from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.

John Drogosz

John Drogosz
Senior Lean Consultant, Optiprise, Inc.

John Drogosz is a Product and Process Development Coach at the Lean Enterprise Institute. John has over 20 years of Lean manufacturing, product development and above shop floor experience. As a Vice President at Liker Lean Advisors, he has led lean transformations in numerous companies and industries including Northrop Grumman, Johnson Controls, Areva, Peugeot-Citroen, Tenneco, Eaton, Hertz, Schlumberger, Harley-Davidson, Embraer and Caterpillar.

Dr. Drogosz currently teaches classes in Lean Product and Process Development and Lean Manufacturing for the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. He is a contributor to the Toyota Product Development System by Morgan and Liker and to Dr. Jeffrey Liker’s book The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement. In the past he held a management role at Delphi Automotive in enterprise-wide lean implementation and worked through John Shook’s TWI Network.

John holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario and a Master’s and Ph.D in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan. He is also a Six Sigma Black Belt.

Howard Kinkade

Howard Kinkade
Manager, Products Management, Gas Compressor Business, Solar Turbines

Howard Kinkade is Manager, Products Management, Gas Compressor Business for Solar Turbines Inc. (A Caterpillar Company).  He is accountable for the development and program execution of new and sustaining product strategies. Howard has 35 years of Engineering and Product Development leadership, including extensive application of traditional and innovative Lean Product Development Methods. Having spent the last 10 years leading teams and organizations through innovative change and re-birth, Howard believes in the importance of leadership’s engagement in creating high performing cultural values that continuously evolves and constantly improves toward a common vision.

Following ten years as an engineer in the aerospace industry, Howard joined Solar Turbines first as a NPI leader in 2004.  His background and experience include engineering analysis, design engineer, test engineering, NPI leader, project engineering,  project manager, and various Engineering Management positions.  In 2008, Howard  joined Solar’s Gas Turbine engine Products Development group.  During this period he incorporated lean principals and developed teams with unique cultural values.  Howard lead two engine NPI programs which achieved new heights in time to market (30% faster), initial product quality, and financial performance.

Howard has earned positions of increasing responsibility and influence in Solar Turbines.  His leadership and lean methods  have been benchmarked by Caterpillar (Solar Turbines) and numerous companies from around the world.  Since, becoming the Manger of Products Management he has led a cultural transformation in Engineering, including a transition from our traditional “Push and Chase” culture of managing our workflow to a true pull system.  

Howard’s under-graduate degree is in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  He continues to serve Cal Poly as a member of the Mechanical Engineering Department’s Industry Advisory Board.

Alan Labes

Alan Labes
Chief Architect & Platform Integration, TechnipFMC

Alan Labes is chief engineer of the Subsea 2.0 platform. Since joining TechnipFMC in 2001, he has held roles in product development, engineering, and systems engineering.

Several firsts in the industry systems were led and conceptualized under Alan’s leadership, including the all-electric control raw water injection system; the +1000-ton boosting system for the BC-10 field with capacity to boost production from more than 30 wells, and the award-winning inline robotic manifold system.

Alan has a degree in mechanical engineering from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and holds a master’s in business administration with Fundação Getulio Vargas.

Paul Paliani

Paul Paliani
Clinical Design and Innovation Team Manager, Michigan Medicine

Paul Paliani is the manager of the Clinical Design and Innovation team at Michigan Medicine, where they partner with clinical programs to maximize value from their patients’ points of view.  Over the past year, Paul has led his team through their own process redesign by working with the Lean Enterprise Institute to experiment with applying Lean Product and Process Development principles to healthcare.

Before coming to healthcare, Paul worked for almost 20 years as a manufacturing engineer at General Motors and Ford Motor Company.

Paul holds a bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University, a master’s in Industrial Engineering from The Ohio State University, and a master’s in business administration  from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Ian Perry

Ian Perry
Industrial Engineer, Michigan Medicine

Ian Perry is an industrial engineer working with the Clinical Design and Innovation team at Michigan Medicine.

Over the past couple years, he has been primarily focused on efforts to improve the processes that help identify, evaluate, and treat sepsis within the adult population as well as the deployment of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) for outpatient Orthopedic Surgery clinics.

Ian has spent a majority of his career focused on the healthcare industry and has a bachelor’s in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Tom Root

Tom Root
Managing Partner, Zingerman's Mail Order

After learning lean concepts in 2004, Tom began applying them to Zingerman's mail order business. Since then, he has been applying lean thinking and practice through process improvement, class development, and teaching. Drawing on his lean management experience, he also is an internal lean consultant, helping each of the Zingerman’s businesses realize the benefits of continuous improvement and waste elimination.

Previously, Tom served as the company’s chief information officer, developing the mail order web site, email applications, and a wide area network to connect various Zingerman operations. He currently is working with lean practitioners Eduardo Lander and Jeff Liker on a book about mail order’s lean transformation and the power of servant leadership. 

After graduating from Miami University in 1993, he became a Michigan certified business counselor, advising entrepreneurs on business plan development and capital through the Small Business Development Center program. He has held technical and training positions at Online Technologies Corporation and Detroit Edison. In 2008, he started Maker Works, a manufacturing facility offering membership access to high-tech tools, classes, community events, and activities.

Durward Sobek

Durward Sobek
Professor and Program Coordinator of Industrial Engineering, Montana State University

Durward K. Sobek II is a Professor in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering at Montana State University. He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan, and an A.B. degree in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College. 

Dr. Sobek has been researching lean product development and lean healthcare for nearly two decades, focusing on how organizations can increase their performance capacity through the application of lean principles.  He is co-founder of the not-for-profit Lean Product and Process Development Exchange, Inc. whose mission is to share and expand the body of knowledge around lean product and process development.  He is a frequent presenter, and has published numerous articles in publications such as Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, and IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.  He is co-author of Lean Product and Process Development, 2nd edition; and is co-author of the Shingo Prize winning book Understanding A3 Thinking: A Critical Component of Toyota's PDCA Management System

Allison Weber

Allison Weber
Lead Engineer, TechnipFMC

Allison is the chief product developer for the 15ksi Subsea 2.0 tree product lines at TechnipFMC.

Since joining TechnipFMC in 2008, Allison has held various leadership roles in subsea tree project and product development groups including: Global Flowloop Integrated Product Team lead; 15ksi 400F tree development lead; and 20ksi 350F tree system development lead. During her time on high pressure/high temperature projects, Allison presented and published her work at Offshore Technology, World Oil, and ASME Pressure Vessel & Piping conferences.

In 2018, she became a chief product developer in the Subsea 2.0 system development program, the first of its kind to implement lean practices into the product development process, which is catching the interest of the rest of the organization.

Allison graduated with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University and has an advanced certificate in subsea engineering from the University of Houston.

Matt Zayko

Matt Zayko
President, Zayko Consulting

Matt Zayko has twenty-five years of experience in leading lean enterprise improvements in numerous industries by helping people transform product development, engineering, manufacturing, service processes, and operating systems.  Matt worked in a variety of staff- and management-level roles under the guidance of former Toyota mentors for Chrysler / University of Michigan, Gelman Sciences, Delphi, and Pall (now part of Danaher) before starting his own consultancy and affiliating with the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI). 

Matt has authored numerous works based on successful transformation, including articles that have been published in “Journal of Quality Engineering”, “IIE Solutions”, and “Journal of Cost Management”, plus a chapter in the 1998 Shingo-Prize winning book “Becoming Lean”, and many white papers for the Lean Enterprise Institute. Matt is a frequent presenter at conferences related to lean transformation and a long-time faculty member of LEI as well as a coach in LEI’s Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) initiative, working closely with smaller, entrepreneurial-minded organizations, as well as larger, global companies.

Matt received his M.S. in Industrial & Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.