Plenary and Breakout Speakers
Susan DeSandre is an executive leader with experience in manufacturing operations and procurement. Her professional experience includes five years at Apple Inc. and 26 years at Ford Motor Company.
Susan was a senior director in manufacturing design at Apple, leading a large team of manufacturing and quality engineers, and global supply managers, responsible for the process development and manufacturing of a broad range of Apple enclosures, components, and finished products. While she was at Apple, the company experienced explosive growth. Production volumes on the iPhone grew to > 70 million per quarter, the Apple Watch was developed and introduced (the most complex Apple product to date), the iPad and laptop lineups were expanded, and a new MacPro was launched.
Prior to joining Apple, Susan spent 26 years at Ford, mainly in purchasing. In her last role at Ford, she was the global director for Body Exterior and Raw Materials Purchasing, leading a team of 170 people and partnering with the global director of Body Exterior Product Development/Manufacturing. Annual external purchases totaled nearly $20 billion.
Susan 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. She holds an MBA in finance from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s in packaging from Michigan State University.
Vice President Product Development, TechnipFMC Schilling Robotics
Andy Houk is vice president of product development at TechnipFMC Schilling Robotics.
Houk joined Schilling Robotics in 2004 as a field service engineer, a role that helped him understand customer needs for working in the deep ocean with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). He transferred that knowledge into the component and subsystem designs of Schilling’s ROV products. Later, he was lead engineer for a number of ROV platform developments that grew the company’s ROV market share from 0 to 40%.
In 2013, Houk was promoted to vice president of product development with responsibility for managing the engineering resources, facilitating new product development as an enterprise effort, and growing the next generation of leaders.
President, TechnipFMC Schilling Robotics
Tyler Schilling is 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. As president, he sets the company’s vision, guiding product innovation and development.
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.
General Manager, Engineering, Caterpillar
Steve Shoemaker is the General Manager of Engineering for Caterpillar’s Earthmoving Division. In this role, Shoemaker oversees the Product Development and Supply Management, which also includes the Peoria Proving Grounds, the Asia Pacific Proving Grounds, and Earthmoving's China based engineering teams, including SEM engineering.
Shoemaker joined Caterpillar in 1989 as a design engineer in the company’s engine business in Mossville, Illinois, USA. He spent the next fourteen years in a variety of engine assignments ranging from design to marketing, including an overseas assignment in Geneva, Switzerland, where he worked with Caterpillar dealers throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. In 2003, Shoemaker moved to the company’s Electronics division and was responsible for engine and machine controls, power electronics, displays, and instrumentation. In 2006, Shoemaker was named Engineering Director for Caterpillar’s Building Construction Products Division based in Clayton, North Carolina. Over the next six years, he worked to establish a dedicated engineering organization with teams in England, India, China, Japan, and the USA. In 2012, Shoemaker was named the Chief Engineer for Caterpillar’s Excavation division with product development responsibility for 11-90 tracked and wheeled excavators. In this role Shoemaker was based in Akashi, Japan where as General Manager for the Hydraulic Excavator Design Center.
Shoemaker 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.
Learning Session Speakers
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.
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.
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.