ASME Cal Poly

Speakers 2019

About the Speakers

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Allen Stadmiller:
Follow Your Gut, but do the Math

Some Engineers’ careers keep them engaged in engineering theory, however most engineers tend to drift away from doing theoretical calculations as they progress in their career. Do you need to do a Laplace transform to calculate the exact geometry for a converging/ diverging air nozzle? Maybe you just open a catalog and order a nozzle that looks close. What do you gain by doing the math? There are several benefits to keeping close to your academic roots while utilizing your practical experience to keep an eye on the bigger picture. This talk will highlight the unseen benefits of balancing your engineering intuition and doing the theoretical work based on a career in process and product development of medical devices.

Allen has been an engineer from birth and through formal education. He graduated from Cal Poly SLO in 1999 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a concentration in mechatronics. While at Cal Poly he was heavily involved with ASME and was ASME president. His first engineering position was a process engineer for 3M making orthodontic brackets. This position focused on automation and later lead to a product development position at 3M. He was also exposed to project management while at 3M. An opportunity arose for Allen to manage orthopedic biomaterial projects on the East Coast with Synthes; which was purchased by Johnson & Johnson during his tenure there. This position gave more exposure to process, product and supply chain development. He then on to manage the division’s process development engineering team. Allen wanted to make the jump back to his California roots and took his current position at Freudenberg Medical as the Director of Engineering. Today he manages engineers, project managers, a tool room, facilities and maintenance at a medical device company that focuses on silicone medical device components. Along the way, Allen obtained his professional engineers license and project management professional certification. During his free time, Allen has rebuilt boats, house and cars to fill his idle time not spent with his family.


Dr Hans Mayer:
The Making of Cold

Numerous advances in science and engineering have made a dramatic impact on society and our individual lives. One such advance, that has played a roll in shaping our everyday existence for nearly two centuries, has been mechanical refrigeration -- literally the making of cold. While we may not recognize it immediately as playing an important roll in society, our ability to control the temperature of our environment has changed our lives. We are healthier because of it, and as anyone can attest to on a hot and humid day, we are happier because of it. This brief talk will provide some background into the history of mechanical refrigeration

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Dr Jim Meagher:
Conference Commencement

Jim Meagher joined the Mechanical Engineering Department in 1988 as an assistant professor and was awarded tenure and promotion to full professor in 1994. Before becoming the interim dean of the college of engineering, Meagher served as department chair of the department of Mechanical Engineering. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Akron and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. His areas of scholarship include rotor dynamics and modeling of high-speed rotating machinery.

During his career at Cal Poly, Meagher helped establish the Donald E. Bently Center for Engineering Innovation, a research center in the Mechanical Engineering Department, the Bently Computational Facility, and the Solar Turbines/Bently Nevada Vibrations and Rotor Dynamics Laboratory.

In addition to his teaching and research activities, Meagher served as faculty advisor to the Cal Poly chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for 25 years. “In this position, I’ve seen first-hand how Cal Poly engineering students collaborate on award-winning projects,” he said. “In fact, what brought me to Cal Poly in 1988 still motivates me today: contributing to student success along with a passion for the discipline.

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Professor Jim Widmann, Ph. D.:
Conference Comencement

Jim Widmann is a Professor and Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He received his BSME from Michigan Tech and Masters and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering Design from Stanford University. With eight years of industrial experience in the automotive, aerospace and machine tool industries, he teaches courses in design, engineering mechanics and the Interdisciplinary senior project class. He also conducts research in engineering education, engineering design processes and fluid power control.

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Marek Zwyno

Exponential growth of the semiconductor business and ever tightening requirements for higher accuracy, speed, at a reasonable cost, leads to increasing need for thorough understanding of physical interactions between previously independent engineering disciplines and processes. This makes the working environment more fascinating than ever before, and requires mechanical engineers to work closely with physicists, electrical and software engineers, understand their language, and together solve complex problems pushing technology one step further. The talk will show examples of challenges and some interesting solutions.

Marek Zywno has many years of experience in engineering and management roles in semiconductor and precision equipment business in Silicon Valley companies: Nanometrics, KLA Instruments, Etec Systems, KLA-Tencor, Keysight Technologies. He developed mechanical and precision engineering architectures of several generations of instruments used in semiconductor process.



Brett Hartt:
Design for Repair: Navigating Design Choices for People and Planet


Product design is pulled in many "Design for" directions: Design for Manufacturing. Design for Assembly. Design for Logistics. Design for Cost. Design for Quality. It's time to add "Design For Repairability". Repair makes your products last longer and makes your customers happier. Repair saves products out of the global waste stream. Repair creates economic opportunities. Repair-minded choices made in the early stage of product development can have far-reaching impact on the global economy

Brett Hartt is the Chief Product Engineer at iFixit. iFixit provides the world with free repair information, changing the world one device at a time. Brett graduated with a BSME from Cal Poly, SLO, and for the past 8 years has been designing the specialty repair tools needed to accommodate the wild world of electronics repair.



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Ryan Dunn:
Bubblegum and Wire: How to prototype quickly but manufacture well.

As CEO of Mantis Composites, Ryan has overseen development of the first high performance continuous carbon fiber 3D printing production system. This involved both very low cost development of initial prototype units, and the design and production of industrial machine units. In this talk, Ryan will provide an overview the lessons learned on how to manage this transition from an engineering standpoint, and how to manage this within the tight budget and time constraints of a startup.

Ryan Dunn assumed the role of CEO at Mantis Composites in 2014 after bringing together a team of founders dedicated to bringing high-performance carbon fiber 3D printing to market. Within this role, Ryan runs outreach and external relations for Mantis Composites while supervising technical development of key technologies. Prior to Mantis Composites, Ryan ran an engineering education program for the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History executing 70 courses over a 5 year period and generating the greatest revenue of any program for the Museum.

Outside of Mantis Composites, Ryan works on a variety of large engineering efforts as a consultant or for personal projects. These include electric vehicle construction, modular rocket substructure systems, high altitude imaging systems, aerospace propulsion systems.

Ryan studied Aerospace Engineering at CalPoly in San Luis Obispo, California.


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Dr. Ryan Jenkins:
Ethics In and Around AI

We often think that technologies are merely neutral tools that help us accomplish our goals. Artificial intelligence continues this trend with its veneer of objectivity. But the way we design technologies can implicitly endorse some people’s moral priorities and undermine others’. And new technologies can interact with their social context in ways that are problematic, even exacerbating injustice. How can engineers and designers ensure that their creations become tools for good, rather than unwitting accomplices in harm?

Dr. Ryan Jenkins is an assistant professor of philosophy and a senior fellow at the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He studies the ethics of emerging technologies, especially automation, cyber war, autonomous weapons, and driverless cars. His work has appeared in journals such as Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, and the Journal of Military Ethics, as well as public fora including Slate and Forbes.


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Dr. Tali Freed:
Sense and Sensibility

What is the core value of the Internet of Things (IoT)? How will identification and sensing change the world? What is the ethical sensibility of sensing? This talk will engage the audience in a creative journey of the mind, through supposed technological barriers, in pursuit of engineering challenges that will improve our lives and our world.

Dr. Tali Freed received her Ph.D. from the U.C. Berkeley Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. Her B.Sc. and M.Sc. are in Industrial Engineering and Management, from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.  Before starting her studies at the Technion Dr. Freed completed her mandatory military service in the Israeli Air Force, as the first woman electronics technician in the force.

Dr. Freed’s primary areas of teaching, research, development, and consulting are RFID (radio frequency identification), process improvement, planning and scheduling, and design of information systems. She is certified as a Professional Engineer in the state of California. She has been a faculty member at Cal Poly since 2001, and is also Director of PolyGAIT – The Multidisciplinary Cal Poly Center for Global Automatic Identification Technologies She is adjunct faculty at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and in several international universities.

Dr. Freed invented and patented an efficient RFID-enabled process for food traceability. She specializes in custom-design of RFID systems for cost reduction and increased productivity. In the last two decades Dr. Freed has been consulting to many commercial, governmental, and non-profit organizations. Executives from various organizations visit PolyGAIT to learn about RFID and its uses for process improvement. She is frequently invited to speak at professional conferences and conventions. Dr. Freed enjoys teaching at Cal Poly, has advised hundreds of theses and projects, and published numerous academic and industrial articles and reports.


Tom Mackin

Tom Mackin is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo California, Adjunct Professor in the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Post Graduate School, former Chief Science Officer at Synbotics, Inc., and founding member of the Board at Mission Street Manufacturing. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Penn State in 1991. From 1991 to 1993 he worked as a research engineer in the Materials Department at UC Santa Barbara. In 1993 he joined the faculty in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Illinois. From 2002-2003 he served as an ASME Executive Office Fellow in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he served as a technology policy analyst and White House Liaison to the National Nanotechnology Initiative, White House Liaison to the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program. In 2004 he became the Founding Director of the Illinois Homeland Security Research Center, and an affiliate faculty member in the Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security program at the University of Illinois. In 2005 he was hired as Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Cal Poly. In 2008 he co-founded the Center for Collaborative Engineering Research and Education (CCERE) with UCSB, and the Center for Renewable Energy and Alternative Transportation Technologies at Cal Poly. He was product development lead and project manager on four start-ups, served as on-screen and technical expert for the Discovery Channel show “The Colony”, and currently serves as engineering consultant for the Small Business Development Center and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in San Luis Obispo.