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Event Advisors

RAPID +TCT Event Advisors are pivotal in assisting SME and TCT with developing and implementing the RAPID + TCT event. This advisory team represents a broad base of the AM industry to help us build a world-class event and conference that educates and inspires all participants, no matter the stage of their career or the size of their business.

The RAPID + TCT Event Advisors provide input on industry trends, technological advances and the future of AM. They also recommend industry thought leaders to present in various areas of the event.

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Ted Anderson, Industrialization Leader, Additive Technologies, GE Additive
Ted Anderson is the industrialization leader for GE Additive. His team is focused on helping customers get their additive manufacturing applications to production. Prior to joining GE Additive, Anderson spent five years with GE Aviation and was involved in the LEAP fuel nozzle, the GE9X TiAl blade, the 50% printed tech demonstration engine, the Catalyst turboprop engine and various R&D projects. He is also a certifying agent at GE for the laser and electron beam technologies and a special process auditor. Anderson is a 2017 AMUG DINO award recipient and has led the aerospace, transportation and DoD track for AMUG since 2015.


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Kevin Ayers, AM Metal Consultant, 3D Metal Konsulting LLC
Kevin Ayers is a graduate of the University of Illinois, College of Engineering. He worked as a design and manufacturing engineer for over 31 years with the FBI, one of the first organizations to use 3D-printing technology for end-use parts, building tens of thousands of parts going back to the early nineties. During that time, Ayers was involved as an advisor for SME and AMUG (the Additive Manufacturing Users Group), receiving its Distinguished INnovator Operators Award (DINO Award) in 2003. In 2014, he retired from the FBI and worked for SME as its additive manufacturing industry manager and as a consulting editor for SME Media. Ayers later joined Danfoss Power Solutions and is now an AM metal consultant for 3D Metal Konsulting LLC. SME Member Since 2017


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Yash Bandari, PhD, Additive Business Development Manager, AddiTec (MELTIO)
Yash Bandari, PhD, works at AddiTec as a business development manager in the additive manufacturing group. Bandari is an internationally recognized manufacturing professional who has 10 years of experience in directed energy deposition processes. He is one of the few individuals in the world to have experience with all the three heat sources (arc, laser and electron beam) in AM at reputed organizations in the U.S., U.K. and India before turning 30. Bandari published several articles, chaired various conferences and gave numerous talks on AM. He is an editorial board member of ASTM’s journal Smart and Sustainable Manufacturing, and actively participates in ASTM F42 committee and in ASM International emerging technologies committee. SME Member Since 2018


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Eric Barnes, Northrop Grumman Fellow, Northrop Grumman Corp.
Eric Barnes is currently a Northrop Grumman fellow responsible for the Aerospace System Sector Additive Manufacturing Technology portfolio and integration of additive manufacturing across Northrop Grumman Corp. Barnes has led the development, implementation and strategy for polymer and metallic additive manufacturing on multiple air and space programs. He has over 35 years of experience in materials, processes and manufacturing research and development, implementation, design and production support. Barnes has received eight additive manufacturing patents and has five AM patents pending. SME Member Since 2014


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Lisa D. Block, CRO, Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies
Lisa D. Block is the Chief Revenue Officer for Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies Global and serves on the Board of Directors for the Women in 3D Printing organization. A gifted speaker, author, and entrepreneur, with a background in corporate sales and leadership, her career spans several industries including fashion, education, automotive design, and manufacturing. With over 25 years in business, her most praised attribute is her ability to use her many gifts to shift company culture and customer experience for the better.


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Dan Braley, CAM-T, Associate Technical Fellow, Boeing Global Services
Dan Braley, CAM-T, is a Boeing associate technical fellow and the Boeing Global Services additive manufacturing technical focal and initiatives leader. In this role, he serves sustainment of all Boeing military, commercial and derivative aircraft platforms through use of additive manufacturing technologies. Braley has more than 18 years of aerospace program and R&D experience in additive manufacturing, technical program management, materials and process engineering, composites, electromagnetic product development and manufacturing technology development. He currently holds 52 U.S. and international patents. SME Member Since 2015


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Rex Brown, Principal Mechanical Engineer, Honeywell (retired)
Rex Brown is a retired principal mechanical engineer who worked in the advanced technology development department at the Department of Energy’s National Security Campus, managed by Honeywell. He has been actively involved with additive manufacturing since 1992, serving on ASTM’s Committee F42 on Additive Manufacturing Technologies, the NCMS Rare Parts Team and SME’s Direct Digital Manufacturing Advisory Team. Brown’s focus over the years includes stereolithography, fuse deposition modeling and 3D printing.


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Zayna Connor, PhD, Independent Consultant, ZMC Consulting Inc.
Zayna Connor, PhD, is an independent consultant with ZMC Consulting Inc. She is active in the AFS committee activities, AFS consortium research projects and ASTM Additive Manufacturing Committee and American Society of Materials and is a past chair of the Technical Books Committee. Connor has spent more than 30 years working in materials, castings, forgings extrusions and rolled products. She has helped develop casting suppliers in China, Poland, Turkey, Italy, the U.S., Mexico, the U.K. and Canada. Previously, she was the R&D manager for non-heat-treated alloys at Alcan Rolled Products.


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April Cooke, PhD, Senior Process Engineer, Seurat Technologies Inc.
April Cooke, PhD, has excelled in the additive manufacturing field as a two-time postdoctoral appointee at NIST; engineering R&D manager at 3D Systems; advanced manufacturing process engineer at CCAM; and additive manufacturing specialist at TRUMPF. Cooke’s past work focused on metal and polymer-based powder-bed fusion, 3D-printing, directed energy deposition and standards development. In 2013, she received the International Freeform and Additive Manufacturing Excellence Award given at the Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium. Currently, Cooke is a principal process engineer at Seurat Technologies, where she optimizes process conditions and develops parameters for Seurat’s Area Printing technology.


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Denis Cormier, PhD, Earl W. Brinkman Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology
Denis Cormier, PhD, is the Earl W. Brinkman Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he also serves as director of the Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing Center. Cormier has worked in additive manufacturing for over 25 years with a specific focus on aerospace materials and applications of metal additive manufacturing. His teaching and research interests focus on additive manufacturing and direct-write printing technologies for the synthesis of novel materials and geometric structures. SME Member Since 1989


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Vesna Cota, Founder, VMMI
Vesna Cota is the founder of VMMI and an additive manufacturing specialist. She spent almost 30 years working in automotive product development with Tyco Electronics Canada ULC, a TE Connectivity Co. Cota currently serves on the board of directors for NSERC-CFI Strategic Network for Holistic Innovation in Additive Manufacturing, the Canadian ISO/TC261 Additive Manufacturing Standards Committee and the TCT Expert Advisory Board. She is a longstanding advisor for SME’s RAPID + TCT event, Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show (CMTS) and FABTECH Canada. Cota also served as an advisor for SME’s Additive Manufacturing Community from 2007-16 and was a representative on the SME Member Council from 2018-21. She has been active in the additive manufacturing community since the early 1990s and is a relentless promoter of additive manufacturing in Canada. SME Member Since 1995


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Carl Dekker, President, Met-L-Flo
Carl Dekker serves as the president of Met-L-Flo Inc., a growing service center for additive manufacturing. He has been actively involved in research and product development using current technologies and innovative methods. Dekker has provided training and installations at Abbott Laboratories, Delphi, Motorola and numerous other companies. He is the current chair of SME’s Direct Digital Manufacturing Advisory Team, the current president of AMUG, a past chair of SME’s AM Technical Community Leadership Committee and a past chair of ASTM’s Committee F42 on Additive Manufacturing Technologies. Dekker is a proud recipient of AMUG’s SLA Dinosaur Award. SME Member Since 1993


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Abbey Delaney, Senior Director of Marketing, Axial3d
Abbey Delaney is an experienced marketer with more than 20 years of B2B marketing and 10 years in additive manufacturing. In 2022, Delaney joined Axial3D, a leading medical imaging and 3D printing company, and leads all marketing activities globally, responsible for creating the marketing strategy, developing partner marketing programs, overseeing tradeshows, implementing lead-gen campaigns, and growing the brand. She also volunteers her time with Women in 3D Printing as the Midwest Area Manager and local ambassador for the Detroit chapter. Prior to joining Axial3D, Abbey was the Director of Marketing for BigRep for 4 years and marketing manager for Materialise for six years. She holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Saginaw Valley State University.


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Boris Fritz, Adjunct Professor, University of Southern California
Boris Fritz is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, and at Loyola Marymount University in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, teaching additive manufacturing courses since 2015. He retired from Northrop Grumman Aerospace, formerly working in the Additive Manufacturing Technology and Development Department. He is a past chair of SME’s AM Technical Community Leadership Committee as well as chair of the RAPID + TCT conference. He has three patents and has published numerous research papers on 3D printing. SME Member Since 1993


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Eliana Fu, PhD, Industry Manager - Aerospace & Medical, TRUMPF Inc.
Eliana Fu, PhD, has a master’s degree and doctorate in materials science from Imperial College. She performed postdoctoral research at Loughborough University and Clemson University. After working extensively in the traditional manufacturing world with TIMET and SpaceX, Fu jumped to additive manufacturing at SpaceX and Relativity Space. She is now an industry manager, aerospace and medical at TRUMPF. Fu served as an advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Advanced Manufacturing Committee. She is currently the Women in 3D Printing ambassador for Las Vegas and is also on the Technical Advisory Board of Hyperion Metals (now called IperionX).


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Giles Gaskell, Commercial Business Manager for Structured Light Scanning, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence
Giles Gaskell has been working in the field of noncontact scanning for reverse engineering and inspection since 1997 and worked with many of Europe’s most prestigious design, engineering and manufacturing companies before moving to the U.S. in 2004. Gaskell is a recognized subject-matter expert and communicator in the field of 3D metrology and 3D scanning. He is a RAPID + TCT event advisor for SME and a presenter of educational workshops at AMUG and RAPID + TCT’s conference for over 10 years. Gaskell is now a commercial business manager for structured light scanning at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.


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Charles Gilman, Mechanical Engineer, Gilman Analytics
Charles Gilman has been working in additive manufacturing for over 25 years as an engineer, project manager and consultant. Gilman is currently a faculty member at the State University of New York at Cobleskill and a consultant. Current projects include AM subject-matter expert for Tooling U-SME course development. He has previously held positions with GE Global Research, STEP Tools, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the U. S. Air Force. Gilman has been an event advisor for RAPID + TCT since 2014 and a member of the Additive Manufacturing Certification Oversight & Appeals Committee since 2018. SME Member Since 1995


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Todd Grimm, President, T. A. Grimm & Associates
Todd Grimm is 32-year veteran of the additive manufacturing industry. From his work as a consultant, writer, author, speaker, editor and advisor, he is a three-time nominee for TCT’s Hall of Fame. Grimm is president of T.A. Grimm & Associates. He is a past ARC Group Worldwide board member, columnist for “TCT Magazine” and author of the “User’s Guide to Rapid Prototyping.” Grimm served on the AMUG board as its AM industry advisor, is a member of TCT’s expert advisory board and is an event advisor for RAPID + TCT. He has also served as chair of SME’s AM Technical Community Leadership Committee.


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James Harrison, Technical Sales Engineer, nScrypt
Jim Harrison is a Technical Sales Engineer with nScrypt, an electronics and conformal 3D printer OEM out of Orlando, Fl. He has 35+ years of broad-based experience in Additive Manufacturing (AM) including project management and business development. He started with AM in 1987 at Pratt & Whitney with the 3D Systems beta SLA-1. Known to share AM history on his LinkedIn account. His patents (6) are in UV urethane-acrylate Stereolithography resins. In the early days of AM, he served on committees for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Rapid Prototyping Association (SME/RPA), Georgia Tech Rapid Prototyping, and Manufacturing Institute (RPMI). He has also served as Vice President (2000), President (2001), and Past President (2002) of the Additive Manufacturing Users Group Conference (AMUG).


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Larry “LJ” Holmes Jr., Executive Director, Advanced Manufacturing, Research and Engineering, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
Larry “LJ” Holmes Jr. is the executive director of the Advanced Manufacturing Center at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. Holmes’s research focuses on digital manufacturing, design considerations for advanced manufacturing and material synthesis for novel manufacturing processes. During his federal service, Holmes was the co-founder of the U.S. Army Advanced Manufacturing Community of Practice and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s principal investigator for the Center for Agile Materials Manufacturing Science. He manages facilities and teams that create material and manufacturing solutions that are changing the landscape of the DoD manufacturing industrial base while also educating manufacturing engineers of the future.


Olga Ivanova, PhD, Director of Technology, Mechnano
Olga Ivanova, PhD, is the director of technology at Mechnano. She leads the development of novel formulations and identifies process improvements to satisfy customer requirements. Prior to joining the Mechnano team, she served as the AM applications lead and services manager at Open Additive where she worked with customers from industry, government and academia to help them leverage OA’s systems to meet their research and applications needs. As a researcher with more than 10 years of experience in AM, Ivanova has been fortunate enough to live in two countries, attend three universities and work in three different profile companies. Her experiences have introduced Ivanova to people from other cultures, backgrounds and technical skills, allowing her to launch her interdisciplinary work, discover the power of teamwork and build a global R&D network. Some examples of her AM R&D work include textiles for uniforms, silicones for medical devices and pyrotechnics for decoy flares. Ivanova also enjoys making fun videos about science and technology as well as her work activities to keep her professional network entertained. SME Member Since 2017


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SJ Jones, Technical Sales Engineer, Velo3D
SJ Jones is a Technical Sales Engineer at Velo3D and describes themselves as one of the original “Velo-vangelists”. In their role, SJ is focused on developing the next generation of additive manufacturing (AM) designs and carries a passion for making metal additive parts that push the boundaries of laser powder bed fusion. Experienced in a wide array of disciplines, SJ’s specialties include print simulation, support design, FEA, topology optimization, light weighting, lattice work, and texturing. Prior to joining Velo3D, SJ was an additive manufacturing engineer at Aerojet Rocketdyne and Siemens Energy.


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Sheku Kamara, Dean of Applied Research, Milwaukee School of Engineering
Sheku Kamara is the dean of applied research at Milwaukee School of Engineering where he oversees the activities of the Applied Technology Center. The ATC uses MSOE faculty, staff and student expertise to solve technological problems confronting business and industry. Kamara has been involved with additive manufacturing since 1996 and was director of the Rapid Prototyping Consortium at MSOE. He received a laser-sintering DINO (Distinguished INnovator Operator Award) from AMUG for his contributions to the technology and industry. Kamara has served as a RAPID + TCT event advisor since 2004 and is a past chair of AMUG. SME Member Since 2003


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Humna Khan, CEO/Founder, ASTRO Mechanical Testing Laboratory
Humna is the CEO+Founder of ASTRO Mechanical Testing Laboratory - working closely with industry leaders to determine characteristics of 3D printed metal alloys and composites. She is also the COO of MIMO Technik - an AM company that builds production flight hardware for OEMs and new space companies. Khan has worked in the Aerospace & Defense industry for two decades at U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems, SpaceX, and NASA - leading the qualification of flight-critical hardware. She also served as the youngest Associate Professor at the School of Engineering at Cal State LA. Humna holds five degrees in Engineering and Business disciplines. She holds a post-grad in Strategic Business Development and is a Six Sigma Black Belt for Lean Production.


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Giuseppe Lacaria, Additive Manufacturing Research Engineer, Ford Motor Company
Giuseppe Lacaria is a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, where he has worked for 10+ years. As part of the Research and Advanced Engineering team since 2011, he initially worked in the Polymers Research Group working on sustainable material solutions to reduce weight and Ford's carbon footprint for automotive applications. He then helped create the Additive Manufacturing Research Team focused on adapting AM technologies for automotive needs. Today he has a deep understanding of all Polymer AM modalities but focuses on polymer powder bed fusion (PBF) and validating technologies for volume production.


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David Leigh, PhD
David Leigh, PhD, served as the chief technology officer for additive manufacturing at 3D Systems. Prior to this, Leigh served in the same capacity at EOS, GmbH. He has 30 years of experience in 3D printing dating back to DTM Corp., which launched the laser sintering technology. After his employment at DTM, Leigh founded Harvest Technologies, an additive manufacturing service bureau, which was one of the first AS9100-certified AM facilities to produce end-use parts production in aerospace. Harvest was acquired by Stratasys in 2014 where he served as senior VP for emerging technologies.


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Brian Levy, Aerodynamics Engineer, Joe Gibbs Racing
Brian Levy is an aerodynamics engineer with Joe Gibbs Racing, a NASCAR Sprint Cup team, and has been involved with additive manufacturing technologies since attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for his bachelor’s degree. In addition to overseeing all of Joe Gibbs Racing’s additive manufacturing resources, which includes both FDM and PolyJet systems, Levy is also continuously working on developing applications of the technology to improve the designs of various parts and subsystems on the car. He has been featured in and has assisted with numerous case studies, articles and white papers on additive manufacturing. SME Member Since 2008


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Michael Nikodinovski, Manufacturing Engineer, U.S. Army
Michael Nikodinovski is a mechanical engineer and the AM technical lead at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center. Nikodinovski works in the field of manufacturing engineering, providing support for the broad GVSC mission. His core research is on AM, with a focus on sustainment reduction-related technologies. He serves as one of GVSC’s AM subject-matter experts and is founding member of the Army’s AM Community of Practice. Along with his colleagues throughout CCDC, Nikodinovski is tasked with growing the Army’s AM competency and transition of the technology to the warfighter.


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Michael Raphael, CEO & President, Direct Dimensions Inc.
Michael Raphael started in the field of 3D metrology in 1985 as an engineer responsible for solving aerospace manufacturing problems at what became Lockheed Martin Corp. While there, Raphael helped develop and became the first user and customer of a revolutionary new portable 3D-industrial measurement technology, called the FaroArm, sold today throughout the world. Following several years of in-plant development, he left aerospace to form Direct Dimensions Inc. in 1995. Over the past 25+ years, DDI has expanded significantly to use the most comprehensive array of 3D-scanning technologies and digital modeling solutions for the widest range of applications and industries. SME Member Since 2005


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Brandon Ribic, PhD, Technology Director, America Makes
Brandon Ribic, PhD, joined NCDMM in October 2019 as the America Makes technology director. He brings 15 years of materials processing and manufacturing experience to the organization covering a variety of applications including: railroad, oil, energy, aerospace and defense. Prior to joining NCDMM, Ribic was a joining processes and additive manufacturing materials specialist at Rolls-Royce Corp. His key contributions were concentrated in additive manufacturing of nickel superalloys for OEM and repair applications. In addition, Ribic led Rolls-Royce Corp.’s externally funded additive manufacturing research endeavors. SME Member Since 2021


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Thomas Sorovetz, Fastener Engineer, Stellantis N.V. (retired)
Thomas Sorovetz retired from Stellantis N.V., formerly FCA LLC, after more than 36 years, with 24 years as supervisor of vehicle engineering development, additive manufacturing development, wood, plastic, CNC and carbon-fiber shops. He has over 36 years of experience in automotive design and engineering and more than 24 years of experience in AM. Sorovetz’s affiliation with SME includes 29 years as a RAPID + TCT event advisor, former member of SME’s AM Technical Community Leadership Committee and an executive board member for AMUG for over 29 years. In 2007, he was voted by his industry peers as one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in Rapid Product Development and Rapid Manufacturing by “TCT Magazine.” SME Member Since 2021


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Mihaela Vlasea, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Waterloo, Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab
Dr. Vlasea is an Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo, Canada, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering Department and the Research Co-Director of the Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Laboratory. Her research focuses on innovative design, process optimization, and adoption of new materials for powder bed fusion and powder bed binder jetting additive manufacturing processes.


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Brennon White CAM-F, Technical Lead- AM Product Applications, General Motors
Brennon White (BSME, CAMF) is the Technical Lead For Additive Manufacturing Product Applications within the General Motors Additive Design & Manufacturing group. The group is focused on advancing additive manufacturing technologies with applications from manufacturing aids and Product development prototypes to low volume production implementation.  Brennon has over two decades of experience in automotive product design and advanced development. He holds over 20 patents and has taken product from innovation through production launch. This gives him a unique view of the entire automotive manufacturing ecosystem.  For the last decade, His passion has been to continue learning about and using Additive Manufacturing knowledge in advancement and support of automotive needs. To that end, Brennon has supported organizations like AMUG, America Makes, ASTM, and SME where he has been a RAPID Trade Show Technical Advisor, and Session Chair Since 2013.