Featured Speakers

Janis Terpenny

Dinner Speaker

Peter & Angela Dal Pezzo Chair & Department Head of the Harold & Inge Marcus Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering, Penn State University


Janis Terpenny is the director of the Center for e-Design, a 7-university 30+ industry/government member NSF industry/university cooperative research center (I/UCRC). Dr. Terpenny’s research focuses on engineering design and smart manufacturing (process and methods of early design; knowledge and information in design; product families and platforms; obsolescence in products and systems; complexity of products and systems; and cloud computing for design and manufacturing integration) and design education (multidisciplinary teams; impacts of project choice and context on engagement and learning; and the retention and success of underrepresented students). Previously, Dr. Terpenny served as department chair and Joseph Walkup Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Iowa State University. She served as the first technology thrust lead for Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise (AME) for the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII). She has served as a program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and as professor at Virginia Tech and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has 9 years of industry work experience with General Electric (GE). Throughout her career, she has served as PI or co-PI on over $14 million in sponsored research and is the author of over 165 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications. She serves as an associate editor for the Engineering Economist and is a Fellow of IIE and ASME, and a member of ASEE, INFORMS, Alpha Pi Mu, and Tau Beta Pi.

Preparing Students for Leadership in the Innovation Economy

A growing number of engineering students are seeking training and experiences in leadership. Many agree that being a ‘good’ leader is more challenging than managing. While many best practices have been researched, taught, and practiced, the main premise of this talk is that the first, and perhaps most important element to success in leadership, indeed in life in general, is to be aware of and appreciate what motivates oneself and others. This requires reflection and seeking the answers to several questions. Where is your (their) passion? What makes you (others) happy? Why choose to do this rather than that? Why should I collaborate with you versus choosing to do something else? Why should I (we) embrace and work on activities in my (our) organization? Second, and related to the first element … it is not only okay, but essential that each leader give themselves permission to own their style and methods of leadership. There is no one-size-fits-all! As educators, it is important that we provide clear messages and experiences that inspire and enable such thinking. Moreover, leadership in the innovation economy requires that students learn in the context of real problems. Specific examples will be provided, including the important roles of industry/university consortia such as the NSF Center for e-Design and the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), as well as engaging projects with community partners.

James Delattre

Keynote Speaker

Assistant Vice President for Research, Penn State University
Director, Office of Entrepreneurship & Commercialization, Penn State University


Prior to joining Penn State’s Office of the Vice President for Research as Assistant Vice President for Research and Industrial Partnerships, Dr. James L. Delattre served as Vice President of Global Marketing at NanoHorizons, Inc., a nanomaterials manufacturing start-up company spun out of Penn State. Dr. Delattre joined the research team at NanoHorizons as Product Development Manager in 2005 after working in the Low-k Dielectrics Group at Novellus Systems, Inc. in Santa Clara, California. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on processes for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from semiconductor manufacturing and the development of new synthetic techniques for the solid state. He completed postdoctoral work investigating the plasma treatment of polymers at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche at the University of Bari, Italy. He is the author of over a dozen peer-reviewed scientific articles and holds several patents. Dr. James Delattre received his BS with honors in Chemistry from Penn State, where he studied inorganic, high-pressure chemistry and Russian language.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset & The Innovation Economy

James Delattre will discuss the indispensable role of universities in the emerging Innovation Economy – both as a sources of new discoveries that feed innovation, as well as centers for professional development and entrepreneurship education.