The Accelerate LIVE! Speakers

Blaine Brownell

Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies University of Minnesota School of Architecture
Principal, Transstudio

Blaine Brownell is an architect and former Fulbright scholar with a focus on emergent materials and applications. He is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture and Principal of the design and research practice Transstudio. Brownell authored the Transmaterial series as well as the books Matter in the Floating World and Material Strategies with Princeton Architectural Press. Considered a leading scholar on advanced materials for architecture and design, Brownell has been published in over forty design, business, and science journals including The New York Times, The London Times, The Wall Street Journal, New Scientist, and Discover, and he has lectured widely in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Blaine's latest book with co-author Marc Swackhamer is entitled Hypernatural: Architecture's New Relationship with Nature.

Graham Cranston, P.E. (VT), S.E. (HI)

Senior Structural Engineer, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.

Graham Cranston is a Senior Structural Engineer with Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) specializing in design and analysis of non-standard structures. As a member of the Digital Design and Fabrication Group at SGH, Graham uses high-fidelity structural models, finite element analysis, and computational tools to solve diverse problems at the leading edge of structural design. He is currently developing multiobjective optimization approaches for a range of physics from structures to daylighting and energy use. He's also developing workflows for the efficient development of multiple unique and variable 3D printed structural components in buildings.

Daniel Davis, PhD

Director of Product Research, WeWork

Daniel Davis, PhD, is the Director of Product Research with WeWork. Based out of New York, Davis leads a team of researchers investigating the relationship between people and spaces at WeWork. Using a range of computation and machine learning methods, his team is particularly interested in understanding how workplaces can be designed to enhance people's happiness, productivity, and connection to their community. Davis originally trained as an architect in New Zealand and later did a PhD in computational design at RMIT University in Australia. Outside of WeWork, Davis works as a member of the design team completing Antoni Gaudí's Sagrada Família in Barcelona.

Derik Eckhardt, AIA

Architect, The Miller Hull Partnership

Derik Eckhardt AIA, is an Architect with The Miller Hull Partnership in Seattle, Washington. The breadth of his work has developed into an intentionally diverse portfolio. Most recently he has been working on civic infrastructure facilities as well as mixed-use commercial developments. Derik was the 2016 recipient of AIA Seattle's Emerging Professionals Travel Scholarship, which allowed him to travel extensively, exploring the role of emerging technologies within the practice of architecture. In March of 2017, he curated the exhibition Smarter Buildings, which addressed overlapping themes of technology and architecture. Derik holds a Bachelor of Design and a Master of Architecture from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. During his studies he participated in the University of Cape Town BAS (Honours) program in South Africa and also spent time studying in Tianjin, China.

Tyler Goss

Global Innovation Development Manager, Turner Construction

As Turner Construction's Global Innovation Development Manager, Tyler Goss oversees a broad portfolio of organizational transformation initiatives. Whether he is coaching internal entrepreneurs, advising senior leadership, developing external partnerships, or pioneering new revenue streams for the company, he is a passionate advocate for the broad technological and cultural changes necessary to meet the significant challenges facing current and future generations of the AEC industry. Trained as an architect at UCLA, he has previously held positions at SHoP Architects, CASE Design, and WeWork. In total, he has nearly 20 years of experience in design, construction, and operations, giving him a unique understanding of the current state of the industry across all phases of project delivery. Combining this knowledge with both a strategic vision for organizational transformation and a rigorous understanding of future technological trends, his goal is to continuously raise the bar for the effective and efficient delivery of buildings at Turner and throughout the industry at large.

Ben Juckes

Associate, Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign

Ben Juckes is an Associate with the Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign, a Los Angeles based interdisciplinary architecture and design practice which is a laboratory for exploration and experimentation. Before relocating to California, Ben taught parametric modeling and design studios at the University of Western Australia where he also received his Master Degree from the School of Architecture. Whilst at UWA, Ben represented Australia at the Venice Biennale, collaborating with Felix on a retrospective pavilion that brought unbuilt projects to life through a series of augmentations and animations.  Since joining the Yazdani Studio he has worked on a wide range of typologies, from the award winning hybrid student "maker space" and housing building - Lassonde Studios at the University of Utah, to cultural projects in Los Angeles and Jerusalem, and significant high end residential developments in Dubai. Ben is embedded in and provides design leadership in both the studios research initiatives and active projects, and is instrumental in developing a variety of DIY tools and custom workflows that challenge conventional practice and change the way we think about architecture.

Marcene Kinney, AIA, LEED AP

Principal, Market Director, GBBN Architects

As Principal and Market Director at GBBN Architects, Marcene Kinney, AIA, LEED AP, leads her team's exploration and focus to do more than merely solve functional architectural problems for clients. Her applied research details fives types of space and their physical attributes that contribute to socialization and gathering patterns within spaces. She has dedicated 17 years exploring how space facilitates social interaction and builds community within the educational environment. Kinney has presented her research-based design work to American Institute of Architecture and Society of College and University Planning audiences and is the recent recipient of an AIA design award for work completed at Northern Kentucky University. Perhaps most important are the satisfaction survey reports by her clients who are reporting increased engagement and retention from their customers.

Angela Mazzi, AIA, ACHA, EDAC

Senior Associate, Medical Planner, GBBN Architects

Angela Mazzi, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, is a Senior Associate and Medical Planner at GBBN Architects, where she focuses on enhancing quality of life through built environments—connecting great design with user needs. Her background in design, business management, and research on socio-cultural contexts provides a unique perspective on how culture is reflected in architecture and user experience. Mazzi serves on the Board of Regents for the American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA), the Board of AIA Cincinnati, the Advisory Committee for the Institute for Patient-Centered Design, and was an Advisory Board member for Arizona State University's Healthcare Design Program in its initial years. Her research linking wellness to design has been published in many healthcare journals and been presented at both national and international conferences.

Dr. Alan D W McLenaghan

CEO, SageGlass

Dr. Alan McLenaghan, CEO of SageGlass, is an 18 year veteran of the Saint-Gobain group, the parent company of SageGlass. Prior to becoming CEO, Alan served as SVP of Technology at Saint-Gobain's Containers Division (glass bottles), Global VP Manufacturing at Saint-Gobain Glass (flat glass) and Managing Director of Saint-Gobain Glass UK Ltd. He considers it the ultimate honor to have been asked by Saint-Gobain's executive leadership to bring dynamic SageGlass to the global market. Electronically tintable SageGlass is the most innovative product and technology to emerge in the glass and glazing industry since the advent of flat glass produced by the float process. Alan started his career in the late 1980s with the chemical companies, ICI and DuPont, working in several European countries, North America and China. He holds a B.S. in Applied Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Polymer Physics from universities in his native Scotland. Despite the executive titles, Alan considers himself a practical, straightforward Scot and was recently described by a well-known industry blogger as looking and sounding like a Scottish football (soccer) player.

Chris Mayer

Executive Vice President & Chief Innovation Officer, Suffolk

Chris Mayer is the Executive Vice President & Chief Innovation Officer at Suffolk Construction. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the company's innovation initiatives, managing their execution, and measuring their results to achieve safer and more affordable building. In addition, Chris heads up Suffolk's Innovation Committee, which is focused on identifying new innovations and testing them for feasibility. Prior to joining Suffolk, Chris was a consultant in the digital media and online education industries where his focus was on developing strategic technology plans that align with, and enable, successful business growth. Chris also worked as the Publisher of the Boston Globe newspaper and websites for four years and worked at the news organization for nearly 30 years. He oversaw the Globe's two-brand online strategy, developed new technologies that allowed subscribers to access Globe content on smartphones and tablets, and launched RadioBDC which introduced the Globe to a new digital radio audience. Chris currently serves on the board of Community Servings, a not-for-profit food and nutrition program that provides services throughout Massachusetts to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses. Chris received his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Yale University.

Nathan Miller

Founder, Proving Ground

Nathan Miller is the Founder of Proving Ground, a new business venture that delivers data-driven solutions for architecture, engineering, and construction businesses. Miller has worked with some of the most reputable organizations in the building industry to create strategies and software for delivering value with data. His work in data and computation has impacted the design and delivery of a wide range of built environments, including stadiums, skyscrapers, hospitals, and museums. As a technologist, Miller has authored numerous free and open-source tools that are widely used by building professionals and researchers with the aim of improving designer productivity. Among these tools are the popular Grasshopper and Dynamo plug-ins LunchBox, Rhynamo, and Slingshot. He has lectured about data and computation at venues including ACADIA, Facades+, AIA TAP, Building Connections Congress, USC BIM Symposium, and Now Next Future. You can read his latest thoughts on the world of data in buildings at the Proving Ground blog: provingground.io.

Jonathan O'Leary

Vice President, Building Solutions, NCI Building Systems

Jonathan is the Vice President of the Building Solutions Group at NCI Building Systems, leading a team of professionals passionate about bringing value-added building solutions toarchitects, engineers and owners. Jonathan and his team bring unique solutions to customers that drive value across the supply chain and help clients reduce their total cost of ownership, minimize complexity and increase their projects' speed of delivery.  Prior to his role at NCI, he held leadership positions with Commercial Metals Company and Owens Corning and has been recognized for developing strong relationships with customers, suppliers and distributors.  Jonathan holds a BSBA in Finance/Economics from Robert Morris University and an MBA from The University of Pittsburgh.

Sean Parham

VP of Product Marketing and Management, Aditazz

Sean Parham is VP of Product Marketing and Management with Aditazz. With over 25 years in SaaS (software as a service), enterprise software, and broadband networking, Parham is a successful entrepreneur and executive committed to building and launching innovative products. From founding startups to executive management of large-scale enterprises, his experience spans marketing, general management, and product development. Before joining Aditazz, Parham was VP and General Manager of IoT New Ventures for Cisco, where he was responsible for creating an IoT PaaS (platform as a service). Prior to Cisco, he was retained by Pace plc following its acquisition of 2Wire, where he was Chief Marketing Officer. He helped lead the strategic process that resulted in the Pace acquisition of 2Wire for $475 million. While CMO at 2Wire, he headed the company's strategic planning, corporate marketing, product marketing, and worldwide sales support. Parham holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Brad Prestbo, AIA

Senior Associate, Sasaki

Brad is an architect with over nineteen years of experience working on some of the nation's most prestigious campuses. A problem-solver with great technical skill, he has been part of several award-winning project teams. As chair of Sasaki's Technical Resource Group, Brad shares his knowledge of design and detailing with the rest of firm to promote better practices in architecture. Brad enjoys exploring what is possible. In his practice, he finds that researching "what if..." is more rewarding when collaborating with colleagues from various disciplines. He takes an active role in mentoring, sharing his knowledge of 100-year building design principles with colleagues inside and outside the office. A registered architect in Massachusetts, Brad attended Syracuse University School of Architecture where he received the Dean's Citation for Outstanding Thesis Super Jury Award. He currently serves as a design critic and thesis mentor at Suffolk University. Brad is actively involved in the the Construction Specifier's Institute. He frequently lectures on detailing and working drawings, and is currently writing a series of books on contract documents.

Sasha Reed

VP of Strategic Development, Bluebeam, Inc.

As Vice President of Strategic Development at Bluebeam, Sasha Reed connects with design and construction industry leaders to promote collaborative, digital ecosystems using the open file format, PDF. Sasha is known industry-wide as a "conversation facilitator" for her work hosting roundtables, creating platforms and authoring content on StrXur and the BD+C Magazine Digital COM Blog to foster ideas that advance the industry. Sasha has been a featured presenter at numerous national and international conferences, including the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), Federal Project Delivery Symposium, and the NTI Danish BIM Conference. She was recently featured in the UK's Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) roundtable on BIM, as well as the BIM+ webinar on "Real Life Applications of BIM." Sasha is an advisor and founding member of the CPCoalition, a grassroots effort to provide a common industry framework from which to create and maintain construction PDF documents. She also served on the City College of San Francisco BIM Industry Council and is Secretary to the BOD for the buildingSMART alliance, council to the National Institute of Building.

Lucas Richmond

Senior Media Studio Manager, Gilbane Building Company

Lucas Richmond is the Senior Media Studio Manager for Gilbane Building Company. Richmond excels in this role because he is a problem solver and someone that can help people realize their architectural vision. He can take a simple, pencil sketch from a napkin and bring to life a vision in a 3D environment, where you can add materials, lighting, and finishes, and then view in a high-frame-rate virtual reality environment. Richmond is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout, where he studied graphic and multimedia design. His 10 years in the industry of 3D multimedia, combined with solid communication skills, and an architectural background, result in highly detailed animations and visuals for Gilbane's clients.

Alan Robles

Associate, Firmwide Creative Media Leader, Gensler

Over 24 years exploring the relationship between users and their surroundings, Alan Robles has been creating experience environments for clients and projects of every scale around the world. In his role at Gensler, he explores the opportunities found at the fringes of the design practice, searching for the edges of the play space of each design opportunity. As augmented reality, virtual reality, and digital media have become a more significant part of the engagement and development of "place," Robles has focused his work on exploring the interplay between content and context. Developing the tools for creating stories in places with special attention to the value those stories help communicate within the experience environment.

Pablo Savid-Buteler, LEED AP

Managing Principal, Sasaki

As head of the architecture and interior design practice, Pablo is a member of the Executive Committee. He also leads the Campus Studio's international efforts, with a particular focus on work in Central and South America. His experience encompasses both urban and campus environments. Within an urban context, Pablo has expertise with mixed-use environments and on campuses he focuses on student life and learning environments. His commissions are characterized by sensitivity to materiality, attentiveness to the relationship between buildings and surrounding landscapes, and making places that respond to their unique culture and context. His approach involves close dialogue with clients, interactive working sessions, and hands-on, collaborative design and production. Pablo is certified as LEED AP. He holds a diploma of architecture from the Universidad Católica de Cordoba, Argentina, and a master of architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Jonatan Schumacher

Director of CORE studio, Director of Advanced Computational Modeling, Thornton Tomasetti

As Director of CORE studio, Jonatan Schumacher oversees and implements strategic development related to integrated structural design, façade design and building information modeling. He works closely with the building structure, building skin, and building performance practices, assisting project teams firm wide. His experience encompasses architecture, engineering, product design, robotics, and computer science. His areas of expertise include digital fabrication, automatic and generative geometry, computational analysis, and building information modeling. He is fluent in more than five scripting languages and has expertise in various parametric modeling platforms, as well as data mining, problem modeling, and knowledge exchange through APIs of Revit, Tekla, CATIA/Digital Project, Rhino and Grasshopper. Schumacher lectures at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, N.J., and at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. He holds a masters degree in architectural engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, and a bachelor's degree in Product Design and Engineering from Middlesex University, London.

Brent Slawnikowski

Account Manager, Construction BIM-CIM, FARO Technologies, Inc.

Brent brings over eight years of surveying, laser scanning and civil engineering practice to the industry. Brent graduated from Purdue University Calumet in 2012 with a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering. During his four-year tenure at Purdue Calumet, he worked as an intern for Great Lakes Engineering and two years later took the role of Project Engineer at FALK PLI Engineering & Surveying. Expanding his reach, a little further, Brent relocated to Florida in 2014 where he spent a year with CAPTEC Engineering as a Project Engineer. After his one-year tenure in Florida, he relocated back to Northwest Indiana, where he picked up where he left off at FALK PLI Engineering & Surveying. Seeing an opportunity to offer his knowledge and experience to the AEC market, he joined FARO in June 2016.

Jennifer Suerth, LEED AP

Vice President, Technical Services, Pepper Construction

As Vice President of Technical Services at Pepper Construction, Jen provides strategic direction for the company with regard to BIM, laser scanning, virtual reality and other technical services specialties. She serves as a key advisor to project teams on constructability and implementation strategies throughout the early stages of project design and development, as well as providing leadership on construction, fabrication and facility management. Jen has more than 12 years of experience in architecture, engineering and construction.
She is a leader in the Chicago virtual construction community, speaking frequently and running workshops educating others on BIM. She has been recognized among 2016 Women in Construction by Constructech Magazine, Chicago Building Congress Future Leaders and ENR Midwest's Top 20 Under 40. Jen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Studies and a Master of Architecture, Structures, both from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Russ Sykes, PE, LEED AP

Managing Partner, SmithGroupJJR

Russ Sykes, a licensed professional engineer in Michigan and a LEED Accredited Professional, is a managing partner and part of a three-person leadership team for SmithGroupJJR. Working from the firm's Detroit, Michigan location, he leads the company's 10 offices, with a focus on improving project delivery processes and operations. Previously, he managed the Science & Technology studio in Detroit and also served as director of China operations. Russ graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Architectural Engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 1985, and went on to join SmithGroupJJR as an electrical engineer. Through the years he was promoted to management roles at the 280-employee Detroit office, including director of operations and office director. In 2013, he was integral in the establishment of a new office in Shanghai. In 2016, Mr. Sykes was honored as Pennsylvania State University's Outstanding Engineering Alumni, and in 2010 he was recognized by the school's Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society as a Centennial Fellow in the Department of Architectural Engineering. In 2016 he also completed six consecutive years on the Industrial & Professional Advisory Council for the University's College of Engineering. Additionally, he is active in various professional affiliations, including the National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Construction Owner's Association of America, and is an associate member of the Michigan Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Paul Westlake, Jr., FAIA

Managing Principal, Lead Designer, Westlake Reed Leskosky

Paul is a Lead Designer specializing in planning and design for the performing and cultural arts. His award-winning projects encompass theaters and performance venues of all types as well as other cultural facilities such as museums and fine arts buildings. Over the course of his career, Paul has been personally involved in the study, renovation, and design of approximately 200 cultural facilities nationally and internationally, including work in Shanghai, Beijing, Taiwan, and Gabon, Africa. His projects and clients range from large performing arts centers in major cities to facilities nurturing the diversity of the arts on college campuses and in smaller communities. Paul has lectured on performing arts design at national conferences of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, the International Association of Assembly Managers, the League of Historic American Theatres, and other symposia.