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Build Better 2021 has concluded.

Thank you so much to all of the guests, speakers, and sponsors of Build Better 2021. We hope you enjoyed the event and were able to connect with others in your community. If you missed a session or would like to rewatch something you enjoyed, please email or bookmark our Resources page.

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Last year's Build Better 2021 itinerary:

2021 Event Description

2020 brought a wave of cancelled programs across electronics categories for one simple reason: for decades we’ve been optimizing for the wrong thing. Build Better 2021 is a manufacturing summit bringing together leaders in electronics design, engineering, and manufacturing to discuss what’s working, what isn’t, and how to build a better future.

The second annual manufacturing summit will feature real practitioners building some of the world’s most innovative products. Learn from what others have tried, and join the conversation on how you’re keeping builds on schedule, driving product innovation, and preparing for a low or no-travel 2021.

1:00 PM
Welcome to Build Better

Speaker: Avidan Ross (Managing Partner, Root Ventures)

Welcome remarks and an introduction to our speakers and sponsors, including helpful tips on how to participate in interactive sessions on our event platform.

1:15 PM
Manufacturing Optimization: Now And Next

Speaker: Anna-Katrina Shedletsky (CEO, Instrumental)

2020 was a catalyst for innovation – in both what and how we build. Teams had to find new ways to complete build failure analysis remotely to keep to schedules, refactor supply chains, and bake agility into their everyday processes. We discuss the learnings, experiences, and best practices that evolved from the disruptions of 2020.

1:45 PM
Manufacturing Technology Pulse 2021: Successes and Failures of AI, Big Data, and the Industry 4.0 Promises

Speaker: Piyush Modi (NVIDIA), Christophe Begue (IBM), Remi Duquette (Maya HTT), Andrew Scheuermann (Arch Systems)

In this panel discussion, industry experts discuss how manufacturing technology has evolved and where engineering and manufacturing leaders should focus in 2021.

2:30 PM
A Practical Framework for Evaluating AI Tech for Executives With No Time

Speakers: Simon Kozlov (AI & ML Lead, Instrumental, fmr Roblox)

Manufacturing executives have many challenges to solve and limited time and resources to do it. With the acceleration of AI applications in manufacturing, executives are both suspicious and hopeful. In this practical session, Simon Kozlov will share a basic framework developed over his decade of building and evaluating AI applications for manufacturing executives to use to evaluate proposed AI initiatives within their organizations. He’ll share a collection of paradigms, core questions to ask, and key elements any Proof of Concept needs to include.

3:30 PM
Launching Oculus Quest 2, Facebook’s Newest VR Headset, During a Global Pandemic

Speaker: Caitlin Kalinowski (Hardware Director, Oculus VR)

Learn how Facebook Reality Labs leveraged a digital-first approach to NPI to stay on schedule and launch the Oculus Quest 2 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

4:00 PM
Fixing the Misalignments that Cost us Billions: Fireside Chat with Jeff Lutz

Speaker: Jeff Lutz (former VP of NPI at Motorola, Google); Anna-Katrina Shedletsky (CEO, Instrumental)

For decades manufacturing optimization has focused on lean manufacturing and brittle practices, like geographically optimized supply chains and minimizing cost and headcount. But it’s been blind to a massive source of inefficiency: misalignments. Whether it’s between brands CMs, and suppliers, or within your own organization, misaligned incentives are the root cause of slow issue resolution. We draw on findings from our State of NPI survey to share why misalignment has been so stubborn, and how innovators are overcoming it to build better.

4:30 PM
Electronics Manufacturing by the Numbers

Speaker: Cathy Ma (Head of Audience Development, Thomas)

With over 1.2 million registered manufacturing professionals using® daily to discover suppliers and generate leads, Thomas is in a unique position to guide industry as it adapts to and navigates new challenges.

In this session, Cathy opens Thomas’s troves of industry data to reveal:

  1. The fastest-growing electronic and electrical products and services in North America to prepare your sales pipeline

  2. COVID-19’s impacts on supply chains to help you mitigate procurement risks

  3. Key reshoring and innovation trends from fellow manufacturers to inspire your 2021 growth strategy

5:00 PM
Why Building Products for Repairability is Good for Business

Speaker: Kyle Wiens (CEO, iFixit)

In rapid-cycle, high volume consumer electronics products, repairability is rarely at the top of an engineer’s list of design considerations. Circularity and electronics recyclability expert Kyle Wiens makes the business case for why prioritizing repairability is good for business, and why you shouldn’t wait to incorporate repairability requirements into your designs.

Learn how you can reduce rework costs and improve consumer brand perception by making your products easy to repair and recycle.

5:30 PM
Expo & Networking

Meet and network with peers from across engineering, manufacturing, and operations, and discover the newest manufacturing technology solutions. Sign up for our manufacturing summit today.

Event Speakers

Kyle Wiens
iFixit, CEO

Kyle Wiens is the CEO of iFixit, the free repair manual. He’s dedicated his life to defeating the second law of thermodynamics, a battle fought in the courtroom as often as in the workshop. The Right to Repair campaign has, so far, successfully legalized cell phone unlocking and tractor repair. Kyle regularly speaks on design for repair, service documentation, and the environmental impact of manufacturing. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, Wired, Popular Mechanics, and the Wall Street Journal.

Anna Shedletsky
Instrumental, CEO

Anna-Katrina Shedletsky is the CEO and founder of Instrumental Inc., a manufacturing data company creating the first end-to-end optimization platform for product teams building electronic devices. Instrumental combines AI-powered defect and anomaly detection, failure analysis tools, complete issue monitoring and reporting, and production-quality in-line tests into a single end-to-end optimization platform.

Anna-Katrina holds two degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. Before founding Instrumental, she led system product design for the first-generation Apple Watch program, and contributed to several generations of iPod mechanical design.

Jeff Lutz
Launch i/o, Inc, Founder & CEO

Jeff Lutz has shipped over one billion consumer electronics devices globally in more than 150 countries worldwide. He currently is the Founder & CEO of Launch i/o, Inc. There, Jeff and his team are partnering w/Fortune 10 tech companies on supply chain design, Design For X, and totally rethinking product cost structure.

He was most recently Corporate Vice President, of Supply Chain, Head of New Products, & Chief Quality Officer at Motorola Mobility. During his 20+ year career at Motorola, Google, and Lenovo he delivered several groundbreaking firsts in the mobile industry such as the RAZR phone, the first Droid mobile phone, and the first android tablet & wearable devices.

At Build Better Jeff will talk about the real cost of misalignments in the supply chain and what practitioners can do to fix it.

Caitlin Kalinowski
Hardware Director, Oculus VR

Caitlin Kalinowski leads VR Hardware at Facebook and is passionate about empowering women in tech. She is a recognized leader in virtual reality and product design. In her current role, Caitlin is responsible for the product design and engineering of Oculus’s award-winning VR devices including Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S. Before working at Oculus, she was a technical lead at Apple on the Mac Pro and MacBook Air lines, and was part of the original unibody Macbook Pro team. Caitlin received her BS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. Caitlin is also on the strategic board of Lesbians Who Tech & Allies, the largest LGBTQ technical organization in the world, serving 30,000 members.

Cathy Ma
Head of Audience,®

Cathy Ma is the Head of Audience Development for Thomas, North America’s number one industrial sourcing and marketing platform. She is a former Wikipedia sociologist and an international growth leader with 15+ years of experience developing audience strategies across global organizations, such as Moody’s Analytics, Interbrand, and Yahoo! Her recent research on COVID-19’s impacts on manufacturing was cited in Design News, EE Times, and McKinsey’s industry analysis.

Simon Kozlov
Software Engineer

Simon Kozlov is a Machine Learning engineer at Instrumental. Simon has been involved with all AI capabilities at Instrumental, currently leading the Machine Learning team to deliver the next generation of AI-driven tools.

Simon holds a masters degree in Physics from Novosibirsk State University – one of the highest rated engineering schools in Russia. He also teach a Deep Learning course at State Novosibirsk University. Simon previously work at the Machine Learning team at Dropbox.

Andrew Scheuermann
CEO & CoFounder, Arch Systems

Andrew is the CEO and Co-founder of Arch, helping manufacturers and industrial leaders digitize and operate more sustainably. Andrew has over 15 scientific papers in the fields of semiconductor electronics and renewable energy and holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science from Stanford where he accomplished a world record in silicon photoanode efficiency. He helped build StartX, one of the top startup accelerators in the world, leading the hardware program and helping scores of early IoT companies go to market. He is passionate about working with Arch’s customers and each member of the team to together build a more connected and sustainable Earth.

Christophe Begue
Director Solution Strategy and Business Development, IBM Global Electronics Industry Team

Christophe Begue leads the solution strategy and business development for IBM in the Electronics and High-Tech Industry. He focuses on creating and scaling vertical solutions for specific industries on top of emerging horizontal technologies like Blockchain, AI, ML, IoT… His main interest has always been in supply chain management and manufacturing, both through the development of new software solutions and in the context of global consulting projects. Prior to joining IBM he managed supply chain consulting projects at Philips Center for Manufacturing Technology.

Remi Duquette
Vice-President Industrial AI Solutions, MayaHTT

With 20 years of experience building practical, effective solutions, Remi now plays a key role in heading Maya HTT’s industrial IoT and AI solutions strategy and innovation. He is a sought-after guest speaker with dozens of successful industrial AI/ML/simulation projects to his credit. From his achievement as a young short-track speed skating champion to his instrumental contributions to the structural design and analysis of five spacecraft currently in orbit, when it comes to “mission-critical”, Remi is an asset to all our Maya HTT clients.

Piyush Modi
AI Compute Strategy & Business Development for Industrial IOT, NVIDIA

Piyush Modi is responsible for Global Business Development/Strategy for Industrial Sector at NVIDIA. He is actively engaged with major industrial companies and related research labs to conceive and realize Industrial AI enabled solutions. He is focused on developing business and ecosystem around real time deep learning training/inferencing platforms, architecture and related algorithms for the Industrial use cases spanning inspection, predictive maintenance, video analytics, logistics, automation and Conversational AI.

Prior to NVIDIA, at as a VP of engineering, he led a team to build the industry’s first distributed AI (Deep Learning and Evolutionary Algorithms) platform to serve the model building pipeline needs for E-Commerce, Financial and Industrial verticals to harness dark compute cycles from 1000s of GPUs available globally.

Previously, over 20+ years of his career he has held CTO, Sr. VP, and Head of Research Lab positions at companies including GE Global Research, BT, Ribbit, IP Unity, and AT&T Bell Labs, to deliver major industry forming outcomes leveraging Speech Recognition, VOIP, IoT, and Deep Learning technologies.

Piyush holds a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Speech Recognition) from Rutgers, New Jersey, an MS in Computer Science from the University of Tennessee, and a B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi, India.

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