Engineering Focus Sessions

Engineering Focus Sessions Agenda

The Engineering Focus Sessions will address critical and forward thinking topics, breakthrough technology, and state-of-the-art design ideas that will enhance your everyday genius.

The agenda is planned by engineers from our Member Companies. The Engineering Focus Sessions will run concurrently with Member and Endorsed Supplier one-on-one sessions at Spring Conference 2016.

Featured Sessions & Speakers


The Changing Face of Regulatory – Risk Management
"The evolutionary step function in global regulations"

Product Development and Invention are moving at breakneck speed these days and regulators are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up. Products are intermingling technologies and customers are using products in ways never thought of previously. So how does a respectable industry consensus standards keep up with the pace of technology evolution?

Risk Based Standards… that's how.

Chris Thompson and Stephanie Barrows of Intertek's Consulting Services will review what the concept of Risk Based Standards, where this trend is moving and how a company can get ahead of this trend with a robust product development process.

Chris Thompson Chris Thompson
Intertek Global Technical Leader, Intertek

Chris Thompson has over 25 years of professional experience in the areas of global research, design, implementation and regulatory strategy for products and systems ranging from appliances and devices to energy management and control methodologies.

Chris has extensive knowledge of concept to production design of innovative solutions for a variety of industries. He is an expert regarding global product development, regulatory affairs, energy management and innovation.

Prior to joining Intertek, Chris Thompson worked with a major global appliance manufacturer and an international food service innovator.

Chris has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been awarded over 20 US patents and multiple global patents and has published and presented industry papers covering various emerging technology topics. He has led and participated in many domestic and global design teams as well as leading industry organizations.

Stephanie Barrows Stephanie Barrows
Managing Consultant, Intertek

Stephanie Barrows is the Managing Consultant for Innovation with Intertek’s Consulting Services Group. She has spent the her career in the Regulatory and Compliance industry, assisting manufacturers with business and process advisory, product development, and global regulatory strategies.

As the Managing Consultant – Innovation, Stephanie works with companies to help them understand how technology trends will impact compliance strategies in their organization.

3D Printing: History, Hype, Impact

Kim Brand

Kim Brand
President, 3D Parts Mfg, LLC, Intertek Consulting Group

Will 3D printing actually be the Next Industrial Revolution? Will we see an upheaval in supply chain management? Will repair parts for food service equipment one day be produced on-demand and delivered from store-fronts at malls? Learn how 3D printing really works and how smart companies are leveraging this new technology to accelerate R&D, get to market faster and innovate next generation product designs.

Kim Brand is the president of 3D Parts Manufacturing, a large operator of advanced additive manufacturing equipment located in central Indiana. They operate $1.5M worth of SLA, DMLS, PolyJet and FDM technology printers from 3D Systems, Stratasys and EOS. Founded in 2013, 3D Parts serves customers across North America including medical, aerospace and consumer product research and development departments of Fortune 500 companies – as well as entrepreneurs and inventors.

Learn how 3D printing really works and how smart companies are leveraging this new technology to accelerate R&D, get to market faster and innovate next generation product designs.


Connectivity & IoT: What Is It and How Do I Implement It?

Todd Thomas

Todd Thomas
Vice President Sales, Elan Industries

Todd will address a technology overview and discussion on connectivity and IoT application in residential and commercial appliances.

Todd has 10+ years of experience in design and sales of custom electronic controls for OEM customers, including top level design (control and user interface definition, control system block diagrams, product specifications, ACAD drawings), project management and related tasks.

Prior to this Todd spent 10 years in the design and sale of instrumentation, pump/booster stations, wireless telemetry and other technologies for municipal applications.

Todd has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and is a registered professional engineer.


Using Hard Data to Validate Product Development

Mark Finck

Mark Finck
Senior Engineer, PG&E Food Service Technology Center

Whether you and your team are looking to introduce new and innovative foodservice appliances or other technologies to the market, it is important to have a strong product development plan.

A successful product development plan involves decision making, well defined objectives and a clear understanding of the end goal. How do you determine that the development process is on track and meeting the objectives? FSTC’s Mark Finck will discuss the important role that testing and data analysis play in validating product development. He will share how the FSTC has helped manufacturers use hard data and research to ensure that their new products are ready to be unveiled to the industry.

Mark Finck is the Lead Engineer at the PG&E Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) in San Ramon, Ca.. He is responsible for developing and applying standard test methods for evaluating the energy efficiency and performance of commercial food service equipment at the FSTC.

Finck has more than twenty years of experience in commercial cooking equipment product development – including performance, application and efficiencies. With a background in Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) kitchen operations, food science chemistry, equipment manufacturing and agency codes, Finck has helped many companies expand their menus and change their operational methods of food processing with the development of new appliances.

Finck is a member of the ASTM Standards Committee, co-author of standard test methods for food service equipment. He is a member of NFPA-96 Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking operations, a contributing author to fire safety code language, and a past member of ASHRAE, Technical Committee – TC-510 Cooking Ventilation.


Galvanizing Breakthrough Performance - 7 Roles of a Highly Effective Manager

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt
Founder, Let's Grow Leaders

As a leader, do you ever feel wedged between the heavy lifting your team must do and the constant pressure of market and competitive expectations? In this high-energy session, we will explore 7 strategic roles proven achieve breakthrough results: Translator, Builder, Connector, Galvanizer, Accelerator, Backer and Ambassador. Come learn practical techniques to take your team's performance to the next level and keep it there.

Karin Hurt is a keynote speaker, leadership consultant, and MBA professor. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR. She was recently named to Inc's list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers, American Management Association’s 50 Leaders to Watch in 2015, & Top Thought Leader in Trust by Trust Across America.

Her first book Overcoming an Imperfect Boss is available on Amazon. Her next book, Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul is being published by AMACOM in April 2015.


*more session information will be available as speakers confirm!
Please check this site frequently for current scheduling, appointment, and Conference handbook information.  You can access it any time from the Conference tab on the My Prime Advantage home page.


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Phone: 866-875-3299