Christian studied Materials Handling at the University of Applied Science at Erfurt, graduating with a degree in engineering (2002) and later completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program at the University of Wales, UK (2012). Currently he is enrolled in a Master of Science degree program in Information Technology at the Indiana University Bloomington, USA.
From 2003 till 2018 Christian held several leadership roles in Operations, Lean and Supply Chain Management for Grammer, ITW, TRW, Faurecia and Federal Mogul in Europe, Asia and the US. During this time, he was responsible for the setup of two manufacturing plants in Asia as well as more than 15 restructuring projects across the globe. Beside his operational responsibilities Christian was also jointly responsible with the conceptual design and roll out of the Production System for Federal Mogul as well as for TRW.
His most challenging project was the setup of a new Just in Time plant in South Korea (2009). “At this time, I was fairly young (29) and put in charge in a culture where it is all about seniority and hierarchical levels. I have done many mistakes, have learned a lot and was successful in the end because of a great team and an inspirational leader”.
Christian has a deep technical understanding and a high level of expertise in Production and Supply Chain with modern methods and standards. This expertise he is passing over in form of his lecturing assignments in International Production, Digital Strategies and Lean Management at two technical universities in Germany.
Currently, Christian is working for STAEDTLER, a traditional German FMCG manufacturer, where he is responsible for the lean transformation along with the digital agenda for the manufacturing network.
Team Leader Industrial Engineering
With an educational background as technical draftsperson, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and her Engineering Diploma in Product Engineering and Management, Cornelia started her early career as project manager in polymer processing for the automotive industry. In 2010, she changed branches when taking off for Airbus Defence and Space in Bremen, where she succeeded in various positions. She has been continuing her professional career at ArianeGroup GmbH since 2017. As team leader and leader of the Smart Devices work group within the company project Factory 4.0, Cornelia is well prepared for her private role as “working mom” of two children.
Davide di Blasi
Global Lean and Quality Director
Hilding Anders International AB
Electronic Engineer graduated from University of Palermo, 39 years old. 13 years of experience in Manufacturing in 3 different multinational companies. Several positions covered (Quality SPC, Lean coordinator, Production manager, Plant Manager, Industrial Director, Lean and Quality Director) and since 2016 partnership with Pavia University in Lean Production training course.
Leading change and people common denominator in each role, combined with a profound belief in lean principles and continuous improvement mindset.
In 2016 participation to Master Class in Japan opened my eyes and helped me to better understand the deep meaning of lean manufacturing.
Challenging targets always achievable if we inspire the team with a common vision and we communicate a clear strategy to them: well defined indicators translated to all levels of the organization and people empowering is a key point for success.
“Take care of your people and they’ll take care of your customers and business”: it is a note sentence in which I strongly believe.
Prof. Dr. Dimitris Kiritsis
Prof. ICT for Sustainable Manufacturing
Prof. Dr. Dimitris Kiritsis is Faculty Member at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering of the School of Engineering of EPFL, Switzerland, where he is leading a research group on ICT for Sustainable Manufacturing. He serves also as Director of the doctoral Program of EPFL on Robotics, Control and Intelligent Systems (EDRS). His research interests are Closed Loop Lifecycle Management, IoT, Semantic Technologies and Data Analytics for Engineering Applications. He served also as Guest Professor at the IMS Center of the University of Cincinnati, and Invited Professor at the University of Technology of Compiègne, the University of Technology of Belfort-Montbéliard and at ParisTech ENSAM Paris. Prof. Kiritsis is actively involved in EU research programs in the area of Factories of the Future and Enabling ICT for Sustainable Manufacturing. He has more than 220 publications. From September 2013 to September 2019 Dimitris was Chair of IFIP WG5.7 – Advanced Production Management Systems. From 2013 to 2017 he was member of the Advisory Group of the European Council on Leadership on Enabling Industrial Technologies – AG LEIT-NMBP. He is also founding fellow member of the International Society for Engineering Asset Management (ISEAM), of various international scientific communities in his area of interests including EFFRA and among the initiators of the IOF (Industrial Ontologies Foundry).
Digital Industrial Operations Director EU
I like considering myself a Millennial with almost 20 years of experience. Italian, “friulano”, engineer. I spend a huge portion of my career in operations, starting from operator in assembly to factory director in Electrolux Porcia. In Electrolux Porcia factory we introduced in 2015 an innovative platform of resource management. This experience was fundamental to make the good knowledge owned by few excellent managers available to the whole organisation. In the last 2 years I’ve been leading digital transformation in Operations Europe for Electrolux. Together with my digital team we are connecting the 15 factories in Europe towards new digital experiences. We are either piloting and adopting new technologies and enabling people in becoming more familiar with them.
CTO - Operational Excellence/WCMAperam/Black Belt
Fabio Achille Occhioni
Production & Integration Director
Thales Alenia Space
Head of Digital Production
In 2019, Frank Göller took over the management of the "Digital Production" department with the main task of steering the group-wide digitization activities in production and logistics. Objective and responsibility are orchestrating the restructuring of the IT architecture in production and logistics as well as organizing synergies across all brands and plants in the Volkswagen Group as part of the digital transformation. Frank Göller and his team are therefore the central partner of the brands in the group for the design and control of the digitalization roadmap in production and logistics. This also includes the development of the internal Digital Production Platform (DPP) and the external implementation of a Industrial Cloud with VW and its partners.
Before returning to Volkswagen, Mr. Göller held various managerial positions in industry and consulting. Most recently, he founded and managed the Stuttgart office for the management consultancy ROI AG. Furthermore, he was responsible for various strategy topics and operational implementation programs as a member of management and as managing director in the Festool Group for over 7 years. At the beginning of his professional career, he worked for AUDI AG for 6 years in various production and logistics-related functions. He was then able to enrich and apply this knowledge at McKinsey & Company for over 8 years in various branches of the manufacturing industry. The founding of a start-up in "green energy" business with up to 100 employees as shareholder and COO enlarge his entrepreneurial profile.
Frank Göller's expertise spans between large-scale transformation programs, digital production strategies and organizational development programs. Mr. Göller always emphasizes the importance that people, processes and technology are inseparable and that is what makes a sustainable transformation successful.
Head of Quality Transport & Logistics
Jesper has delivered organizational footprint and technology strategies within Element design and Mould Manufacturing - establishing Engineering centers in LEGO manufacturing sites in Mexico and Denmark. Responsibilities include delivering innovation to support product development and leading engineering on manufacturing sites. During his work Jesper has profound focus on how IoT can support his visions and enable the future – a true IOT-technology evangelist.
Jesper has worked for LEGO in several roles. 1) Responsibility for R&D in Packaging and Processing (Decorations and Assembly) product line. 2) Responsibilities for product development execution for LEGO DUPLO, LEGO Games, LEGO Technic, LEGO Hero Factory - leading development teams through design, sourcing and marketing process from concept to finished product. 3) establishing logistics strategy, delivered turn around results in increasing differentiated services and reducing costs by e.g. outsourcing, consolidating sites and redefining logistic service offering.
Vice President Manufacturing
Samsonite Europe NV
My name is Luc Roesems and latest employed as Vice President Manufacturing at Samsonite. Throughout my career I have held several positions working for multinational companies; From Demand and Supply Manager, to Head of Supply Chain and S&OP, Director Global Operations & PMO, Divisional Plant Operations Director, Vice President Manufacturing. Holding following certifications: APICS CPIM, CSCP and SCOR-P, Lean and Six Sigma Black Belt. Associated with Advance Operations Management School as a free-lance teacher APICS. Have founded my own consultancy company PerfectOps in 2017 (ww.perfectops.be)
Mads Bred Georgsen
Novo Nordisk A/S
Manufacturing Technology Specialist
MD, UK & Ireland
Mark Carnaghan is a senior business leadership professional and MBA graduate with distinction who is currently a Director within Meal Solutions Division as part of 2 Sisters Food Group. In this capacity he directs the flagship business unit at Carlisle producing prepared meals across a variety of categories for its principle customer, M&S. Following 5 years’ service as an Army Infantry officer Mark picked up a manufacturing leadership role in Mars before coming to specialize in business Operational Excellence journeys and turnarounds developing a strong track record of delivery as he has progressed into General Management and directorship. This has included leading operations and business units within own label food manufacturing and printing at Greencore, Communisis and latterly 2 Sisters Food Group. As an inspirational leader Mark has led successful cultural and business change programmes within and across sites establishing high performing, empowered teams and sustainable processes to deliver bottom line results including in Information Management. People are at the heart of Mark’s leadership philosophy which stresses role modelling best practice, mindfulness and a strong sense of productive service to enhance the experiences of employees at work and the health of the business as a whole. As a passionate developer of current and future leaders Mark actively coaches and mentors within 2SFG while also being a vocal champion for the Company’s newly launched behaviours. On top of this Mark lectures and mentors students at the University of Leeds as part of the ‘Leaders in Residence’ scheme and is a key note speaker in a number of other settings including business and military leadership events.
Dr. Markus Junk
Head of International Production Network – Residential Heating
Bosch Thermotechnik GmbH
Director - Plant Manager
Executive Vice President, New Business Development
Mr. Patel is Executive Vice President, New Business Development for VWGoA and responsible for key strategic projects at Volkswagen AG.
He has been involved with the Ford / Volkswagen Alliance, responsible for all of the key business agreements, and more recently, Mr. Patel is leading the development of the Industrial Cloud business strategy alongside Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Siemens.
Mr. Patel joined Volkswagen AG in early 2018, and is based in Wolfsburg, Germany. Prior to that, he has held global roles in strategy and operations with other leading automakers.
Production Unit (Operations) Manager
I am the Production Unit / Operations Manager for DES (Drug Eluting Stents) Production Unit in Boston Scientific, Galway, Ireland. I lead an organisation of over 620 employees focused on delivering high quality medical devices, supporting annual revenue of $1.5bn with annual operations budget of $180m. Our success is based on a culture of high performance, enabling our teams achieve their goals focused on a common purpose. With over 15 years’ experience, my background in Operational Excellence has enabled me build systems that deliver high customer value through a culture of engagement and excellence.
I have an B.Eng. in Industrial Engineering through NUIG, Galway (Ireland) and a MSc in Lean Enterprise through University of Buckingham, UK. In the 15 years of my profession career I have learned, implemented and tested methods of delivering Operational Excellence / Lean in multiple production areas and sites.
From 2013 to 2016, I lead the Operational Excellence team of 15 employees in Boston Scientific, Galway in which we developed the sites Operational Excellence strategy in conjunction with the site Leadership Team. The strategy focused on delivering excellent systems based on a Culture of Engagement. In 2015, the People Engagement program commenced using a Rapid Mass Engagement approach. This program enabled the site improve Engagement levels year on year, outstripping benchmark organisations while the site grew from 2500 employees in 2015 to over 4,200 employees today. In the past 4 years I moved into direct Operations Management where I led teams and Production areas from 400 employees to over 600. My background in Operational Excellence and Culture development allowed me to introduce new systems in these areas and truly test both these systems and my ability to lead and own the results
“Business and human endeavours are systems… we tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the system. And wonder why our deepest problems never get solved” (Peter Senge)
Manager, Manufacturing Research & Intelligence
Senior Head of Corporate Services
Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Gottschalk
VP SC Strategy and Global Engineering
Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Gottschalk studied Mechanical Engineering at the RWTH Aachen in Germany and INSA de Lyon in France. He did his PhD studies on Production Engineering and obtained an Executive MBA title of the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland).
After working as leader of the business unit Production Management in industry consultancy and research at the RWTH Aachen he joined Beiersdorf AG in 2009. He took here the global responsibility for the production network development and Beiersdorf´s global production efficiency program and built and started-up the company’s biggest overseas facility in Mexico.
Today Sebastian is leading Beiersdorf’s Supply Chain Transformation and global Engineering. He is responsible for the factory master planning and Capex program for the production network.
Head of Quality and ACE
Vice President, Head of Manufacturing
Simon obtained his degree and PhD in organic chemistry from the University of East Anglia, and completed two post-doctoral positions in Lisbon and Birmingham before moving into industry in 2006. After a brief spell working at Pfizer Simon joined SAFC Pharma in early 2007 as a shift chemist on the GMP production plant.
Simon’s ability to effectively trouble shoot and identify process improvements gave him the opportunity to progress within SAFC, holding several positions of increasing responsibility before being appointed plant manager.
In 2013 Simon made the switch to gene therapy, moving to Oxford Biomedica. As the Vice President, Head of Manufacturing Simon has overseen the expansion the Manufacturing department, increasing production output by eliminating process wastage and through two capacity expansion projects. Five years after bring manufacturing in-house, Oxford Biomedica was approved as the world’s first commercial manufacture of a Lentiviral vector gene therapy and continues to make strides in reducing the cost of ATMP’s by the introduction of its second generation suspension process.
After graduating as a Polymer Processing Engineer, Stéphane COUDURIER CURVEUR has equally split his 25 years career between Manufacturing & Engineering, in Operational or Central Functions. First in a UK based plant, Managing Process Development & Production, as a Toyota supplier, where he developed his hands on & lean approach of Technology Efficiency. Then as the Manager of Faurecia Worldwide team of Injection Process/Tool Engineers & Experts, based in China, to establish from this important country supplier of tools, the Excellence level expected by Faurecia. After a brief return back to the floor to recover efficiency of Faurecia Mexican Injection Operation, he is now in charge of leading the full Injection Operation of Faurecia to Excellence & beyond. 850 machines in 53 plants Worldwide, developing a collaborative network between entities to boost knowledge & efficiency, engaged in digital transformation & using successfully Big Data to improve performance & go beyond Excellence.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedli
Institute of Technology Management (University of St. Gallen)
homas Friedli is an Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer of Management with a special focus on Production Management at the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland. He is a director at the University’s Institute of Technology Management and leads the division of Production Management. He holds a post-doctoral (habilitation) and doctoral degree in Business Administration from the same university. His main research focus is the management of manufacturing enterprises. His area of expertise is in operational excellence in the pharmaceutical industry, collaboration management, management of industrial services and management of global production. Thomas Friedli is an associate member to the International Academy for Quality (IAQ) and a member of the advisory council of the Swiss Association for Quality and Management Systems (SAQ). He works with the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on quality metrics for pharmaceutical production plants. He is teaching in several executive programs and was a visiting lecturer at the Business school of Bordeaux as well as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. His publications have appeared in various journals including the International Journal of Production Economics, the Journal of Pharmaceutical Innovation and the International Journal of Operations & Production Management.
Uwe has more than 25 years experience in the manufacturing environment and with industrial software and automation products. He spent 5 years as an application engineer with Schiess a major manufacturer of heavy machine tool builder before he started to be involved of developing the first Industrial pc´s and the use of pc equipment to control and optimize palletize systems. Prior to Incuity and Wonderware, Uwe has built up the sales area for an engineering company and sold automation solution to all kinds of manufacturing segments. After running his own business Uwe joined Wonderware in 1994 as regional sale manager in the west part of Germany. 1995 he moved to the head quarter in the US to develop the OEM program. In this timeframe Uwe gained also international expirience in Asia. Since 1997 he was leading the sales organization of the German operation including the ERP and Maintenance sales which came through Wonderware in 1999. January 2001 he took over the position as managing director in Scandinavia where he was building up the new entity which was created in April 2001 with a clear focus on adding value to their customers business. In 2003 Uwe became the additional responsibility of the German operation as Managing Director. April 2005 he exepted the position as Director Business Development and Marketing EMEA where he was responsible for extending the established markets and grow new emergency market segments or area. Together with his Marketing manager he developed the marketing strategies for Wonderware in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. His primary goal was to grow significant the business in EMEA as well as identifying new potential business segments. Since Jan 2014 Uwe was also appointed to the Chairman of the EMEA board of Mesa International a non profitable association focusing since more than 20 years on Manufacturing. Uwe Kueppers is married and has a son and a daughter.
Director, DOP Production, Paper Business Line
Ilkka is a seasoned manufacturing operations professional with 14 years of experience in management positions and 20+ years of experience in the industry in total. Ilkka has been responsible for manufacturing operations of high-tech metal products, overseeing more than 500 members of staff. Experienced in leading operations and managing various development projects, he has gained the necessary change management skills required in factory turnarounds and efficient production environment. Ilkka´s leadership philosophy is to engage and empower the staff, and he has a strong ability to deliver positive change with people and processes management.
Michelle J. White, MBA
Director, Organizational Change Management
Michelle White, MBA is a ‘fixer’ creating art + science strategies empowering teams to deliver results and lead through change.
After spending more than a decade on business transformation projects, marketing, and product development for multimillion dollar brands, Michelle knows what truly drives change in organizations—and it’s not ignoring the amount or pace of change you know needs to happen. It’s how well you prepare yourself, your teams and customers for the change ahead with a compelling story.
Cardinal Health, a Fortune 15 company, recruited Michelle 3 years ago. Since then, she has been the driving force behind several major changes for at-Home Solutions, a $2B+ business unit serving more than 3 million customers, 1400 payors, 12000 DMEs annually.
Michelle holds an MBA in Marketing and a BA in Fashion Merchandising from Kent State University.
Chief Commercial Officer
Martine is involved in ATS global’ s Commercial Business Strategy, Sales, Marketing and Customer Success. Her focus is to build a commercial organization and grow the business further.
Martine has more than 20 years of experience working together with customers for global companies in different industries. Prior to joining ATS Global she held commercial management positions at a variety of companies such as Accenture ABN Amro and Salesforce. Martine has worked in line positions on commercial strategy and execution as well as in management consultancy helping companies with their digital transformation.
People centricity, unlocking potential and customer engagement are important factors in achieving her goals.
Martine holds a Master’s degree in Business Economics from the University of Maastricht.