Navigating the Smart Manufacturing Transformation

Agenda & Details


  • 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM: Registration/Networking (Breakfast)
  • 8:00 AM – 8:15 AM: Welcome Address
  • 8:15 AM – 8:45 AM: Acceleration Framework: How It Works and Getting Started
  • 8:45 AM – 9:30 AM: Digital Thread in Manufacturing
  • 9:30 AM – 9:55 AM: Real-World SM at MAGNET
  • 9:55 AM – 10:10 AM: BREAK
  • 10:10 AM – 10:45 AM: MAGNET Tour
  • 10:45 AM – 11:30 AM: Introduction to Cyber Security Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)
  • 11:30 AM – 11:40 AM: Key Takeaways and Closing Remarks
  • 11:40 AM – 12:30 PM: Lunch and Networking with Speakers

Event Speakers

Nick Barendt

Assistant Vice President of Research for Technology and Ecosystem Growth
Case Western Reserve University (CWRU)

Nick Barendt serves as Assistant Vice President of Research for Technology and Ecosystem Growth at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Executive Director of the Institute for Smart, Secure and Connected Systems (ISSACS) at CWRU, Director of the CESMII Smart Manufacturing Innovation Center (SMIC) at CWRU, and Co-Executive Director of the IoT Collaborative, a partnership between CWRU and Cleveland State University (CSU). 

He earned his MSEE and BSEE from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in 1998 and 1995, respectively. Prior to joining ISSACS, he spent over 20 years in industry, leading teams and building products in robotics, industrial automation, test and measurement, and internet-of-things, from Fortune 1000 to startups.  His technical experience combines both real-time, embedded systems and scalable cloud computing. He holds adjunct faculty appointments at both CWRU and CSU. 

Nick is the primary creator and instructor of EECS377 – Introduction to Connected Devices, a technical elective designed to prepare students for constructing and maintaining Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices and systems.

Mike Yost

Director, Manufacturing Excellence Office
Manufacturing Works

Mike Yost brings over 35 years of industrial, nonprofit, and leadership experience to his role at Manufacturing Works. A seasoned industry professional, Mike’s spent well over a decade leading industrial nonprofits, engaging and educating manufacturers on the role and value of modern “smart” technologies to transform their operations.

Mike is a proven thought leader and domain expert on a national and global level, as evidenced by leadership roles at MESA International, CESMII – the Smart Manufacturing Institute, and the Industry 4.0 Club. He was a contributing expert for the World Manufacturing Forum Report in 2017 & 2019 and the NIST AI in Manufacturing Technology Roadmap in 2024. Mike is also the creator of “project IGBYS” and the “6 Degrees of Smart Manufacturing” YouTube series and the host of two current LinkedIn Live series: Industry 4.0 Club’s “Fireside Chat” and CESMII’s “Smart Manufacturing Mindset” series.

Mike has specialized in the Smart Manufacturing, Manufacturing Execution (MES), Manufacturing Intelligence (EMI) and Operations Management software arenas since 1999.  He has strong nonprofit, consortium, and public/private partnership experience and has held various leadership roles in automation and industrial software businesses, including GE’s Proficy Software business, Activplant Corporation and Rockwell Automation.  He holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and lives in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. with his wife and five children.

Aleksander Boskovic

Managing Director

Aleksandar Boskovic is the Managing Director at Kalypso within the Rockwell Automation Digital Business division, where he leads the Automotive and Tire industry vertical and oversees Simulation, Digital Twin, Digital Thread, and XR service lines. Renowned as a trusted strategic advisor, Aleksandar has played a pivotal role in driving transformative change for over 50 Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to his current position, he served as the GTM Director and strategic digital manufacturing alliance lead at Accenture, as well as the Technical Sales Director of Digital Manufacturing at Dassault Systemes. Holding a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Systems from the University of Windsor, Canada, and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Aleksandar brings a wealth of academic expertise to his endeavors.

On a personal note, he enjoys a fulfilling family life with his spouse and two children, both sophomores at Michigan and Oakland. In his leisure time, Aleksandar indulges in hobbies such as tennis, basketball, hiking, and pursues interests in math, data science, and programming.

Michael O’Donnell

COO, VP of Operations and Innovation

Michael O’Donnell has 30 years of experience in engineering and manufacturing consulting, with most of that time spent at MAGNET. A Master Six Sigma Black Belt and licensed Professional Engineer, Michael orchestrates new consulting methods in technology, transformation, innovation and employee and team development for manufacturers in NEOhio.

Prior to MAGNET, Michael held positions in R&D, management, manufacturing operations and Lean and continuous improvement in a variety of industries including automotive, consumer products and chemicals. His experience includes industry 4.0, automation, assembly, chemicals, polymers (molding, fibers and films) and steel processing.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Richmond.