Cornell University

As part of the university's commitment to economic development and outreach, CTL hosts a variety of events to create connections between the Cornell campuses, industry members, entrepreneurs, and investors.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Cornell University Biotechnology Building G10

Featured Speakers

  • Robert Parker

    Chief Technology Officer, Samsung SmartThings

    Robert Parker is the Chief Technology Officer at SmartThings. Prior to being hired at SmartThings, Parker served as Director of Engineering for Amazon working on a number of the company's top projects including Alexa, the Fire TV Stick, and Prime Music. Before that he spent 18 years at Microsoft as a General Manager.

  • Mike Pinelis

    President & CEO, MEMS Journal, Inc.

    Dr. Mike Pinelis is the President and CEO of MEMS Journal, Inc., an independent publication based in Southfield, Michigan that he founded in 2003 and grew to the current 34,800+ subscribers worldwide. Along with MEMS Journal, Dr. Pinelis has also developed a strategy and market research consulting practice focused on MEMS, sensors and microsystems. He is the chairman and the main organizer of some of the leading industry events such as Automotive Sensors 2016, ADAS Sensors 2016, Medical MEMS and Sensors, and Wearable Sensors. Dr. Pinelis is an active participant in the MEMS, sensors, and semiconductors industries and is involved as an advisor or partner with organizations such as SEMI, GSA, MSIG, SMTA, IMAPS, MEPTEC, SAE, SAA, and IEEE. Mike has a large social media following with 23,400+ direct connections on LinkedIn. Prior to MEMS Journal, Dr. Pinelis served as Director of Business Development for ISD Technology Group in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Prior to that, Dr. Pinelis founded and was the CEO of MindCruiser, Inc., a company specializing in developing online intellectual property marketplaces that was sold to Akiva Corporation. Dr. Pinelis earned a Bachelor's degree in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California and Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering with a focus in MEMS and microfluidics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

  • Trung Tran

    Program Manager, DARPA

    Mr. Trung Tran joined DARPA as a program manager in the Microsystems Technology Office in October 2015. Tran earned a BSEE from the US Air Force Academy and an MBA from Wharton- UPENN. While in the Air Force, he was stationed at Fort Meade and Hanscom AFB working under AIA. He developed cryptographic chips and command and control networks which focused on reducing time between sensor and shooter. He received 4 medals for his work in these areas. He has spent the last 15 years in Silicon Valley developing products which range from 100G Top of the Rack Switches, 1U Server Blades, and semiconductors including FPGAs, Memory, PHYs, and Framers. He is a former Vice Chairman of the JEDEC Board of Directors where he worked on the development of DDR3 and FBDIMM specifications. His interests included machine learning, data analytics, and non-conventional computer architecture.

  • John Chong

    VP of Product and Business Development, Kionix

    Dr. John M. Chong, PhD is Vice President, Product and Business Development at Kionix. He is responsible for productizing and supporting Kionix's growing portfolio of sensors, and for developing new business opportunities. Previously he was Director of Product Engineering and was also responsible for developing the Manufacturing Test capabilities for Kionix's accelerometer products as production increased tenfold to 100M units/yr. Before joining Kionix in 2006, Dr. Chong worked for Calient Networks, a company focused on using Optical MEMS to support increased bandwidth through the automated management of fiber optic networks. He completed his B.S. (‘93) and his Ph.D. (‘99) in Electrical Engineering at Cornell University, where he worked on novel techniques for the design and manufacturing of Microfludic MEMS. John holds a number of patents, has spoken at numerous conferences about sensors and their role in the Internet of Things and currently serves on the Governing Council of the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group.

  • Fred Schneider

    Department Chair, Computer Science, Cornell University

    Dr. Fred B. Schneider is Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University and chair of the department. He joined Cornell's faculty in Fall 1978, having completed a Ph.D. at Stony Brook University and a B.S. in Engineering at Cornell in 1975. Schneider's research has focused on various aspects of trustworthy systems --- systems that will perform as expected, despite failures and attacks. His early work concerned formal methods to aid in the design and implementation of concurrent and distributed systems that satisfy their specifications. His work characterizing what policies can be enforced with various classes of defenses is widely cited, and it is seen as advancing the nascent science base for security. He is also engaged in research concerning legal and economic measures for improving system trustworthiness.

    Dr. Schneider has authored two texts and numerous technical papers, served on countless committees and boards, and functions as an industry consultant regarding cybersecurity.

  • Michal Lipson

    Professor, Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, Columbia University

    Professor Michal Lipson joined the Electrical Engineering faculty at Columbia University in July 2015. She completed her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Physics at the Technion in 1998 followed by a Postdoctoral position at MIT in the Materials Science Department till 2001. In 2001, she joined the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University. She was named Cornell Given Foundation Professor of Engineering in 2013. Lipson was one of the main pioneers in the field of silicon photonics and is the inventor of several of the critical building blocks in the field including the GHz silicon modulator. She holds over 20 patents and is the author of over 200 technical papers. Prof. Lipson held several leadership positions in the scientific community including, IEEE Photonics society board of directors member, co-organized numerous symposia and sessions in OSA conferences. She chaired and served on numerous committees including the Micro and Nanophotonics Subcommittee of CLEO, which she chaired 2006-2009. She has served as a topical editor (integrated photonics) for Optics Letters and served as a guest editor for IEEE Journal of Selected Topics of Electronics. She is currently serving on the board of directors for two international photonics centers, two startup companies and on the Rice ECE Advancement Committee. She is a co-founder of PicoLuz, a company specializing in nonlinear silicon photonic components. Professor Lipson's honors and awards include the MacArthur Fellow, Blavatnik Award, IBM Faculty Award, and the NSF Early Career Award. She is a fellow of OSA and IEEE. In 2014, and in 2015 she was named by Thomson Reuters as a top 1% highly cited researcher in the field of Physics.

  • Amit Lal

    Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University

    Professor Amit Lal is the Robert M. Scharf 1977 Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. He received his B.S. degree (1990) in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. degree (1996) in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. His technical interests and activities are in the areas of MEMS, ultrasonics, optics, micromachining, piezoelectric systems, design and analysis of integrated circuits, and applications of radioactivity in microsystems. From 2005-2009, Prof. Lal served as a Program Manager in the Microsystems Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where he developed and managed programs in the areas of navigation, low-energy computation, bio-robotics, and atomic microsystems. He holds ~33 patents and has published more than 185 research papers in the area of microsystem engineering. He is the recipient of the NSF CAREER, and Whitaker Foundation award. With his students, several best paper awards at the IEEE Ultrasonics and Frequency Control Symposium and MEMS conferences. He is also a recipient of the Department of Defense Exceptional Service Award, and a Best Program Manager Award.

  • Lionel Florit

    Principal, IoT and Mobile Technologies, Cisco Systems

    Mr. Lionel Florit is driving CTO functions, developing and evaluating leading-edge technologies and IoT applications for Cisco's IoT architecture. He is responsible for kick starting Cisco's IoT solution architecture and engineering effort to create rapid customer prototypes, pilots, and Cisco validated solutions. He has more than 20 years of leadership experience in systems, software, and network engineering including roles in both engineering and marketing. He has led standards committees as chair, member of board of directors and editor. He has been recognized for outstanding leadership contribution. He has authored 12 patents with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

  • Matt Smith

    Partner & COO, TandemLaunch, Inc.

    Matt Smith is a Partner & COO at TandemLaunch, a venture seed fund and incubator of consumer electronics startups founded on patented university technologies. In this role he combines his passion for entrepreneurship and deal flow with deep expertise in execution (engineering, product management, quality and operations) via active creation and mentorship of TandemLaunch’s promising early-stage ventures. With a portfolio value creation of >$100M since 2013, TandemLaunch has invested in several IoT ventures, including,, and others still in stealth mode. Prior work includes DARPA-funded development of a legged robotics platform acquired by Boston Dynamics (now Google) at McGill University’s Center for Intelligent Machines, advanced materials R&D in Core Engineering at Bombardier aerospace, Product Management, VP Operations and Chief Quality Officer in life science sector startup Aurora Interactive and VP Operations in industrial hybrid clean-tech company EcoPower (acquired by Mi-Jack). He also co-founded and was CEO and Director of two of his own startups.

  • David Grant

    CEO & Co-Founder,

    Mr. David Grant is the Chairman of MediaShift, Inc. MediaShift is Digital Advertising Technology Company that enables new streams of revenues for internet network provides while providing solutions for advertisers to engage their "on-the-go" audience with more relevant advertising. Mr. Grant has over two decades of startup and executive leadership experience, and has successfully navigated several asset sales and purchases. He has authored and received several patents, which have been acquired or licensed by some very large companies or organization to protect their business and technologies in e-Commerce, Mobile Banking and Fraud Mitigation. Mr. Grant was recognized as InfoWorld’s CTO of the Year finalist for technology innovations. He has served as a technology strategist for well-known companies such as PacifiCare, Autobytel, Countrywide and Nestlé. His efforts have successfully enabled these companies to increase profits and provide better products and services to their customers. Mr. Grant is skilled in managing complex organizations and startup ventures. He has received Leadership awards for his abilities to identify opportunities, and to build collaborative teams that foster achievement cultures.

  • Mike Kanellos

    Head of Corporate Communications and Technology Analyst, OSISoft, LLC

    Mr. Michael Kanellos is an Industry Champion at OSIsoft where he helps customers understand how data is changing some of the biggest businesses in the world. He has worked as a reporter, analyst and marketing exec in Silicon Valley for over 20 years with a focus on energy, semiconductors and the startup economy. His work has appeared in the New York Times, CNET, Forbes, Newsweek, Newsday, the Chicago Tribune and National Geographic. A graduate of Cornell University and the University of California, he has worked as an attorney, a travel writer and a busboy in a pancake house.

  • Rachit Agarwal

    Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Cornell University

    Dr. Rachit Agarwal is an Assistant Professor in Department of Computer Science at Cornell University. Prior to coming to Cornell, Rachit was a postdoc with Ion Stoica at UC Berkeley. As a postdoc, Rachit kick-started and led the Succinct project. Rachit completed his PhD from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, working with Brighten Godfrey and Matthew Caesar. During his PhD, Rachit received the 2012 Rambus research award (for outstanding performance in computer science and engineering research), the 2010 Wang-Chung research award (for excellence in computer engineering research), and was listed in 2010 UIUC List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent. Rachit has held visiting research positions at Microsoft research (US), HP labs (US), Technische Universität München (Germany), University College Cork (Ireland) and Fraunhofer IIS (Germany) in the past. In another life, Rachit was a very mischievous undergrad at IIT Kanpur. Rachit's research interests span data-intensive distributed systems, operating systems, networks, and algorithms.