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Leadership Team

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Peter A. Bilello

President
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Peter Bilello has more than 26 years of experience in the development of business-enabling IT solutions for research, engineering, and manufacturing organizations worldwide. He has participated in PLM analysis, selection, implementation, and training; CAD/CAM/CAE/CIM implementation and management; synchronous and lean manufacturing consulting; software engineering; and general data management strategy development and support. He has authored numerous papers and research reports on PLM and related topics, and his articles, commentaries, and perspectives have appeared in publications throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Mr. Bilello has been directly involved with consultation on the selection, integration, and implementation of large-scale PLM solutions. He has spoken on a number of different PLM-related topics in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Mr. Bilello holds a BS in Computer Science with a minor in Physics from California State University, Fullerton, and an MSE in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from The University of Michigan.


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Alan M. Christman

Chairman Emeritus
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Alan Christman has over 30 years of experience defining, marketing, and implementing CAD/CAM/CAE/CIM technology, and has been considered an authority on CAM software systems.

Mr. Christman was the primary author of the CIMdata CAM (NC) Software Market Assessment Reports and the Compendium of CAM (NC) Software Product Reviews. He has researched manufacturing engineering, digital manufacturing, and CAM software usage, and has consulted on strategic, marketing, and technical subjects for CAM software end users, all major CAD/CAM companies, digital manufacturing suppliers, venture capitalists, and CAM-centric vendors. Prior to joining CIMdata, Mr. Christman was an engineering supervisor, Manager of Manufacturing Process Analysis, and Director of Information Systems for Union Carbide. He worked for Control Data as General Manager: of Product Planning, of Manufacturing Industry Marketing, and of CAD/CAM Marketing.

Mr. Christman sat on the board and chaired the National Conference for NCGA; served on the editorial advisory board of Tooling and Production magazine; and authored a column for Modern Machine Shop.

Mr. Christman received BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from The University of Michigan, and was a Ph.D. candidate in Mathematics at the University of Tennessee.


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John MacKrell

Chairman
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John MacKrell has over 40 years of experience in the application of computer-based solutions to engineering and manufacturing, with more than 20 years at CIMdata. He has held senior positions in product management, marketing, research and development, and consulting.

Mr. MacKrell’s experience includes marketing and product management, market analysis, solid modeling, and data management systems.

Mr. MacKrell consults on PLM strategies; best practices; collaboration and knowledge sharing; PLM ROI and benefits; and developing end-user plans for the acquisition and implementation of PLM technologies – including PDM, data visualization, collaboration, CAD, and digital manufacturing.

Mr. MacKrell is a frequent speaker at conferences, trade shows, and seminars throughout the world. He is author or co-author of numerous technology guides and has authored a number of books and articles related to PLM.

Mr. MacKrell holds a BS in Naval Architecture from The University of Michigan.


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Stanley M. Przybylinski

Vice President
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Stan Przybylinski has over 30 years of experience in the development of business-enabling IT solutions for research, engineering, and manufacturing organizations worldwide. He has worked in R&D, marketing, and communications with both Fortune 100 companies and small organizations. Mr. Przybylinski is responsible for CIMdata’s research agenda, including the CIMdata PLM Market Analysis Report series.

Mr. Przybylinski has been directly involved with selection, consulting, integration, and implementation of large-scale PLM solutions, and has worked on projects for both PLM solution suppliers and end-user organizations in the automotive, aerospace, consumer packaged goods, high-tech, and medical devices industries. He has spoken on PLM-related topics in Europe, North America, and Asia.

Prior to joining CIMdata, Mr. Przybylinski was Manager of Market and Competitive Intelligence for Dassault Systèmes.

Mr. Przybylinski holds both a BS and an MS in Mathematics from the University of Vermont, and an MBA in Finance from New York University.


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James R. Watch

Chief Financial Officer
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James Watch has over 35 years of experience in corporate finance, operations, and administration. After serving as a commercial loan officer for Comerica Bank, he worked for a medium-sized privately held industrial-machine builder, as well as for a Detroit-based distributor of factory automation equipment. Prior to joining CIMdata, Mr. Watch spent 13 years as Director of Finance and Administration for the United States subsidiary of a Mexican-based tier one automotive supplier. During that time he was responsible for all US administration including treasury, tax, multi-plant and multi-state accounting; information systems; human resources; fleet management; warehouse operations; and JIT import/export logistics.

Mr. Watch holds a BBA in Marketing and an MBA in Finance from The University of Michigan.


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Gerard Litjens

Vice President EMEA
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Gerard Litjens has over 30 years of experience in information and communication technology, product and plant lifecycle management, and other business-enabling solutions for research, engineering, and manufacturing organizations worldwide. He has held various positions in consulting, management, business development, business analysis, education, and ROI development of PDM/PLM, supply chain management, and ERP solutions.

As a CIMdata consultant, Mr. Litjens provides in-depth analysis, strategic and tactical business planning, market and channel development, and training services to a range of IT, PLM, CAD/CAM, and ERP solution providers, systems integrators, and resellers. He also provides PLM strategy assessments, benefits analysis, system selection, education, training, and implementation planning services to a range of companies in both discrete and process manufacturing industries. Prior to joining CIMdata, Mr. Litjens held training, development, and management positions at Cap Gemini, and worked at Philips Electronics, where his responsibilities included the development and implementation of a solution for software configuration management.

Mr. Litjens holds a BSc in Computer Science from the Hogeschool Eindhoven.


Venki Agaram
Venkatesh Agaram, Ph.D.

Director, Quality & Reliability Engineering Consulting Practice & Knowledge Council
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Venkatesh “Venki” Agaram is Director, Quality & Reliability Engineering Consulting Practice & Knowledge Council, at CIMdata—an internationally recognized authority on Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).

Dr. Agaram has over 35 years of experience, spread across industry and academia, covering - research & development, virtual engineering, reliability of simulations, complex materials systems, controlled mechanical systems, design for six sigma, structured innovation, innovation culture enhancement, regulatory compliance, recall mitigation, process modeling, market strategy, business transformation, and business development.

Dr. Agaram is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, and he is author or co-author of numerous publications in journals and proceedings on the diverse subjects in which he has been active. Dr. Agaram is on several SAE standards committees and he is the Chair of the Task Force on Verification and Validation of On-Road Automated Vehicles.

Dr. Agaram’s eclectic background makes him ideally suited for dealing with Quality & Reliability Engineering of products and processes which are growing exponentially in their complexity due to high levels of connectivity and artificial intelligence. The complexity of information associated with smart connected products and processes makes it extremely difficult to guarantee their robustness. Dr. Agaram leads the effort at CIMdata to transform industry practices that would result in more effective association between Knowledge Management and Quality & Reliability Engineering, to improve the robustness of smart connected products and processes.

Dr. Agaram holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering and an MBA, from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.


Mike Fry
Michael Fry

Director, Manufacturing Systems Engineering Consulting Practice
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Michael Fry is the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Practice Director, for CIMdata—an internationally recognized authority on Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). Mr. Fry brings to CIMdata and its clients over 39 years of PLM and manufacturing industry experience. He has worked in the disciplines of product development, manufacturing automation, and systems engineering. He has extensive experience in client management, solution design, sales, consulting, business analysis, testing, course development / training, and hardware support.

Mr. Fry has broad industry experience servicing clients from aerospace & defense, shipbuilding, automotive, and electronics industries, where he has provided a wide range of sales and services. Prior to his consulting career, Mr. Fry was an aerospace design engineer with Beech Aircraft and Martin Marietta. While at IBM and later Dassault Systèmes, leading PLM solution providers, he worked with global manufacturing companies in the automotive, aerospace & defense, building products, fabrication, industrial equipment, and marine industries.

Mr. Fry has recently worked at IBM in the predictive analytics discipline working on projects implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 practices to provide data collection for cognitive computing and decision-making. This work was applied to machine tool operations, drone imaging and video capture, as well as jet engine failure prediction.

Mr. Fry’s leadership skills, broad range of experience, technical background in analysis and diagnosis, and his enthusiasm for tackling new challenges, make him well received by clients. He is especially suited for engagements that require a complex requirements analysis phase in addition to creative and unique solutions. Along with a rigorous analytical background, Mr. Fry possesses management and communication skills, and is a strong leader who collaborates well with team members.

Mr. Fry holds a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from Arizona State University.


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Cheryl Peck

Director of Marketing
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Cheryl Peck has over 30 years of project management experience and is responsible for CIMdata's marketing and customer support activities. She also manages the annual PLM Road Map conference. Ms. Peck joined CIMdata following the acquisition of CPDA in May, 2011. Ms. Peck has been associated with CPDA and its predecessor, D.H. Brown Associates, since 1997.

Previously Ms. Peck was head of North American Training for NatWest Markets (NatWest), a global financial services concern. Other assignments with NatWest included positions in London, San Francisco, and New York, where she managed relationships and structured transactions for that firm’s energy, insurance, and public finance clients.

Ms. Peck has a BSc (Hons) in Policy Studies from the University of Kent at Canterbury, and is a Chartered Associate of the Institute of Financial Services.


Suna Polat
Suna Polat, Ph.D.

Director, Collaborative Innovation & Social Product Development Consulting Practice
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Dr. Suna Polat has 25+ years of experience in technology development, product development, innovation management, implementation of strategic innovation capabilities—including modeling and simulation (M&S), open innovation, knowledge management—social technologies and social product development, and driving change and adoption. This wide range of expertise was gained through her career at Procter & Gamble (P&G), the development of her own consulting practice, and more recently her experience at CIMdata, which she joined in June 2014.

Early in her career, Dr. Polat developed expertise in transport phenomena (and CAE modeling) in academia and spent over 21 years at P&G, where initially she developed process and material technologies for diverse product categories. Later, she held various leadership roles for the implementation of strategic innovation capabilities, such as open innovation, M&S, and social innovation platforms, for which a common thread was driving organizational culture change and adoption. In her work at P&G, Dr. Polat worked with and benchmarked best-in-class companies in a range of industries including consumer goods, material suppliers, IT, oil and gas, automotive, airline, and pharmaceuticals to source technology and to identify best practices and new approaches for cultivating innovation and innovation productivity.

Dr. Polat’s current interests include innovation and collaboration in large organizations and networks; the effect of “culture” on organizational innovation output; the influence of communities and social technologies on employee experiences, creativity, and innovation output; effective collaboration solutions in PLM environments; and decision models supported by social technologies.

Dr. Polat holds a BS, from Middle East Technical University in Turkey, an MS from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. from McGill University in Canada, all in Chemical Engineering.


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James L. Roche

Director, Aerospace & Defense Practice
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Jim Roche has over 30 years of experience in transformation and IT enablement of product development and manufacturing processes. He has been strategic advisor and program manager for PLM programs across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Mr. Roche was PLM Practice Manager at CSC Consulting and at A.T. Kearney. During that period he led development and delivery of PLM offerings and consulting services for international clients in the aero, auto, consumer products, high-tech, and medical devices industries.

Previously with EDS, Mr. Roche served as chief architect for General Motors’ worldwide engineering systems and as head technical negotiator for strategic supplier contracts. Earlier, Mr. Roche was a Project Manager at the GM Technical Center for advanced manufacturing-engineering programs in Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, Automotive Composites, and Metal Casting.

Mr. Roche holds a BS in Physics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute; as a post-graduate he studied Mechanical Engineering and Materials Engineering at Wayne State University and the University of Rochester.


Don Tolle
Donald Tolle

Director, Simulation-Driven Systems Development Consulting Practice & Knowledge Council
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Donald Tolle (Don) is the Director, Simulation-Driven Systems Development Practice, for CIMdata—an internationally recognized authority on Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) technology and best practices. Mr. Tolle brings to CIMdata and his clients more than 35 years of industry experience in the disciplines of virtual product design, development, and performance validation working with global manufacturing companies in the automotive, aerospace/defense, industrial equipment, marine, consumer products, medical products, and high-tech electronics industries.

Mr. Tolle has been intimately involved in the development and application of virtual prototyping processes and tools since the early days of the SDRC consulting business, where he was involved in the application of both computer-aided test (CAT) and computer-aided analysis (CAE) tools to solve product development issues across a wide range of industries. He subsequently used this hands-on knowledge of industry requirements and technology gaps to guide the development of next generation tools and processes at SDRC/UGS/Siemens PLM to enable the adoption of virtual prototyping techniques earlier in the product design cycle before costly commitments are made to physical prototyping and manufacturing tooling.

His current areas of focus and interest center on the definition and adoption of model-based engineering methodologies and tools to connect the disparate and “loosely connected” disciplines involved with systems engineering and conceptual design (requirements and system architecture definition, mechanical, electrical, software, controls) and the persistent use of robust system models throughout the product development lifecycle.

Mr. Tolle holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Cincinnati.


James White
James D. White

Director, Additive Manufacturing Strategy Consulting Practice
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James White is the Additive Manufacturing (AM) Strategy Practice Director, for CIMdata—an internationally recognized authority on Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). Mr. White brings to CIMdata and its clients over 30 years of PLM, Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing, and general manufacturing industry experience. He held roles in Fortune 1000 software and consulting companies responsible for Product Management, Sales Management, Strategic Alliances, Major Account Management, and Business Development. He has extensive experience in market development, new product introduction, and client management across the various geographies in which he has lived. Mr. White’s extensive industry experience includes Hi-Tech, Medical Device, Software, and Heavy Industrial, delivering new disruptive products, systems, and solutions.

While working for HP in Germany, Mr. White led go-to-market strategy and launch of HP’s 3D CAD product on the first ever non-HP technical workstation (SGI and SUN). This involved differentiating the software product feature set, establishing new channels, training/launch events, product support, marketing collateral development, and establishing new lighthouse reference customers. Additionally, Mr. White, while stationed in Asia for HP, grew HP’s Asian CAD/PLM business dramatically by working closely with local in-country resources, supported by HP USA, Europe, and Japan. Significant PLM customers included (Korea) Samsung Electronics and LG; (Malaysia) Proton and Perodua; (Singapore) ABB Vetco Gray and Siemens.

As the Director of Strategic Alliances at Autodesk in the USA, Mr. White led AM partnerships with Stratasys, 3D Systems, and HP. Internally, Mr. White coordinated Autodesk’s AM efforts across different groups, i.e., Office of the CTO, Consumer products, R&D, Manufacturing, etc. This aided better decision making both internally and in conjunction with partners, ultimately leading to released AM products and technologies.

In 2016, Mr. White formed an LLC company to help clients balance the competing forces of adopting new Technology, new Processes, with the needs/limits of people; a common situation faced when deploying enterprise PLM.

Mr. White’s passion for AM/3D Printing comes from a belief customers need guidance to fully take advantage of recent advances in AM materials, machines, and design tools. Commonly, customers focus on a few low volume complex parts to evaluate AM as an alternative to traditional methods. Mr. White, in partnership with CIMdata’s practices in Simulation-Driven Systems Development, Manufacturing Systems Engineering, and other PLM-enabling practices, offers an holistic end-to-end approach encompassing 1) Product Complexity reduction using AM; 2) Lifecycle justification for AM production; 3) Design-for-AM (DFAM) methodologies; and 4) Hybrid AM/Traditional manufacturing best practices. Additionally, strategic consulting for specific cases such as prototyping and single part AM production are in-scope of the Additive Manufacturing Strategy Consulting Practice.

Mr. White holds an NZCE from Otago University New Zealand and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business and Marketing from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


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Thomas A. Gill

Practice Manager, PLM Enterprise Value & Integration
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Tom Gill has over 25 years of experience applying computer-based solutions to engineering and manufacturing. Before joining CIMdata he worked as an independent PLM consultant, after spending over 20 years at high-volume manufacturing companies.

Mr. Gill has worked on projects in numerous industries, including fabrication & assembly, food & beverage, defense, chemical, and medical devices. He has executed PLM strategy projects, solution evaluation-and-selection projects, deployment planning, and training development for industrial clients. He delivers solution providers competitive and technical product analyses, white papers, and case studies.

Mr. Gill led a team that developed and deployed a PLM system to manage engineering and quality processes, and has participated in enterprise system projects including RFQ management, material development, and environmental systems. He has presented papers both nationally and internationally.

Mr. Gill holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maine, and is Configuration Management certified.


ChrisGregory
Chris Gregory

Practice Manager, PLM Success
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Chris Gregory is CIMdata’s PLM Success Practice Manager. In this role he is responsible for the coordination and execution of CIMdata’s PLM Community and associated solution provider strategic management consulting activities. Mr. Gregory comes to CIMdata with over 30 years of broad experience with major PLM solution providers. Over his career he held a variety of cross-functional roles in services, product marketing, sales support, strategic alliances, business development, and program management. Mr. Gregory has led PLM implementations for over 100,000 users, representing over $250 million in proven ROI and has developed teams with $300 million in direct and indirect sales.

Most recently, Mr. Gregory worked in the PTC Global Services organization as a Program Manager focusing on enterprise PLM deployments within the Defense Industrial Base. Previously, he was with Océ North America in a variety of business development roles and spent a decade with Formtek, A Lockheed Martin Company, heading up marketing activities with this leading software provider of post release engineering documents. Mr. Gregory started his career with CAD and PLM pioneer Computervision, where he held leading roles in marketing and support.

Mr. Gregory holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago, Illinois.


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Keith Meintjes, Ph.D.

Executive Consultant
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Dr. Keith Meintjes has over 30 years of experience in the development and application of simulation tools to transform product development. His achievements include novel methods for combustion simulation, patents for engine design, and strategic planning for the world’s largest commercial HPC facility.

Dr. Meintjes joined CIMdata when they acquired CPDA, where he was Research Director for CAE and managed CPDA’s Design/Simulation Council. Previously, he spent nearly 30 years at General Motors.

At GM Dr. Meintjes was responsible for the engineering requirements for GM’s Global CAE IT infrastructure and was named Senior Technical Fellow. At GM Powertrain he held strategic, planning, and management positions, to embed simulation tools in the powertrain product development process. Earlier, at the GM Research Laboratories, Dr. Meintjes developed thermodynamic and CFD simulation models for engine performance and combustion, and was instrumental in GM’s acquisition of a Cray supercomputer.

Dr. Meintjes holds BSc and MSc degrees in Mechanical Engineering, with a specialty in Aeronautics, from the University of the Witwatersrand, and an MA and Ph.D. from Princeton University.


Frank Popielas
Frank Popielas

Executive Consultant
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Frank Popielas is an Executive Consultant for CIMdata in the Simulation-Driven Systems Development (SDSD) Practice, focusing on the integration of physics-based behavior modeling and simulation technologies and processes with systems level engineering methodologies and tools— commonly referred to today as Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE).

Mr. Popielas brings to CIMdata over 20 years of global experience in product engineering, R&D, and IP management, as well as testing and materials development, with a specific focus on the development and application of multi-physics and multi-domain modeling and simulation tools. This included the definition and implementation of the required supporting IT infrastructure for simulation data and process management at Dana Holding Corporation. His expertise includes technology exchange and transfer, business assessments in engineering, and manufacturing, focusing on virtual product engineering, as well as process development and democratization of software applications in this area.

Mr. Popielas has been a member of the NAFEMS Americas Steering Committee since 2011 and founding chairman of the joint System Modeling and Simulation Working Group (SMSWG) between NAFEMS and INCOSE since 2013. His activities and achievements include over 35 granted patents on the areas of sealing, shielding, and fuel cells; over 30 publications covering all the mentioned areas with a focus on virtual product engineering, its tools and practices; numerous presentations and speaking engagements at industry conferences and various companies; interviews, case studies, and teaching engagements at high schools and community colleges.

Mr. Popielas was born in Germany, and received his MSc degree in Engineering, majoring in Theoretical Physics, from the Technological University (MIS&A – Institute for Steels and Alloys) in Moscow, Russia. Frank is fluent in English, German, and Russian.


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Ken Versprille, Ph.D.

Executive Consultant
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Dr. Ken Versprille has over 35 years of experience in the application of computer-based solutions for engineering and manufacturing. He joined CIMdata after 16 years heading the Design Creation and Validation service at CPDA. His research spans geometric design, design collaboration and automation, PLM standards and openness, and the integration of CAD across PLM applications.

During 15 years at Computervision, Dr. Versprille became the equivalent of CTO, and was R&D Vice President of core applications. He was a lead architect of the CADDS 4 product, with responsibility for the initial design of Computervision’s 3D graphics system. As General Manager of CV-Doors, he led the group that introduced and managed the CAD industry’s first geometric kernel business.

Dr. Versprille received a BS in Mathematics from the University of New Hampshire. His MS and Ph.D. in Computer Science are from Syracuse University. Dr. Versprille is recognized for publishing the first description of NURBS, the mathematical curve-and-surface formulation, now an international standard in CAD and Computer Graphics. In 2005 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award by The CAD Society.


 

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