Manufacturing Forum and Industry Open House – Faculty of Engineering

Manufacturing Forum and Industry Open House

People networking at the MMRI open house
People networking at the MMRI open house

On Thursday, May 2, be a part of the 300 industry experts, researchers, students and vendors expected to attend McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI)’s Manufacturing Forum and Industry Open House.

Annually, MMRI welcomes attendees to our Hamilton, Ontario facility to network with industry partners, explore research projects and discuss exciting possibilities.

Keynote speaker

John Dyck was appointed CEO of CESMII – The Smart Manufacturing Institute, in June of 2018. CESMII is a Manufacturing USA Institute chartered with transforming the U.S. manufacturing market and increasing global competitiveness through the democratization of Smart Manufacturing technologies, knowledge, and business practices. 

John brings a highly pragmatic perspective to CESMII, and a crisp focus on outcomes that will benefit the Nation’s energy and economic security by sharing existing resources and co-investing to accelerate development and commercial deployment of innovative technologies. He was recognized by the Society of Manufacturing Engineering (SME) in 2020 as one of ‘30 Leaders Transforming Manufacturing in the USA’. 

Prior to joining CESMII, John held senior leadership positions in large corporations like GE and Rockwell Automation, and was effective in raising VC funding and building a successful software startup called Activplant. 

Founded in 2016, in partnership with Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, CESMII is the third institute funded by Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. The Institute is accelerating Smart Manufacturing adoption through the integration of advanced sensors, data (ingestion – contextualization – modelling – analytics), platforms and controls to radically impact manufacturing performance through measurable improvements in areas such as quality, throughput, costs/profitability, safety, asset reliability and energy productivity. CESMII’s program and administrative home is with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).


The data tells us a disconcerting story. Manufacturing productivity – for the first time in recorded history, has been declining. And at a point in history where, as we’re reshoring, near-shoring and friend-shoring, there’s an unprecedented demand for us to be more competitive. This calls for a new approach. Our existing capabilities, methodologies and cultures have brought us this far, but are clearly not sufficient – a strong indicator that manufacturing transformation isn’t just a good strategy, it’s a matter of survival. The 4th Industrial Revolution was supposed to herald that transformation, but it hasn’t yet materialized.

Join us to exemplify the characteristics, capabilities and behaviors that represent Smart Manufacturing – a vision for the future of manufacturing that drives transformation in three key areas:

Aligning education, workforce development and continuous improvement strategies to create data driven cultures.
Goal: organizational structures that align resources and people for SM success

Aggressive evolution from proprietary, closed ecosystems, enabling interoperability based on standards that eliminate data silos, stovepipe architectures and vendor lock-in.
Goal: drive down costs and improve agility

Collaborative strategies enabling plants connected to the enterprise and supply chains for real-time data-driven business orchestration.
Goal: flexible and agile processes and supply chains easily reconfigured for changing market demands Smart Manufacturing

Draft agenda (subject to change)

8 a.m. – 9 a.m.Registration and light breakfast
9 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.Welcome remarks
9:15 a.m. – 10 a.m.Keynote presentation: John Dyck
10 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.Networking break
10:20 a.m. – 12 p.m.Panel discussions
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.Networking lunch
1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.Industry open house (multiple sites)
There is no cost to attend this event. Space is limited at the morning forum. Registering for the Industry Open House helps us plan.


Dennis Darby headshot

Dennis Darby

President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME)

Master of Ceremonies

An innovative and results-focused senior executive who has led the transformation of important Canadian trade associations, after a successful career in the consumer-packaged goods sector at Procter & Gamble. Assignments in Canada, the US and Europe, in R&D, strategic planning, government and regulatory affairs, beauty care, and external relations. An experienced board chair and director on industry, government and not-for-profit boards, with a strong interest in governance and strategic planning. Seasoned media spokesperson and business commentator.

Heather Sheardown

Heather Sheardown

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University

Opening remarks

Canada Research Chair (Tier 1), Ophthalmic Biomaterials and Drug Delivery Systems; Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineers; Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers; Fellow of the International Union of Societies of Biomaterial Science and Engineering; Scientific Director, C20/20 Innovation Hub.

Effie Triantafilopoulos - headshot

Effie Triantafilopoulos

MPP for Oakville North – Burlington

Parliamentary Assistant to Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT)


In the past, she has held key roles in the federal government as Chief of Staff to Ministers in three important portfolios: Treasury Board, Industry Canada and at External Affairs and International Trade. She practiced law with a focus in corporate, international trade and immigration law. She is Senior Counsel at Vassos Law LLP and served as President and CEO at Save the Children Canada and as Executive Director for the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association. She also served as Deputy Director and Senior Advisor G20 Liaison for the Summits Management Office of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

Panel: Identifying opportunities

Brendan Sweeney headshot

Brendan Sweeney

Managing Director Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing

Panel moderator

Managing Director of the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing, previously served as Project Manager and Research Director at McMaster University’s Automotive Policy Research Centre (APRC). He taught at the DeGroote School of Business and the School of Labour Studies. Brendan holds a PhD in Geography from Queen’s University and a B.A. in Labour Studies from McMaster. He had appointments at the School of Policy Studies (Queen’s University) and the Department of Economics (University of Manitoba). Additionally, he spent a year at the University of Washington as a Visiting Fulbright Scholar.

Bill Walker headshot

Bill Walker

President and CEO Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI)


Bill Walker joined the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI) as President & CEO in July 2022. Before joining OCNI, he was a third-term Member of Provincial Parliament for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.

From June until November 2018, Bill served as the Chief Government Whip. He was then appointed to Cabinet as Minister of Government and Consumer Services until June 2019 when he became Associate Minister of Energy. In October 2021, he was appointed as Deputy Speaker. Notably, in 2020, Bill was awarded the Provincial Public Policy Stewardship Award by the Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council in recognition of his contributions to public policy in the field of medical isotopes.

Prior to his election to provincial parliament, Bill worked as Operations Manager at Bruce Power, and was Executive Director at the Bruce Peninsula Health Services Foundation where he led a successful campaign to raise $3 million for the Lion’s Head and Wiarton hospitals.

Verlyn Smith headshot

Verlyn Smith

Downsview Aerospace Innovation & Research (DAIR), Supplier Development Initiative Manager


Verlyn Smith previously worked in the aerospace field for over 9 years, she has observed the transformation of the supply chain system and is highly adept at working with suppliers. Her work is inspired by the ability to face unique challenges every day, and the chance to collaborate with various teams and companies in solving problems. “Supply Chain offered me an opportunity to work with and learn from people not only within Ontario aerospace, but on a global scale.”

Mike Brown Headshot

Mark Brown

COO at Pasqua First Nations (PFN) Group of Companies/ President at Pro Metal Industries Ltd.


Mark Brown holds the role of Chief Operating Officer of Pasqua First Nations Economic Development Corp, PFN Group of Companies Inc. and President of Pro Metal Industries Ltd, 100% owned by Pasqua First Nation. Prometal is Canada’s premier First Nation Defense metal fabrication and machining company. Pro Metal holds several certifications including Canadian Controlled Goods.

In his role, Mark is responsible for the overall execution of strategy and operations. Mark’s vision, along with Pasqua, is to create generational economic prosperity for the Nation through its business units for the Nation and its members. This is done through profit generation, meaningful careers and capacity building.

Mark has over 20 years’ experience in business in senior roles in leadership, finance and operations in various industries including oil and gas, manufacturing and construction throughout Western Canada. He has been awarded the Deputy Minister Award for his efforts in Covid response. His motto in business and life is “if you are not growing, you are dying” He has two daughters and happily married to his wife Melody. You may occasionally catch him on the golf course, however he does not have nearly enough time to be any good but remains determined.

Jennifer Bauman

Jennifer Bauman

Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering


Jennifer Bauman is passionate about all things related to advanced automotive research and development. Her research at McMaster University focuses on advanced power electronic converters for electric and hybrid vehicles, vehicle modeling, and EV interactions with the smart grid. The aim of her research group is to contribute to the electrification of transportation through the development of new concepts and technologies that improve vehicle design, reduce vehicle cost, and ease electric vehicle integration into society. Dr. Bauman has designed, built, integrated, and tested a 65kW boost converter into a fuel cell vehicle for a student vehicle competition during grad school. She also worked at a Waterloo start-up company for 8 years prior to joining McMaster.

Panel: Realizing opportunities

Jean-Pierre Giroux headshot

Jean-Pierre Giroux

President, Excellence in Manufacturing (EMC)

Panel moderator

JP is focused on growing a more competitive manufacturing sector that supports Canadian businesses so that they can provide good jobs and strong economic growth opportunities for communities across the country. With over 20 years in manufacturing, JP is focused on ensuring the sector’s future through youth engagement, succession planning, technology and skills solutions, and the adoption of green manufacturing. JP has also overseen EMC’s development of new advanced skills solutions and certification programs for the Canadian manufacturing industry.

Philippe Dupuis headshot

Philippe Dupuis

Smart Manufacturing Architect, REMAP Network


Philippe Dupuis brings a wealth of expertise in technical and business management and Phil holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. In his role as Smart Manufacturing Architect at REMAP, Phil leverages his expertise to drive innovation, improve manufacturing processes, and the adoption of cutting-edge technologies in the industrial sector. After a brief mandate with Precision ADM, a globally recognized engineering firm, Phil forged a path in entrepreneurship, founding a business specializing in digital technologies for manufacturing optimization (3D scanning, modeling, computational analysis, product development) as well as technical services (design, development and regulatory compliance) of radiocommunication systems, of aerospace innovations and of consumer products. Most recently, Phil contributed to the Canadian Standards Association, in the development of their Smart Manufacturing Readiness Assessment Methodology.

Stephanie Holko

Director, Project Development NGen


Stephanie has 17 years of experience leading teams and projects in the Steel Industry. She loves connecting emerging technologies with existing manufacturing problems and believes the future of manufacturing is in the adoption of new ways of working. Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Applied Science – Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and a Master of Business Administration specializing in the Management of Innovation and New Technology from McMaster University. Outside of work, Stephanie serves on multiple boards for organizations that promote skilled trades and industry, and she mentors youth to see options in their career paths.

Daniel Vucinic

Chief Executive Officer, TERAGO Network


Daniel Vucinic has three decades of experience across senior executive roles driving innovation to accelerate Canadian businesses’ digital transformations. Daniel is currently TERAGO’s Chief Executive Officer and leads a highly skilled team that develops and manages customized 5G enterprise solutions, enabling clients to achieve their business outcomes. Daniel previously held senior leadership positions at Centrilogic, Zayo, Allstream and AT&T Canada and is a Professional Engineer who holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Toronto.

Jeff van Heumen headshot

Jeff van Heumen

Assistant Vice-President, Business Development, Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI)


Jeff is a trained polymer chemist with a PhD specialization in polyurethane chemistry. During his career, Jeff has held several R&D-related positions in the automotive industry. From his PhD and R&D roles, he has five patents and over 15 publications. Later, Jeff was a research consultant in the public accounting sector. In a subsequent role, Jeff provided CFO and VP product support for a small, private, Waterloo-based non-destructive testing company that was later acquired. Jeff has been with Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) for that last 8 years providing Business Development Management in the London and surrounding region and more recently Assistant Vice-President, Business Development in support of the pan-provincial business development team.