Keynote Speakers


Ron Reimer is currently Eli Lilly and Company’s senior reliability engineer. He developed Eli Lilly’s global reliability program along with metrics and standards. Prior to this assignment, he was the Engineering Director at Lilly’s largest bulk manufacturing plant, where his plant was awarded the Engineering Site of the Year by the President of Manufacturing. Other previous Lilly positions include Director of Global Maintenance and Calibration, Maintenance Manager, and Operations Manager. Ron has been with Eli Lilly for 27 years. Prior to joining Eli Lilly, he was a nuclear submarine officer in the United States Navy. He retired as a Captain after serving a combined 30 years of active and reserve duty. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy with a BS in Systems Engineering. He has an MBA and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Industrial Engineering with the University of Alabama at Huntsville. He is a registered Professional Engineer, a Certified Reliability Engineer from the American Society for Quality, and a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional from the Society of Maintenance of Reliability Professionals.

Eli Lilly and Company discovers, manufactures, and markets pharmaceuticals.


Jacinda joined TVA in 1984 and has worked in various nuclear, information technology and power transmission divisions throughout her career.

Jacinda is currently Senior Vice President of Transmission & Power Supply. This business unit is responsible for the planning, design, construction, maintenance and real-time operation of TVA’s transmission system — one of the largest systems in the country. This business unit also has responsibility for TVA’s generation unit commitment and dispatch, power trading and power acquisition as well as reliability coordination services for seven electric utilities in parts of eleven states…

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Prior to her current assignment, Jacinda was Vice President, Transmission Reliability & Operations, a business unit responsible for real-time power system operation with accountability for transmission operations, reliability coordination, transmission provider services, balancing authority, and operational planning functions.  In this role, she served as the lead operational contact for the TVA System and Regional Operations Centers. She has also served as Vice President, Power Control Systems, a business unit responsible for engineering, construction, operations and maintenance of TVA’s supervisory control, energy management, data acquisition and telecommunications systems used for control and visibility of TVA’s power system.

Jacinda has a broad experience base with assignments including design, maintenance, program development, project management, and executive support. She earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Auburn University in 1988. She is a registered professional engineer in the state of Tennessee.

She is married and has two daughters, ages 20 and 13.

Frédéric Thivierge is a graduate in mechanical engineering from the École de Technologie Supérieure. He has worked in maintenance for fifteen years.   At Ethanol Greenfield Quebec, he started as a maintenance manager and after two years, he was put in charge of production.  In these roles, he has established a strong culture of continuous improvement and world class maintenance best practices.  Prior to joining Ethanol Greenfield, he held numerous maintenance positions in the printing industry, a copper foundry and also an aluminum-magnesium foundry.  At Ethanol Greenfield, he is especially proud of the people who are part of the team and the team spirit developed during his time with the company.


Mathieu Fyfe-Leblanc works as a reliability / maintenance project specialist at Ethanol Greenfield Inc. in Varennes, Québec.  Hired as a millwright for the plant start-up in February 2007, he accepted in 2011 a position as maintenance planner, with the challenge of implanting a planning/scheduling process and improving the CMMS already in place. He graduated from CÉGEP du Vieux-Montréal in 2002 as a maintenance technician and in 2012 he was certified as a maintenance management professional from PEMAC.  (Plant Engineering and Maintenance Association of Canada).  In 2014, he accepted the challenge to lead reliability improvements.

In addition to his primary responsibilities, he takes part in multiple improvement and diagnosis groups like KAIZEN, 8D, 5S, WCM.  With more than 10 years’ experience, he’s looking forward for best practices integration to continuously bring maintenance to a higher level.

Dr. Lynne Parker

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Dr. Lynne E. Parker is the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Engagement in the Tickle College of Engineering, and Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Former Division Director for Information and Intelligent Systems at the National Science Foundation. She received her PhD in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to becoming Associate Dean, she served for two years as the Division Director for Information and Intelligent Systems in the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation, where she co-chaired a White House-commissioned task force that created the National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan. She has been on the UT faculty since 2002, and served as Associate Head of the EECS Department from 2010-2014. Prior to joining the UT faculty, she worked for several years as a Distinguished Research and Development Staff Member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Dr. Parker is the founder of the Distributed Intelligence Laboratory at UT, which has conducted research in multi-robot systems, sensor networks, machine learning, and human-robot interaction. She has made significant research contributions in distributed and heterogeneous robot systems, machine learning, and human-robot interaction… 

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Her dissertation research (1994) on ALLIANCE, a distributed architecture for multi-robot cooperation, was the first PhD dissertation worldwide on the topic of multi-robot systems, and is considered a pioneering work in the field. She has published extensively in these areas and has received numerous awards for her research, teaching, and service, including the PECASE Award (U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers), the IEEE RAS Distinguished Service Award, and many UT Chancellors, College, and Departmental awards. Dr. Parker has been active in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society for many years; she served as the General Chair for the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE RAS Conference Editorial Board, as an Administrative Committee Member of RAS, and as Editor of IEEE Transactions on Robotics. She is a Fellow of IEEE.