Dr. Omar A. Ghrayeb: Dean of Northern Illinois University College of Engineering and Engineering Technology

 Dr. Ghrayeb came to NIU in 2001 to teach in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

From 2006 until 20012 he served as chair of that department. Under his direction, enrollment in the program nearly doubled, the curriculum was updated and he established partnerships with several major Corporations, including Caterpillar, Motorola and UPS. Those partnerships provided students with opportunities for experiential learning and internship opportunities while also providing research opportunities for faculty.
In 2010 he took on the role of Associated Dean. In that position he has helped increase enrollment in the college by more than 40 percent, developed partnerships with feeder community colleges across the northern Illinois region, and restructured advising in the college.

Dr. Ghrayeb, who holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering from New Mexico State University, has been published in several international   journals, is a senior member of Institute of International Education, and has attracted more than $2 million in funding for his research.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos: US Representative, Illinois Congressional 17th District

Cheri Bustos considers it an honor to represent the hardworking families of Illinois’ 17th Congressional District which includes Western, Central and Northern Illinois.

Now in her second term, Cheri has focused on job creation, strengthening our economy and building a stronger middle class. She has been a relentless advocate for veterans and for working women and families, and she has worked with Democrats and Republicans on common sense solutions to cut government waste, fraud and abuse so we can strengthen Medicare and expand Social Security.

Cheri is a leader in the “Make It in America” plan to create more good-paying jobs in our community and has led an effort to ensure American flags purchased with federal dollars are 100% made in America.

She thinks that all of our kids deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential, that’s why she’s worked to invest in our schools, make college more accessible and affordable, and fought to improve workforce development programs. With a focus on launching the next industrial revolution in Illinois, Cheri successfully worked to bring the first-of-its-kind Digital Manufacturing Labs to our state. These public-private partnership hubs, which connect entrepreneurs and innovators with businesses, educators and government, have the potential to create thousands of jobs across the state.

As a Member of the House Agriculture Committee, she worked across the aisle to pass the first long-term Farm Bill in years. And through her service on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Cheri also worked to pass the first long-term highway bill in a decade so we can get Illinoisans back to work rebuilding our roads, bridges, rail lines, airports and waterways.

In 2015, Bustos accepted a leadership post as a Senior Whip. In this leadership role, Cheri uses her position to fight for policies that will advance American manufacturing, ensure women’s economic security and grow our middle-class.

Cheri earned her Bachelor’s Degree in political science from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master’s Degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Springfield. She also attended Illinois College in Jacksonville, where both her parents and son graduated. An accomplished basketball and volleyball player, Cheri was inducted into the Illinois College Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.

 Jason Vogelbaugh, Director of Energy Solutions for Alpha Controls and Services. 

He received a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Illinois and later a Masters of Architecture and M.S. in Civil Engineering.  For the past 16 years he has worked for Alpha Controls & Services, a partner of Schneider Electric.  His area of expertise is in development of financially justified energy efficiency projects for commercial and industrial facilities.  Projects are developed using ASHRAE standards that focus on life cycle cost and utilize utility incentives.

Richard (Rick) Tonielli, Senior Energy Program Manager, Commonwealth Edison 

Rick is a Graduate of Kellogg School of management at Northwestern University (MBA) and has a MS Degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Rick is an Energy efficacy professional with extensive corporate and government expiernce in strategy, marketing and product and program management. A prior recommendation is that Rick has a strong customer focus.

Mr. Harry Moser, MS Engineering-MIT, MBA-University of Chicago, Founder of the Reshoring Initiative

Harry founded the Reshoring Initiative to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. after worked for GF AgieCharmilles, starting as President in 1985 and retiring 12/31/10 as Chairman Emeritus. Largely due to the success of the Reshoring Initiative, Harry was inducted into the Industry Week Manufacturing Hall of Fame 2010 and was named Quality Magazine’s Quality Professional of the year for 2012.  Harry participated actively in President Obama’s 1/11/12 in sourcing Forum at the White House, won the Jan. 2013 The Economist debate on outsourcing and off shoring, and received the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s Industry Advocacy Award in 2014.

Harry is a frequent speaker at IEDC, state and regional ED events.  He consults with IEDC, Pennsylvania and Mississippi on Reshoring. He is frequently quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, New Yorker and USA Today and seen or heard on Fox Business, Market Watch and other national TV and radio programs.  He received a BS in ME and an MS in Engineering at MIT in 1967 and an MBA from U. of Chicago in 1981.

Dr. Kevin Martin Northern Illinois University, Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability and Energy. 

Dr. Kevin Martin and Dr. William Mills, professors in the Department Engineering and Engineering Technology, lead the Building Energy Efficiency and Management (BEEAM) laboratory.

Students and faculty working with this lab focus on building energy efficiency through research on building technologies including lighting systems, variable frequency drives (VFDs), and solar photovoltaic energy resources.

The BEEAM laboratory is used to teach students energy auditing concepts and to research spectrally enhanced lighting and LED luminaries design, application specific energy reductions from VFDs, and passive solar tracking system.

Gary G. Powers, BSME, PE, CEM President and CEO – Hawkeye Energy Solutions

Hawkeye Energy Solutions is led by President and CEO, Gary Powers. Gary is a degreed Mechanical Engineer and registered Professional Engineer in the states of Illinois and Indiana. Gary is also a Certified Energy Manager. As a Certified Energy Manager, Gary has managed and reduced utility costs for countless facilities ranging from large manufacturing plants to multi-location retail franchises.

Gary hails from Marquette University, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in May of 1987. With over 29 years of experience in the design and implementation of building systems, Gary has overseen literally hundreds of projects in Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Experience, integrity and professionalism describe Gary and the engineers at Hawkeye Energy Solutions.

Nick Shkordoff, Group Vice President and General Manager for IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC

Nick Shkordoff is originally from Canada and is a graduate of the Engineering program at the University of Manitoba. Nick is currently the Group Vice President and General Manager for IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC new Advanced Wireless Solutions business. He started his career with IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC as the President of IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC Canadian business in 2000. He then took over as President of APP, an IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC company near Boston in 2007.  APP is a worldwide company that specializes in unique and innovative power connecters. In 2011, Nick became the leader of the North American electrical business for IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC. His new role as head of AWS has led to IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC establishing itself as a key player in wireless technology needed to provide solutions for energy management in many varied applications.

Maria Dierking CEM, MBA, Director of Account Management–Mechanical Inc

Maria is a graduate of University of Maryland University College, with a MBA, International Global Studies and the University of Texas on Architectural Engineering. She has been with Mechanical Inc since 2014 and prior to that was a Project and Energy Engineer, the prior 4 years in 2 Large Hospital Systems