The IoT is the network of physical systems, including processes, actuators, sensors and data network, and hyperphysical systems, including software, data analytics platform, and data storage. There is bi-directional data transfer between the physical and the hyperphysical systems to improve overall system efficiency and reduce costs. In the concept of connected systems, the IoT is integrated with business enterprise functions including Manufacturing Execution system (MES), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), supply chain management, Human Resources (HR), and customer relations to create a single system from suppliers to customers. This connected system provides opportunities for real time connection from hardware to data and business layers, enabling total system optimization.​​

Abdolhosein (Adel) Nasiri, PhD Electrical Engineering

Adel Nasiri, PhD (Panel Moderator)

CSI Interim Executive Director; Professor, Electrical Engineering, UW-Milwaukee

Dr. Nasiri researches the fields of sustainable energy sources, microgrids and energy security. He directs the Center for Sustainable Electric Energy Systems, and has served as associate dean of research for UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science. His research interests are microgrids, energy storage, and interface for renewable energy systems including wind and solar PV. Dr. Nasiri has been the primary investigator of several federal and industry funded research projects and has published numerous technical journal and conference papers on related topics. He also holds five patent disclosures. He is a co-author of the book “Uninterruptible Power Supplies and Active Filters,” CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Balamurugan Balakreshnan 

Leader & Principal Solutions Architect, Microsoft

Bala helps customers by providing thought leadership in their Digital Transformation using Cloud, AI, ML, IoT and Block Chain to solve complex business solutions. I am passionate about solving business problems and achieving outstanding outcomes by leveraging Cloud and AI based technology.


Kyle A. Crum

Manager, Advanced Technology MKE, Rockwell Automation

Kyle joined Rockwell Automation in the fall of 2017 as the manager of Advanced Technology’s Milwaukee laboratory where he is responsible for corporate R&D planning and management. He has extensive experience in Innovation Practice, Knowledge Management and R&D from a decade of previous industrial roles and service with the U.S. Navy. Kyle holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Grove City College in northwestern Pennsylvania. He is the author of a number of published papers focusing on innovation in lightweight metallic shipbuilding and holds several patents. Kyle is married to Laura. Together they have three sons, Elijah (8); Peter (6); and Micah (2). Currently they reside in Bayside, WI (Milwaukee County)


Derrick Hesser

Strategic Account Manager, ANSYS

Derrick Hesser is the Enterprise Account Manager for ANSYS. Derrick is a mechanical engineer from Purdue University with extensive background in fire protection systems, embedded software and simulation software.Derrick has more than 20 years’ experience leading companies and working with business leaders to drive business through technology.


Atish Sinha, PhD

Director, Center of Technology Innovation, UWM Lubar School of Business

Atish Sinha a Professor of Information Technology Management and the Director of the Center for Technology Innovation at the Lubar School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His current research interests are in the areas of business intelligence, big data analytics, machine learning, connected systems, and healthcare informatics.