CECS welcomes speakers from a variety of engineering and computer science backgrounds to participate in on-campus seminars and workshops.

Seminars are held regularly during the Fall and Winter semesters followed by a light lunch. Students, faculty, staff, and guests are welcome to attend. 

Industrial Seminar Series: K. Venkatesh Prasad, Ph.D.

The Emerging Frontiers of Innovation and New Opportunities for Academic-Industrial Research: A Perspective from Experiences at Ford Motor Company

In a marked departure from an almost exclusively centralized framework for innovation and its resultant economic benefit envisioned by Joseph Schumpeter, there is growing evidence of a new and vast shorefront for innovation that is mostly decentralized, diffuses in a free and open manner and is intensely powered by peer-innovator networks, as documented in the life-long research of Eric von Hippel.  The catalyst for this emergence of decentralized innovation has been the dramatic reduction in the costs of computing and communications, along with other advances such as in material science and machine tools, that reduce the barriers to distributed additive and subtractive manufacturing (as an example).  In this talk, we will use examples from our numerous collaborations with students, faculty members, and with employees and their networks within Ford Motor Company to outline some exciting new opportunities for the pedagogy (the emerging importance of peer instruction), research (faster ways to explore, reframe, pivot and develop new ideas, using and contributing to free and open source innovations) and service to communities (such as enabling access to healthcare).

About the Speaker:

Dr. K. Venkatesh Prasad is the Senior Technical Leader for Open Innovation and a member of the Ford Technology Advisory Board.  Effective January 1, 2017, he is also Ford’s Global Innovation Implementation Leader, Vehicle Components & Systems Engineering. Dr. Prasad is known as Ford’s “What’s Next” guy, responsible for influencing both transformative and organic innovation at Ford.  He was previously responsible for the research, architecture, standards, proof-of-concepts development electronics and embedded software systems. His revolutionary thinking of a contemporary vehicle as an inter-networked platform-on-wheels in early 2000 has led to the successful development of the renowned Ford SYNC system, which has directly impacted Ford’s present vehicle production. Before joining Ford Motor Company in 1996, Prasad worked as a senior scientist at Ricoh Innovations, developing automatic "lip reading" as a novel human-machine interface. In addition, he worked at Caltech and the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab to help design telerobotic surface-inspection systems for the International Space Station.

Date and Location:

February 3, 2017, 11:30am-12:30pm

1410/1420 PEC