Below are brief bios for the speakers featured at our 2019 forum, listed in order of their sequence according to the agenda. More will be uploaded as we finalize the list, so check back in soon!
Professor Martin Fischer's research goals are to improve the productivity of project teams involved in designing, building, and operating facilities and to enhance the sustainability of the built environment. His work develops the theoretical foundations and applications for virtual design and construction (VDC). VDC methods support the design of a facility and its delivery process and help reduce the costs and maximize the value over its lifecycle. His research has been used by many small and large industrial government organizations around the world.
Jerker Lessing is the Director of Research and Development at BoKlok. He received his PhD in Construction Engineering in 2015 from Lund University. His dissertation focused on strategies for industrialized house-building companies. Jerker is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University, where he is currently teaching the Industrialized Construction class for the fifth year. He has more than 15 years of experience from the construction industry, including numerous development projects aimed at industrialized house-building.
Mark Farmer is CEO and co-founder of Cast Consultancy, a London based real estate and construction consultancy. He has nearly 30 years of experience in the global construction and real estate market having previously spent 15 years as a partner of the international consultancy Arcadis (formerly EC Harris). He is a recognised international commentator and thought leader on a variety of issues relating to construction industry modernisation. Mark authored the UK Government’s 2016 Review of the Construction Labour Model entitled ‘Modernise or Die’. This report has started a broader debate on the future of the UK construction industry and has directly influenced various elements of UK Government policy over the last 2 years aimed at starting to transform how the industry delivers new homes and infrastructure. Mark is also currently chairing a UK Government led industry working group looking at the technical assurance, insurance and financing of housing delivered using industrialised methods of construction. Mark is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a Vice Chairman of the Urban Land Institute’s UK Residential Council and is an honorary professor at the University of Salford’s School of Built Environment.
Dr. Wei Pan is Executive Director of Centre for Innovation in Construction and Infrastructure Development (CICID) and Associate Professor at The University of Hong Kong. He is specialized in construction engineering and management, with interest covering prefabrication, modular construction, productivity, smart-tech, building energy and carbon. Dr Pan has authored over 175 publications and secured over HK$50m grants. He is Chartered Builder, Chartered Environmentalist, Fellow of Higher Education Academy, and member of Institution of Civil Engineers and Hong Kong Institution of Engineers.
Daniel Hall is Assistant Professor of Innovative and Industrialized Construction at ETH Zurich. He received his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University in 2017. His research group seeks to increase construction innovation through a transformation from fragmented project delivery methods to new organizational models in the industry. Daniel is the the founder and lead organizer for the Industrialized Construction Forum.
Konrad Graser is the project manager and lead architect of the DFAB HOUSE, a digital construction demonstrator built by the NCCR Digital Fabrication at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Konrad completed his master’s degree in architecture at ETH Zurich in 2004. He has worked at SHoP Architects in New York, focusing on the vertical integration of digital design and fabrication in the construction process. As project manager facade engineering at Werner Sobek Stuttgart, he was responsible for the digital design and engineering of complex building envelopes. Past teaching assignments include Yale School of Architecture, California College of the Arts, and the Institute for Lightweight Structures (ILEK) at the University of Stuttgart. Most recently, Konrad has joined the Chair of Innovative and Industrial Construction at ETH Zurich as a researcher.
Bushra Bataineh is a PhD candidate in Sustainable Design and Construction at Stanford University and founder of Mawa Modular. Mawa (from the Arabic word for shelter) provides a kit-of-parts shelter product for displaced populations and refugees. Bushra’s research is on innovative infrastructure delivery mechanisms around the world. She is passionate about leveraging construction innovations to improve the lives of vulnerable communities in low- and middle-income countries.
Ruth McGee Boyd heads constructibility and logistics for innovative, modular homes for displaced populations as a part of Mawa Modular. She holds a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley, and co-founded and led the UC Berkeley Solar Decathlon Team. The team designed and constructed a net-zero energy, modular house and took third place in the international competition.
Alexandria Lafci is a Y Combinator alumni, Forbes 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneur, and recipient of the 2018 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian award. She recently co-led the design and development of a 3D printer for homes and printed the first 3D Printed home in The United States. She is the co-founder of New Story, a nonprofit focused on creating solution for the social housing sector. New Story has been featured on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Architectural Digest, CNN and more.
Francesco Piazzesi, who grew up in Mexico is deeply passionate about home ownership and community building for the poorest of the poor. Piazzesi founded in 1985 Adobe Home Aid, a non-profit that teaches communities how to make robust construction materials out of 90% natural earth. After writing his PhD dissertation on “Sustainable Housing Microfinance Mortgage”, realized that community building and home ownership requires other components, such as social capital, financial literacy and credit instruments, in 1997 Piazzesi transformed Adobe Home Aid, a non-profit into a social business named Echale a Tu Casa. Echale´s social impact has reach 180 thousand families. The program has received Katerva Sustainability Award, World Housing Award, Clinton Global and Schwab foundation recognition and B Corp “Best for the World”
Rick Holliday is a San Francisco Bay Area native, a social entrepreneur, and a pioneer in affordable housing construction. He has more than four decades’ experience building affordable and market rate housing across California. In 1978 he helped create Eden Housing, which builds affordable homes for workforces and formerly homeless Californians. In the early 1980s, he and visionary housing leader Don Terner teamed up to establish BRIDGE Housing, which builds homes for families of modest means who have been priced out of the market. These remain two of the most successful non-profit housing corporations in the nation. In 1988 he founded Holliday Development, and went on to become a leader in leveraging the benefits of private development to create vibrant, sustainable communities the the Bay Area and beyond. Today he is founder and CEO of Factory OS, an ambitious effort to ease the housing challenge by scaling the off site production of multifamily housing. Factory OS is a new approach to housing construction, integrating the design and build processes, powered by local union labor and pioneering in-house research and innovation. Having successfully developed the largest prefab home construction project in San Francisco history, Rick knows firsthand how powerful this technology can be.
Steve Glenn is the founder and CEO of Plant Prefab, Inc. Plant Prefab, is the first prefabricated home factory in the nation dedicated to sustainable construction, materials, processes, and operations. Plant recently completed a major financing round which included Amazon, their first investment in a home builder, Obvious Ventures, who led the Seed Round, and others. The company operates out of 62,000 sf facility in Rialto, California. Plant’s Design Studio, LivingHomes, is a designer and developer of modern, prefabricated homes that combine world-class architecture with an unparalleled commitment to healthy and sustainable construction. Previously, Glenn worked with the William Jefferson Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) and managed the development of a $220 million program in Mozambique, the first program CHAI launched in Africa. Glenn is founder and former Chairman and CEO of PeopleLink, a leading provider of enterprise ecommunity solutions, and a founding partner of idealab, a business incubation firm. Glenn was named the Clean Tech CEO of the Year by Clean Tech Week; Environmental Entrepreneur of the Year by LA City Council/Faith2Green; and Greatest Person of the Day by Huffington Post. Glenn speaks regularly about sustainable design, prefabrication, and social entrepreneurship at conferences and universities.
Jen Hawkins leads Digital Building Component’s product development. Digital Building Components brings manufacturing methodologies to the construction industry by fabricating components directly from coordinated models using digital roll forming, robotic welding, and automated sheathing. The team focuses on interior wall panels, exterior wall panels, and cold-formed steel structures. Prior to joining Digital Building, Jen worked at DPR Construction on IPD and highly-collaborative projects. Jen implemented prefabrication strategies to reduce cost and expedite construction on over 4,600,000 sq-ft of corporate office space in the Bay Area and on a 700,000 sq-ft emergency department relocation and patient tower in Phoenix, Arizona. Jen holds a Masters in Structural Engineering from Stanford University and a Masters in Architecture from University of Pennsylvania.
Eric Luttmann is part of Digital Building Component’s Software and Automation Group focused on the experience of ordering a building and streamlining the digital fabrication supply chain. He believes in end-to-end integration of both teams and software and building directly from the model to improve project delivery. Eric led the implementation of DBC’s TEKwall (panelized interior walls) and the shift to digital fabrication execution from traditional BIM processes on Bay Area projects. Prior to DBC, he was part of DPR’s Technology & Innovation team where he implemented virtual reality reviews in the Bay Area. His research with Penn State’s Computer Integrated Construction group focused on scalable 3D printing in architecture and virtual reality integrations.
Dr. Forest Flager leads systems engineering at Katerra, Inc. Previously Forest was part of the research and teaching team at Stanford University’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE). Forest also leads product development for Flux.io and has practiced as a structural engineer for Arup in San Francisco and London. He holds a B.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, a Master of Design from Harvard University’s GSD, and a MEng in Structural Engineering from MIT.