Speaker Biography 
Balsubramanian Photo 

Professor Bharat Balasubramanian, or Dr. B for short, received his Bachelor’s Degree from IIT Bombay, and Master’s and PhD in Automotive Engineering from the Technical University of Karlsruhe. He is a distinguished alumnus of IIT Bombay and was named one of the top 101 graduates of all IITs of the last 50 years. He has had a distinguished career of 38 years at Mercedes-Benz/Daimler in Stuttgart/Germany, where he rose to become Group VP of Research and Advanced Engineering. In this role, not only was he responsible for over 2300 engineers but was also the father and champion of self-driving car technologies, V2X and connected cars, battery electric vehicles, CFRP light weighting and other critical new developments. After retiring from Daimler in 2012, he became a professor at the University of Alabama with joint appointments both the Mechanical Engineering and the Electrical and Computer Engineering departments. He is also executive director of the Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies (CAVT), a cross-discipline University of Alabama research center. In his current role he has been working on strengthening the ties between universities and industry through applied engineering automotive courses, research activities and exchange programs. Noting that German companies are more adept at working with universities to make sure that the students they are producing are matched well with industry needs, he has been working to foster these kinds of relationships to create world class automotive engineers in Alabama.  He started a program called Two Steps Ahead which is a highly selective and rigorous program. The students are required to learn German in parallel and spend their junior year abroad studying in Germany and working there for Mercedes Benz or one of its suppliers. The result is students who are much better prepared for challenging careers in the automotive industry with the ability to develop and implement cutting edge technologies in the American automotive industry.

 nicholas loyd headshot

Dr. Nicholas Loyd is the Director of the Center for Management and Economic Research (CMER) and Director of the Alabama Technology Network (ATN) at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. In addition, Loyd has over 15 years of experience implementing Lean production systems. He is a certified trainer by both the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and MIT's Lean Advancement Initiative. Loyd has trained thousands of executives, managers, engineers, and operators in the principles of Lean Enterprise. Loyd is also a certified Six Sigma black belt and a certified Innovation Engineering black belt.

Nicholas has facilitated hundreds of Lean implementation events with companies in various industries including automotive, aerospace, metal fabrication, machining, food processing, and electronics manufacturing. He also has extensive experience in applying Lean Enterprise principles in office processes and the seaport industry. Most recently, he has been involved in integrating sustainability and innovation concepts to provide a more complete modern production system transformation.

Nicholas is also actively involved as an instructor in both the Industrial and Systems Engineering department and the College of Business at UAH, integrating Lean, innovation, and sustainability concepts in course curriculum. He has a bachelor's degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering, a master's degree in Engineering Management, both from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He has authored chapters in the 2007 published book Lean Management: Concepts and Industry Perspectives and the 2008 published book Lean Six Sigma: An Introduction.

 jeff siniard headshot

Jeff Siniard is a Lean Enterprise Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville with over 35 years' experience in manufacturing. He has trained hundreds of executives, managers, engineers and operators in Lean Enterprise principles and he has conducted over 400 Kaizen events for manufacturers, service providers and seaports throughout the United States, Canada and Western Europe. Jeff has extensive expertise in implementing and developing training for the application of Lean principles for manufacturing facilities, office processes and port operations. Jeff has seventeen years' experience in the field of Lean Enterprise, five years of experience as a plant manager, eight years of experience as a plant superintendent and four years of experience as a maintenance superintendent. Jeff is a certified NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Lean Manufacturing Trainer, a MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) certified Lean Aerospace instructor, an LAI Lean Healthcare certified Trainer, and is a certified Trainer in the field of Practical Energy. Jeff has B.B.A. in Management of Technology from Athens State University.

Ron Davis headshot 

Ron Davis began his career in the automotive industry at the age of 17 as a high school co-op student with the Delco Remy Division of General Motors. After high school Davis graduated from Purdue University with a degree in mechanical engineering while continuing as a college co-op student with General Motors. During his career at General Motors Davis held many leadership positions.

In 1994 Davis became a part of Delco Remy America and was named Vice President and General Manager of the Power Metal Forge Division in Meridian, Mississippi. Davis returned to General Motors in 1997 to lead the lean manufacturing efforts for the Saginaw Steering Division of General Motors in Athens, Alabama.

In 2000 Davis joined Federal Mogul as Plant Manager of the heavy duty piston business in Orangeburg, S.C. Davis returned to Alabama and joined ZF Lemforder to manage the ZF Axle Assembly Plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama from 2002 to 2012.

In 2012 Davis joined The University of Alabama as Executive Director of the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Ron also holds various board of director positions for economic development and workforce development across the state of Alabama.

In 2014 Davis was hired by the AAMA Board of Directors to become AAMA President and Chairman of the board.

 Randy Easterling Photo  

Randy M. Easterling, MSPH, CIH, CSP is the Safety Program Supervisor for the University of Alabama Safe State Consultation Program.  Mr. Easterling has over 30 years of professional safety and health experience.

He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene and a Certified Safety Professional by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.  He is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Industrial Hygiene Program with the degree of Master of Science in Public Health. 

He serves on the Central Alabama Construction Safety Conference Planning Committee, the Associated Builders and Contractors Safety Committee, the Manufacture Alabama’s Safety Committee, MA Safety Conference Committee and the MA Fall Conference Planning Committee. He is a member of the Deep South Center Advisory Board for UAB and Auburn University. 

He is a Full member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association and serves on their national Training and Communications Committee. He is a Professional Member of the American Society of Safety Engineers and was the President of the Alabama Chapter and the Alabama Chapter Safety Professional of the Year for 2015-2016. 

He also served on the ASSE Region IV PDC Planning Committee for 2013, 2015 and 2016.   He speaks and presents to many groups, conferences and associations.