Team

iNDustry Labs leverages the experience, expertise, and insights of talented staff, affiliates, advisors and collaborators across the region to support the advancement of industry.

iNDustry Labs Faculty & Staff

At the heart of iNDustry Labs is an experienced staff who serve as technical liaisons to our partners.  The office’s leadership includes a Faculty Director and Managing Director and Strategic Advisor for Research and Applied Learning. Our Executive Engineers-in Residence (ENIRs) have deep experience in advanced industries, possess existing relationships in the region, and draw upon both technical and business expertise.  

 

  • Thomas Fuja

    Faculty Director

    Thomas Fuja

    Faculty Director

    tfuja@nd.edu

    Tom Fuja serves as Faculty Director of iNDustry Labs at Notre Dame; he is also a Professor of Electrical Engineering.  Prof. Fuja received his undergraduate education at the University of Michigan, graduating with a B.S.E.E. and a B.S.Comp.E. in 1981.  He subsequently attended Cornell University, where he received the M.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering in 1983 and 1987, respectively.  Since 1998 Prof. Fuja has been a member of the faculty of the University of Notre Dame, where he served for twelve years as Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and two years as Interim Dean of the College of Engineering.  Previously, from 1987 to 1998, Fuja was on the faculty of the University of Maryland in College Park, MD.  In addition, Prof. Fuja served as Program Director for Communications Research at the U.S. National Science Foundation in 1997 and 1998.  Prof. Fuja has been very active in the IEEE Information Theory Society, serving in a variety of roles on its Board of Governors from 1988 to 2004 and as its President in 2002.  He also served as Associate Editor at Large of IEEE Transactions on Information Theory from 1998 to 2001.

  • John DeSalle

    Executive Engineer-in-Residence

    John DeSalle

    Executive Engineer-in-Residence

    jdesalle@nd.edu

    John DeSalle is an Executive Engineer-in-Residence at iNDustry Labs.  In this capacity, he serves as a translator and bridge builder for companies in the region.  He regularly visits companies, articulates industry challenges, and identifies available resources through the LIFT Network to help drive regional industry advancement.

    John brings nearly 36 years of experience in the tire industry, with over 31 years of experience in increasingly responsible roles in engineering, manufacturing, senior management and retired as President at Hoosier Racing Tire Corp (HRT).  Began tire career as a five-year Engineering Co-op student at Cooper Tire and Rubber Company during the work/study program at Kettering University.  After earning a BSME degree worked full time at Cooper Tire as a Research Engineer and as a Passenger Tire Product Development Engineer.  He holds a BSME from Kettering University, and an MBA from Indiana University.

  • Scott Ford

    Managing Director

    Scott Ford

    Managing Director

    sford1@nd.edu

    Scott Ford serves as the Managing Director of iNDustry Labs.  He also serves as the associate vice president of economic development, building and executing strategic partnerships among University, industry, and community stakeholders to promote innovation, job growth, and quality of place in the South Bend-Elkhart region.  

    Prior to working for the University, Scott held leadership roles in both civic and commercial organizations, including Executive Vice President with Bradley Company and Executive Director of Community Investment for the city of South Bend under Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s Administration.  During this time, Scott implemented a strategic restructuring of the City’s approach to economic development that yielded nearly 2,600 new jobs and $440 million in new private investment to the City. 

    Scott earned his bachelor’s degree in government with a concentration in philosophy, politics and economics as well as a master’s degree in architecture from Notre Dame. He also holds a master’s degree in planning, growth and regeneration from the University of Cambridge. Through the integration of policy, business and design, Scott is dedicated to creating places that bring about the best in us. He is an active member on several regional boards and national organizations in line with this commitment.

     

  • Susan Monroe

    Program Manager

    Susan Monroe

    Program Manager

    skmonroe5@nd.edu

    Susan Monroe serves as the program manager for iNDustry Labs.  In this role, she will work with the Managing Director and Faculty Director on a variety of operational functions, develop and grow strategic partnerships, lead the coordination with various university partners for budget and accounting related activities for the administration of the grant funds, lead the coordination of sponsored events, and provide support for special projects.

    Susan has extensive experience in various roles at the University.  Before joining iNDustry Labs, Susan was the department administrator in Biological Sciences, in this capacity she provided management and oversight of the departmental budget, research grants and restricted funds, staff management, and facilities management.  Prior to that, Susan was the officer assistant to the Vice President for Research, where she provided executive administrative assistance to the VPR and the handling of day-to-day operational issues, before joining Research, she served as the assistant to the Associate Dean of Advising in the College of Arts and Letters.  Prior to joining Notre Dame in 2010, Susan worked as the Director of Elite Accounts at TravelGuard and was an enlisted service member in the U.S. Navy. 

    Originally from the Michiana area, Susan lives in Michigan with her husband, Jim, and their five daughters.

  • Jim Morrison

    Senior Strategic Advisor, Applied Learning & Research

    Jim Morrison

    Senior Strategic Advisor, Applied Learning & Research

    jmorrison@nd.edu

    Jim Morrison serves as the senior strategic advisor, applied learning and research for iNDustry Labs.  He also serves as associate provost for strategic initiatives at Notre Dame, leading major cross-college initiatives, including efforts to advance ND Health, data science and analytics, and lifelong learning.  He also directs and coordinates the Deans’ Collaborative Initiative program, cross-college academic planning committees, and external academic partnerships.

    Morrison’s appointment as associate provost represented an expansion of his duties as assistant provost for strategic initiatives.  During his two years in that role, he worked closely with senior academic leaders to develop and launch the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate, IDEA Center, Office of Military and Veteran Affairs, and Inspired Leadership Initiative, among other University-wide academic initiatives.

    Prior to his appointment as assistant provost, Morrison served as senior director of academic advancement at Notre Dame.  Heading up the Department of Development’s college-based academic advancement team, he collaborated with University leadership to further critical academic priorities and multidisciplinary opportunities.

    Morrison has been at Notre Dame since 2013, when he joined the Office of the Provost as senior advisor to the provost.  In addition, he has been executive assistant to the chancellor at the University of Tennessee, director of strategic planning at the University of Mississippi, and a management consultant with Huron Consulting in its higher education and health care practice.

    A graduate of the University of Mississippi, Morrison holds a master’s degree in higher education administration from the Teachers College at Columbia University and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Georgia.

  • Michael Shoemaker

    Associate Engineer-in-Residence

    Michael Shoemaker

    Associate Engineer-in-Residence

    mshoemak@nd.edu

    Michael Shoemaker is an Associate Engineer-in Residence at iNDustry Labs. In the ENIR role, Michael provides technical and strategic advisory services to local companies, bridging the gap between the local industry and the resources and capabilities of the University of Notre Dame. He is energized to leverage his experience to help regional businesses address their needs ranging from operations to product development.  

    An experienced engineer, he launched his career at Ford Motor Company as an engine process engineer; designing and launching engine assembly lines, including the 2.0L and 2.3L four-cylinder EcoBoost engines. He is dual-degree holder from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering ‘13 and Master of Science in Engineering Management ’17.   

    Michael most recently served as the inaugural Program Director for Industry Innovation at enFocus, Inc, where he built and led a dedicated team of technical Innovation Fellows specifically recruited to support the iNDustry Labs platform. In addition to providing key support for pilot industry engagement projects, he was instrumental in the development and implementation of the iNDustry Labs service model.

iNDustry Labs Faculty Affiliates

Augmenting the iNDustry Labs team are the iNDustry Labs Faculty Affiliates, a multidisciplinary collection of leading faculty and research staff whose research, coursework, and subject-matter expertise are particularly aligned with topics of interest to the regional economy.

  • Paul Brenner

    Senior Associate Director, Center for Research Computing; Concurrent Associate Professor of the Practice, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

  • Jay Brockman

    Director, Center for Civic Innovation; Professor of the Practice, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

  • Ann-Marie Conrado

    Associate Professor of Industrial Design

  • Melanie DeFord

    Assistant Vice President for Research

  • David Go

    The Rooney Family Collegiate Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering; Chair of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

  • Ken Kelley

    Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research; the Edward F. Sorin Society Professor of IT, Analytics & Operations

  • Edward Kinzel

    Associate Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

  • J. Nicholas Laneman

    Co-director, Wireless Institute; Professor of Electrical Engineering

  • Scott Nestler

    Academic Director, MSBA Program; Associate Teaching Professor, IT Analytics & Operations

  • Christian Poellabauer

    Founding Director, Applied Analytics & Emerging Technologies Lab; Professor of Computer Science and Engineering

  • James Schmiedeler

    Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

  • Subhash L. Shinde

    Associate Director, Center for Sustainable Energy (ND Energy)

  • James Thompson

    Associate Vice President, IDEA Center

  • Dong Wang

    Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering

enFocus iNDustry Innovation Team

iNDustry Labs activates a dedicated and talented team of enFocus Fellows, recipients of a competitive fellowship for those with undergraduate and often advanced degrees in STEM-related fields. enFocus is an organization that empowers talent to transform communities through its innovative model focused on the attraction, development, and retention of talent.

  • Andrew Wiand

    Executive Director

    Andrew Wiand

    Executive Director

    a.wiand@sbenfocus.org

    Andrew received his degree in Biological Sciences from Notre Dame in 2011.  During his senior year, Andrew led an innovative independent research project concentrating on antioxidant effects on growth factor pathways in breast cancer cells.  Andrew received his Master’s of Science from the University of Notre Dame's Engineering, Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship Excellence Master's (ESTEEM) program in 2012.  Andrew co-founded enFocus in May of 2012 as a student, and was hired as one of the first enFocus Fellows in August 2012.  Andrew went on to hold positions such as Senior Fellow Project Manager in 2013 and Director of Operations is 2014.  In early 2015, Andrew was hired as Executive Director of enFocus, charged with guiding the organization's growth and business strategy.  As Executive Director, Andrew has led the continued growth of the program into two Indiana communities and has managed the completion of over 120 sponsored business and technology projects for over 75 regional companies.  These projects have created over $75 million in business value for sponsoring entities and have attracted over 650 recent graduates to enFocus.  Andrew enjoys spending time with his son, Ethan, in his spare time and also plays the cello.

  • Stephen Kabele

    Innovation Fellow

    Stephen Kabele

    Innovation Fellow

    s.kabele@en-focus.org

    Stephen Kabele is a native of Portland, Oregon and graduated in 2019 from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in Industrial Design. During his time at Notre Dame, Stephen gained an appreciation for human-centered design, and tackled projects ranging from treatment of freezing of gait in Parkinson’s patients to a proposed redesign of Notre Dame’s campus convenience store. As an undergrad, he spent a summer working in product design, utilizing digital modeling and prototyping to create a new magnifying product for Carson Optical. Stephen’s design research background has allowed him to lead the development of a web-based toolkit to drive collaborative digital transformation efforts among regional education, civic, and industry organizations. In addition, he has assisted local companies in developing pilot projects and applying for federal aid through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants.

    Stephen looks forward to continuing the development of an innovation ecosystem in the South Bend - Elkhart region through industry innovation projects at enFocus and iNDustry Labs. He is excited to work with local universities and industry partners to create new opportunities for growth within their organizations. 

    In his free time, Stephen enjoys playing and coaching basketball, singing, and cheering on Notre Dame football.

     

  • Alex Topalovic

    Innovation Fellow

    Alex Topalovic

    Innovation Fellow

    a.topalovic@en-focus.org

    Alex Topalovic, a native of Belgrade-Serbia, studied Global Management (‘19) at Earlham College in Richmond, IN. Prior to attending Earlham, Alex participated in a student exchange program at Richmond High School. As an Earlham student, he was a starter on the varsity basketball team and served in several campus leadership positions, including a two-year role as the Residence Hall Director.  Through internships at Richmond Baking Company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Alex gained valuable experience in manufacturing which led to his success in the ASCM Deloitte and Conexus Rolls-Royce supply chain competitions. As a co-founder of an IT startup that promotes digital leadership and technology skills development in high school students, Alex has developed a passion for product development and entrepreneurship. His inspiration came from a year-long research on digitalization in manufacturing and its economic outcomes.

    Thus, Alex embraces enFocus’ mission and believes that enFocus has a tremendous opportunity to impact the South Bend-Elkhart region through its industrial innovation projects. Alex is excited to leverage his technical expertise and work collaboratively with iNDustry Labs and local business leaders to help improve their business performance and turn risks into opportunities.

    In addition to speaking fluent English and Serbian, Alex also speaks German. Outside of work, Alex likes to play sports, read, hike, and coach basketball.

     

  • Berit Reisenauer Guidotti

    Innovation Fellow

    Berit Reisenauer Guidotti

    Innovation Fellow

    b.reisenauer@en-focus.org

    Berit is an experienced project manager and skilled business management consultant with a passion for solving tough problems through human-centered design. As a team builder and strategic thinker, Berit brings tactical and theoretical expertise to her projects. She enjoys working with technical and manufacturing leaders, community experts, and engineers to help envision a positive future inclusive of emerging technologies. Berit completed her B.A. at Emory University in Political Science and Religious Studies and her master’s at the University of Notre Dame in Moral Theology; her research is focused on the ethical and philosophical implications of emerging technologies for everyday people around the world.

    At enFocus, Berit is eager to integrate theory and practice through industry projects, specifically those geared toward ensuring flourishing for people and long-term business resiliency in Northern Indiana. She is excited to bring her skills to a nonprofit setting and to work and learn alongside such a diverse cohort of fellows.

    Berit is a native of Everett, Washington, and is an avid reader, backpacker, and skier.

  • Jenny Biechele-Speziale

    Innovation Fellow

    Jenny Biechele-Speziale

    Innovation Fellow

    j.biechele-speziale@en-focus.org

    Jenny Anderson Biechele-Speziale is from Louisville KY, and attended Purdue University to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering.

    During college, she discovered her passion for data-driven problem solving while working on independent research at the Lab of Advancing Sustainable Critical Infrastructure at Purdue. She has also gained experience in quality engineering, environmental engineering, process improvement, and healthcare during college.

    At enFocus, Jenny enjoys the impactful and diverse projects, emphasis on improving the local region, and the collaborative working environment. She hopes to create an impact with her work during her time at enFocus. During her free time, she has many hobbies and enjoys reading, and drawing.

  • Connor Keaveney

    Innovation Fellow

    Connor Keaveney

    Innovation Fellow

    c.keaveney@en-focus.org

    Connor graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in May of 2020. His summers during college were spent learning how to grow in his faith while working at Universal Studios, teaching English in Cambodia, working with a Northwest Indiana engineering contracting firm, and most recently, providing consulting services to a hand sanitizer manufacturer based in Indianapolis.

    Connor was drawn to enFocus for the opportunity to engage community stakeholders and deliver impact. He has a strong desire to be a part of meeting urgent community needs and he feels extremely blessed to be a part of such a great team. Connor looks forward to using his skills to help enFocus drive positive change in the South Bend-Elkhart region.

    Connor loves Jesus, and also likes soccer, taking his wife out on dates, being around people, and reading books and articles! He is currently an assistant soccer coach at Clay High School, and is enjoying reading the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

  • Ben Ollen

    Innovation Fellow

    Ben Ollen

    Innovation Fellow

    b.ollen@en-focus.org

    Ben, a near life-long Hoosier, was born in Rhode Island, but raised in Northwest Indiana. He moved to Bloomington to attend Indiana University and completed his undergraduate studies with majors in economics, cognitive science, and history. After graduating, he remained at the university as an employee and served as a data analyst, a technical trainer, and a reports specialist. During this time, he also completed his Master of Information Science degree and developed strong interests in information architecture and user experience.

    Ben was drawn to enFocus because of the diverse opportunities offered to Fellows and its commitment to supporting the local community. He looks forward to working for the benefit of the South Bend-Elkhart region, and gaining new skills and experiences along the way.

    Outside of the office, Ben enjoys tinkering in Photoshop, making buttons, and learning to play guitar and piano.

Strategic Advisors

Reinforcing the expertise available through University faculty and staff,  iNDustry Labs can recruit and match leading subject-matter experts from the Notre Dame alumni network and beyond to link regional industry partners with specific guidance for implementing the most advanced technologies, business strategies, and training practices emerging around the world. 

 

  • Jeffery Bernel

    Senior Industry Affiliate

    Jeffery Bernel

    Senior Industry Affiliate

    jbernel@nd.edu

    Jeff Bernel is a retired teaching professor with the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame and co-founder and director of Mendoza’s Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship.

    He is the former chairman, CEO and president of American Rubber Products Corporation, a manufacturer and fabricator of engineered seals and gaskets for the international and North American automotive industry.

    Jeff was the Chairman and CEO of UniTek Sealing Solutions, Inc, of La Porte, Indiana. The company was a manufacturer of high tech, thermoplastic and rubber multi-durometer cellular and dense extruded seals and gaskets for the North American automotive, RV, architectural, wastewater treatment and semi-truck industries.

    He earned his MBA from the University of Notre Dame and attended the University of Buffalo. Jeff is a nuclear trained veteran of the US Navy Nuclear Submarine Service.

LIFT Industry Advisory Group

An esteemed advisory group of 14 seasoned business and manufacturing executives from the Region offers critical counsel, support, and advocacy to iNDustry Labs, helping to ensure that all activities are relevant, timely, and efficient. Advisory Group members have engaged iNDustry Labs with pilot projects to test and refine the iNDustry Advancement services and processes.  The Group is chaired by Tom Fuja, Faculty Director of iNDustry Labs, and formally convenes semiannually.