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

    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.

  • Scott Ford

    Managing Director

    Scott Ford

    Managing Director

    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.


  • John DeSalle

    Executive Engineer-in-Residence

    John DeSalle

    Executive Engineer-in-Residence

    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.

  • Natalie Medich


    Natalie Medich


    Natalie Medich is an Engineer-in-Residence at iNDustry Labs. In this capacity, she provides advisory services to local companies and serves as a problem solver, translator, and bridge builder for companies in the region. She is eager to utilize her diverse experience to connect regional industry with the LIFT Network’s available resources, positioning them to thrive in the digital age of industry.

     ​Natalie holds an extensive, diversified background in business and advanced engineering. An experienced entrepreneur, she owned and exited a successful manufacturing business and, as a consultant, she has spent over a decade optimizing business processes for clients in the manufacturing, environmental and services industries. Natalie has held positions in the industrial engineering field as a business process engineer and manufacturing engineering manager, and is an experienced Lean Six Sigma Black belt practitioner for the advanced manufacturing industry.  

    Most recently, she was assistant professor and Advanced Manufacturing Department Chair for Ivy Tech Community College, spearheading the effort to bring The Larry & Judy Garatoni Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Automation to its South Bend - Elkhart campus, while developing curriculum and faculty expansions plans for the facility. At Ivy Tech, she led the development of the new Smart Manufacturing and Digital Integration degree that was approved by the Commision for Higher Education in May of 2021. This degree, now offered at Ivy Tech, is the first of its kind in post-secondary education, and is specifically designed to align with industry needs.

    Natalie received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University, and holds a certification from the Executive Education program at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business in Engineering Leadership. She received her Six Sigma Green & Black Belt certifications from Purdue University.

  • Susan Monroe

    Program Manager

    Susan Monroe

    Program Manager

    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

    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

    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.

  • Jim Wittendorf


    Jim Wittendorf


    Jim Wittendorf is an Engineer-in-Residence at iNDustry Labs. In this capacity, he serves as a problem solver, 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. 

    Jim’s extensive experience in advanced manufacturing and electronics spans over 30 years with engineering leadership and product design roles with several leading automotive sensor companies including CTS, American Electronic Components, Siemens VDO, and Continental Automotive. 

    Most recently, Jim was the Director of Engineering Core Competencies at CTS Corporation, where he was responsible for the global execution of core enabling technologies used by product lines for application in their end products. He also helped to significantly expand CTS’ cooperative education program through LIFT Network and EARN Indiana programs. Prior to joining CTS, he served as Director of Global Process Engineering at Harman International. 

    Jim holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Tri-State University and a Masters of Business Administration from Bethel University.

  • Daryl Peterson

    Managing Director, Engineering Innovation Hub

    Daryl Peterson

    Managing Director, Engineering Innovation Hub

    Daryl L. Peterson is the first managing director of the University of Notre Dame’s Engineering Innovation Hub (EIH). He oversees the coordination and operational management of the EIH’s technology, programs, and outreach in support of its dual mission of academic and industry engagement.

    Prior to joining Notre Dame in January 2021, Peterson earned more than 20 years of manufacturing experience at Deere & Co.

    He led programs for Deere’s global product lines, managing cross-functional teams charged with improving business processes and reducing product complexity. He led the creation of Deere’s Enterprise Digital Capability Lab, aimed at developing engineers as they worked with new technologies in artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, collaborative robotics, autonomous robotics, and lightweight materials. He also created a Manufacturing Leadership program to further develop the next generation of manufacturing leaders.

    Prior to his tenure at Deere, Peterson was a manufacturing engineer with Ford Motor Company. He holds a master of business administration from the University of Chicago, a master of science in operations management and master of science in manufacturing management from Kettering University, and a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

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

  • 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

    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

    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.


  • Connor Keaveney

    Innovation Fellow

    Connor Keaveney

    Innovation Fellow

    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.

  • Jody Suryatna

    Innovation Fellow

    Jody Suryatna

    Innovation Fellow

    Jody Suryatna was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia and came to the United States to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. Within Mechanical Engineering, he found passion in exploring manufacturing and computer-aided design/engineering. Professionally, he has experience in quality, tooling, and logistics in various multinational companies where he had the opportunity to learn from incredible mentors who were experts in their respective fields.

    Outside of work, he spends a lot of his time volunteering for the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers where he mentors various chapter leaders in the Midwest to succeed in their respective chapters in bringing professional development to the collegiate Asian-American community.

    Jody enjoys unwinding on weekends by trying out new cooking recipes, playing the guitar or (when the weather allows it) playing a round of golf. Jody chose to join enFocus as he shares the organization’s passion and commitment to build better communities through technology and innovation. Additionally, he believes enFocus provides a unique opportunity to broaden his horizons beyond the industries he is familiar with and help him grow as both an engineer and an effective leader in this ever-adapting world.

  • Alex Topalovic

    Innovation Fellow

    Alex Topalovic

    Innovation Fellow

    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.


  • Diogo Pubel Batista

    Innovation Fellow

    Diogo Pubel Batista

    Innovation Fellow

    Born in Bom Jesus do Norte, Brazil, Diogo earned a BS in Business Administration in Brazil, and a MS in Business Analytics with a concentration in Supply Chain Management from DePaul University. Diogo grew up in a family of serial entrepreneurs involved with businesses including gas stations, grocery stores, and farms. After college, he spent three years managing a clothing business where he gained practical experience in supply chain and business operations. He then served as COO of an established healthcare clinic. There he managed current suppliers and strategic sourcing and implemented improved processes.

    Through all these experiences, Diogo developed a holistic view of different organizations, the interconnection of departments, and the impact of a single department’s decision across the organization. He also realized the importance of data analysis in effectively managing business operations. His recent studies in the US in analytics and supply management solidified Diogo’s ability to translate data into business insights to aid decision-making. 

  • Prabodh Sonalkar

    Innovation Fellow

    Prabodh Sonalkar

    Innovation Fellow

    Prabodh recently graduated from Purdue University with a master’s in Mechanical Engineering. Originally from Mumbai, India, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from K J Somaiya College of Engineering. As an undergraduate student, Prabodh discovered his passion for computer-aided design (CAD) through robotics team competition and pursued further CAD proficiency through four professional certificates in SOLIDWORKS software. He also gained practical experience in design and manufacturing while working for a local manufacturer in India. As a student, Prabodh served many leadership roles, most notably as the inventory director for Purdue’s ACE Campus Food Pantry. It was through this service to those faced with food insecurity that he realized his desire to serve others.

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

    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.