PEAK Presenter's Bios
Dr. Jeffrey Blessing, MSOE
Jeffrey Blessing, Ph.D. began his career at MSOE in 1986, as an Assistant Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department, where he developed and taught courses in Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms and Data Structures, Operating Systems, Object-oriented Programming Languages and Software Engineering. Dr. Blessing moved to the Rader School of Business in 2002 as Professor and Director of the bachelor’s degree program in Management Information Systems, where he developed and teaches courses in Database Systems, Web and Mobile App Development, Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics and Machine Learning.
Kyle Buerger, KBBT Consulting
Kyle is a transformational leader with over 20 years of business experience, 15 of which were spent at Northwestern Mutual a Fortune 100 company. He currently works at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee as an Instructor in the Lubar School of Business and at Waukesha County Technical College in their Corporate Training Center as a Leadership Development Consultant,
Trainer and Coach. Kyle specializes in the following areas:
- Training development and execution
- Business and sales consulting
- Digital readiness and adoption
- People Management
- Multicultural markets engagement
As a certified coach and trainer, he has helped both individuals and corporations maximize their potential. His customized leadership development programs and coaching focus on developing next level leadership competencies, engaging and retaining talent, optimizing your culture and planning for the future. Kyle is driven by a strong desire to help others succeed which provides the passion and energy he brings to everything he does.
Dr. Douglas Grabenstetter, Assistant Professor MSOE
Dr. Grabenstetter is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering at the Milwaukee School of Engineering specializing in Quality and Lean Six Sigma. In addition to his experience in academia, he has over 20 years of manufacturing experience in various industries. Most recently, Doug served as a Continuous Improvement Manger and Master Black Belt at Schneider Electric working highly visible and strategic Continuous Improvement Projects. Previous to this role, he functioned as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt with Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. in West Chicago, Illinois. While there, he also served as Project Manager for the Siemens Starpower Process Excellence Program and has functioned as the Lean Coordinator for the West Chicago’s Lean Manufacturing effort. Doug earned his Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Mississippi State University. His research focus is on improving operations in Engineer to Order firms. He holds a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He has published several technical papers in scholarly journals.
Medhat Khalil, Ph.D., MSOE
Director of Professional Education & Research Development at the Applied Technology Center, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Milwaukee, WI, USA. Medhat has constantly been working on his academic development through the years, starting from Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering in Cairo, Egypt proceeding with his PH.D. in Mechanical Engineering and his Post-Doctoral Industrial Research Fellowship at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has been certified and is a member of many grand name institutions such as: Certified Hydraulic Specialist by the International Fluid Power Society IFPS; Certified Accredited Fluid Power Instructor by the International Fluid Power Society IFPS; Member of Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power Engineering Research Center (CCEFP); Listed Fluid Power Consultant by the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA); Member of the Board at the International Fluid Power Society (IFPS); President and Technical Director of CompuDraulic; Member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
Having worked as Director of Professional Education and Research Development at Applied Technology Center, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Milwaukee, WI, USA and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Department of M.E., Milwaukee School of Engineering, Milwaukee, WI, US, Medhat has a vast working experience in the field of Mechanical engineering and more specifically hydraulics, having developed and taught fluid power system training courses for industry professionals, being fairly familiar with the technological developments in the field of fluid power and motion control and the production program of the leading fluid power companies. In addition, he has designed several hydraulic systems based on ISO-Standard and developed several analytical and educational software.
Dr. Andrew McAninch, Assistant Professor, MSOE
Andrew McAninch, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy in MSOE’s Department of Humanities, Social Science, and Communications. Before arriving at MSOE, he was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, where is also spent a year as Program Director with the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law (CERL) at the Penn Law School. He works in moral philosophy, broadly construed, and regularly teaches courses in engineering and professional ethics, biomedical ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy of mind and AI, and epistemology.
Julius E. Rhodes, SPHR
Mr. Rhodes is the author of BRAND: YOU Personal Branding for Success in Life and Business and BRAND: YOU The WORKBOOK. He has completed his coursework toward his Ph.D. in Philosophy and Business Ethics at Loyola University. Additionally, he has a lifetime Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification, the highest level of official recognition in his profession. In 1992 Julius completed a certified arbitrator development program through Cornell University and the New York State Employment Relations Board.
In 1994 Julius began the mpr group, a Human Resources and Management Professional Services firm providing customized training, consulting, keynote and motivational presentations, project management and other services. Prior to this endeavor, he spent a decade with Fortune 100 firms including Mobil, General Electric, Baxter Healthcare and Sara Lee Bakery and the National Labor Relations Board.
Gene A. Wright ’79, ’87
Director, Graduate Management Programs
MSOE Rader School of Business, Milwaukee
Gene Wright is a business professional with more than 30 years of experience. Currently, he is the program director for the engineering management, new product management, and marketing and export management graduate programs in the MSOE Rader School of Business, and also chairs TEC 56 for TEC Midwest. Wright previously taught at UW-Milwaukee and directed the Lubar Executive MBA program. He also served MSOE as an adjunct professor for 22 years while building his career. Prior to moving to higher education, Wright worked at RTE Corp., Combined Technologies Inc. and Brady Corp.; was practice director for BORN Information Services; and was principal and VP of marketing at Netconcepts LLC. Wright holds three patents and earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial management and master’s degree in engineering management from MSOE. Wright has been a member of the MSOE Alumni Board of Directors for over 30 years and twice served as its president. He is also an MSOE Corporation member.