Brain Fuel 2018: Industry Perspectives


IEEE welcomed four global industry executives for a moderated panel discussion on important issues facing industry and technology professionals working in industry and the latest technology focus areas from an insider’s perspective.

Brain Fuel is brought to you by 2018 IEEE President & CEO Jim Jefferies, IEEE Corporate Activities, and Strategic Planning.

View the recorded version of the Friday 16 February 2018 event.


Michelle Blaise

Michelle Blaise is Senior Vice President of Technical Services, responsible for Engineering, Project Management, and Smart Grid & Technology for ComEd. ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation. ComEd delivers electricity to approximately 3.8 million residential and business customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population.

Michelle serves as a member of the board of directors for the Women’s Business Development Center and on the board of trustees of the Chicago Architecture Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Master in Business Administration degree from DePaul University.


Kirk Bresniker

Kirk Bresniker is Chief Architect of Hewlett Packard Labs and a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Fellow and Vice President. He joined Labs in 2014 to drive The Machine Research and Advanced Development program, leading teams across Labs and across HPE business units with the goal of demonstrating and evangelizing the benefits of Memory-Driven Computing.

Kirk current holds 28 US and 10 foreign patents in areas of modular platforms and blade systems, integrated circuits, and power and environmental control. He graduated in 1989 cum laude from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and was also a member of the Humanities Honors program.


Jim Freeman

Jim Freeman is Director of the Ground Design & Mission Support engineering capability within Space & Missile Systems, a division of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. He leads a team of approximately 1,000 engineers at a number of locations across the USA to support a diverse portfolio of government programs. Jim also serves as director of Electrical Engineering for Boeing.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware, and a Doctorate in Applied Physics from Stanford University.



Mazdak Hashemi

Mazdak Hashemi is Vice President of Engineering for Infrastructure Engineering at Twitter. He joined Twitter in 2012 and has championed a number of efforts focused on improving Twitter’s reliability, scalability, and efficiency in the last few years. Mazdak’s career focus has been in building and scaling cloud, e-commerce, and social media platforms.

Mazdak is a male ally executive sponsor for @TwitterWomen, promoting equality in technology.




Barry Shoop

Barry Shoop

2016 IEEE President Barry Shoop will moderate the session and lead the questions and answers following the discussion. Barry is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the United States Military Academy at West Point. During his 20 years at West Point, he has served in a number of key leadership positions including Director of the Photonics Research Center and Director of the Electrical Engineering Program.

Barry received the Ph.D. from Stanford University and Bachelor of Science degree from the Pennsylvania State University, both in electrical engineering.