2018 Keynote Speakers

Industry Experts and Artificial Intelligence

Midwest University is proud of our 2018 speaker lineup, which includes a top experts in the architecture engineering construction industry and one charming and norm-shattering AI robot.

Sophia with Jimmy Kimmel

Sophia, AI Robot and Colonizer of Midwest University

Hanson Robotics

Sophia is Hanson Robotics’ latest and most advanced robot. She has also become a media darling, having given numerous interviews to multiple media outlets, sang in a concert, and even graced the cover of one of the top fashion magazines. One of her interviews has generated billions of views and social media interactions. She has also shown her potential in business, having met face-to-face with key decision makers across industries including banking, insurance, auto manufacturing, property development, media and entertainment. In addition, she has appeared onstage as a panel member and presenter in high-level conferences, covering how robotics and artificial intelligence will become a prevalent part of people lives.

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Jim Lynch, Vice President, Construction Products Group


As Vice President of Autodesk’s Construction Products Group, Jim’s organization is responsible for establishing product vision and strategy, and for designing and developing the family of products and services that address the needs of the worldwide Construction industry.  

Under Jim’s leadership, the Construction Products Group, through it’s innovative, market leading technology, is helping to improve predictability and profitability for construction companies worldwide. Jim’s team is responsible for delivering cloud and mobile solutions that help companies improve project quality during preconstruction, construction, and handover/commissioning. The Construction Product Group’s solutions support traditional design-build project approaches, but also support the growing adoption of manufacturing techniques in the construction industry by delivering next generation prefabrication and modular solutions.

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David Ivey, Regional Design Technology Manager


David Ivey is the Regional Design Technology Manager at HOK. David coordinates BIM, buildingSMART, and Design Technology related activities in all areas and practice groups, and leads the strategic direction in these areas. During his tenure at HOK, David has worked on more than 60 projects. David Co-leads the Emerging Technologies in A/E/C Meetup in Chicago, and also founded the Chicagoland buildingSMART Group. David is also a frequent speaker at Universities and organizations, representing the Architects’ perspective on BIM, buildingSMART, and Design and Emerging Technology.

David holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Industrial Design, is LEED accredited, and a certified Revit Professional. In addition to providing design technology expertise within the architecture world for over 20 years, Dave has worked in high technology research and advisory roles where he utilized a variety of software for 2D and 3D imaging, modeling, rendering and animation for both product and graphic design, and has many years of experience in custom furniture design and human factors analysis.

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Shane Scranton, CEO & Co-founder


Shane Scranton is the CEO and co-founder of IrisVR, a tech company in New York City that is using virtual reality and augmented reality to improve design review and communication in AEC. Shane is an architect by training, but shifted into 3D technology as a BIM consultant in 2013 and founded IrisVR in 2014. IrisVR was the first company to develop VR software specifically for AEC workflows, and since their founding they have helped thousands of users in the US and abroad deploy VR in the office and on the job site. Shane has been recognized as a leader in virtual reality and enterprise technology from outlets such as Forbes, Bloomberg, and Wired.

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Reeti Gupta, Director of Practice Technology


Reeti Gupta is the Director of Practice Technology and a BIM Manager at HKS based out of their Atlanta office. Reeti has 17 years of professional experience and has the unique ability to visualize complex forms and geometry in designs, poetically interweaving art, architecture and technology. She uses digital design, BIM, data and technology to bring about optimal solutions. Reeti deepens the firm’s bench of knowledge, bringing her expertise in using BIM within comprehensive, large-scale projects. She currently leads a team of BIM Managers & Support Specialists to improve processes for Designers through innovation in data centric workflows, expanding the use of Virtual Reality, BIM Management, Support & Training for Revit.

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Vickie Patel, Practice Technology Manager


Vickie Patel currently is the Practice Technology Manager and Firmwide BIM Manager at HKS Architects based out of their headquarters in Dallas, Texas. She has over 12 years of architectural experience, with two years focused on BIM implementation within the firm. As a company BIM Manager, Vickie is focused on putting the needs of the project team first. She works directly with the Regional BIM Managers to develop a strategic plan outlining the BIM Implementation for the firm. She oversees the integration of necessary tools and helps develop custom training specific to HKS workflows. During her time as a BIM Manager, Vickie has developed, implemented, and maintains a firm wide BIM QM process, providing project teams and firm leadership real time model analytics and performance trends.

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