Sept 15, 22, and 29 (2020) 

TrendLab 2020

Speaker Bios/Session Descriptions

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3


Day 1 - Sept. 15th

7:30-7:40 CDT | 14:30-14:40 CEST - Welcome from TrendMiner & Software AG
Presented by: Frederick Motte, Global Head of Customer Success at TrendMiner
& Sanjay Brahmawar, CEO of Software AG

A warm welcome to TrendLab and introduction to Day 1.

7:40-8:00 CDT | 14:40-15:00 CEST - TrendMiner Company Update
Presented by: Joan van de Wetering. Managing Director at TrendMiner

Joan will highlight some of our proudest achievements over the last year and where we are headed into the future. Joan will touch on a variety of topics from company growth,  the democratization of analytics,  user journey improvements, the dedication of our team members, and beyond. 

0Joan van de Wetering is the Managing Director at TrendMiner. He leads TrendMiner in a new stage of the company where it has become part of the SoftwareAG family. He is experienced in both Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) which helps bridging the gap between these two different worlds in an era where these merge. Joan earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Fontys University of Applied Science and M.B.A. from TIAS Business School, both in the Netherlands.

8:00-8:30 CDT | 15:00-15:30 CEST - TrendMiner Product Roadmap & Vision
Presented by: Thomas Dhollander, CTO and Co-founder at TrendMiner

Attendees get an exclusive look at what’s coming up in TrendMiner. As we continue to grow alongside Software AG, we constantly expand our technology, capabilities, and training to offer you the best possible self-service analytics experience. We will share this vision moving forward as well as some of our upcoming news and features.

20200709-trendminer-002-1Thomas Dhollander is co-founder at TrendMiner, where he is currently CTO. Thomas is an expert in algorithm design and time series analytics for process data. From 2005 to 2008 he was active as a data mining and machine learning research engineer at KULeuven University in Leuven, Belgium. Thomas holds a Master in Science in Mechanical-Electrotechnical engineering (data mining & automation from KULeuven) and a Master of Arts in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University.

8:30-9:00 CDT | 15:30-16:00 CEST - Customer Use Case: Ditching the Spreadsheet
Bayport TrendMiner Digitalization - Industry 4.0
Presented by: Sukhpal Singh, Production Engineer at Kuraray

Sukhpal discusses Kuraray's journey to digitalization, from Excel sheets to TrendMiner. Sukhpal highlights key features of TrendMiner that have prevented numerous hours of unplanned events, environmental issues, and the cost associated with such events. See how simple features of TrendMiner can save you hours of unplanned events and save on cost.

Sukhpal_ResizeSukhpal Singh has been in the industry for over 10 years as a Process Operator and Engineer. He has been involved with the leading commissioning of the PVOH unit along with Methanol recovery and acid distillation. Sukhpal works on improving the final products and services for Kuraray customers through the use of advanced software like MOC tools, Yokogawa, Exaquantum, auto trends, etc. His daily routine involves professional work in research, development, design, operation, evaluation, and improvement of processes, plants, equipment, methods, or products.

9:00-9:15 CDT | 16:00-16:15 CEST - Keynote: Meaningful Conversations
Presented by: Chad Littlefield, Co-founder, Speaker, Author and Creator of We and Me, Inc.

Connection before content. In the age of content and content marketing, it’s easy to get lost and forget that people deal with people, first and foremost. In the “new normal”, we miss the element that makes us human more than anything: social interaction. Chad will draw from his wealth of experience and provide the TrendLab audience with some tips and tricks to bridge the digital gap and create genuine connections, using Conversation Starter, the networking platform we’ll use throughout TrendLab.

chad_littlefieldChad Littlefield is the co-founder and Chief Experience Officer of We and Me, Inc. —an organization whose mission is to create conversations that matter. Leaders call Chad when they want to amplify connection, belonging, and trust in their organization. Forbes calls Chad a “global expert on asking questions that build trust and connection in teams.” He is a TEDx speaker, author of the Pocket Guide to Facilitating Human Connections, and creator of We! Connect Cards™, which are now being used to create conversations that matter on campuses and companies in over 80 countries around the world. 

9:15-9:30 CDT | 16:15-16:30 CEST - Break & Virtual Networking

Use this time to grab a coffee and connect with fellow attendees via Conversation Starter. See the Virtual Networking section for more details.

9:30-10:00 CDT | 16:30-17:00 CEST - Customer Use Case: The Digital Engineer
Perstorp's First Experiences with TrendMiner
Presented by: Krister Forsman, Corporate Specialist at Perstorp Specialty Chemicals

Krister walks us through Perstorp's journey with TrendMiner after managing the explore program for only 2 months, including drivers, hurdles, solutions and best practices. Join this session to learn more about the inspiring use cases that are bringing value to Perstorp today ranging from reducing raw material consumption to utilizing dashboards and using data as a base for plant management and environmental authorities.

KristerF_NIK2091aCloseKrister Forsman has more than 25 years of practical experience from process control, industrial IT and advanced analytics in industry, primarily the chemical and pulp and paper industries. He received his PhD in mathematical control theory in 1991, from Linköping University, Sweden. After ten years in various positions within the ABB group, working with pulp and paper control applications, he ran his own consulting company for a few years. In 2005 he joined the Perstorp group as a Corporate Specialist.

10:00-10:30 CDT | 17:00-17:30 CEST - Customer Use Case: Breaking Down Data Silos
TrendMiner SQL Connectivity, Plant Apps & ContextHub, Raw Material Blending Data
Presented by: Mike Malone, Principal Process Engineer at Toray Plastics America

See how TrendMiner supports seamless integration with LIMS systems to make lab data available for integration with the typical time-series data being pulled from a historian. Having this type of information available within TrendMiner for batch or continuous process, allows for a quick and easy way to tie any process upsets with any change in product rather than suspecting of possible process issues. By that same token, having visibility to lab data can help diagnose problems in case there are some upsets in the typical parameters tracked as production progresses and allows engineers to quickly jump into TrendHub and dive deep into the data to diagnose a problem. For those that are curious about merging the worlds of continuous time series data with discrete lab data, this presentation is for you.

Mike Malone-resized-1Mike Malone graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1995 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He started his process engineering career at Toray Plastics just a few weeks later and has been improving up-rate and yield while reducing waste and costs for the company ever since. TrendMiner has been helping the Toray team unlock the power of data analytics since 2018. When Mike is not troubleshooting the manufacturing processes and analyzing trend data, he enjoys bike riding, astronomy, and spending time with his wife, family and friends.

10:30-11:00 CDT | 17:30-18:00 CEST - TrendMiner as a Production Cockpit: From Data Silo to Boardroom
Presented by: Rob Azevedo, Product Manager for TrendMiner

Today, digitalization is required to remain a market leader and sustain future profitability. But using the data and analyzing it is simply not enough. Business leaders want actionable, analytics-driven insights to control business outcomes. Join this talk to see how TrendMiner's production cockpit brings together OT and IT through self-service analytics and data integration.

20200709-trendminer-003-1Rob Azevedo leads the strategy and execution of building and growing the contextual analytics and dashboarding platforms launched in 2019. Based out of TrendMiner HQ in Belgium, with 9+ years of experience of building software which include B2B business platforms and high performant B2C ticketing and entertainment experiences that got viewed by millions. Rob has always been passionate about new user experiences driven by technology and it's that knowledge and drive that he now uses to bring Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0, IoT initiatives to market.

11:00-12:00 CDT | 18:00-19:00 CEST - Virtual Networking

We'll conclude the day with multiple 15 minute networking sessions, allowing you to connect with fellow attendees via Conversation Starter


Day 2 - Sept. 22nd

7:30-7:50 CDT | 14:30-14:50 CEST -Welcome to Week 2 + Peek Behind the Curtains
Presented by: Nick Van Damme, Jef Vanlaer, and Gijs Vanspauwen of TrendMiner

Get a behind-the-scenes look at how our software engineers work at TrendMiner. From how the team is structured, to how they stay in tune with customers and translate feelings to features, to their coffee-ML initiative and beyond, you'll leave with a better sense of the minds behind the application.

7:50-8:15 CDT | 14:50-15:15 CEST - AI: Fact or Fiction?
Presented by: Prof. Dr. Bart De Moor, KU Leuven, Belgium

In the history of AI over the past 50 years, there have been summers and winters, periods of belief alternating with disbelief. It now seems that we are on the edge of a massive breakthrough of AI technology in all dimensions of society, including the process and manufacturing industries, catalysed by large AI investment programs by companies and governments. But, what is AI? What is the state of the art in data science algorithms and so-called decision support systems? What data driven opportunities are out there to exploit, and how to cope specifically with time series that seem to pop up in an increasing number of applications. We will discuss all of these ingredients from a bird’s eye view.

0 (3)Bart De Moor has a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering (1983) and a PhD in Engineering (1988) from KU Leuven. He is a full professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering in the research group STADIUS, and a guest professor at the University of Siena ( His research interests are in numerical linear algebra, optimization, algebraic geometry, systems and control theory, data driven AI and machine learning with applications in the process industry and bio-medical big data processing. He is or has been the coordinator of numerous research projects and networks funded by regional, federal and European funding agencies, including a prestigious Advanced Research Grant of the European Research Council (2020-2025). He is also one of the founders and coordinators of the Flanders AI Program.

8:15-8:45 CDT | 15:15-15:45 CEST - Keynote: Design Thinking – A Simple Formula for Innovation
Presented by: Adam Egger, Director of Innovation Strategy at Software AG’s Corporate University 

In this session, Adam is going to show how to quickly solve big problems with modern, creative innovation methods. You’ll learn how Design Thinking can be used to:
Improve the collaboration between teams
Hugely improve the collaboration with customers
Build and test product features without implementing a line of code

Adam_EggerFor the last ten years, Adam Egger has been leading the Change in promoting Design Thinking throughout Software AG and beyond. His mission has been to spread the knowledge on how to use Design Thinking to create usable, delightful products with a great User Experience (UX). He has also been focusing on enhancing the Customer Experience (CX), thus helping to improve the collaboration between product companies and customers. Another of his endeavors has been honing the Employee Experience (EX) by advancing the way people work with each other through innovative methods.

8:45-9:15 CDT | 15:45-16:15 CEST - Customer Use Case: Empowering Operators & Engineers Alike
Troubleshooting of Conveying Systems
Presented by: Sebastian Schwarm, Process Engineer at Kuraray Europe GmbH

Troubleshooting a continuous process can greatly reduce worst case scenarios such as manual deplugging or even a trip. Join Sebastian and his in-depth instructions on how to prepare the necessary data and how to use the TrendMiner functionalities to use that data and make sure the process runs without interruptions.

0 (1)Sebastian Schwarm received his B.Sc. in Process Engineering from TU Kaiserslautern and a M.Sc. Chemical Engineering from TU Dortmund University. He has worked at Kuraray since 2017, focusing on plant optimization and process analysis/improvement by leading six-sigma projects. Before this, Sebastian worked with Dow Corning GmbH as a Quality Engineer. Outside of work, his interests include hiking, tennis, biking and studying foreign languages.

9:15-9:30 CDT | 16:15-16:30 CEST - Break & Virtual Networking

Use this time to grab a coffee and connect with fellow attendees via Conversation Starter. See the Virtual Networking section for more details.

9:30-10:00 CDT | 16:30-17:00 CEST - Customer Use Case: Day-to-Date Applications of TrendMiner
Experiences with TrendMiner at Product Support DSM Sisseln
Presented by: Ulf Conrad, Plant Chemist at DSM Nutritional Products and Marco Tubolino, Head of Production Support Vitamins at DSM Nutritional Products

In this session, viewers can gain insight into Ulf & Marco’s digitalization journey and the daily use of TrendMiner in the life of engineers and chemists at DSM. They will discuss their evolution from using mainly Excel to using TrendMiner, which vastly increased the speed of data analysis. They’ll share how a process which has existed for decades and hasn't been improved for a long time experienced a significant yield increase with the help of self-service analytics.

Ulf_ResizeUlf Conrad is from Oldenburg (northern Germany) where he studied organic chemistry. In 2014, after he  received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Bremen, he and his wife moved to Switzerland where he started working as a plant chemist at a small pharma company in the district of Aargau. In 2018, Ulf joined DSM as a plant chemist where he is responsible for one of the Vitamin production plants.

marcoMarco Tubolino is originally from Bad Säckingen, Germany and studied Automation Engineering in four different countries until he graduated in 2013. After this, he worked as a Project Engineer and respectively Project Manager in a chemical concern in Switzerland. In 2015, Marco joined DSM in Sisseln as an Improve Plant Automation Engineer where he was mostly working on continuous improvement projects as a LSSBB. he has been the Head of Production Support Vitamins. In this position he leads the department which includes chemists, compliance officers and HAZOP safety experts.

10:00-10:30 CDT | 17:00-17:30 CEST - Data Scientist in the Loop
Presented by: Nick Van Damme, Director of Products at TrendMiner

The TrendMiner vision is and has always been about empowering process and asset experts with robust self-service advanced analytics capabilities to optimize the operational performance of their plants. As a result, many day-to-day operational problems can be handled without the need to consult a data-scientist, who can then focus on the remainder of the 20% big hairy topics. Of course, they will need to gather a good business understanding before being able to solve such a big topic. What if the TrendMiner user, who is experienced in interpreting the data, could easily bring his process and asset know-how to the data-scientist?  

In this presentation, we will zoom in on some new capabilities of the TrendMiner analytics platform that will allow us to bring the data-scientist in closer collaboration with the TrendMiner user and even close the loop by allowing the data-scientist to operationalize the results of his data science approach. 

20200709-trendminer-005Nick Van Damme is responsible for translating the vision of TrendMiner into the product roadmap. Nick is an Experienced Product/Project Manager with a MSc. focused in Mathematical Engineering / Computer Science from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. He is passionate about using Advanced Analytics, Big Data, Manufacturing Intelligence to support Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives.

10:30-11:00 CDT | 17:30-18:00 CEST - Customer Use Case: Return of the Data Scientist
Material Variance Usage Reduction
Presented by: Ben Daugherty, Industrial Performance Engineer at Nestle

See how Ben, with the help of the TrendMiner DAEs, gave a new twist to the calculations on search results available in TrendMiner. Rather than applying different aggregations on search results and exporting them as part of an excel file to later use them to perform other calculations, we were able to enhance this functionality by implementing a script that helps do several calculations at once and do mathematical operations available as context items allowing Nestle to do a mass balance around specific unit operations much faster than they would otherwise. You'll also have a sneak peek of our "data science in the loop" solution with the new Zeppelin notebook which will be available in our next release of TrendMiner. This will bring the power of a standalone in app Python scripting environment enabling these types of solutions and others.

Ben DBen Daugherty graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor's in Biological Engineering. He joined Nestle after graduation and worked at three different food factories across North America. While making Butterfingers and Baby Ruth's in Illinois he worked on implementing SAP and process control procedures. He then worked as a front-line leader in Virginia making Buitoni pasta and sauces. Most recently he has been in Indiana improving line performance and reducing waste on Coffee-Mate and Nesquik lines.

11:00-12:00 CDT | 18:00-19:00 CEST - Virtual Networking

We'll conclude the day with multiple 15 minute networking sessions, allowing you to connect with fellow attendees via Conversation Starter.


Day 3 - Sept 29th

7:30-7:35 CDT | 14:30-14:35 CEST - Welcome to Day 3
Presented by: Laura Linnig, Head of Customer Success DACH

Our team will introduce the final day of TrendLab, jam packed with keynote sessions, customer panels, use cases and the announcement of the TrendMiner of the Year Award winner.

7:35-8:00 CDT | 14:35-15:00 CEST - Partner Keynote: Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Accelerating your Digital Transformation with a Holistic Analytics Strategy
Presented by: Alexander Lemm, Technical Business Development Manager for AI/ML for AWS

We are honored to have Amazon as a TrendMiner co-innovation partner. In this talk, Alexander Lemm of AWS discusses synergies between the hyperscaler compute infrastructures for machine learning on one hand, and self-service analytics platforms on the other hand. He explains and demonstrates how you can fuel your digital transformation by bringing these worlds together.

Alexander_LemmAlexander Lemm defines and executes go-to-market strategies for the adoption and growth of AI/ML across EMEA Public Sector verticals in collaboration with partners. Alex has extensive experience bringing ML and advanced time-series analytics to software platforms and further developing the broader vision, product strategy and GTM for advanced analytics. He has a joint master in business administration and computer science from Technical University of Darmstadt.

8:00-8:20 CDT | 15:00-15:20 CEST - TrendMiner Goes Cloud
Data Lake Integrations
Presented by: Niki Driesen, Chief Architect at TrendMiner

The promise of data lakes is clear: all enterprise data available in one system. The challenge is also clear: how to prevent the lake from becoming a data swamp that is not used and just costs money? In this presentation we will explain how to connect TrendMiner to just about any data lake and the trade-offs that you need to be aware of.

20200709-trendminer-015Niki Driessen is responsible for the architecture of the TrendMiner platform. Niki has extensive experience in building and architecting large enterprise platforms. He worked previously for a large multinational driving the global digitalization architecture for the company and helping shape the engineering organization to achieve this. Passionate about anything related to modern technology: devops, cloud-native, big data and analytics, time series and IoT and agile software engineering in general.

8:20-8:45 CDT | 15:20-15:45 CEST - Customer Panel: Success at Scale
Panelists: Erik De Smedt, Data Analytics Expert at BASF
Ludovic Sarrazin, Operational Excellence Engineer at Arkema
Nimet Sterneberg, Data Scientist at Clariant

While undertaking a digitalization journey, planning for scale adds an additional level of complexity. We’ve gathered some of our most successful customers to discuss how they’ve addressed scale at their organizations. In this Panel Discussion, we aim to shed some light toward the hidden gems of success from a customer point of view.

Erik_De_SmedtErik De Smedt's mission is to make analytics live in BASF Antwerp. He believes doing analytics is the first step to make sure data drives day-to-day decisions. Erik uses TrendMiner as his weapon choice to get a quick feeling of process data in various improvement projects. He is also coaching almost 100 active TrendMiner users.

ludovicLudovic Sarrazin leads variability reduction projects (DMAIC) and assists plants on various topics linked to operational excellence. He recently worked on digital initiatives such as Trendminer. He is heavily involved since a year or so in TrendMiner as project leader, as they deployed it in 2020 on 10 sites. During this deployment, he trained about 100 users on the application. TrendMiner is one of the tools that helps his team reduce the time spent on data cleansing/navigation/searches, and in the end get much more value from the data they've already gathered for years.

FotoNimet Sterneberg is a data scientist and supports the rollout of TrendMiner at Clariant. He helps plants understand the value and use TrendMiner in a day-to-day business. His primary goal, however, is to break the barriers and democratize machine learning and AI in specialty chemicals industry.

8:45-9:15 CDT | 15:45-16:15 CEST - Customer Use Case: Building Adoption at DuPont
Success at Scale: Building Adoption
Presented by: Kenny Thompson, Process Control Engineer at DuPont

Kenny has been spearheading the efforts in democratizing TrendMiner within DuPont and making it a success at scale. DuPont has adopted different approaches from hosting virtual trainings to monthly power user group meetings across many different sites.  See how collaboration across teams can help you succeed.

0-1Kenny Thompson is a Process Control Engineer for DuPont in Richmond, Virginia where he has worked for 11 years. He has held roles in Manufacturing Technology and Process Control for various production lines. In his roles supporting manufacturing, he has developed a passion for finding new ways to translate plant data into useful knowledge.

9:15-9:30 CDT | 16:15-16:30 CEST - Break & Virtual Networking

Use this time to grab a coffee and connect with fellow attendees via Conversation Starter

9:30-10:00 CDT | 16:30-17:00 CEST - Customer Use Case: Finding What to Do and Getting There Fast
Use Cases from an Ammonia Production Plant
Presented by: Ricky Palacios, Operations Engineer, Ammonia at BASF Corporation

Ricky is an engineer at a newly built Ammonia plant. As they've shifted from start-up mode to optimization and stability mode, Ricky has been using TrendMiner as his go-to analytics tool to deep dive opportunities. Ricky shares some of his favorite use cases from predictive maintenance, diagnosing a faulty pay meter, and optimizing rotating equipment start ups. There's something for everyone in this power users' presentation.

Ricky_ResizeRicky Palacios is on a mission to improve process operations with data analysis. Trained as a chemical engineer, he has 5 years of experience in production engineering and capital projects. He has helped in the startup of two continuous production plants producing over 1 million metric tons annually and currently drives process solutions as the Operations Engineer for the BASF ammonia plant in Freeport, TX.

10:00-10:30 CDT | 17:00-17:30 CEST - Customer Interview: TrendMiner Coach
Interviewee: Dave Carpels, Application Analyst at Umicore Precious Metals Refining

The rollout and adoption of a new tool within a company benefits from dedicated coaching and change management. The TrendMiner team supports our customers as much as we can with this implementation, but having a champion on the inside helps tremendously. During this talk, we will bring in Dave, a member of our TrendMiner Coach community, to discuss his experience and advice for fellow users. We'll cover criteria that can help to select the coach or coaching team (for example, their technical skills and hard and soft skills,  how to create awareness within the organization and which challenges our customers might face during the adoption process, and more.

13652555_10210250200592834_1913375298_n-1Dave Carpels graduated as an old school informatician, drawing flowchart analytics with a pencil and writing assembler and cobol code for the mainframe. He started working for Umicore as a Process Coordinator in 1991 and gained a lot of experience in different metal refining flows. He had the possibility to lead large teams in production, but informatics interested him a lot. While working as a process coordinator Dave went back to school to get an extra bachelor degree in informatics. Doing several IT projects for Umicore he got introduced to a lot of Microsoft products and so received several Microsoft certifications. Most of the time these projects were process related. In 2011 he was asked to start a pilot using M2IS for UPMR in Hoboken. Since then, Dave works almost full time on Osisoft PI, M2IS, Trendminer and reporting on that. So far they have trained 30 TM coaches, 30 process engineers and about 100 operators.  Are you interested in the lessons learned? Ask an early adopter!

10:30-10:40 CDT | 17:30-17:40 CEST - TrendMiner of the Year Award Announcement

Time to pop the champagne! Join us as we announce and celebrate the TrendMiner of the Year Award winner. This individual has been judged by a panel of TrendMiner staff across various departments and their use case has been chosen as the best of 2020.

11:00-12:00 CDT | 18:00-19:00 CEST - Virtual Networking

We will conclude the event with the final set of 15 minute networking sessions, allowing you to connect with fellow attendees via Conversation Starter.