Skip to Content
Purdue Krannert School of Management logo

Boilermakers by the Bay: Speakers

Brad Surak, Chief Operating Officer

GE Digital

Brad Surak is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) leading the integration efforts for the GE Digital organization. He is responsible for establishing and leading an Integration Management Office to align our products, people, processes, and systems through cross functional work streams that span corporate IT and all 8 GE businesses. The goal is to accelerate the transition to GE Digital and drive the integration strategy.

Brad also has responsibility for the GE Digital strategy organization and the global operations of GE’s Digital Foundries – a network of centers around the world through which GE Digital incubates Industrial Internet startup companies, collaborates with customers on new application development, engages with the open source community and promotes international standards related to the Industrial Internet.

Prior to joining GE, Mr. Surak was Vice President and General Manager of Mobile Analytic Applications at SAP, where he was responsible for launching and growing this new line of business.  Mr. Surak was one of the original founders of SAP's Mobile Application Business Unit and spearheaded a plan to integrate the Sybase Unwired Platform with SAP’s Business Analytics portfolio to enable SAP to bring the industry’s first end-to-end mobile analytics platform to market.   Prior to this role, Mr. Surak was Chief Operating Officer for the Business Analytics Solutions Unit, where he established the operating model and product strategy for SAP to compete in the analytic applications market.  Prior to SAP, Mr. Surak held key leadership positions at Business Objects, Eleven Acceleration, DayNine, Cambridge Technology Partners, and Ernst & Young LLC.

GE Digital connects streams of machine data to powerful analytics and people, providing industrial companies with valuable insights to manage assets and operations more efficiently. World-class talent and software capabilities driving digital industrial transformation for big gains in productivity, availability and longevity. We do this by leveraging Predix, our industrial cloud platform purpose built for the demanding safety & security needs of industrials.

John Annakin, Chief Revenue Officer


As Chief Revenue Officer for ClearObject (formerly CloudOne Corporation), John leads all sales and business development at the company. John is proud to report that ClearObject is the fastest growing IT services firm in Indiana for 3 years running according to Inc. Magazine and was named a Red Herring Top 100 Global Award Winner for 2015 and 2016.  ClearObject was also named to the Deloitte Tech Fast 500, Entrepreneur 360, and CRN Next Gen 250 all in 2016.

John has over 25 years of enterprise selling and sales team management experience in the application software, cloud services and platform/software-as-a-service space. Before joining ClearObject, John was Director of Enterprise Sales for Scribe Software Corporation, the leading data integration solution for Microsoft’s Dynamics business applications, where he built a global sales team. 

Who is ClearObject?  ClearObject is an IoT systems innovator helping the world’s best companies connect their bold ideas to the internet of things. From private cloud managed services of complex analytics software tools already owned by our clients to the development of custom IOT solutions on secure cloud platforms, we bring our years of experience, our team of experts, and our coalition of leading partners to make today’s IoT solutions reality. 

We see the future and it is clear. Engines that talk, dishwashers that share their health, and companies harnessing data to gain competitive advantage and drive net new revenue streams. The internet of things. The internet of everything.


Sean Galligan, VP/Industry Lead – Technology, Media, & Telecom

Yahoo! Inc.

Sean Galligan is the Vice President and Industry Lead for the Technology, Media and Telecom category at Yahoo. He leads a team that develops programs for major brands within these verticals.

Sean joined Yahoo through its acquisition of Flurry, and he previously led Yahoo’s mobile app marketing team, managing user acquisition solutions for top brands and mobile apps. At Flurry, he led the advertising, publishing and programmatic sales and business development organizations. As Flurry’s vice president of business development, he helped establish the company as a leader in mobile analytics and build the largest mobile developer community and mobile app publisher network. Prior to Flurry, Sean led the commercial internet and eBusiness unit at Sprint for the eastern region. Earlier in his career, Sean also held roles in sales, product and business development in the technology industry.

Sean earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Purdue University and his MBA from Cornell University

Robert Schmid, Managing Director & Chief IoT Technologist


Robert Schmid is a pragmatically audacious executive with creative thinking, grounded in fundamentals, pushing honed tech innovation for business impact. A frequent author and speaker, he has a deep passion and experience in all things digital, always with an eye to deliver higher business value.

Currently the Chief IoT Technologist and Managing Director for Deloitte Digital, Robert has more than 20 years of experience transforming Global Fortune 100 and start‐up companies to new 21st century technologies. He has expertise delivering business value through innovative solutions and effective partnerships in the areas of wearables, the Internet of Things, social media, mobile workforce, cloud computing, merger integration, complex integrations, ERP implementations, and off‐shore & outsourcing for Deloitte Consulting LLP’s clients.


Ali Shakouri, Mary Jo & Robert L. Kirk Director

Birck Nanotechnology Center

 Ali Shakouri is the Director of the Birck Nanotechnology Center and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University.  He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from the California Institute of Technology in 1995 and his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Telecom ParisTech in France in 1990.  From 1995-1998 he was an Assistant Research Engineer at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He then became a faculty member at the University of California, Santa Cruz in electrical engineering in 1998 and rose through the ranks to professor.  He joined the faculty at Purdue University in October 2011. 

Dr. Shakouri’s research focuses on nanoscale heat and current transport in semiconductor devices, high-resolution thermal imaging, micro refrigerators on a chip and waste-heat recovery.  At the University of Santa Cruz, he directed the Thermionic Energy Conversion Center, a multi-university collaboration including Purdue that is working to improve direct thermal to electric energy conversion technologies.  This project is funded by the Office of Naval Research and the Defense Sciences Office at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  Project researchers are exploring the capacity of nanostructured materials to channel the random jostling of heat energy into the orderly flow of electricity.  The research has applications in advancing technology for electric-powered ships and other electric vehicles.

 Dr. Shakouri received a Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering in 1999 and a NSF Career Award in 2000.  He as the author or co-author of 6 book chapters, 115 papers in reviewed journals and 117 papers in refereed proceedings.  He has also presented numerous invited lectures nationally and internationally.

David Hummels, Dean

Krannert School of Management

David Hummels began serving as the Dean of the Krannert School of Management in 2015.  

In his faculty life, Professor Hummels teaches courses in International Economics, and has won multiple teaching awards at the graduate and undergraduate level. His research focuses on a broad range of issues in international trade, including:  offshoring, product differentiation, barriers to trade and the broader impacts of aviation, infrastructure, and trade facilitation on trade and economic development.  He has published 4 books and over 40 research articles in major economic journals including American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of International Economics, and the Journal of Economic Perspectives. 

Professor Hummels is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, an Associate Editor of the Journal of International Economics, and an Associate Director of the Forum for Research on Empirical International Trade. He has worked as a consultant for and visiting scholar at a wide variety of central banks, development banks and policy institutes around the world. He previously served on the faculty of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.

Ananth Iyer, Susan Bulkeley Butler Chair in Operations Management

Krannert School of Management

Professor Iyer is the Susan Bulkeley Butler Chair in Operations Management at the Krannert School of Management. He is also the Director of Purdue NExT - a University wide modular online interactive courses for global distribution. He was the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs (2011-2013) and Director of DCMME (Dauch Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises) and the founding Director of GSCMI (the Global Supply Chain Management Initiative) (2006-2011) at the Krannert School of Management. Previously, he was Purdue University Faculty Scholar from 1999-2004.

His teaching and research interests are operations and supply chain management. Professor Iyer's research currently focuses on analysis of supply chains including the impact of promotions on logistics systems in the grocery industry, and analysis of the impact of competitors on operational management models and the role of supply contracts. His other topics of study include inventory management in the fashion industry, effect of supplier contracts, and use of empirical data sets in operations management model building.

He has four books ranging from a textbook on Managing Supply chains to trade books on Toyota Supply Chains, Supply Chains on the Silk Road and Orchestrating Supply Chain Opportunities. He was the FMC Scholar in 1990-91. He has served as a Department Editor of Management Science, Associate Editor of Operations Research, is on the editorial boards of Operations Research Letters, IIE Transactions, the ECR Journal and Manufacturing and Service Operations Management editorial board, and member of INFORMS.

He was president-elect of the MSOM Society of INFORMS in 2001-02 and served as president for the year 2002-03. Prior to joining the Krannert faculty in 1996, Professor Iyer taught at the University of Chicago. He has been affiliated with the Production and Distribution Research Center at Georgia Tech, and a consultant to Daymon Associates, Sara Lee, Turner Broadcasting and others. He served his Chicago community as a pro bono consultant to the Chicago School System and the Chicago Streets and Sanitation Department.

Karthik Kannan, Professor of Management

Krannert School of Management

Karthik Kannan is a Professor at Purdue's Krannert School of Management.  He is the academic director for the MBA programs (two-year MBA, STEM-MBA, Weekend MBA), academic co-director for MS in BAIM (Business Analytics and Information Management), and co-director for BIAC (Business Information and Analytics Center).

He researches and teaches aspects related to "Designing for Human Instincts."  Specifically, he is interested in understanding and designing systems – products, process or policies – that exploit human instincts and biases in order to nudge behavior.  He has published papers in several leading management journals and conferences, and has also won some best paper awards. He also serves/has served in editorial capacities. He is also a CERIAS Fellow and Krannert's Faculty Fellow.  For 2017-18, he has been awarded the prestigious Jefferson Science Fellow by the National Academies of Sciences. 

Prior to joining Purdue, he obtained his PhD in information systems, MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and MPhil in Public Policy and Management all from Carnegie Mellon University. Before joining the graduate school, he worked with Infosys Technologies for a couple of years. His undergraduate degree is in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from NIT Trichy (formerly, REC Trichy).


Discovery Park
Clear Object
Purdue Krannert