Keynote Speakers

Keynote presentations are envisioned to summarize the core message of the conference. These distinguished experts in industrial engineering, management, healthcare and academic, set the tone for the various sections of the conference and provide a learning opportunity for our attendees. 


Norman FirchauNorman L. Firchau, Ph.D., President & CEO, Porsche Consulting Inc.

Tuesday, Sept. 25
8 – 9 a.m. Opening Keynote 

Norman L. Firchau, a mechanical engineer with broad experience in engineering, operations and corporate strategy and a deep commitment to enterprise excellence, has been CEO of Porsche Consulting Inc. since its formation in 2011. Porsche Consulting, a wholly owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, offers consulting services to both the Volkswagen Group and outside clients spanning industries such as automotive, aerospace and industrial goods. 

Firchau, who holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Technical University in Braunschweig, Germany, started his career as an assistant professor of engineering design. In 2003, he joined Porsche Consulting as a project manager, focusing on product and process optimization for research & development and supplier integrations. 

In 2009, Firchau became business development manager at Porsche Cars North America in Atlanta, where he oversaw corporate strategy initiatives. Among his duties was planning the construction of Porsche’s new U.S. headquarters, One Porsche Drive, as well as the Porsche Experience Center, which welcomes thousands of Porsche enthusiasts each year. 

Firchau returned to Porsche Consulting in 2011 to lead its new U.S. office in Atlanta, building a staff that has grown to more than 30 consultants. 


Lukasz MazurLukasz Mazur, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, UNC-Chapel Hill

Tuesday, Sept. 25
12 – 1:30 p.m. Luncheon Keynote 

Lukasz Mazur earned his BS, MS and Ph.D. in industrial and management engineering from Montana State University. He is an assistant professor in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Library and Information Science (SILS) and in the UNC-Chapel Hill Radiation Oncology Department in the UNC School of Medicine. His research interests include healthcare engineering management as it pertains to continuous quality and patient safety efforts in healthcare and human factor engineering with a focus on workload and individual performance during health care providers’ interactions with health information technology.

His research has been funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to develop simulation-based training and innovative usability enhancements to improve patient safety. While at the North Carolina State University, Lukasz was awarded the prestigious Alumni Outstanding Extension Service Award for his outreach work in healthcare industry, highlighting his passion for patient safety and operational improvements.


Amanda-Mewborn_246x232Amanda Mewborn, Executive Director - Project Management, Piedmont Healthcare - Georgia

Wednesday, Sept. 26
11:30 - 12:30 p.m. Closing Session & Awards

Amanda Mewborn is an industrial engineer and registered nurse specializing in healthcare improvement. She earned an M.S. in health systems and a B.S. in industrial and systems engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as a B.S. in nursing from Georgia State University. Mewborn is a lean black belt, diplomate in the Society for Health Systems, and senior member of the Institute for Industrial and Systems Engineers. Mewborn's experience is in working at hospitals, technology firms and consulting firms. She is serving as Senior Vice President of Technical Operations for the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers. She currently works as Executive Director of Project Management at Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta where she is working on a $450 Million building expansion project at the health system's flagship hospital campus. Mewborn has written many articles and book chapters and presented at conferences nationwide.