Speaker Details

2019 Speakers

Guest Speaker: Patricia K. Poppe

President and Chief Executive Officer, CMS Energy Corporation and Consumers Energy Company 

Patti Poppe is president and chief executive officer of Jackson, Michigan-based CMS Energy and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility and the nation’s fourth-largest combination utility. Consumers Energy provides electricity and natural gas to 6.7 million of Michigan’s nearly 10 million Lower Peninsula residents. She was elected to this position in July 2016.

Ms. Poppe held a variety of automotive management positions and served as power plant director at Detroit-based DTE Energy before returning to her hometown of Jackson to join Consumers Energy in 2011.

She earned a master’s degree in Management from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.

In her current role, Ms. Poppe has focused on connecting the company more closely with its customers and adapting lean operating system principles throughout the utility.

Student Speaker: Bassel Salka

Industrial and Operations Engineering

Bassel Salka is an Industrial and Operations Engineering student with a passion for improving healthcare systems and patient outcomes. He is an undergraduate researcher at the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety and is the co-founder of the Michigan Lean Consortium Consulting, the first Lean consulting organization at Michigan. He has served as Co-President of the Arab Student Association, Muslim Coalition, and has served as a member of multiple administrative student advisory boards.

This summer he will begin his career as a next generation healthcare researcher at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.

Past Graduation Speakers

YearStudent SpeakerGuest Speaker
2019Bassel Salka
Industrial and Operations Engineering

Patricia K. Poppe
President and Chief Executive Officer, CMS Energy Corporation and Consumers Energy Company 

2018Chloe Henderson
Mechanical Engineering

Eric K. Fanning
President and CEO, The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA)


Bruce Cousin
Aerospace Engineering

Wanda Austin
Former President and CEO, The Aerospace Corporation

Ryan Moody
Chemical Engineering

Dean Drako
Founder, President and CEO, Eagle Eye Networks, IC Manage and Drako Motors


Hema Karunakaram
Environmental Engineering

Richard Sheridan
CEO and Chief Storyteller, Menlo Innovations


Jenna Bertke
Industrial and Operations Engineering

Crystal E. Ashby
Senior Vice President, Strategic University Relationships BP America Inc.


Sita Syal
Chemical Engineering

W. James McNerney, Jr.
Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of The Boeing Company

2012Daniel Silver
Industrial and Operations Engineering
Steve Mollenkopf
President and CEO, Qualcomm

Jordan Klein
Biomedical Engineering

Cindy Padnos
Founding and Managing Director, Illuminate Ventures


Chiao-Yang “Danny” Hsiao
Chemical Engineering

C. Robert Kidder
Chairman, Chrysler
Chairman and CEO 3Stone Advisors LLC
2009Courtenay M. Holscher
Biomedical Engineering

Keith W. Cooley
CEO, NextEnergy