Smart Buildings Smart Cities
SPEAKER BIOS 2022

Alex Korter, AIA
Principal, CO Architects
Alex Korter joined CO Architects in 2005 and his architectural experience in both Europe and the United States encompasses large and complex academic, healthcare, civic, and commercial projects. Alex leads CO Architects’ Building Facades Group and holds special interest in developing innovative and high-performance exterior envelope systems while making environmental, economic, social and functional sustainable design a fundamental part of all projects to ensure their success over time. Alex is a frequent presenter on façades and building envelope design and technology throughout the US and internationally. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of Manchester, and a Diploma in Architecture from the Mackintosh School of Architecture at the Glasgow School of Art.

Azam Khan
CEO, Trax
Azam Khan is the Co-founder and CEO of Trax.Co, developing the world’s first standards-based asset planning and management platform. He founded the Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design (SimAUD) in 2010, was Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, has been a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of CIFE at Stanford University, a research center for Virtual Design and Construction, and was the Velux Guest Professor at CITA, the Centre for Information Technology and Architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture. Azam was Director of Complex Systems Research at Autodesk, leading a team of 25 people including researchers, software developers, architects, and engineers, and previously held positions at Microsoft, Adobe, and ATI (now AMD). Azam received his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen and his M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Computer Science at the University of Toronto.

Brian Skowvron, Assoc. AIA
BIM Director, Gruen Associates
Mr. Skowvron joined Gruen Associates in 2018 and became an Associate of the firm in 2020. Trained in the architectural practice, Mr. Skowvron was determined to develop solutions to improve efficiencies by using technology. Previously employed by an Autodesk reseller, he has implemented workflows for many elite firms across the nation including Disney, RAMSA and now across all departments at Gruen—architecture, planning, interiors and landscape. He is constantly seeking more efficiency in workflows, leveraging the power of Dynamo for smoother transitions and interoperability between software. Mr. Skowvron is driven by challenge and innovation as evidenced by his initiative to push the industry forward, producing a 57-acre project in Revit with the landscape department. His current work includes Metro’s Airport Metro Connector Station at LAX, the new Audrey Irmas Pavilion event space for the historic Wilshire Boulevard Temple, an adaptive re-use to the 1927 Tower Theatre for Apple, the Otay Mesa Land Port of Entry renovation and expansion in San Diego, the Pershing Square Re-Design, the 3545 Wilshire mixed-use high-rise development and the Cheval Blanc Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Brian Skripac, Assoc. AIA
Director of Virtual Design & Construction (VDC), Design-Build Institute of America
As Director of Virtual Design & Construction (VDC), Brian is responsible for shaping how VDC brings optimal benefits to design-build’s “whole team” approach to project delivery. Brian is a Digital Construction innovator with nearly 20 years of leadership defining how people, processes and technology come together to transform collaborative project delivery. In addition, he leads the creation and advancement of best practices related to the integration of BIM-enabled technologies and other innovative digital tools to enhance design-build team performance and while generating significant benefits for projects across the built environment.

Chikara Inamura
Director of Digital Technology, CO Architects
Chikara Inamura is the Director of Digital Technology at CO Architects, leading a team of interdisciplinary designers and technologists to drive the digital transformation in practice across disciplines from Building Information Modeling to Computational and Environmental Design, Digital Experience Design, and Digital Twin technologies. Chikara holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture and a Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Daniel Ayars, AIA
Principal, NBBJ
With 11 years of experience in Seattle and six years in Shanghai, Daniel Ayars has become a design leader in mixed-use developments around the world. Now based in Columbus, he is building an international commercial practice with a local presence in Central Ohio. As the design leader for NBBJ’s Shanghai office, he integrated urban design, planning, landscape and architecture to deliver large-scale mixed-use developments at high quality despite tight schedules. This has given him an insight into how live-work-play environments influence the urban realm beyond the boundaries of their given sites. While leading the Shanghai studio he focused the design culture around computation and data-driven design. Now he applies his expertise in the United States and abroad, with a value-based approach to commercial projects that seeks first to understand the client’s goals and constraints, then to identify strategic, unexpected opportunities for greater return. His personal design aesthetic tends toward clean and simple lines, innovative materials use and the interplay between interior and exterior, always with an emphasis not on a building’s form but on the human experience within and around it.

Daniel R. Isaacs
CTO, Digital Twin Consortium
Dan Isaacs is Chief Technology Officer of Digital Twin Consortium, where he is responsible for setting the technical direction for the Member Consortium, liaison partnerships and business development support for new memberships. Previously, Dan was Director of Strategic Marketing and Business Development at Xilinx where he was responsible for emerging technologies including AI/Machine Learning, including defining and executing the ecosystem strategy for the Industrial IoT. Prior to joining the Digital Twin Consortium, Dan was responsible for Automotive Business Development focused on Automated Driving and ADAS systems. Dan represented Xilinx to the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC). He has more than 25 years of experience working in automotive, Mil/Aerospace and consumer-based companies including Ford, NEC, LSI Logic and Hughes Aircraft. An accomplished speaker, Dan has delivered keynotes, presentations and served as panellist and moderator for IIC World Forums, Industrial IOT Global conferences, Embedded World, Embedded Systems, and FPGA Conferences. He is a member of international advisory boards and holds degrees in Computer Engineering: EE from Cal State University, B.S. Geophysics from ASU.

Dusan Selezan
VDC Manager, Balfour Beatty
Dusan is the VDC Manager for Balfour Beatty and has been a vital part of the team for over nine years. In his role, he is responsible for advancing and leveraging Balfour Beatty’s use of technology across its business and projects. His primary function is to maximize project value and efficiency through the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) Technology – coordinating design and trade partners in virtual 3D environments to porotype projects in advance of construction. Outside his daily role, Dusan volunteers his time with several organizations. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Associated General Contractors San Diego Chapter and the Construction Management Association San Diego Chapter. Dusan also teaches the Virtual Design and Construction class as a part-time professor at the New School of Architecture & Design and guest lectures at San Diego State University.

German Aparicio, Assoc. AIA
Co-Founder, ZeroSixty & Project Manager, Trimble
German W Aparicio Jr is Co-Founder at Zerosixty Accelerator Program and Project Manager at Trimble Consulting which provides consulting, strategic advisory and advanced project delivery services to leading Owners, Architects, Engineers, Builders, Fabricators and Industry Professionals worldwide. German Aparicio has over 10+ years of both research and professional experience in the AECO industry delivering large scale building and infrastructural projects. He received a Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly Pomona and a Masters of Science in Architectural Studies (SMArchS) Design and Computation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Ian Keough
CEO, Hypar
Ian Keough is the CEO of Hypar, a cloud platform for generating buildings. Hypar is the continuation of more than a decade of Ian’s research and development of software tools for automating the design and analysis of buildings. Before founding Hypar, Ian was the software architect for the AEC Generative Design team at Autodesk. In that role he worked on Dynamo, the open source visual programming language for Revit, which Ian started in 2010 before joining Autodesk. Dynamo is the largest open source project to which Autodesk contributes, and is delivered as a core functionality in Autodesk Revit. Ian joined Autodesk as part of the acquisition of Vela System where he worked after Vela’s acquisition of his software goBIM, the first BIM visualization application for iOS. goBIM was developed during Ian’s time at Buro Happold Consulting Engineers where he developed software to rationalize, optimize, and analyze complex structures. Ian has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Michigan, and a Masters in Architecture from Parsons School Design.

Janvi Kanani, AIA
Associate, Architect, IBI Group
Janvi Kanani is an architect and BIM professional with 16 years of architectural design and planning experience. She specializes in educating clients and consultants in the use of technology to address project issues, and brings her diverse experience in design, technology and sustainability expertise to deliver integrated design solutions for her clients.

Javier Glatt
Co-Founder, CadMakers
In 2014, Javier co-founded CadMakers, a construction and manufacturing technology company headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia. CadMakers is a team of highly motivated innovators delivering Digital Construction Twin and Digital Fabrication Twin solutions and developers of the rapidly growing 3D/4D site logistics simulation platform, cmBuilder.io.

Julia Fruithandler
Urban Data Analyst, IBI Group
Julia Fruithandler is an urban planner and computational designer based in Los Angeles. She attended USC, where she studied GeoDesign, an interdisciplinary degree that combines urban planning, technology, and design thinking. As a member of IBI’s parametric design team, she leads the group’s urban planning and large scale projects, with particular interest in blending geospatial modeling with parametric design. At IBI, she and her team have created custom algorithms for projects ranging in scale and scope from regional transportation plans, performative architectural facades, operations facilities optimization, sustainability and urban heat island effect mitigation, large-scale land use and master planning, dynamic pro forma financial modeling and interior layout optimization. She continues to be involved with the Geodesign intiative, working with USC to build and improve the degree program and speaking at international Geodesign collaboratives and other conferences to champion human-centered, data driven design. Prior to joining IBI, she worked as a data specialist for LADOT and MassDOT.

Nathan Miller
CEO, PROVING GROUND LLC
Nate Miller is the founder of PROVING GROUND – a digital design agency that enables digital transformation through data-driven solutions for architects, engineers, builders, and owners. Nate has worked with some of the most reputable organizations in the building industry to craft strategies and tools to support the transformation of design and construction businesses with digital workflows. Nate has personally authored numerous free and open source tools that are widely used by professionals and researchers with the aim of improving designer productivity. Nate is presently overseeing the development of three new commercial plugins for streamlining the digital design workflow: Conveyor, Semantic, and Tracer. As a respected leader in the field of computation in architecture, Nate and has lectured at venues including ACADIA, AEC Tech, AIA Building Connections Congress, USC BIM Symposium, and Now Next Future. Nate is also an avid writer and has authored numerous articles focused on emerging technology, industry trends, and business strategy. You can read his work in publications including Architect Magazine, Building Design + Construction, and the Proving Ground blog.

Nicole Buhles
Practice Technology Leader, HED
Nicole Buhles is a Practice Technology Leader at HED, where she co-builds and implements firm-wide digital design-delivery strategies. She specializes in BIM management coaching project teams to maximize existing technology and seize opportunities for innovation. With over a decade of experience as a change agent, Nicole knows what drives “digital-first” in AECO firms—and it’s not troubleshooting Revit. Before HED, as a BIM technology consultant, she managed a diverse portfolio of multidisciplinary firms to construct and accelerate BIM implementation strategies. She is also a former Imagineer. Nicole holds a Certificate of Management-Building Information Modeling (CM-BIM) from the American General Contractors Association; and a master’s degree in Architecture from Hampton University.

Renzo di Furia
Owner, RDF CONSULTING SERVICES, LLC
Renzo recently left his long-time role as a Regional VDC Manager for a large international construction company to start his own VDC consulting firm. He has 35 years of commercial construction experience, serving in various roles including Superintendent, Project Manager, Sr. Estimator, Survey/Layout Manager, and Self-Perform Concrete Department Manager. For over 18 years, Renzo has been using 3d virtual modeling tools and has spent many years developing a simplified approach to BIM implementation. His methods complement staff roles, promote operational excellence, and maximize quality, productivity, and safety. Specializing in fabrication tolerance construction modeling, Renzo is focused on continuous improvement, applied research, and supporting construction technology career paths. He also develops training curriculums through his associations with the University of Washington’s Department of Built Environments and Applied Research Consortium, the Trimble Visiting Professional Program, and the Carpenters’ International Training Center, Las Vegas.

Rory Mitchell
Creative Director & XR Producer, The Mercantile Agency
Rory Mitchell is an XR producer and founder at The Mercantile Agency, a creative agency and production company helping businesses and brands navigate and create new technology. With a background in documentary film and theater, he began working in Virtual Reality in 2015, and has produced or supervised VR or AR projects for Ketel One, Disney, General Mills, Cascadian Farms, Facebook IQ, Wired Magazine, Target, Honda, Skybound Entertainment, Institute for Contemporary Art Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs. His XR work has premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, Seattle International, the Museum of Broken Relationships and elsewhere. Since 2017, Mercantile has been an advisor to and the agency of record for OpenSpace, a pioneering construction tech firm using 360 imagery, machine vision and artificial intelligence to build digital twins and smart construction sites. They’ve also been involved with other digital twin projects utilizing aerial photogrammetry around the world. He is currently in development on a VR docu-series about Architects and Architecture and is in post-production on a traditional feature documentary about KCRW, called “Kiss the Joy As It Flies.” You can reach Rory at rory@themercantile.agency or The Mercantile’s website: https://themercantile.agency.

Tony Gill, AIA
Global Director, P3 Buildings, IBI Group
Tony Gill is the Global Director, P3 Buildings at IBI Group. He is an architect and member of the AIA, RAIC, AIBC and NCARB. Tony has been leveraging his 25+ years in designing complex facilities for clients into the designing of software and technologies to improve the client’s experience through design and into full operations. He has been leading IBI’s software team and design technology teams in creating innovative solutions to advance technologies for end users. As an architect, planning and designing institutional facilities, Tony recognized the need for digital innovations to support the management of large capital investments. He brings a focus on improving and understanding facility operations, and innovative design solutions to facility design and management challenges. Tony continues to identify ways in which architecture can drive and inspire technology to improve the client and user experience.