September 13, 2023|12:30 pm – 1:30 pm (CT)

Leadership Exchange: Advancing Robotics in the Fabrication Metal Industry

Modern robotic technology is already contributing to higher quality products and shorter turnaround times in every sector, performing a wide range of human activities with accuracy. These robots are proving to be effective and prone to fewer errors, require less downtime, and are more cost-effective. Robotic trends such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) integration and rapid design have intensified and have added to an increased demand for manufacturing robots. This panel of experts will share how robotics is advancing the fabrication world in metals.


Aaron Prather

Director, Robotics & Autonomous Systems

ASTM International

Edward Mehr

Co-Founder & CEO

Machina Labs

Arnold Kravtiz


Blueforge Alliance

Chuck Brandt

Vice President, Technical Initiatives

ARM Institute

Event Speakers

Aaron Prather

Director, Robotics & Autonomous Systems, ASTM International

Aaron Prather is the Director of Robotics & Autonomous Systems Program at ASTM International, one of the world’s largest and most established standards-creating organizations. Prior to joining ASTM, Aaron spent almost 27 years working for FedEx. During his time there he held various positions, including Senior Technical Advisor, where he helped develop robotic applications for the shipping giant. Aaron is now focused on helping the Robotics Industry to grow and expand through standardization, workforce development, and research efforts. In his current role, he works with researchers, manufacturers, integrators, and end users to develop support structures that speed up robot deployments across numerous industries.

Edward Mehr

Co-Founder & CEO, Machina Labs

Mehr has been a student of engineering, manufacturing, and design for nearly twenty years. His expertise in machine learning led to a role as an early employee at both SpaceX and Relativity Space. Mehr is one of the inventors on Relativity’s patent for additive manufacturing. He co-founded Machina Labs with the vision to radically simplify manufacturing by using sheet metal to form casts via additive manufacturing using AI and robotics.

Gijs Van Der Velden


Gijs van der Velden is CEO of MX3D, a robotic 3D metal Printing company famous for its bridge for the city of Amsterdam. The technology was first developed in a Dutch Design Agency, which researched a great variety of new manufacturing technologies including new software tools that experimented with biomimicry and topology optimisation early 2000’s. MX3D employs 30 people and 10 welding robots. Verticals: Maritime, Construction and Oil and Gas.

Arnold Kravtiz

CEO, Blueforge Alliance

Arnie Kravitz is and experienced Industrialist who has served as CEO, COO, CTO, and Board Member of broad spectrum of publicly traded or privately held, large, small, and and medium enterprises, and start-up companies focused on technology-driven services, product manufacturing and shipbuilding industries.

He currently serves as the Blueforge Alliance Chief Technology Officer where he oversees all technical operations. This includes maritime systems, shipbuilding, and the expansion enrichment fortification of the submarine industrial base (SIB) and other untapped adjacent industrial bases (Maritime, offshore communications, energy minerals, and other heavy industries) that can be leveraged to enhance the SIB.

Chuck Brandt

Vice President, Technical Initiatives, ARM Institute

Dr. Brandt is the ARM Institute’s Chief Technology Officer. Dr. Brandt leads the ARM Institute’s technical strategy and program planning, manages the ARM Institute program management office, and leads the organization’s headquarters Mill 19 robotic engineering plans and investment strategy. He joined the ARM Institute in 2018 from Innovation Works, where he was the Vice President of Technology Programs. Prior to Innovation Works, he was the CTO at the Technology Collaborative, both Pittsburgh-based organizations. In these and prior roles at Northrop Grumman, Westinghouse, and Raytheon, Dr. Brandt has showcased his ability to coordinate technology initiatives, early-stage product development, and university-based commercialization. Dr. Brandt holds a Ph.D. in Electronic Materials from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Illinois. He has presented over 50 papers and holds 6 patents.

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