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Safety Innovation Summit

When: February 29, 2024

Where: Rodef Shalom Congregation | 4905 Fifth Ave. | Pgh, PA 15213 

About Event

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Pittsburgh has a long and accomplished history of advancing safety innovations to prevent injury/harm in industrial manufacturing, transportation, energy, cybersecurity, and military medicine.

This one-day conference will examine interventions that have proved successful in multiple industries, while exploring newer safety solutions made possible by AI/ML, robotics, and other frontier technologies.

This event will be a fact-gathering and visioning session, bringing together innovative leaders in industrial manufacturing, energy, transportation, and cyber with the technology and engineering expertise at Carnegie Mellon University, life sciences expertise at the University of Pittsburgh, R&D at other academic institutions, a vibrant startup ecosystem, and our world-class health systems.

This presents a novel opportunity to share learnings across industries, explore opportunities for new ventures, and shape Pittsburgh’s future.


8:30 a.m. – Registration

9:00 a.m. – Welcoming Remarks 

  • Karen Feinstein, PhD, President and CEO, Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative
  • Audrey Russo, President and CEO, Pittsburgh Technology Council
  • Kent McElhatten, Founder of Industrial Scientific, Former Chairman of the National Safety Council Board, and President of the McElhattan Foundation

9:20 a.m. – Western Pennsylvania’s Legacy in Industrial Safety and Potential to Become a Global Leader in Safety Technologies – 

Jan Wachter, ScD, MBA, former professor of safety sciences, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

9:40 a.m. – Autonomous Transportation Panel – Moderated by Michael Wagner, CEO, Edge Case Research 


  • Paul Bartlett, Principal Engineer and Head of Systems Engineering, Near Earth Autonomy
  • Evan Sevel, VP for Growth & Innovation, Digital Intelligence, Wabtec
  • Nat Beuse, Chief Safety Officer, Aurora
  • Karen Lightman, Interim Executive Director of Safety21, Executive Director of Metro21: Smart Cities Institute, CMU

10:40 a.m. – Break 

10:50 a.m. – Energy Panel – Moderated by Pam Walaski, President-elect, American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) Board, and Part Time Faculty Member of IUP Department of Safety Sciences


  • Shawn Quimby, VP of Operations Technology, CNX
  • Himanshu Khurana, Vice President of Engineering, Industrial Scientific
  • Todd Moore, Vice President of Safety, Consol Energy
  • Craig Waller, CEO, Rewyndr

11:50 a.m. – Lunch

12:30 p.m. – Fireside Chat with Christopher Johnson, Co-CEO, TeleTracking, and Karen Feinstein: The Frontiers of Automated Monitoring and AI Tech to Anticipate and Prevent Harm 

12:50 p.m. – Remarks by Jen Gilburg, PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED), Deputy Secretary for Technology and Entrepreneurship 

1:05 p.m. – Union Panel – Moderated by Steven D. Irwin, JD, PRHI Board Co-Chair and Partner of Leech Tishman 


  • Ken Morris, Safety Representative, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 5
  • Kevin Kelley, Vice President of Operations at Environmental Health and Safety Solutions, Safety Director for Local 449 Steamfitters
  • Marc Ferrari, Administrator/Training Director, Pennsylvania Laborers’ Education & Training Center

1:40 p.m. – Break 

1:50 p.m. – Manufacturing Panel – Moderated by Joseph Losko, PhD, Assistant Professor in Safety Management at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania


  • Zane N. Frund, PhD, MPH, MBA, Executive Director & Global Leader, Materials/Chemical Research & Sensor Development, MSA Safety
  • Kelly Trapani, Head of EHS, Gecko Robotics
  • Raghu Arunnachalam, CEO,

2:50 p.m. – Break 

3:00 p.m. – Medical Pathbreakers Panel – Moderated by Ron Poropatich, MD, Director of the Center for Military Medicine Research (CMMR), University of Pittsburgh


  • CDR Jean-Paul Chretien, Biological Technologies Office (BTO) Program Manager, DARPA 
  • Chandan K. Sen, PhD, MS, Associate Vice Chancellor for Life Sciences Innovation and Commercialization, University of Pittsburgh
  • Michael Pinsky, MD, Professor of Critical Care Medicine, Bioengineering, Cardiovascular Diseases, Clinical & Translational Science, and Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh
  • Frank Guyette, MD, MS, Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh 
  • Phil Spinella, MD, Professor of Surgery and Critical Care Medicine, Co-Director of the Trauma and Transfusion Medicine Research Center, Associate Medical Director of the Center for Military Medicine Research at the University of Pittsburgh

4:00 p.m. – Closing Remarks & Next Steps 

Karen Feinstein, President and CEO, Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative

Audrey Russo, President and CEO, Pittsburgh Technology Council