Speaker's Biographies


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   Speakers' profiles in alphabetical order by their surnames

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 Bates, Robin 

Robin Bates 
Business Development Director

Robin is a key member of the Flatirons Jouve global leadership team, and responsible for business development in Europe and Asia. Robin has extensive experience in implementing standards-based tech data solutions and feels passionate about helping customers succeed in reaching their goals.

 Benain, Pierre-Yves

Pierre-Yves Benain
Senior Innovation Development Manager

Pierre-Yves holds a master degree in Telecommunications & IT engineering and an MBA. He accumulated over 20 years international experience in air transport IT & Communications in various management position from strategic technical development, product management, business development, program management and innovation.
Pierre-Yves strongly believes that aviation is under-utilizing its digital capital and currently puts his experience for the development of aircraft data management solution to enhance SITAONAIR’s nose-to-tail portfolio proposition. 
In addition to his work Pierre-Yves teaches corporate strategy at International University in Geneva,
Pierre-Yves is passionate about aviation and holds a private pilot license.

 Bruijn, Jelmer

Jelmer Bruijn
Project Pilot Digitizing
KLM Flight Operations

Jelmer Bruijn is a project pilot digitizing for KLM Flight Operations. Former cruise relieve pilot B747, Jelmer now works as a co-pilot on the B737NG. He enjoys combining operational experience with IT, trying to bring new technologies to a traditionally conservative industry


 Castro, Antonio

Antonio Castro

 Antonio Castro has a Ph.D. and an MSc in Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Systems from University of Porto in Portugal. He has 27 years of experience on the Air Transport domain including serving as a Board Advisor for IT projects and responsible for projects related with airline operations control with TAP Portugal.
He is a researcher at the Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science (LIACC) and a former Assistant Professor at the University of Porto, having published 30 papers and 2 books on the use of AI and Machine Learning for Airline Operations. 
He received three awards related with his work: Best Artificial Intelligence PhD Thesis from the Portuguese Association for AI in 2014, Best Innovation Award at AGIFORS Airline Operations Conference in 2015 and Second Best Idea with Practical Utility regarding from Fraunhofer Research Institute in 2013.
Antonio is also Co-founder and CEO of MASDIMA (http://www.masdima.com) a start-up company created together with two other colleagues, from the research made during his Ph.D. where a Multi-Agent System for Disruption Management applied to Airline Operations Control was proposed, that includes the passenger point of view in the Irregular Operations Management Process (IROPS).

 de Bree, Sander 

Sander de Bree 

Sander de Bree is the CEO and founder of EXSYN Aviation Solutions. Next to implementing the overall strategy he oversees all operational activities and key research and development projects within the company. Out of his role as industry specialist Sander has been involved with airlines such as Iberia, Oman Air, Vueling, Norwegian and Flybe to guide them through specific digitization projects within their maintenance & engineering operation. In addition, he directly oversaw the development of Avilytics, EXSYN's analytics and predictive capabilities tool.  He holds a BSc in aeronautical engineering and has a background in business administration. He holds a EASA certification on human factors, and IR part-m and IR part145.

 Ekstrand, Fredrik

Fredrik Ekstrand
Cervino Consulting 

Fredrik has over the last 15 years been working as business consultant and project manager in the aviation, defense and MRO market. Fredrik have participated in over 10 major implementation projects of aviation MRO-software such as AMOS, Aura/M3 and Maintenix with end customers such as Swedish Airforce, Royal Thai Airforce, Hungarian Airforce, Czech Airforce and Scandinavian Airlines. Fredrik also founded Cervino Consulting and have been CEO from the start. Cervino is today a 25 FTE, company with offices in Stockholm, Oslo and Gothenburg with specialties in aviation and defence. 
Fredrik Ekstrand holds a M.Sc. in Industrial engineering from Linköping Institute of Technology.  

 Hortier, Jérôme

Jérôme Hortier
Aircraft Standard Project Manager
Air France

Jérôme Hortier has been working for Air France for nine years. He is graduated in computer science. His career at Air France started at the telecom and networks department, he participated to elaborate the ground network infrastructure for the A380 Gatelink. In 2014, he joined the technical department of Flight Operations of Air France where he was in charge of management, evolution and renewing of the iPad for pilots (Pilot Pad). He has recently joined the service in charge of projects linked to aircraft modification (Aircraft Standard Board) and in this context, assume the deployment of the V/QAR project.

Julienne, Herve 

Herve Julienne
Air Operations Standardisation Team Leader

Hervé JULIENNE is a graduated OPS engineer from the French engineer school ENAC in Toulouse. He joined EASA in July 2011 as a Rulemaking Officer in the Flight Standards/Operations Section. He became OPS Standardisation Team Leader in February 2015 while continuing to be in charge of some rulemaking activities in the area of electronic flight bags, ETOPS and single-engine IMC operations. His past career includes positions either as Quality Manager or Operational Centre Manager in several French airlines.

 Kahlert, Martin 

Martin Kahlert
Director Markets Lido/Navigation
Lufthansa Systems

In 2005 Martin Kahlert started with Lufthansa Systems in Zurich. As a holder of a frozen ATPL pilot license, Martin Kahlert started within a project team to launch the electronic charting solution Lido/eRouteManual followed by several roles and responsibilities within Lufthansa Systems Flight Navigation department including Team Leader (Charting Production), Project Manager, Product and Business Consultant and Head of Product Consultants.
Martin Kahlert was part of the restructuring of the production organization and processes. Within the Project Management he standardized the product implementation at customers and later on led the integration of customer project implementations into Product Consulting.
In 2015 Martin Kahlert became Director Markets and is responsible for all customer related topics of the Lido/Navigation product line like Technical Sales, Product Consulting, Product Implementation (Projects), Business Development and Operational & Service Support.

 Kaponeridis, Thanos

Thanos Kaponeridis
President and CEO
AeroSoft Systems Inc.  

Thanos Kaponeridis is the founder of AeroSoft Systems Inc. established in Toronto Canada in 1997. He has brought AeroSoft from a start-up through organic and inorganic growth to become a unique niche player in the M&E Systems marketplace with their two MRO products of DigiMAINT and WebPMI plus DigiDOC (CMS). Thanos has built up his aerospace and aviation experience since engaging at Bombardier Regional aircraft in 1992 where he managed the development of the iSPEC2200 compliant digital document systems for the CRJ and Q400. He was a long-standing member of the ATA/EMMC/TICC eText and FOWG since 1994 in the development of digital document standards. Prior to Bombardier, Thanos was an accomplished IT/IS senior consultant with his own practice and prior to that with the Canadian subsidiary of Gartner Group, offering strategic and tactical planning of IT/IS to multi-national corporations. Mr. Kaponeridis holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Toronto in Industrial Engineering and a Master of Science from the University of London (UK) in Ergonomics / Human Factors.

 Karstunen, Juha 

Juha Karstunen
Digital Transformation Lead

Juha Karstunen is a Digital Transformation Lead at Finnair and responsible for digital development at Finnair Technical Operations. Juha was the project manager for line maintenance digitalization project, resulting mobile tools for maintenance personnel. Previously Juha has been heading the Development and Compliance department as well as working as an Operations Analyst responsible for performance and flight efficiency analysis. Juha holds a Master's degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

  Kent, Ian

Ian Kent
Business Consultant

Ian Kent is a business consultant for Rusada and helps match the requirements of the Envision solution with customer requirements. An aviation management professional, Ian has over thirty years’ experience gained primarily within aircraft maintenance and continued airworthiness management organisations. He has significant expertise in computerised maintenance repair and overhaul systems and has been involved in many new and existing system developments and implementations with several Airlines and MRO’s. Ian is a qualified Aeronautical engineer but is also skilled in project management and business process analysis and improvement. Prior to joining Rusada, Ian worked for Air Tanker as Maintenance Planning manager on the Voyager fleet and was directly involved with implementation of Envision.”

  Lone, Sharhabeel

Sharhabeel Lone
Global Partner
SAKS Consulting

Sharhabeel Lone is a SAKS Consulting Partner and leads the Aerospace and Defence Practice. He has advised airlines extensively on Process Improvement, Business case Development for Mega-Implementations, Program and Project Management. Sharhabeel is recognised in providing 'Thought Leadership' to airline boards on global mega-implementations in Maintenance and Engineering and has many years of strategy consulting experience having worked with leading global strategy consultancies advising clients in Europe, North America, the Middle East and South East Asia.
Sharhabeel holds a Batchelor's degree from Kings College London and a Masters in Engineering from Imperial College London and Oxford University with Executive Education at Harvard Business School.

 Lopez, Juan Ignacio

Juan Ignacio Lopez
Manager of Continuous Process Improvement
TechOps México

Juan Ignacio has more than 10 years of experience working in commercial aviation maintenance.
He worked for Aeromexico as Planning and Productivity Manager where he conducted projects to optimize the operation of the airline’s main MRO unit in the city of Guadalajara.
More recently, and while working for TechOps Mexico (joint venture between Delta Airlines and Aeromexico) in Queretaro, he led projects to increase new maintenance lines and cost saving initiatives  which have increased revenue and saved millions of dollars . Due to his experience in MRO process and project management, he was selected to implement EmpowerMX’s FleetCycle MRO Manager. The new lean practices lead to measurable gains in productivity, increase throughput and revenue.
During this implementation TechOps Mexico rolled out the first electronic signatures approved by the Mexican regulatory agency for work execution records.
Juan Ignacio has a Masters in Business Administration and a Bachelor in Mechanic Engineering.


 Maggiore, John 

John Maggiore
Director Fleet &
 Leasing Solutions 

John Maggiore leads the Maintenance and Leasing Solutions organization within Boeing Digital Aviation. Boeing Maintenance and Leasing Solutions provide a broad portfolio of information and analytics-powered capabilities to the aviation industry.  These solutions are used in both daily operations and long-term planning by hundreds of airlines, lessors and MROs around the world to help customers save money, improve efficiency and minimize disruptions. His organization also includes AerData, an industry leading digital records and leasing software and services business based in Amsterdam, which Boeing acquired in 2014. 
In a previous role, John led the Airplane Health Management program, where he spent several years working on the concept, design and creation of Boeing’s Airplane Health Management service. He joined the Boeing Company in 1986.
Maggiore’s background includes 30 years in aviation with a strong focus on avionics, health management, digital transformation, and information management. Maggiore holds a bachelor of science in engineering from Louisiana Tech University, and has been awarded multiple patents for Boeing airplane data related information innovations.

 Mayes, Simon

Simon Mayes 
Product Manager 
Rolls Royce

As the Product Manager, Efficiency Management - Digital, at Rolls-Royce, Simon is leading the development of the Rolls-Royce Efficiency Management solution, working closely with the customers, to understand their objectives and challenges, and to ensure that the Efficiency Management solution continues to deliver the most value for them.
In his current role, Simon can draw on his extensive insight knowledge of the airlines’ operations, having spent over 10 years at bmi in various senior roles such as Manager, Fuel Efficiency / Emissions Trading - Flight operations, Manager, Maintenance Control Centre - Engineering, Manager, Maintenance Planning and Logistics, and Manager, Operations and Engineering - Ground Operations. This invaluable experience means that Simon understands the challenges faced by his customers, and can confidently recommend initiatives that deliver real value for them. 
Simon holds a Master of Business Administration from the Derby University. He is married with two young children, and at the weekend, enjoys catching up on their latest accomplishments. 

 Navneethakrishnan, Arun

Arun Navneethakrishnan
Solution Advisory, Americas
Ramco Systems

Aviation background
Arun has Masters in Aeronautical & Airport management and has worked for about 10 years on aviation maintenance & engineering solution in implementation, pre-sales & business development activities across APAC, US and ANZ regions. With his Aviation domain experience he specialized in providing solutions to optimize the business process for aviation operators. He heads the solution advisory group and supports sale teams in Americas for several new accounts and existing projects.

Work experience
Has worked over 10+ years as project manager, senior business analyst, solution advisory consultant in the area of maintenance, supply chain, production planning, flight operations, financials for various industry branches. Arun is associated with Ramco for over 7 years with being involved in several phases of product development. His domain expertise by working in airlines help provide business value proposition to the product.

His domain and implementation experience for several aviation projects helped in leveraging the knowledge in all his engagements.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/arunnav

  Represa, Alexander

Alexander Represa
Manager IT Architecture
Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS)

 Alexander Represa has more than 17 years of experience from different areas in the airline industry, as manager project manager and specialist. He has been involved in several projects replacing business critical legacy systems with new IT-systems for the SAS Technical Operations Department. As Manager for IT-Architecture an important task is to be the link between the IT department and the line organization to contribute to an efficient use of the IT-systems. The work includes development planning, review of business processes, test management and system administration.
Alexander also has experience from SAS as Business Application Manger, Director of Aircraft Planning and as systems engineer. He has also worked as a consultant in Accenture (former Andersen Consulting) and Norwegian Defense Research Establishment. 
Alexander Represa holds a M.Sc. in Aeronautical Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He also studied Computer Science at Oslo College of Engineering, and Project management at BI Norwegian Business School.   

 Revie, Hugh (Dr.)

Dr. Hugh Revie
Vice President

Hugh has been working with EmpowerMX for almost 2 years now and prior to joining EmpowerMX Hugh has worked within the Commercial Aviation sector for almost 30 years. He started his career in aviation after graduating with a doctorate in Engineering from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland. Initially he worked for British Aerospace who at the time manufactured small commercial commuter aircraft. During his time with BAE Systems, he moved with his family to Toulouse, France where he was involved in helping create the joint venture with ATR and BAE Systems.

Around 16 years ago, he created his own company, CoreData Limited, which focused on providing airlines, MROs, OEMS and aircraft supply chain companies with solutions that could help them drive value from the large amounts of data they were accumulating. During this time, he also developed the first Electronic Techlog and implemented it at Thomas Cook and BA Citiflyer in the UK. CoreData was a successful venture and he finally sold the company to Rolls Royce. Since then he has been working with customers to improve efficiencies by using customer data and continues to do this with EmpowerMX.

 Rex, Jeffrey E.

Jeffrey E. Rex
Director, Engineering & Business Development
Panasonic Weather Solutions
Panasonic Avionics Corporation

Jeff serves as Director of Panasonic Avionics Corporation. In this role, he leads Panasonic’s efforts in business and product development for the company’s advanced flight tracking, Iridium-based flight deck satellite communications, and aviation weather solutions.  Additional responsibilities within Jeff’s group include the program management, design and development, production, and certification of these solutions on commercial airline fleets worldwide.
Prior to joining Panasonic Avionics, Jeff served as Vice President Engineering & Product Integration with AirDat, where he was responsible for airline and aviation business and product development as well as the global certification and deployment of a proprietary weather sensing technology.  He has also served as Vice President for L2 Aviation where he was responsible for the engineering, certification, integration, and overall program management of safety critical avionics systems on transport category aircraft for airlines, OEMs, and VIP operators.
Jeff graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Master’s degree in Engineering Management, completed business program studies at IMD, and is a certified Project Management Professional.

 Sandstrom, Paul

Paul Sandstrom
Customer Experience Manager

Currently working as the Customer Experience Manager of Web Manuals Sweden. Paul manages the Customer Experience department, which handles the Service Desk, Customer Delivery and Customer Success. Paul is also responsible for the Product Suite and its definition. Having studied economy and finance at Lund University, gaining a MBE degree in 2012, Paul has now left the world of volatile stock markets and found his home in the calm and peaceful world of aviation.  

 Shahinian, Raffi

Raffi Shahinian
Long Term Maintenance Scheduler
KLM Cityhopper

Raffi Shahinian is a Long Term Maintenance Scheduler for KLM Cityhopper responsible for planning all heavy maintenance checks on a fleet of almost 50 aircraft consisting of Embraer 190, Embraer 175 and Fokker 70. His goal is achieving an optimal planning, to create maximum fleet availability at competitive costs.
Raffi has implemented the Novulo planning package to significantly improve KLM Cityhopper’s planning for aircraft maintenance visits. He created cost reductions by significantly reducing the workload and reliability of the planning.  The shift to a web based application provided a more visual and analytical view.  Raffi’s expertise is found in Aircraft Maintenance Planning, Fleet Planning and data analysis. 
Before in the roll of Capacity planner for KLM Ground Services, he was engaged in planning and analysis of the manpower and system capacity of the baggage handling systems at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
Raffi graduated from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in 2007, with a Bachelor in Aviation Engineering.

 Simons, Joris

Joris Simons
Airline Product Manager
DHL Express

Joris Simons (35) is an Airline Product Manager with DHL Express. He manages a portfolio of Airline applications used with the DHL Express Airlines. He ensures the reliability of the applications and works on enhancements by improving functionality, service quality and operational efficiency.
On top of his role as Product manager, he leads a range of improvement projects with the focus operational excellence, customer focus and business value. Motivating and coaching stakeholders on a global scale is part of his DNA.
He was born in Genk, Belgium (1981). He earned the Bachelor degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the KHBO, Ostend, Belgium (2002) and he obtained a Master’s degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from the KHBO, Ostend, Belgium (2004). He joined the Engineering Department of European Air Transport (a DHL subsidiary), as an Aircraft Structures Engineer (2005-2010) where he was responsible for all curative and preventive maintenance on structural components of the Boeing and Airbus fleet. Hereafter he has driven strategic business projects for Brussels Airlines in the Maintenance department (2010-2014). The main projects were the insourcing of A330 maintenance activities and the implementation project of a Maintenance and Engineering management software.

Suess, Nellie 

Nellie Suess 
Manager Engineering Support
Horizon AIr 

Nellie is the Manager Engineering Support at Horizon Air, the regional airline partner of Alaska Airlines.   She is excited to be speaking at the MRO IT conference discussing Comply365 in the maintenance environment. Nellie has been in the aviation industry since 2001, when she first started working for Champion Air and Northwest Airlines in her home state of Minnesota.  In 2012, she moved to Portland with her family to join Alaska’s Pacific Northwest partner, Horizon Air.  Nellie developed and lead many positive changes in the Engineering Department at Horizon, and is now enthusiastically ready for the next adventure with the new aircraft fleet. 

Through the years, Nellie has acquired valuable experience serving successfully with various aviation working groups.  She is excited to be participating in a maintenance IT forum where she can actively share her acquired knowledge and experiences.

Nellie continues to live in Portland with her husband and two children.  The weeknights are spent between horseback riding with her daughter and cheering on her son in his successful participation on a competitive boy’s gymnastics team, where she is also the President for the 501c Club.  If she is not traveling for fun on Alaska Airlines, she is home biking, skiing and hanging out with friends in her tightknit neighborhood.  


Thatcher, Ian

Ian Thatcher              
Maintenance Control Manager
AirTanker Services

Ian Thatcher a B1/B2/C EASA authorised engineer, having worked as a Line Engineer, Maintenance Control Engineer and Engineering Manager, currently responsible for the Continuing Airworthiness  at an Airline operating 14 A330 -200 / Voyager Aircraft in multiple roles. The core customer utilises 11 aircraft with 3 Aircraft leased out to UK leisure airlines.

AirTanker Services is a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Part M certified continuing airworthiness management organisation and as a Part 145 maintenance organisation. Engineering work is delivered ‘in-house’ by  a CAA Part 66 qualified engineering team that includes civilian, Sponsored Reservist and RAF engineers in AirTanker’s purpose-built hangar at RAF Brize Norton.

AirTanker blends together civilians, RAF and Sponsored Reservists in the workplace in support of Voyager. We offer a rich variety of opportunities from engineers, pilots and flight operations teams, underpinned by regular support services.

This mixed manning approach gives us the flexibility to deploy operational teams in support of RAF Voyager around the globe.


AirTanker blends together civilians, RAF and Sponsored Reservists in the workplace in support of RAF Voyager. We offer a rich variety of opportunities from engineers, pilots and flight operations teams, underpinned by regular support services.


 Upmann, Maike 

Maike Upmann
Project Manager EFOM
Luthansa Industry Solutions

Maike joined Lufthansa Industry Solutions in 2000. She started her professional career in several technical documentation projects within the Aviation Industry (MRO and Flight Ops), where she took over several roles, such as application developer, consultant and project manager.
For the past two years she has been responsible for the product management of EFOM (Electronic Flight Operations Manuals), an XML-based content management system for Flight and Ground Ops documentation, where she currently balances customer related requirements with IT specific implementation for successful introduction projects.”

  van Zelan, Ferry

Ferry van Zelan
General Operations Engineer
KLM City Hopper 

Ferry is employed by KLM since 1986. Initially as flight crew instructor on different type of aircraft that were in operation at KLM. As from 2003 he is keeping the Operations Manuals, for KLM Cityhopper, up to date and in compliance with the EASA legislation and the IOSA Standards and Recommended Practices. For the last 18 months he was mainly occupied with the implementation of the Webmanuals system. The first 6 month were used for implementing the Operation Manuals and its links to the EASA and IOSA libraries. During the last year the remaining manuals and their links have been implemented. Many suggestions have been proposed to Webmanuals for improving the system. In the meantime updates in EASA and IOSA have been taken care of using the system.

 Viser, Jeroen (Capt) 

Capt Jeroen Viser 
Project Manager 

During the introduction of the B767 within KLM in 1996, Jeroen Viser was appointed Captain and check pilot. Also on the B777 hew was part of the pilot group who worked on the introduction. In that function of check pilot KLM used to, next to line-checks and training, have a project or subject in which you as check pilot was a “subject expert” and deployed to assist the chief pilot. Capt Viser's areas of expertise were South-American airports and KLM documentation.
With the start of the B777 operation, KLM tried to use the Boeing EFB’s as a document reader but it had difficulties to get this working to its satisfaction. Moving map, video and Boeing FCOM’s worked well but KLM still needed a solution for all other documentation and flightplans. At that same time, the first iPad was introduced and within weeks KLM had all the documentation together with airport maps as a “proof of concept” working with on an iPad. KLM management immediately decided that from that moment on it had to start considering an iPad as a possible solution for the enormous amount of paperwork the airline had on board and to digitize their Flight Ops processes.
For five years now, Capt. Viser is one of the project pilots for IPOB (iPad On Board) project and also part of the digitizing KLM project. KLM introduced iPads as a BYOD/EFB within the KLM/KLC pilots group and are operating completely paperless since 2015.


 Zagubieniak, Michal 

Michal Zagubieniak
EFB Adminstrator
Virgin Atlantic Airways 

 Michał Zagubieniak is currently with Virgin Atlantic Airways in the position of Flight Operations Engineer. He leads a multi-functional team responsible for all Electronic Flight Bag systems. Michał has spent the last four years introducing new EFB technology to the VAA fleet, deploying 900+ mobile devices, supporting both installed and portable EFB platforms across multiple fleet types. His team manages the distribution of digital navigation charts, publication of flight manuals and notices to EFB systems. In addition, he is the primary Flight Operations contact with vendors supporting EFB applications, including Boeing, Airbus, Jeppesen and Modern Work.

Michał has over 15 years of experience in commercial aviation, mostly with airline operations and engineering. Before joining Virgin Atlantic Airways, he was the e-Enabling Leader for Entry into Service of the first in Europe Boeing B787 aircraft for LOT Polish Airlines. Mr. Zagubieniak is a graduate of the Warsaw University of Technology, with a Bachelor degree in Aeronautical Engineering.