Skip to main content

NUvention: Transportation

Photo of Iqbal Arshad

Iqbal Arshad

Former Senior Vice President Engineering, Global Product Development at Motorola

Iqbal Arshad has over 20 years of experience leading start-up efforts, developing breakthrough technologies, building new product categories and leading businesses for iconic global technology brands. Arshad has fused the best of technology and design to develop and deliver iconic mobile products and experiences. He was previously with Lenovo as Senior Vice President of the Mobile Business Group, overseeing technology, engineering and product development from 2014 to 2016, and with Google as SVP of engineering & product development from 2012 to 2014. 

Iqbal led and shaped the mobile landscape by creating industry firsts, including the original Droid smartphone, Google's first official Android tablet, the first Android Wear watch with round display, a shatter-proof smartphone, and functional smartphone customization & ecosystem. He successfully created the Moto RAZR V3c/2, Moto X, Moto G, Droid, Moto Z, Moto MODs, Moto 360, Nexus 6 and iDEN PTT Push to Talk product franchises. He also led the creation of foundational 4G technology & chipsets, and generated world-class innovation-based intellectual property.

Iqbal was named among Crain’s Chicago Business' “40 Under 40.” He serves on Northwestern’s MEM advisory board. He holds a BSEE from University of Miami and a M.E.M. from Northwestern University. 

Photo of Patricio Azcunaga

Patricio Azcunaga

Director of Intermodal Operations, Mexico, at Union Pacific

Patricio Azcunaga, a graduate of Northwestern's MEM program in 2014, co-founded Share Transport, a Northwestern University startup that was named a winner of the first Chicago College Startup Competition (CCSC). Patricio Azcunaga currently serves as the Intermodal Operations Director in Mexico for Union Pacific. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey/ITESM. Azcunaga majored in Industrial Engineering at Purdue University. He formerly held positions as Logistics Sustainability Manager, Fleet Manager, and Fleet Control Analyst at Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma - Heineken Mexico.

Photo of Tony Belkin

Tony Belkin

Head of Traffic and Dynamic Content at HERE

Tony Belkin is the head of traffic and dynamic content at HERE, a leader in navigation, mapping and location experiences. Belkin builds big data engines to provide traffic and other dynamic content to connected cars, enterprises and consumers. Prior to his work at HERE, Belkin worked at WMS Gaming as the chief technology officer and vice president of engineering, where he was responsible for HW and SW platform development, architecture, system engineering, product testing and field support for casino gaming machines. Belkin has also worked at Hospira, Xilinx, Ingrid and Motorola. Belkin graduated Tau Beta Pai with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He holds his MBA and Master of Product Development degrees from Northwestern University.

Photo of Joe Burns

Joe Burns

CEO, Sensurion Aerospace

Captain Joe Burns, CEO of Sensurion Aerospace, is a twenty-five year veteran of the aviation technology and communications industry and most recently the Managing Director of Flight Operations Technology and Flight Test at United Airlines, responsible for over $200M in NextGen and technology programs. Capt. Burns is a widely recognized expert on aviation issues, including unmanned aircraft systems, avionics, and sensor systems, and is in demand as a speaker and panelist, as well as sitting on several boards of directors. Capt. Burns has founded and capitalized several successful small businesses, all of which are still in operation. In addition, Capt. Burns holds ten patents in aviation, security, and communications technologies.

Photo of Bret Johnson

Bret Johnson

Associate Director at Northwestern University's Transportation Center

Bret Johnson joined Northwestern in 2000 and helped launch Illinois's first Illinois Technology Enterprise Center (ITEC), serving as its assistant director until 2005. Prior to joining NU, Johnson completed an MA in Science, Technology and Public Policy at The George Washington University. From 2005 to 2009, Johnson managed the Homeland Security Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (HSIEC) at NU. Since 2009, Bret Johnson has been the Associate Director at the Northwestern University Transportation Center (NUTC), a recognized leader in interdisciplinary education and research institution dedicated to the long-term improvement of domestic and international systems for the movements of materials, people, energy, and information. Johnson also currently manages NUTC's Center for the Commercialization of Innovative Transportation Technology (CCITT). CCITT’s mission is to foster the commercialization or implementation of innovative technologies for multiple modes of surface transportation, including, but not limited to, railways, mass transit, highways and waterways. 


Photo of Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson

Founder &

Mark Johnson is the Founder of & Johnson led Smart Cities for Schneider Electric. Johnson served the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. standing-up the ARRA energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Johnson has been a senior consultant with Navigant Consulting and IBM Global Services for utilities and energy. Johnson has been an Entrepreneur-In-Residence for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority NYSERDA advising New York City startups. He has his MBA from Loyola University of Chicago and his BA from the University of Notre Dame. 

Photo of John Kwant

John Kwant

Vice President, City Solutions at Ford Motor Company

John F. Kwant is Vice President, City Solutions, Ford Smart Mobility, LLC. He leads Ford’s global efforts to partner with municipalities to identify key urban mobility needs that inform its development of new mobility services while also working to create, pilot and implement new mobility solutions in cities worldwide. Kwant plays a key role in connecting Ford’s internal capabilities and external partners to opportunities that will leverage enterprise resources in its interactions with cities. Prior to this role, John Kwant served as Ford’s Director of Global Strategy, focusing on Smart Mobility initiatives. He also worked in Ford’s Asia Pacific Group, in a variety of roles, for over ten years. 

Mr. Kwant holds an MBA, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and MSE in Engineering Management, McCormick Graduate School of Engineering, both from Northwestern University as well as a BSE, Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan. 

Photo of Marco McCottry

Marco McCottry

General Manager at Uber

Prior to becoming Uber's Midwest area General Manager, Marco McCottry was the General Manager for Uber's Central Texas and Oklahoma division and led mergers and acquisitions as corporate development and planning manager for Eaton Corp. He also previously worked in investment banking at National City Bank. McCottry earned his BA from Columbia University in Economics and his MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

Photo of Chacko Poothicote

Chacko Poothicote

IT Leadership Program - Ford Smart Mobility - City Solutions

Chacko Poothicote is currently participating in the Ford IT Leadership Program (ITLP), which attracts, develops and promotes top talent from both within and outside of Ford IT. As a recent graduate of Northwesterns' MEM program in 2015, Poothicote has a passion for designing technology solutions with deep expertise in IT architecture and operations, Infrastructure design, E-commerce Infrastructure and Linux. Poothicote also has rich experience in Design Methods, Service Design, IT Security, Process Improvement, Quality Standards implementation, Team management. Poothicote is interested in solving real-world problems using a human centered approach. He was previously a partner at Thimble, and a mentor at Techstar Mobility in Detroit, Michigan.

Photo of Paul Pebbles

Paul Pebbles

CTO, Urban Active at General Motors

Paul Pebbles has been the CTO - Urban Active at General Motors since 2015. Prior to that, he served on the NUvention: Energy Advisory Board and held several different positions at both General Motors and OnStar. He has also contributed to three different patents since 2014. Pebbles received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Photo of Bob Perrin

Bob Perrin

President and CEO, Magellan Associates LLC

Robert L. Perrin, president, CEO, and founder of Magellan Associates LLC, has more than thirty-five years of information technology and business experience, including multiple tenures as Chief Information Officer and other executive positions. Perrin has worked in various industries including ground and air transportation, insurance, banking and retail/wholesale. With this background, he co-founded Magellan Associates LLC and co-created The Performance Management Trilogy©. Perrin is an international speaker, co-author and practitioner. Through Magellan Associates, he has presented on several subjects in the areas of cooperative strategies (aligning Business and IT objectives through implementation of pragmatic results), risk management, business continuity, and pragmatic, value-based metrics for IT organizations.

Bob Perrin is a Founding Faculty Member of the University of Miami’s IT Executive Institute. He holds an MS in Organizational Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and a B.S. in Information Systems from Illinois State University.


Photo of Chris Pickett

Chris Pickett

Chief Strategy Officer, Coyote Logistics

Chris Pickett has been the Chief Strategy Officer at Coyote Logistics since 2006. He has also held positions at Adjoined Consulting, UPS, Agile Software Corp., and Accenture. Pickett graduated with his B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, his M.E. in Logistics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his MBA in Finance and Strategy from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Photo of David Rosen

David Rosen

Founder and CEO, TechX Foundry

In 2014, David Rosen founded TechX Foundry, the largest and most advanced ecosystem available for the commercialization of tech hardware innovations. Prior to selling his software business, Acrelic Interactive, Rosen spent the several years as an investor and consultant to industry, evaluating various markets in technology, systems, and software.

Rosen currently manages two Operating Roles: CEO of TechX Foundry and Partner of Acrelic Group, and remains active as an investor, advisor and mentor at Signal Lake (VC), TechLaunch (Accelerator), and several hardware and software companies. Rosen's current investment and advisory thesis surrounds advancing growth opportunities for software and systems in several markets: Autonomous, Aerospace, AR/VR, AI, Advanced MFG, IoT, Robotics, Smart City/Building Automation, & Transportation among others markets. 

Rosen earned his BS/BA from Boston University - School of Management in Information Systems in 1982.

Photo of Brian Schettler

Brian Schettler

Managing Director at Boeing HorizonX Ventures

Brian Schettler has more than 17 years of experience in aerospace, technology, and defense companies in areas of corporate and business strategy, mergers and acquisitions, business development, and product portfolio management. Currently, Schettler leads an investment team focused on identifying startups who developed revolutionary concepts around the world. His Boeing HorizonX Ventures team brings together a diverse background of Boeing knowledge and larger market experience and provides funding to chosen startups, connecting them with our global network of Boeing resources to get their ideas off the ground. Mr. Schettler has previously worked at Cobham, ATK, and Northrop Grumman. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2002 and his MBA from The University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business in 2008.

Photo of Jason Schmitt

Jason Schmitt

Special Advisor to the Board of Directors, EPIC Academy Charter School

Jason Schmitt is presently a Special Advisor to the Board of Directors for EPIC Academy charter high school in South Chicago. He previously spent five years as Vice President of Global Strategy for Gap Inc. and The Jones Group, both global specialty apparel retailers where he routinely dealt with transportation logistics issues related to product shipments between contract manufacturing factories, distribution centers, and retail stores. Earlier in his career, Jason Schmitt spent six years managing a clean technology venture capital fund and sitting on the Boards of invested start-up companies in the energy space. While managing this fund, he also served on the Advisory Board for the NUVention Energy course and on the Leadership Council for the Corporate Eco-Forum. Schmitt was selected as a Presidential Leadership Scholar in 2016, a Traphagen Distinguished Alumni in Law and Business at Harvard Law School in 2015, a Chicago Council on Global Affairs Emerging Leader in 2010, and for the Crain's Chicago Business “40 Under 40” list in 2009. He earned an A.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard College and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School. Schmitt is a Chicago native whose grew up working in his family's small transportation company in the area.

Photo of Chad Strader

Chad Strader

Co-Founder & Partner, Red Arts Capital

Chad Strader is a Partner at Red Arts Capital, a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on supply chain-related companies. Prior to co-founding Red Arts, Chad invested in private equity transactions at Woodlawn Partners and Entrepreneurial Capital Partners where he also served as the CFO/Controller to portfolio companies. Chad previously held accounting and financial post-merger and acquisition roles at PepsiCo.

Outside of Red Arts, Chad serves as a Board Director for Chicago Youth Opportunities Initiative (CYOI), a nonprofit focused on ward of the state youth in Chicago, and the Chairmen's Advisory Council for the Big Shoulders Fund, a charity which creates opportunities for inner-city children to attend Catholic schools.

Chad holds an MBA from University of Chicago and a BBA in Accounting from Georgia Southern Univeristy.

Photo of Suresh Sunderrajan

Suresh Sunderrajan

Director of Technology Development and Commercialization; Chief Commercialization Officer, Argonne National Laboratory

Suresh Sunderrajan is the Division Director of the Technology Development and Commercialization (TDC) Division and Chief Commercialization Officer at Argonne National Laboratory. He came to Argonne from United Technologies Corporation, where he served as Director of Innovation Business Development (IBD), the Corporate IP monetization organization, responsible for patent and technology licensing, patent sales and new business incubation opportunities. As part of the team at United Technologies Corp, Sunderrajan helped take UTC from a business concept to an established company with over $100 million in committed contract value in three years. 

Prior to this role, Sunderrajan was a serial entrepreneur - part of the founding team for four different start-ups, two of which were acquired and one of which is now publicly traded on the Chinese stock exchange. Sunderrajan has worked at the International Copper Association, at Union Camp Corporation (International Paper) in various process/product commercialization roles, and at Eastman Kodak Company as the director of its corporate venture capital group. 

Suresh Sunderrajan holds over thirty U.S. patents and is also a Certified Licensing Professional. He earned his Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University, Raleigh and obtained his S.M. in Management and Engineering from MIT.


Back to top