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Provided by ASME Logo The American Society of Mechanical Engineers


Keynote Speaker

Thursday, June 24, 2020
17:00 – 17:45

Siva Sivaram

Dr. Siva Sivaram

Keynote Title: Storage Mitosis

Dr. Siva Sivaram is President, Technology and Strategy, at Western Digital where he is responsible for the development of the corporate strategy and the technologies that fuel the company’s growth.

Sivaram has more than 35 years of experience in semiconductor technologies and manufacturing. He has held executive positions at Intel, Matrix Semiconductor and at SanDisk after its acquisition of Matrix. Additionally, he was the founder and CEO of Twin Creeks Technologies, a solar panel and equipment company.

Sivaram has authored numerous technical papers and a textbook on chemical vapor deposition and holds several patents in semiconductor and solar technologies.

Sivaram serves on the board of directors of the Global Semiconductor Alliance and the US-India Business Council. He has been on the board of directors and advised several start-up firms and was entrepreneur-in-residence at Crosslink Capital and XSeed Capital.

He also serves on the board of Akshaya Patra, the world's largest NGO dedicated to feeding school children.

Sivaram received his Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Materials Science from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has been nominated to its Board of Trustees. Additionally, he is a Distinguished Alumnus of the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi, India, where he received his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.


Keynote Speaker

Thursday, June 25
15:00 – 15:45

Bernhard Knigge

Bernhard Knigge, Ph.D.

Keynote Title: The Evolution of the Head-Disk Interface

Bernhard Knigge is Director of the RSS HDI Firmware teams, focusing on head disk interface spacing control and defect management. Bernhard studied Physics at the TU Munich. He then pursued his Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences from UCSD, with his thesis focusing on head disk interface physics. Bernhard is an expert in the tribology field with over 20+ years of experience; he held positions at IBM Almaden Research Center and Hitachi GST where he made significant contributions to the head disk interface design and to improve drive reliability; in particular Bernhard invented the slider-disk contact potential compensation scheme. He joined Western Digital in 2009 where he led the PMR and HAMR tribology teams. He has also mentored many students and initiated new research projects inside and outside of Western Digital. In the last 4 years Bernhard is managing the world wide HDI Firmware teams. In 2016, Bernhard was honored with the “Outstanding Alumni Award” from UCSD. He holds 55 patents and has authored and co-authored over 50 publications. Outside of work Bernhard is a devoted father of two teenage children and on the board of directors for South Bay Deutscher Schulverein. He enjoys reading, skiing, hiking and playing the piano.


Keynote Speaker

Thursday, June 25, 2020
17:10 – 17:55

John Morris

John Morris, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, Seagate

Keynote Title: From Spinning Rust to the Atomic Scale

John Morris is responsible for accelerating Seagate's technology partnerships, cultivating emerging customers globally, leading Seagate Research and driving long term technology roadmaps.

Prior to his current role, John was VP for Seagate's HDD and SSD product lines. Before that, he served as VP of Design Engineering for Seagate’s enterprise development group, focusing on technical and strategic alignment with enterprise and cloud customers. Since joining the company in 1996, John has held a variety of engineering leadership positions and has been a key contributor to many of Seagate's core technologies. He holds 32 patents, primarily related to hard drive technologies.

John earned a Ph.D. and M.S. in electrical engineering from Caltech, and a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.