Joel Neidig has a bachelor’s degree from Bob Jones University in operations management and has had 14 years of experience integrating manufacturing technology and software development. Neidig sits on the Technical Advisory Group for MTConnect, an open-source royalty-free standard that is intended to foster greater interoperability between devices and software applications. He has been an active member of MTConnect since 2009. Neidig developed the first iOS and Android-compatible MTConnect apps, and has developed over 65 manufacturing apps for the App Store and Google Play, which have been downloaded over half a million times. Neidig also sits on the Technical Advisory Committee for MxD, a federally-funded research and development organization, encourages factories across America to deploy digital manufacturing and design technologies, so those factories can become more efficient and cost-competitive. His company was voted the 2014 Autodesk Inventor of the Year by the Autodesk Community. He has been named as a manufacturing “Thought Leader” by IMTS Insider. Neidig recently won second place in the MTConnect Challenge at the 2014 MC2 Conference for his application: “Expanding Manufacturing’s Vision: MTConnect + Google Glass,” sponsored by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Since the founding of Manufacturing USA, Neidig and his company have been involved in 4 research projects with MxD and 2 research projects with America Makes, one of which has transitioned to an additive manufacturing tech startup which he is a co-founder of called Atlas 3D. He has previously been the manufacturing keynote speaker at Autodesk University and recently presented at the Automotive Innovation Forum. Neidig was the recipient of SME’s 2015 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer of the Year Award, the award is named in honor of a specific individual who has made lifelong contributions to manufacturing and recognizes exceptional contributions and accomplishments in the manufacturing industry and was also named one of the 30 Advanced Manufacturing Visionaries by Smart Manufacturing Magazine. He was also the recipient of the 2016 AGMA Next Generation Award which recognizes his contributions and leadership to the members of the American Gear Manufacturers Association and the gear industry. His company was also awarded a Phase I SBIR grant from DARPA for Secure Messaging on the Blockchain Architecture and a DOE SBIR Grant for Peer-to-Peer Solar Energy Transactions using Blockchain. He is the CEO and Co-founder of SIMBA Chain a Blockchain as a Service Startup. Recently, Joel spoke at the White House by invitation of the National Economic Council in recognition of the progress that has been made by himself and his company in the Manufacturing USA program. Neidig is very involved in an advisory role at the ITAMCO Manufacturing Education Center located at Plymouth High School, which was started by his company to prepare students for the challenges of careers in manufacturing.