Dr David Barrett to give NIWeek keynote address

16 June 2009

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Dr David Barrett to give NIWeek keynote addressNational Instruments is announcing that Dr David Barrett, Director of the Senior Consulting Program for Engineering (SCOPE) and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Olin College, will deliver the closing keynote address at NIWeek 2009, the graphical system design conference and exhibition scheduled for 4–6 August in Austin, Texas. Dr Barrett will share his insights on how robotics in industry and engineering education is poised to revolutionise the way people interact with technology in their daily lives.

Ray Almgren, Vice President of Developer and Academic Relations at National Instruments, says: "Dr David Barrett is one of the most influential voices in the field of mobile robotics, and we are excited to welcome him to NIWeek as this year's guest keynote speaker. The technological advancements in robotics are shaping the future of a myriad of industries and applications, making Dr Barrett's 25 years of experience and keen insight beneficial to NIWeek attendees looking to stay current on emerging technologies and trends in order to maintain a competitive advantage."

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Dr Barrett developed the SCOPE programme at Olin College to enable engineering students to partner with corporations and engage in real-world engineering projects. Prior to his tenure at the college, he served as Vice President of Engineering at the iRobot Corporation and Director of the Walt Disney Imagineering Corporation. Dr Barrett also held the positions of Research Engineer at MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Technical Director at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory.

Robot experience

During his career, Dr Barrett has built robots that walk, hop, swim, roll and entertain for commercial, industrial and government customers. He holds 12 patents with previous colleagues on a variety of robotics systems and is a member of several professional organisations including the IEEE Robotics and Automation, Vehicular Technology and Ocean Engineering societies. Dr Barrett has Doctorate and Master's degrees in Ocean Engineering as well as a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.

In addition to his keynote presentation, Dr Barrett will participate in a panel discussion about innovation in the areas of education, sustainability and engineering at the NIWeek 2009 Robotics Summit. Other invited panellists include: Ellen Purdy, Enterprise Director of Joint Ground Robotics for the US Department of Defence; Dean Kamen, Founder of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and President of DEKA Research and Development Corporation; and Jeanne Dietsch, CEO and Cofounder of MobileRobots.

Go to to register for the 15th annual NIWeek or use the form on this page to request a callback or more information..

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