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COFES Institute Announces Industry Award Winners and Highlights of 2019 Conference

—  Congress on the Future of Engineering Software recognizes outstanding contributors to the industry at the annual event on engineering software for product and building design —

The COFES Institute announced the 2019 COFES Industry Awards and recognized the support of the sponsors at the 20th annual Congress on the Future of Engineering Software (COFES) event that concluded on April 10, 2019.

Representing the engineering software industry since 2001, COFES annually identifies people who have made an outstanding contribution. Past winners have included visionaries who have transformed the engineering software marketplace. This year, COFES presented the 2019 awards to the following recipients:

Joe Walsh (https://www.linkedin.com/in/joewalsh52/).

  • Joe Greco Community Award for outstanding work in improving communication and developing community within the CAD industry.

Andreas Vlahinos (https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreas-vlahinos-63567/).

  • Leadership Award for outstanding technical and business leadership to the CAD industry.

Marc Halpern (https://www.linkedin.com/in/marc-halpern-61710/).

  • Lifetime Achievement Award for a lifetime of outstanding technical and business contributions to the CAD industry.

As a non-profit, sponsorships are critical for COFES. The COFES Institute recognized and gave special thanks to this year’s sponsors: Microsoft (Platinum), Dell (Gold) and our Silver sponsors Facebook, Madison Park Group and TechSoft3D.

Widely recognized as a think-tank event, COFES gathers vendors, users, press and analysts to discuss the most important issues facing both customers and providers of engineering technologies for product and building design. This year’s COFES theme was convergence of technologies and the implications for software in design and engineering.

“To support our mission, the COFES Institute is led by a Board of Directors and assisted by a Board of Advisors made up of seasoned professionals from the industry, all of whom volunteer their time,” said Pete Wells, COFES Institute Board Chairman. “Celebrating its 20th year, COFES 2019 was another amazing event and was made possible through the contributions of these people and our sponsors,” said Wells.

Some highlights from COFES 2019 include the following keynotes:

  • Diego Tamburini, Microsoft Principal Industry Lead - Cloud for Engineering and Manufacturing, shared insights regarding the possibilities the cloud can bring to companies for competitive advantages when it comes to software solutions for design and manufacturing. Watch Tamburini’s video interview.
  • Curtis Schwebke, Vice President and Software CTO of Dell’s Client Innovation Group, discussed a new technology from Google (PWA) for developing industrial strength web applications suitable for the COFES audience of design, manufacturing and AEC.
  • Elizabeth Baron, the principal inventor of the Ford Immersive Vehicle Environment (FiVE) process and technology and founder of Immersionary Enterprises, shared her experience with Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality and how these technologies enable unprecedented collaboration during product development.

In addition to the keynotes, COFES 2019 was packed with breakout sessions led by industry experts on topics associated around the theme of technology convergence.

This year, COFES started the discussion of Women in Engineering — exploring the initiative of bringing more women into the field. According to the National Science Foundation, overall, women have higher college graduation rates compared to men. However, men disproportionately outnumber women in the number of Science and Engineering (STEM) degrees received. A panel was convened with successful women from the industry including Elizabeth Baron, Michelle Boucher, Karen Caswelch, Jennifer Ferello and Linda Lokay. This panel was a great springboard for ideas and the COFES Institute will continue the discussion on Women in Engineering and explore opportunities where they can make an impact in this area. 

A new segment added this year is The Game Changers Challenge. This “Shark Tank” style rapid-fire session featured six start-ups in the engineering/manufacturing software space. The following individuals and companies presented:

Cymulate was selected as the winner by our panel of judges with 21Geo as the runner up. Our panel of judges was made up of the following people: Eric Anderson – Principle Venture Capitalist – Scale Venture Partners, Kevin Gao – Mechanical Engineer and Executive in Solar Industry Association, George Kamian – Mechanical Engineering Manager – Intuitive Surgical, Brian Sparano, PhD, Chemistry, Technology Talent Scout, Nikon Instruments. Judges, thank you for your participation.

The COFES Institute will be announcing the location of COFES 2020 in the coming months. Click here to be added to the email list or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter using #cofes19. 

About Us

The COFES Institute is a non-profit 501 (c) (3), which serves the engineering technology community in order to design and build a better world. Its mission is to bring together a broad ecosystem of stakeholders to serve as a catalyst for the development of future products and services. The stakeholders are comprised of technology developers, business leaders, venture capitalists, analysts, press, academics, and users of the technologies. People participate in COFES Institute programs to gain insights, knowledge, understanding, and to build relationships, test new ideas and launch companies.  

The COFES Institute is a member-based organization that hosts the annual COFES Event. The COFES Institute is led by a Board of Directors, a volunteer group of industry veterans. The board of directors is advised by a Board of Advisors. The Institute encourages pushing boundaries and fostering progress in ways that benefit product design, manufacturing and AEC. 


Mark Guthrie

Smart2Market, Inc.


Phone: 727.498.7306