Smart City and Industrial IoT Expert Don DeLoach Convenes Panel Sharing Examples of Powerful Innovations as United for Infrastructure Week Kicks Off


MAY 2021

Originally published on IoT Evolution World

For the first time in its 9-year history, the United for Infrastructure organization is hosting a week of virtual events, with more events on their calendar than ever.

United for Infrastructure, a 501c4 non-profit, works to educate the American public and policymakers about the importance of infrastructure to the nation’s economy, workers, and communities.  In partnership with the business community, labor unions, associations, think tanks, elected officials, and others, their mission is to contribute to the modernization of America’s infrastructure.

Throughout the year, United for Infrastructure works to highlight the critical role infrastructure plays in all sectors of the economy and to show policymakers at all levels of government the breadth and diversity of support for long-term, sustainable infrastructure investment. 

They do this through keynote events, including their Presidential Candidate Infrastructure Forum, as well as through podcasts, webinars, workshops, and smaller convenings.

Their annual event is United for Infrastructure: A Week to Champion America’s Infrastructure.  This week of advocacy brings together organizations and individuals from across America – from local businesses, trade associations, and chambers of commerce to mayors and individual citizens – to host events, tour new and innovative projects, and talk about infrastructure with the press and on social media.

The week kicked off with a special message from President Biden, and on Thursday, May 13th, at 11 AM Eastern, technology visionary, entrepreneur, and author Don DeLoach will convene a panel of experts in the field of physical and digital infrastructure, construction, edge computing, Industrial IoT, smart regions, mobility, autonomous systems, public safety, and more. Companies represented are AKULAR, Bosch, ClearBlade, Siemens, and ZEDEDA.

“While there are myriad technologies that will singularly or in combination be used in the modernization of our infrastructure, there are a number of specific examples of innovation that can make a clear and compelling difference,” DeLoach said. “This panel will explore some of these examples and the associated considerations that accompany this progression.”

Founder and Managing Director of Rocket Wagon Studios, DeLoach has been a leading industry evangelist for the Internet of Things. He is Co-founder and Managing Partner of Rocket Wagon Venture Studios, creating innovative startups for the cyber-physical world.

He co-founded the Midwest IoT Council, where he served as co-chair from 2015 – 2020. Don is a serial entrepreneur, serving as CEO for three companies, Youcentric, Aleri, and Infobright, spanning the last 20 years.

He serves or has served as an outside director or advisor for multiple companies and is on the executive committee of the Array of Things (US DOE smart cities project), the Illinois Autonomous Vehicle Association, and as a director on the Juvenile Protective Association.

He is the principal driver of the “First Receiver” IoT architectural thesis addressed in his book “The Future of IoT,” which he co-authored with Gartner analyst Emil Berthelsen and former Hitachi executive Wael Elrifai, which was published in June of 2017.

Other panelists include:


Eric Simone is the Founder and CEO of ClearBlade Inc., an Intelligent Assets software company delivering the promise of IoT and Edge Computing to businesspeople delivering industrial and commercial solutions across several verticals, including transportation, infrastructure, and logistics. Prior to starting ClearBlade, Eric was the founder and CEO of Compete Incorporated, an enterprise services company which he sold to Perficient Inc. (PRFT) in May of 2000. Earlier in his career, Eric achieved success in senior engineering, product, and sales positions at IBM and Johns Hopkins Hospital. Eric has a degree in Computer Science from Purdue University and is a recognized Distinguished Alumni. Eric resides in Austin, Texas, with his wife Toni and two sons, Xander and Dexter.


Martin Rapos is the CEO of AKULAR, a global 3D model visualization platform that he founded in 2017 in Reston, Virginia. The Akular team got into the top real estate development projects league by visualizing the National Landing Amazon’s HQ2 in Crystal City, Arlington. In 2020 Akular started to add live data streams into the 3D models and, in 2021, was selected as a digital twin visualization partner for the Department of Homeland Security SCITI Labs. In his prior experience, Martin exited from a Scottish heuristics optimization startup Route Monkey, where he was responsible for business development and managed global deployments of optimization algorithms to predict energy loads and facility operational demand. Martin started his career at IBM in its global Energy and Utilities practice. He is a skier, a biker, and an occasional lecturer on sustainable energy and smart buildings.


Peter Torrellas is the Vice President and Partner for Digital Cities and Infrastructure practice at Siemens Advanta. In this role, he oversees the company’s Cities, Logistics, Water, Buildings, Air Quality, and Mobility portfolio for the Americas.

With over 20 years of experience at the intersection of digital innovation and our built infrastructure, Torrellas has held several senior positions within the company. Most recently, his role was the Head of Smart Cities and Communities at Siemens Smart Infrastructure, which had a business and strategy focus on smart buildings, resilience, sustainability, IoT, energy production, energy procurement, energy efficiency, and infrastructure finance. Additionally, as Chief Technology Officer at Siemens Infrastructure & Cities, he was at the forefront of the Smart City movement with a portfolio that included logistics, aviation, passenger and freight rail, ports, and road and city mobility.

Torrellas began his passion for making infrastructure smarter fifteen years ago by successfully designing and delivering over $500M in software, hardware, and IT technology for New York City’s infrastructure.

Torrellas’ years of expertise managing a diverse smart cities portfolio have positioned him as an expert in the industry. He is a nationally recognized thought leader in the design and implementation of new technologies across several asset classes and has been hosted by the United Nations, World Bank Group, United States Conference of Mayors, National Governor’s Association, National Academies of Sciences, International City and County Managers Association and many others to discuss the role of technology in our cities.


Said Ouissal is the CEO and Founder of ZEDEDA. Said has dedicated his career and over two decades to building out the Internet. Said developed a passion for networking in his teenage years while running bulletin board systems and learning how telephony networks could be used to transmit data.

From building and operating one of the first optical/IP transatlantic Internet backbone networks to helping telco’s deploy always-on broadband Internet via DSL to homes and 4G/LTE to phones, all the way to most recently helping cloud companies and large enterprises build out their data centers and connect them to the Internet, Said has had first-hand experience in how each of these trends have continued to transform the Internet as we knew it.

Said founded ZEDEDA based on his strong conviction that the next decade will be all about edge computing, and like with previous large shifts; this trend signals a new and radical change in how network and computing architectures have been built until now.

Prior to founding ZEDEDA, Said held senior executive roles in product management and sales at Ericsson, Juniper Networks, Violin Systems, and Redback Networks.

Said is originally from the Netherlands with Moroccan roots, is based in Silicon Valley, has a degree in Computer Science, speaks 5 languages, and has authored 2 patents. Said loves IP, not only because it stands for Internet Protocol, but also for Infinite Potential.


Stefan Gaa is a specialist in robotics and connectivity applications. As Product Owner of Bosch RefinemySite, he works with construction experts to build future digital collaboration models and a connected ecosystem for Lean, BIM, and IoT.

“There is so much work to do,” said Zach Schafer, CEO of United for Infrastructure, “and the key to getting it done is leadership – bipartisan leadership – that prioritizes the everyday needs of American families, workers, and businesses. We need to ensure the infrastructure we already depend on can withstand a changing climate and helps reduce emissions through technology innovation, mode-shifting, and better planning and permitting. We have to raise the bar for ourselves and ensure every American has access to quality, affordable, reliable transportation, water, energy, and the internet. And we have to ensure that we can design, permit, and build the infrastructure we need on time and on budget.”

The panel takes place Thursday, May 13, starting at 11 AM Eastern. You can register for the event here.

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