Abstracts

» Download zip file of presentations from the Palisade Risk Conference in Las Vegas
    (Individual presentations are also linked below.)

 

Conference Kickoff and Palisade Update

Sam McLafferty
Palisade Corporation

Palisade President Sam McLafferty reviews goals of this year’s conference and ways you can benefit from the event before giving some context and background about Palisade as a company. He will also review important partnerships with leading global corporations in fields such as banking, energy, engineering, and manufacturing.

Then, Sam will touch on key new features in the recent 6.0 release of @RISK and DecisionTools Suite software, as well as give a sneak peek at what is coming next. There is so much to see, Sam will highlight just a few innovations to demonstrate the breadth and power of this new standard in risk and decision analysis. More in-depth exploration of @RISK and DecisionTools Suite 6.0 can be found in the Software Presentation track.

 

Anatomy of a Rollout: Real-World Stories of How Risk and Decision Analysis is Implemented Across an Enterprise

Randy Heffernan
Palisade Corporation

Entrenched attitudes, IT policies, lack of quantitative training — there are many barriers that can get in the way of implementing an effective risk analysis solution. Yet the benefits of such a challenge are worth the effort: fewer surprises, new opportunities, and better decisions. Building on Sam's discussion of successful Palisade customers, Vice President Randy Heffernan will expand on some key corporate adoptions of @RISK and DecisionTools Suite software with a view to understanding important steps each took on their path to implementation. Randy will explore some of the most successful rollouts we've seen, examining milestones passed and challenges met along the way. At the end of the talk, you will come away with an outline for your own roadmap to better risk management.

 

Holistic Decision-Making at Intel: How One Decision Affects Another within a Company Portfolio

Andre Lowe
Intel

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Making decisions with uncertain outcomes can be difficult. Understanding how various decisions interact in the context of a portfolio of investments can be even harder, and just as important. At Intel they are working with the concept of “Incremental Value” for major decisions - what would our business look like with this project, and what would our business look like without it. This presentation will work through the concept of incremental value and a simple example of how to model typical decisions in an uncertain world using @RISK.

 

Round Table Discussion: Challenges in Your Risk Analysis Journey

 

Panel of Experts, including Patrick Murray, HDR; Basil Stumborg, British Columbia Hydro;
and Andre Lowe, Intel

Moderated by Randy Heffernan
Palisade Corporation

In wrapping up this year's conference, Palisade Vice President Randy Heffernan will lead a discussion with leaders in the field of risk and decision analysis from a variety of industries. Each has a story to tell about his own organization's implementation of risk analysis, and we will share anecdotes and lessons learned about what went right and what to avoid. Audience participation is strongly encouraged. It's a great chance to learn from your peers and influence the direction of your own company's evolution toward better, smarter decisions.

 

 
 

Cisco Case Study – Manage Risks of Supply Chain Disruptions

Bin Liu
CISCO

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For a company with a 100 Billion market cap, more than 25,000 product ID’s, 1,000 suppliers and 68,000 active components, designing a resilient supply chain to mitigate potential risks is absolutely critical. Equally daunting, is the task of managing costs associated with these risks optimally in an interconnected global market place that is more dynamic than ever.

This business case will show how Cisco's Network and Design Management Team (ND&M) employed Palisade's @RISK, RISKOptimizer and StatTools to conduct a risk analysis across its entire supply chain process model towards the design of one that is more resilient against risk yet able to perform at optimal costs.

Key takeaways from this business case:

  • How to capture the “big picture” of supply chain dynamics across an entire supply chain under supply chain disruptions
  • How to conduct a process of analysis: simulation, product portfolio, product optimization
  • Considering a risk model structure based on input and output
  • Designing and building a resilient model with budget constraints
  • How to effectively utilize Dashboard tool for executive team

 

Cost & Schedule Risk Assessment

Timothy J. Havranek
Cardno ENTRIX

Leigh Hostetter
Cardno ENTRIX

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Risk management is becoming increasingly important in the world of capital project management. Traditional risk management focuses primarily on evaluating and managing cost risk; while schedule risk is seldom or only marginally addressed. Schedule delays increase project carrying costs and in some cases introduce contract penalties and reduced project return on investment. In addition, there are many projects that are schedule driven rather than cost driven, such as having a major project complete in time for a scheduled event. Since both cost and schedule risk are important and often correlated, the ability to conduct both assessments concurrently using one model, as is possible with @RISK 6.0, is ideal. This case study involves the cost and schedule risk assessment (CSRA) of a combined demolition / remediation project to prepare an industrial property for mixed commercial / residential redevelopment. The CSRA model includes the use of probabilistic branching to address uncertainties associated with pre-demolition permitting activities and probability distributions to address uncertainties associated with the number of units of material such as contaminated soil or asbestos containing material to be removed from the site. It also includes the use of use of a risk register to address events that could impact the cost and durations of given tasks or introduce entirely new tasks. In addition to presenting a model's structure and results; best practices for gathering useful data from project stakeholders and for creating dynamic network schedules will be described. Lastly, methods for tracking the project and updating risk through project execution will be presented.

 

Creating CMMI® Process Performance Baselines and Models using @RISK

Dr. Vladimir Savin
EPAM, Systems, Inc.

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EPAM Systems created Integrated Information Security and Quality Management System. It is based on the EPAM Quality Policy and Information Security Policy reflecting most of the requirements of ISO 9001:2008, CMMI® for Development and others. Latest CMMI ML4 appraisal SCAMPI Class A was successfully conducted in March, 2011.

This article addresses the issues associated with effectively implementing statistical process control to manage and improve software development processes. The expected usage of statistical techniques in achieving CMMI Maturity Levels 4 and 5 is described. According to CMMI the purpose of Organizational Process Performance (OPP) is to establish and maintain a quantitative understanding of the performance of the organization’s set of standard processes. The purpose of the Quantitative Project Management (QPM) process area is to quantitatively manage the project’s defined process to achieve the project’s established quality and process-performance objectives. Quantitative process performances data support quality and process-performance objectives, and allow quantitatively manage the organization’s projects.

For creating Organization’s (Process Performance Baseline) PPBs and (Process Performance Model) PPMs, EPAM is using @RISK, @RISK’s Project tool, Time Series Analysis with @RISK, Control Charts, Regression Analysis, and ANOVA with StatTools. Key practices of OPP and QPM are selecting sub-processes critical to evaluating performance and that help to achieve the project’s quality and process performance objectives.

One approach is based on Confidence Intervals and Monte Carlo simulation with @RISK. EPAM is using sub-processes that allow predicting the latent defects in the delivered product using measurements of work product attributes such as complexity and process attributes such as preparation time for peer reviews and review effort. The following sub-processes are considered:

  • Sub-processes using Technical Review of Requirements, Design, Code, Test Cases. Measurement for them is Preparation Effort.
  • Sub-processes using Walkthrough of Requirements, Design, Code. Measurement for them is Review Effort.

Outcomes of PPMs are prediction number of defects expected in each of the reviews, (classified by type - technical review and walkthrough - and work product - Requirements, Design, Code, and Test Cases). The predictions are represented by the upper control limit, the central value and the lower control limit and the confidence of achieving them. The model summarizes also the total number of defects expected at project level, represented too by the upper control limit, the central value and the lower control limit and the confidence of achieving them, and the associated confidence interval.

Second approach is MS Project with @RISK usage for Quantitative Project Management that allows effectively implements Earn Value Management (EVM) methodology and Risk Analysis using Monte Carlo simulation. Using @RISK’s Project tool we can introduce uncertainty to the project and calculate needed risks by tasks regarding starting, duration, branching and so on. These project management techniques which measure the integration of technical performance, cost and schedule against planned performance within a given project. It brings significant benefits to project management. The result is a simple set of metrics providing early warnings of performance issues, allowing for timely and appropriate adjustments.

Third approach is Time Series Analysis with @RISK for Forecasting Requirements Volatility. There are three groups of @RISK Time Series functions: ARMA (autoregressive moving average) processes, GBM (geometric Brownian motion) and its variations, and the ARCH (autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity) process and its variations. After investigation we have accepted GBM with mean reversion (GBMMR) approach as most suitable for our goals.

 

Educational Effectiveness: Fact, Fantasy and Fraud

Clayton Graham
DePaul University

Dr. Glenn "Max" McGee
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

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Few venues in the social sciences generate more discussion and conjecture than education in general and elementary education in particular. Each state is entrusted with the responsibility of measuring and establishing standards of academic achievement.

A couple of fundamental questions arise:

  • Are the measurements implemented by the states viable?
  • Do states’ standards delineate a path for improvement for school districts?

Identifying achievement (or lack thereof) by school districts mandates a deeper examination
into:

  • Guidelines established by the states,
  • Local school districts’ vulnerability to mandated criteria,
  • Inaccurate journalistic representations,
  • Politicians’ responsibility for educational quality and control.

Educational performance history will be covered and the effectiveness of top down governmental mandates and ground up district leadership will be addressed. The objective is to demonstrate how proper quantitative information coupled with locally based leadership can actually become a beacon of direction for our faltering educational system.

Out of the melee of uncertainty by governmental entities making progress has fallen to school districts by default. Some innovative school districts utilizing sound analytical tools have blazed a trail to achieve remarkable improvement in not only academics, but financial responsibility, community relations, and defined expectations.

The path to educational improvement is a process, including and not limited to: testing, normalizing data, and transforming it to quality information, resulting in a prioritized game plan.

Actual case studies of school districts will be directed towards:

  • Focus and accomplishments of the benchmarking process,
  • Quantification of value for tax dollar,
  • Measurement of academic performance and expectations as a function of demographics.

StatTools, Evolver and elements of @RISK are used throughout the analysis.

 

Evaluating Risk Management Tools for Agribusiness: A California Perspective

Dr. Mark Manfredo
Arizona State University

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California is unique among agricultural production regions of the United States, namely due to the tremendous diversity and value of its agricultural production. Because of this, the risk environment faced by California agribusinesses is often difficult for one to fully comprehend, and thus leads to challenges in effectively managing risks. Indeed, many of the talks presented at this conference have helped to provide a better understanding of the current risk environment faced by California agribusinesses.

Risk management is challenging, and there is no “cookie cutter” approach. This is especially true for California agribusinesses given the risk management tools available are somewhat limited in their applicability (Blank and McDonald, 1995). What is probably more important than the use of any particular risk management tool, however, is a proper assessment and ultimately measurement of risk. Only after risks are assessed and measured can the proper risk management tool(s) and/or strategies be implemented.

Given this, the objective of this paper and accompanying presentation is to provide an overview of various risk management tools available to diverse California agribusinesses. Prior to the examination of these specific tools, a primer on risk measurement is provided that helps the reader understand common risk measures as well as the overarching objectives of risk management - to reduce uncertainty and downside risk impacting financial performance. The specific risk management tools then explored are exchange traded futures and options, forward contracts, and crop insurance. To keep the paper and presentation tractable, focus is placed on evaluating the applicability, as well as the pros and cons, of each of these tools. Next, a set of available risk management strategies are simulated and evaluated in the context of a hypothetical San Joaquin Valley navel orange farm. In doing this, special attention is paid to the performance of the new specialty crop revenue insurance policies (Actual Revenue History - ARH) currently under pilot testing by the USDA - Risk Management Agency (RMA). A summary and final thoughts are then presented.

 

Forecasting Airport Aviation Activity: Integrating Risk Analysis Using Monte Carlo Simulation

Dr. Sharon Sarmiento
Unison Consulting, Inc.

Vernon Kinley
Unison Consulting, Inc.

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Forecasts of aviation activity are key input to airport planning and financial analyses. The authors present the development of aviation activity forecasts using a hybrid modeling approach that: (1) utilizes available information on scheduled airline service for the near term; and (2) employs multivariate time series regression analysis that links long-term growth trends in airport activity to key demand drivers such as economic trends, yield trends, industry structural changes, and changes in airline service at the airport. The application of the modeling approach to the development of rental car demand projections is also presented. All forecasts are subject to risks and uncertainty, and the market volatility that the aviation industry has faced over the past decade and the significant uncertainty in market outlook call for a more comprehensive and systematic assessment of forecast risk. The authors perform comprehensive risk analysis using Monte Carlo simulation—using @RISK software—to develop a range of possible outcomes. Along with the hybrid forecast modeling approach using multivariate time series regression analysis, risk analysis using Monte Carlo simulation presents a more rigorous and comprehensive approach to developing airport traffic and rental car demand forecast scenarios.

 

Good Practices and Common Mistakes

Dr. Huybert Groenendaal
EpiX Analytics

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An increasing number of organizations are using analytical techniques such as quantitative risk analysis, value at risk (VaR), and risked NPV to help them improve decision making. However, all too often, these techniques may not be used optimally or accurately and their full value may not be realized.

During this presentation, Dr. Groenendaal will share his hands-on experience through hundreds of projects, and will discuss the following topics:

  1. Good practices for the use of @RISK and risk modeling to support decision-making
  2. Common mistakes in Monte Carlo simulation and how to prevent them.
    All good practices and common mistakes will be discussed with the use of real-life risk modeling case studies and models based on EpiX consulting work.

 

It’s not all Rocket Science; Very Simple and Highly Effective uses of @RISK from the World of Corporate Finance and Investment Management

J. Todd Larson
Citium Wealth Management, LLC

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Todd Larson spent 5 years with Procter & Gamble and 7 years with Amazon.com in a wide variety of finance roles, from Treasury to M&A to Retail management. In every role, he utilized @RISK extensively to help solve a myriad of problems. Today he will discuss his experiences in using @RISK in the corporate environment, with a particular focus on how beneficial even simple simulation models can be in guiding proper corporate behavior.

 

Managing Risk within Capital Program Budgets

Korey Campbell
Unison Consulting, Inc.

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Korey's presentation will show how the incorporation of risk analysis can assist airports develop budgets for major capital improvement programs. Specifically, Korey will provide examples that demonstrate how @RISK can be used to establish project contingency, and RISKOptimizer can help determine the most advantageous mix of funding sources.

 

Margin Risk: A Different Approach to Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Agriculture

Steven Slezak
California Polytechnic State University

Dr. Jay Noel
California Polytechnic State University

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In agribusiness operations, risk management practices have focused historically on managing the volatility of production prices.

The emphasis on revenue risk - market prices for agricultural commodities - was not practiced consistently throughout the various production levels in the industry. Large, sophisticated agribusiness concerns were more likely to devote resources to risk analysis and risk management than were smaller operations, such as independent farms and ranches. Regardless of size, ag risk analysis was about understanding the impact of the volatility of output prices, not that of input cost volatility.

Over the last decade, agriculture in the US and around the world has been struggling to deal with increasing volatility in the prices of ag commodities, and in the costs of basic ag inputs - energy, fertilizer, water, and land. This realization is changing risk management and risk analysis practices at all levels of agricultural production - large and small.

Ongoing domestic and global economic stagnation has forced agribusiness and, perhaps more importantly, the institutions that provide debt and equity investment to agriculture to expand the operational definition of risk management. Agribusiness is coming to understand that managing revenue risk alone is no longer a practical approach. The industry is turning its attention to managing the risks of ag production costs. Risk management practices focused on margin risk - strategies to minimize the volatility of profits by simultaneously minimizing the volatility in revenues and costs - are beginning to take shape.

This may not be news to other industries, but it represents a real breakthrough in thinking about ag risk and in conceptualizing the risk and return characteristics of global and domestic ag operations.

This case involves a lettuce farming operation in California that is learning the importance of managing margin risk and, as a result, is beginning to see positive results operationally and financially. The case will compare and contrast the farm operation’s situation under traditional revenue risk management methods with the results it has experienced using a strategy of margin risk management.

 

Portfolio Management & Financial Planning using @RISK

Matthew H. Rosenberg
RoseCap Investment Advisors, LLC

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Matthew Rosenberg's presentation will cover the use of Monte Carlo simulation and optimization to create customized personal financial plans for individuals. He will also cover how the results of a personal financial plan are translated into a portfolio management strategy that will give an investor the highest probability of achieving their financial goal.

 

Pricing Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Investments Under Risk and Uncertainty

Anthony Sclafani
Apollo Solutions Group

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Decisions to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy are made based on both the technical and financial merits of the investments; both aspects include risk and uncertainty.

The technical/performance benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy are subject to variations in operating conditions. For example, the performance of a solar photovoltaic array is related to the incident solar radiation - which varies continuously throughout the year. The performance of upgraded HVAC equipment is related to the local weather - which also varies continuously throughout the year. Traditional methods of simulating the technical performance of these systems have been based on best-case/worst-case scenarios and, more recently, on layers of point estimates. This presentation describes the application of probabilistic methods to these analyses to clarify the range of possible performance outcomes and reduce over-reliance on point estimates.

The expected performance of energy efficiency and renewable energy investments are normally input into financial models that are used to price the investments based on some constraints. Many variables in the models have some degree of uncertainty where probabilistic methods are currently applied such as utility rate forecasts, estimates of construction costs, project contingency, etc. This presentation discusses the effect of a performance guarantee on the performance risk and pricing of the investment.

The goal of the presentation is to demonstrate how a probabilistic evaluation of the technical uncertainty and financial risks improves decision-making in guaranteed energy savings performance contracts.

 

Reliability-based Design of Foundations for Oil and Gas Elevated Platform

Dr. Ok-Youn Yu
Appalachian State University

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The oil and gas industry endeavors to minimize the environmental impact during oil and gas drilling operations. For instance, by reducing the footprint during drilling operations using a reusable modular platform and a small mobile rig, in 2003 and 2004 Anadarko and Maurer Technology Inc. demonstrated a new foundation concept in the Arctic. Their objective was to drill in an ecologically sensitive area without disturbing the ground surface. Use of an elevated platform in environmentally sensitive areas requires the use of piles to support the elevated deck instead of gravel pads used in a conventional drilling system. The aim of this presentation is to introduce an environmentally friendly foundation method for onshore drilling systems, and to conduct a parametric study of different foundations to improve the understanding of these types of foundation designs, by introducing uncertainty quantification for various rig weights and soil conditions in environmentally sensitive areas (e.g., desert environments and wetland applications). This presentation introduces a case study on pile capacity calculations for onshore elevated platforms depending on various soil types and pile types, and sets the basis for a full risk analysis on this type of foundation.

 

Renewable, but NOT constant!

Mark S. Rudd
Rudd Asset Management

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The renewable energy industry is growing rapidly. New energy alternatives exist today that were not even considered just a few years ago. But, just because a fuel is renewable, it is not constant. The ability to use Monte Carlo simulation of key variables can determine which projects are built and which are not.

This presentation will walk through a typical biomass gasification project, noting potential areas of variance and how they might be modeled. The review will ultimately flow into a project financial analysis using a Discounted Cash Flow analysis and Return On Investment forecast. Finally, a review of project drivers, risks and strengths will be done using a standard “tornado diagram” and possible solutions.

 

Risk Analyses in Support of Risk Management Decisions during Project Delivery

Patrick Murray
HDR

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This session will discuss the importance and interpretation of risk analysis for risk management decisions. Project examples will discuss a variety of risk analyses that include: (a) business case evaluations of alternatives; (b) refinement of program budget and schedule; (c) risk-based management of contingency; (d) forecasting of escalation and risk-reducing contracting strategies; and (f) evaluation of procurement and alternative delivery strategies.

 

Risk Analysis for Effective Airport Financial Planning in an Uncertain Business Environment

Brian Drake
Unison Consulting, Inc.

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Brian's presentation focuses on incorporating risk analysis in airport financial modeling. Performing Monte Carlo simulation using @RISK software, he shows how risk analysis can help airports develop more effective financial plans for their capital investment programs in an uncertain business environment.

 

Risk-Based Lifecycle Costing Analysis

Gregory Brink
Value Management Strategies, Inc.

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Life cycle costing (LCC) is a method of analysis deployed by facility owners tasked with maintaining large infrastructure systems such as highways, hospitals, and subway systems; however its application to the design development process is fraught with a myriad of assumptions. Assumptions affecting the cost of future repairs can greatly impact the initial design decisions and enhanced methods are needed to evaluate future cash flows, judge the accuracy of future cost projections, and ascertain the schedule (When) these repairs may be needed in the future. By expanding the LCC evaluation process to include risk analysis to better model these assumptions, future costs can be analyzed using present worth analysis, cost and schedule distributions, probabilistic ranges, anticipated repair cycles, and even consider event risks over the facility life. More robust decision making through the use of @RISK allows for enhanced comparisons between design alternatives with improved accuracy in calculating the total cost of ownership while allowing for improved projections for the scheduling of required maintenance events.

Armed with improved information concerning life cycle cost and the true present value costs of ownership, owners can balance initial and future cost to optimize designs, improve the value of their programs, and support their design decisions with defensible cost analysis. Improved information at the hands of enhanced modeling of facility and ownership costs ultimately leads to a higher probability of net value improvement and enhanced long-term development and investment decisions. Overall, this presentation will discuss the use of risk modeling in application for LCC analysis and the outcomes and benefits that can be derived.

 

Throughput Analysis using Monte Carlo Simulation

Britt Calloway
Bastian Solutions

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During large distribution center designs, it is critical to understand the variability in throughput without doing complex and time consuming simulation. Especially for consulting or proof of concept simulations, Monte Carlo is a powerful tool to kickstart the project into a risk aware mode and develop a high level sensitivity to different system options. In this seminar, Britt Calloway will present previous projects that have used Monte Carlo to conduct sensitivity analysis to throughput. In addition, he will present a Six Sigma Optimization that was used to minimize variability and reduce cost in an academic problem and how it could be implemented in a real world environment.

 

USACE/Greenup Locks and Dam – Engineering Risk & Reliability Analysis using @RISK

Chirag Mehta
Black & Veatch

Perry Cole
A & D Engineering

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Greenup Locks and Dam is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) project, located on the Ohio River, near Greenup, Kentucky. Construction of the project was completed in 1967. The project consists of two lock chambers with a 30 foot lift, a dam consisting of flow regulating gates, a bridge that connects U.S. Route 52 in Ohio to U.S. Route 23 in Kentucky, and a 70 MW hydroelectric power plant.

Internal stability of the Greenup Lock Middle Wall monoliths was evaluated to estimate the probability of unsatisfactory performance throughout the planning horizon. The planning horizon spans from initial construction, 1967, to the end of the benefit accrual period, 2070.

The @RISK analysis was performed using the USACE requirements for the Planning and Design of Navigation Locks, EM 2602. Probability distribution parameters were developed for the time-independent variables of concrete strength and geomaterial properties. The reinforcing steel yield strength and anchor rod tensile strength properties were time-dependent based on a model of steel deterioration. Expert Opinion Elicitation was used to attain consensus on the distribution parameters.

Event trees, with Hazard Functions, were used to evaluate rehabilitation strategies as failure of the Middle Wall would result in disruption of navigation causing loss of revenue. The model was calibrated to match the Middle Wall performance to date.

Using DecisionTools to Mitigate Project Risk for Large Scale Wood Pellet Export Projects

Dr. William Strauss
FutureMetrics, LLC

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Over the next 5 to 8 years more than 4.5 billion dollars in capital costs for new capacity in the wood pellet export sector will be invested in North America. This will increase North American export capacity from the current 6 million tons per year to a forecast 45 million tons per year by 2020. These are large sums that demand careful due diligence prior to investment.

FutureMetrics has forecast the growth of the pellet export market using the new @RISK time series functions. They have also used these new functions to quantify the uncertainty in the market growth. FutureMetrics has also stochastically modeled how the prices for pellets imported into Europe and the raw material costs in North America will react to the growth in capacity and demand. They use @RISK Monte Carlo simulation to show the likely distribution of the projects' returns on investment and to pinpoint key leverage points in mitigating project risk.

 

Using Decision Trees and Uncertainty Analysis to Inform Negotiation Strategy

Basil Stumborg
BC Hydro

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Negotiating strategy contains elements that lend themselves well to an application of risk analysis using decision trees; there are complex choices, outcomes are uncertain, and decision makers are risk averse. As a crown corporation supplying 90% of the electricity to the province of British Columbia, Canada, such decisions are complicated by the fact that the corporation has multiple objectives: keep costs low, minimize impacts to its reputation, and enhance environmental values.

This presentation will walk through a simplified version of a decision faced by BC Hydro recently. It will highlight the application of decision trees and uncertainty analysis paying particular attention to how unique elements came to the fore: assessing levels of risk aversion, understanding value tradeoffs among multiple items in a negotiation package (monetary and non-monetary), and how this information can be used to derive a “walk away” level for negotiation.

 

Using PrecisionTree to Evaluate Clinical Development Options in Pharmaceuticals

Chris Taber
Ikaria, Inc.

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Taking a pharmaceutical compound from investigation and discovery through to commercialization is a time-consuming and expensive process with many potential pitfalls and complicating factors along the way. Using PrecisionTree to model different scenarios for the development of a product has helped Ikaria manage the complexity of this process and develop insights to help scientific and commercial decision-makers better understand the options available to them. This presentation will walk through an example of a PrecisionTree model similar to one that was used in a recent clinical trial design decision at Ikaria. Integration with @RISK will also be demonstrated.

 

When is Quantitative Project Risk Analysis Necessary? How Effective Leaders Deploy @RISK for Excel/Project

Keith D. Hornbacher
University of Pennsylvania and Hornbacher Associates

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“When is the right time to deploy quantitative analysis of project risk and uncertainty?” This presentation answers that important question. Mr. Hornbacher draws on his experience in the private and public sectors using @RISK for Excel / Project. In addition, feedback will be shared from seminars he conducts in the University of Pennsylvania’s graduate project leadership concentration (Dynamics of Projects, Programs, and Portfolios). Participants will learn what conditions enable as well as those that inhibit organizations when they implement non-deterministic project management systems, methods, and tools.

This event highlights crucial elements in organizations and traits contributing to their leaders’ success in the transition from “old school” single value estimates to systems capable of handling uncertainty and risk. The discussion is framed by different perspectives gained during independent reviews of NASA programs and audits of GAO projects. Mr. Hornbacher draws from his direct experiences in project-program risk management and education.

Key points participants will learn to recognize:

  • Symptoms of failure when using single value (deterministic) project planning and estimating
  • Evidence of an organization’s project risk management maturity
  • Characteristics of organizations and leaders that successfully introduce quantitative methods to analyze project uncertainty and risk

 

 

 
 
 
   
 

Customized Software Applications
using @RISK & VBA

Dr. Javier Ordóñez
Palisade Corporation

@RISK and DecisionTools Suite software ship with full-featured development environments that allow you to create custom applications using Palisade technology directly in Excel (Excel Developer Kits or XDKs). You can customize the application interface to include only what the users need, hiding unused @RISK functionality and preventing user access to the underlying model logic. You can also automate processes like reporting, generating only the charts and data you want. The result is a perfectly tailored application ready to roll out to your workgroup. And because the application is in Excel, the training required for users is minimal.

Palisade Custom Development has written applications for cost estimation, asset management, retirement planning, oil and gas prospecting, and more – all utilizing @RISK technology in Excel. In this presentation, we will cover as many examples of custom applications as time allows.

 

 

Decision Modeling with PrecisionTree

Erik Westwig
Palisade Corporation

PrecisionTree is a powerful visual and analytical tool for mapping out complex, sequential decisions using decision trees directly in Excel. Using nodes, branches, and probabilities, you can represent and organize decisions ranging from oil prospecting to site development to options analysis. PrecisionTree can also be combined with @RISK to incorporate uncertainty and risk in tree models. This presentation combines an introduction to the PrecisionTree interface with demonstrations of how PrecisionTree can be used to analyze various problems in decision analysis.

 

 
 

Finding Optimal Solutions with
New Evolver and RISKOptimizer 6.0

Thompson Terry
Palisade Corporation

RISKOptimizer 6.0 and Evolver 6.0 use powerful algorithms to perform optimization in Microsoft Excel. RISKOptimizer – an advanced analytical tool that comes with @RISK Industrial – builds on traditional optimization by adding Monte Carlo simulation to account for uncertain (stochastic), uncontrollable factors in your optimization problem. RISKOptimizer and Evolver have long used genetic algorithms to arrive at solutions that are impossible to find using most traditional methods. New version 6.0 introduces new optimization methods that can find optimal solutions even faster than genetic algorithms.

This session introduces you to these powerful tools, showing you how to set up a model, define constraints within the model, and ultimately arrive at the optimal outcome. These steps will be illustrated by means of a detailed retirement portfolio optimization example.

 

 

Introduction to @RISK

Rafael Hartke
Palisade Corporation

This introduction to @RISK will walk you through a risk analysis using various example models. Key features of @RISK will be highlighted, and new interface enhancements in version 6.0 will be pointed out along the way. You will experience the intuitive interface of @RISK as you define distributions, correlations, and other model components. During simulation you will be able to see all charts, thumbnails, and reports update in real time. View results with a variety of graphing and reporting options. There’s so much to see, we’ll cover as much as time permits. Please note this session is not an overview of the new features in version 6.0. That is covered in the “New Features of DecisionTools Suite 6.0 and @RISK 6.0” presentation.

 

 

Introduction to the DecisionTools Suite

Erik Westwig
Palisade Corporation

This session will show you how to use the elements of the DecisionTools Suite as a comprehensive risk analysis, decision-making, and statistical analysis toolkit. Each of the products in the Suite — @RISK, RISKOptimizer, Evolver, PrecisionTree, TopRank, StatTools, and NeuralTools — will be presented as time allows, showing how they can be used to solve practical problems in the real world. Pick up hints and tips for using the products together. We’ll also point out interface improvements along the way that can save time and enhance ease-of-use. Please note this session is not an overview of the new features in version 6.0. That is covered in the “New Features of DecisionTools Suite 6.0 and @RISK 6.0” presentation.

 

 

Introduction to Project Risk Management
using @RISK 6.0

Gustavo Vinueza
Palisade Corporation

The aim of this seminar is to provide a basic understanding of how the new @RISK 6.0 can help you manage uncertainty in your Microsoft Project schedules. Using Monte Carlo simulation, you will learn how to account for schedule and costs risks in a quick and comprehensive way. At last, here is a way to answer the question “What is the probability that my project will come in on time and within budget?” And with new version 6.0, risk modeling of your Project schedules is much more flexible and powerful than ever before.

We will show you how to set up and run simulations, and how to interpret the results. You will learn how to use @RISK step-by-step, and become familiar with basic concepts and terminology. We’ll demonstrate powerful graphing and reporting that pinpoints where your risks lie and what their impact may be.

You will see how using @RISK for your projects enables you to:

  • Calculate the probability of success
  • Graph the margin of error around the most likely outcome
  • Quantify and prioritize the risk drivers
  • Quantify the amount ‘@RISK’

Oil, Gas, and Utility Models in DecisionTools Suite

Rafael Hartke
Palisade Corporation

@RISK and DecisionTools Suite software are widely used in the oil, gas, and utilities industries. There are many upstream applications, such as estimating volumetric reserves and production with Monte Carlo simulation in @RISK, and wildcat drilling using decision trees in PrecisionTree. Furthermore, @RISK can be used for valuation of wells and projects, and RISKOptimizer is well-suited to optimizing portfolios of different potential exploration projects. Downstream, refineries use @RISK to assess expansion projects and analyze supply chains. In the utilities sector, applications include demand forecasting, pricing, and load planning. @RISK 6.0’s new time series feature can be used to model uncertain demand and oil prices, and RISKOptimizer can help optimize load balancing problems.

In this presentation, a sampling of simple Excel example models will be used to illustrate how powerful these tools can be for anyone working in the energy sector.

 

 

Predictive and Data Analysis
with NeuralTools and StatTools

Dr. Chris Albright
Indiana University and Palisade Corporation

In this session you will learn how to use Palisade’s two data analysis tools: StatTools and NeuralTools.

StatTools is a Microsoft Excel statistics add-in. This session will cover how to perform the most common statistical tests, and will include topics such as: Statistical Inference, Forecasting, Data Management, Summary Analyses, and Regression Analysis.

NeuralTools imitates brain functions in order to “learn” the structure of your data. Once NeuralTools understands the data, it can take new inputs and make intelligent predictions. The new predictions are based on the patterns in known data, and offer uncanny accuracy. NeuralTools can automatically update predictions when input data changes, and it can even be combined with Palisade’s Evolver or Excel’s Solver to optimize tough decisions and achieve desired goals.

This session will demonstrate, using easy-to-understand examples, applications of NeuralTools predictions.

 

 

New Features of DecisionTools Suite 6.0
and @RISK 6.0

Sam McLafferty
Palisade Corporation

Erik Westwig
Palisade Corporation

Dr. Javier Ordóñez
Palisade Corporation

Dr. Chris Albright
Indiana University and Palisade Corporation

The 6.0 release of the DecisionTools Suite and @RISK marks an exciting advancement in quantitative risk and decision modeling. Powerful new analytical tools and robust ease of use features will appeal to both new users and seasoned experts alike.

In this session, we will present a brief overview of major new features in version 6.0, such as time-series simulation modeling, new distribution fitting features, and integration with Microsoft Project. The floor will be open to questions and input on which features or applications you’d like to see most. Feel free to join in the discussion!

Please note that time-series modeling and project management are also covered in detail in their own sessions, and that distribution fitting features will also be touched upon in the "Selecting the Right Distribution in @RISK 6.0" session.

 

Schedule Risk Analysis with @RISK

Gustavo Vinueza
Palisade Corporation

@RISK has long been used for schedule risk analysis and cost estimation across a variety of industry sectors. Now, the new integration of @RISK 6.0 with Microsoft Project schedules brings an entirely new dimension to schedule risk analysis. Through example models in construction, IT rollouts, and defense projects, we will see how to account for uncertainty in project schedules and determine the probability of finishing on time and in budget. You will learn to quantify the uncertainty inherent in task durations, dates, and resources, and how to uncover the risks driving your bottom line. Not only that, but through the @RISK for Excel interface, we will show how you can link delays and added costs in your models directly to risk registers, and how to combine cost estimation models with your schedules - analyses never before possible.

 

 

Selecting the Right Distribution in @RISK 6.0

Thompson Terry
Palisade Corporation

This session covers the choice of the appropriate distribution in @RISK. A variety of approaches are presented and compared, including pragmatic, theoretical and data-driven methods. The use of distributions to treat a variety of risk modeling situations is discussed, and some new distributions and features in version 6.0 are shown.

 

 

Time Series Analysis in @RISK 6.0

Dr. Chris Albright
Indiana University and Palisade Corporation

In statistics, economics and mathematical finance, a time series is a sequence of data points, measured typically at successive times spaced at uniform time intervals. Examples of time series are weekly currency exchange rates, the daily closing value of the NASDAQ Composite index or monthly crude oil prices. In traditional time series analysis, the past performance of the process is used as the basis for a single projected new path in the future.

In reality, of course, there are an infinite number of possible future paths in any time series process. To address this, @RISK 6.0 now includes a time series analysis tool. This new functionality will let you simulate different possible future paths your time series process could take. You can construct these stochastic time series models directly or use historical data to fit time series functions to your data. You can then simulate many different possible future time series events quickly and easily, thus more accurately representing the uncertain future.

 

 

 

   
 

Dr. Chris Albright
Professor Emeritus of Operations & Decision Technologies, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

Dr. Albright first joined Indiana University in 1972, and came to be known as the Quant Father at the Kelley School of Business. For nearly 40 years, he taught MBA students how to make better decisions. His professional interests and expertise are in spreadsheet modeling for optimization, statistical analysis and simulation, developing Excel add-ins for statistics, statistics for research, stochastic models in management science, quantitative methods for MBA core, web page development and database access with .NET, data mining, and VBA for Excel. Drawing from finance, marketing, and operations, Dr. Albright's teaching style has always been to analyze real business problems using practical quantitative techniques. He is the author and co-author of many leading MBA textbooks, including VBA for Modelers, Data Analysis and Decision Making (with Wayne Winston and Christopher Zappe), and Practical Management Science (with Wayne Winston). Dr. Albright also developed the statistical add-in StatPro for Excel, later developed as StatTools by Palisade Corporation. Currently, Dr. Albright provides training, development, and consulting services for Palisade Corporation.

Gregory Brink
Director of Risk Management and Principal Economist
Value Management Strategies, Inc.

Gregory Brink is the Director of Risk Management and Principal Economist for Value Management Strategies, Inc. (VMS), a Value Engineering and management consulting firm based in Escondido, CA. Mr. Brink is a Certified Value Specialist, Risk Management Professional, Project Management Professional, and Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst with extensive experience performing risk analysis, risk management, financial and life-cycle costing analysis, forecasting, value analysis, and economic impact analysis on projects of all scale and scope.  Mr. Brink’s specializations through the use of Value Methodology include quantitative/qualitative risk and uncertainty modeling and analysis, risk management, project management, financial analysis, economic analysis, market analysis, and economic forecasting for both private sector and government organizations. Mr. Brink’s experience includes working on infrastructure and vertical construction projects of varying scale and scope, ranging from a million dollars to multibillion dollar engagements in excess of $50 billion.

Britt Calloway
Lead Research and Development Engineer
Bastian Solutions

  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech
  • M.S. Mechanical Engineering Candidate, Purdue University
  • Six Sigma Green Belt, Villanova University
  • Certified Solidworks/Simulation Professional
  • 5 Years Mechanical Design Experience
  • Customers include Eli Lilly, Roche, Southern Wine and Spirits, Amway and HEB.
  • Several Patents Pending

As an R&D Engineer at Bastian, Britt is involved with assessing new technologies and applications for the material handling industry.  He is proficient in mechanical design, as well as Finite Element Analysis (FEA).  A six sigma green belt, Britt also has an interest for operations research and lean manufacturing.

Korey Campbell
Financial Analyst
Unison Consulting, Inc.

Korey Campbell has 18 years of experience in aviation finance and has expertise in capital planning, budgeting, and financial analysis. He has assisted clients in identifying and managing funding sources for major capital improvement projects and has performed financial analyses for master plans, bond feasibility studies, parking, and rental car projects for 25 airports.  He functioned as an extension of staff at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport during the Airport Development Program and was responsible for the day to day management, maintenance and implementation of the $1.1 billion program budget.  Korey also assisted Dallas Love Field in setting up a database that allows airport management to manage and monitor its modernization program.

Prior to joining Unison, Korey was employed by Northwest Airlines as an analyst in corporate finance and later as a finance manager for the design and construction of the $1.2 billion McNamara terminal and related facilities at Wayne County Detroit Metropolitan Airport.  While in Detroit, he developed and managed the project’s budget, reviewed contracts and change orders and worked with project managers to forecast cash flow and maximize funding efficiency.  During the project he represented Northwest Airlines on bond issues, led the process and performed the analyses that determined the final PFC eligibility for the project.

Korey has an M.B.A. from the University of Georgia, a B.S. from the University of Alabama.

Perry Cole
President
A & D Engineering, PLLC

Perry Cole, President of A & D Engineering, PLLC, has over 30 years of structural and civil engineering experience in planning, design, and construction of water resource and hydroelectric projects.  His experience includes all primary structural materials, most major design codes, and the design requirements of the Army Corps of Engineers. His primary area of interest is water resource related civil structures such as inland navigation projects, gates, intake/outlet works; dams; flood control structures; and fishery related facilities.  Perry is an expert in design of hydraulic concrete and steel structures, soil/structure systems, shallow and deep foundations, and soil retaining structures.  His experience includes design of new facilities, major renovation of existing projects, and design of specialty and prototype equipment and facilities.  He uses @RISK to develop probabilistic analyses for the design of new structures and the renovation of existing facilities.

Perry is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), a member of both the Structural Engineering Institute and Geo-Institute of the ASCE, and is the President Elect for the Seattle Section.  He previously served the Seattle Section as the Chair of the University Advising Committee, Director - Technical Committees, and Chair of the Water Resources and Environmental Committee.  He chaired the Structural Engineers Association of Washington (SEAW) Refresher Course Committee and taught the Foundation and Retaining Structures and Analysis sessions of the SEAW Refresher Course.  He twice received the SEAW President’s Award for Outstanding Service.  Perry recently served multiple terms as the President of the Ames Lake Water Association Board of Directors.

He attended the University of Washington (BSCE and MSCE) and is a registered Professional Engineer (Civil and Structural) in Washington and California.

Brian Drake
Senior Consultant
Unison Consulting, Inc.

Brian Drake is a Senior Consultant at Unison Consulting, Inc., a leading aviation consulting firm with five major practice areas: (1) Airport Finance & Economics; (2) Airport Retail Concessions Planning & Management; (3) Information Systems; (4) Program Management and Control Services and (5) Surveys and Quantitative Research. Brian has been working for four years as a member of Unison’s Airport Finance & Economics team on airport rate-setting, capital investment financial planning, airline lease negotiations, and financial feasibility studies.  Brian previously worked at BP global oil trading division as a risk analyst and trading analyst. Brian holds an M.B.A. degree with a concentration in Finance and Strategic Management from Purdue University, and a B.A. degree in Finance from Howard University.

Clayton Graham
Management Consultant
Department of Management, DePaul University

Clay Graham is a management consultant specializing in analytical and graphic econometrics. His formal education includes a B.S. from Purdue and graduate degrees in Economics (M.A.) and Business (M.B.A. - Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University). He was a NASA Scholar (National Aeronautical and Space Administration) during his Ph.D. studies at Northwestern (concentration in advanced large scale computer modeling and mathematical simulation.) Clay has functioned in various advisory capacities to Purdue and Northwestern Universities. His entrée into the education field first came while a volunteer for a citizens group in Barrington (evaluating academics, finances and taxes). During that project, creation of integrated databases and innovative statistical modeling drew the interest of many professionals and resulted in his presentations to: The White House, Illinois State Board of Education, Center for Governmental Studies (Northern Illinois University) and many boards of education.

Prior to his current undertakings, he was CEO of an upstart aerospace, laser mapping and engineering firm. He’s brought with him years of practical management and leadership experience from the metal finishing industry where he owned and operated his own firms in the Chicago area. He introduced effective statistical process control technology to many firms including: Motorola, Siemens and Ford. He served that industry by being president of the local trade association, a director of several national alliances and sitting on industry standardization and quality committees.

Prior to running his own companies, Graham was with one of the world's foremost Management Consulting firms - A.T.Kearney, lnc. where he introduced cutting edge computer and mathematical modeling to the transportation and service distribution industries. Clay has written and published extensively in the areas of: profitability and control, marketing, financial risk, computer integrated manufacturing and technology. He has been a featured and keynote speaker at many trade association and professional conclaves. He was awarded the top technical paper in the world at the SECOND ASIAN METAL FINISHING FORUM (part of the Tokyo World Exposition). At INTEREX EUROPE (Hewlett-Packard users) he presented an award winning work on a fully integrated system of research and development, process control and management integrating: personal computers, micro-systems, programmable controllers and digital-analog interfaces. He was also the subject of a press conference by Alteon Networks at Networld + Interop (Atlanta 1998) where he introduced the first commercial application of large file transfer incorporating “Jumbo Frame Technology”.

Clay and his companies have been the subject of articles in Forbes, Business Week, Modern Metals, Industrial Finishing and Arthur Andersen's Small Business Forum. In addition, the methods incorporated in the management of his firms have been utilized in academic case studies in the United States and Western Europe. He was selected to speak on “The Management of Professional Advisors” before a joint session of the American Bar Association and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

He has served as an Advisor to the White House, Members of Congress in the areas of economics, environmental control and management strategy. More recently, he now consults with professional baseball.

Dr. Huybert Groenendaal
Managing Partner
EpiX Analytics

As managing partner, Dr. Huybert Groenendaal helps clients using risk analysis modeling techniques in a broad range of consulting projects in fields and industries that, among others, include forecasting, financial risk analysis, project costs estimation, pharmaco-economics, epidemiology, inventory optimization, mining and transportation. Dr. Groenendaal has extensive experience in risk modeling and analysis for business development, financial valuation, R&D portfolios and portfolio evaluations in pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Dr. Groenendaal teaches a variety of risk analysis training courses including Risk Modeling in Drug Development, Financial Risk Modeling for Pharmaceuticals, Quantitative Risk Analysis, Introduction to Quantitative Project Cost and Schedule Risk Analysis, Corporate Finance Risk Analysis and customized courses at client-sites. He also lectures on the use of risks modeling in business at the executive MBA program at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado at Denver and at the school of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas, and teaches two online risk analysis courses at Statistics.com.

Dr. Groenendaal is an adjunct professor at Colorado State University and mentor at the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative, Wharton School of Business. He has been an invited speaker at numerous international conferences and has published papers in various scientific journals.

Rafael Hartke
Oil and Energy Industry Consultant
Palisade Corporation

Rafael Hartke is an Oil and Energy Industry Consultant at Palisade Corporation, where he works in the development and strategy of quantitative risk analysis methods. He has particular experience in the energy industry, having served as a Financial Engineer in Risk Management at Brazilian-based energy corporation, Petrobras, in the Financial Planning and Risk Management department. There, he created risk models for complex investments and assessed project risks for medium and large projects, including Brazilian Pre-Salt giant fields, projects in the Gulf of Mexico, and offshore infrastructure projects.  

Rafael has an MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering and is also a Global Association of Risk Professionals certified Energy Risk Professional.

Rafael’s main interests and activities include:

  • Development of mathematical models in engineering and finance
  • Modeling of complex investment projects (risks, options, real options)
  • Monitoring, econometric modeling and forecasting of time series (commodity prices, commodity demands and financial series)
  • Research and training in risk analysis and Monte Carlo simulation

Timothy J. Havranek
Vice President / Principal
Cardno ENTRIX

Mr. Havranek is a Vice President of Business Solutions and Risk Management with Cardno ENTRIX with over 25 combined years' experience in the environmental remediation and the oil and gas production industries. Mr. Havranek has managed numerous large-scale environmental projects throughout industry, working with multiple site owners, regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders in the development of strategic and sustainable business liability and asset management solutions to minimize environmental and social risk. He is highly skilled in the application of quantitative decision analysis and probabilistic modeling to facilitate strategic planning for environmental projects, having developed a wide range of successful decision analysis models for more than 400 sites. Mr. Havranek holds an MBA degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelors Degree in Petroleum Engineering from Marietta College. He is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and author of the book Modern Project Management Techniques for the Environmental Remediation Industry.

Randy Heffernan
Vice President
Palisade Corporation

Randy Heffernan started with Palisade in 1997, and helped the company expand with its first overseas office in Plymouth, England, in 1998. Further geographic expansions included London in 2002 and Sydney, Australia in 2005. He has held a variety of roles in sales, marketing, and management, and currently oversees much of the corporate operations. Randy works closely with the sales staff to understand client needs and liaise with software development. Randy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Marketing, and an MBA, both from Cornell University.

Keith D. Hornbacher
Affiliated Faculty, Organizational Dynamics Graduate Programs University of Pennsylvania
Principal Consultant, Hornbacher Associates

Keith D. Hornbacher, MBA, is a project risk management educator and an experienced practitioner. He is in his sixth year as a member of Affiliated Faculty in Organizational Dynamics Graduate Programs, University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Hornbacher, founder and principal consultant of Hornbacher Associates, leads seminars of mid-career and senior professionals and advises capstone candidates while they write theses for their Master’s degree. His research interests are in unique challenges faced by global virtual project teams, the dynamics of unknowns in complex project systems, and roles of independent review in effective project governance. Graduate courses he leads include Managing Project Risk, Uncertainty, and the Unexpected; Quantitative Project Cost/Schedule Risk Analysis; and Decision-Making Under Uncertainty.

During the period of 2009 – 2011, as an independent sub-contractor Mr. Hornbacher assessed program/project risk of NASA’s SOFIA science program (an exploration of the universe with infrared technology), ICESat-2 (an earth orbit satellite designed to measure polar ice thickness, sea ice flows, and rain forest canopies), lead program/project schedule and risk audits for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), conducted cost/schedule risk analyses of a Mexican energy project, and performed schedule risk assessments of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier automated landing system development program.

For more than 25 years Mr. Hornbacher has been leading teams in Monte Carlo simulation of complex projects. In 1993, he founded Hornbacher Associates following a decade developing quantitative cost/schedule risk analysis methods and software as an executive in a Los Angeles based firm. Signature achievements include project risk assessments of stealth aircraft technology and integrated cost/schedule risks of the Canadian North Atlantic off-shore oil drilling platform, Hibernia.

Direct project experience and academic research range from mega-projects to incubator-sized startups. His work with industries across the globe demonstrates scalability and portability of protocols documented in the Practice Standard for Project Risk Management (2009) and the PMBOK® Guide, 4thed. (2008), both published by the Project Management Institute (PMI®).

Mr. Hornbacher’s commitment to professional organizations includes roles as a designated Subject Management Expert (SME) in the PMI® virtual Risk Management Community of Practice, and as a contributor to revisions of the PMBOK® Guide. He is a member of an MBA advisory council (University of St. Thomas), a senior member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, and a past director of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) Northstar Chapter. Mr. Hornbacher was awarded the academic degrees of Bachelor of Science (BSci) from Iowa State University-Ames, and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Minnesota State University-Mankato.

Leigh Hostetter
Senior Economist
Cardno ENTRIX

Ms. Hostetter is a senior member of Cardno ENTRIX’s Business Solutions and Risk Management Group. This practice focuses on helping clients value their environmental and natural services in their decision making. Ms. Hostetter specializes in applying quantitative and probabilistic methods to help improve client decision making and project planning processes. To accomplish this goal, Ms. Hostetter applies high level modeling of risk and uncertainty, statistics, process and progress tracking tools to projects. Leigh is a certified project management professional (PMP) and has presented findings from her work in numerous academic papers and conferences. Ms. Hostetter has over 9 years of consulting experience working with both public and private clients on industrial, infrastructure and environmental projects. Prior to consulting, Ms. Hostetter worked on Wall Street as an Equity Analyst.

Vernon Kinley
Professional Consultant
Unison Consulting, Inc.

Vernon Kinley has 33 years of combined experience in the airline and automotive industries. He began his career as an economist for the McDonnell Douglas commercial aircraft division where he worked with numerous international airlines and agencies to develop economic and traffic forecasts as well as various planning studies in the pricing and fleet planning areas. He also developed domestic and international studies in support of the corporate planning effort at Douglas aircraft. Mr. Kinley has extensive experience in market research and analysis. During his tenure in the automobile and commercial truck industries, he was responsible for various corporate planning and market analysis functions and took part in the development of numerous market research studies. Since joining Unison, Mr. Kinley has prepared market assessments, economic impact analysis and developed aviation, parking, and rental car activity forecasts for a number of airports.

Vernon holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

J. Todd Larson
Certified Financial Analyst
Citium Wealth Management, LLC

Todd Larson received his MBA in Finance and Operations from Indiana University (and learned @RISK from Professor Wayne Winston, author of many Palisade books).  After graduate school he spent 5 years with Procter & Gamble, where he worked with the Crest Toothpaste brand and in Treasury, where he helped manage all Fx and interest rate hedges.  After P&G, he spent 7 years with Amazon.com in a variety of finance roles, including Finance Director of US Retail.  Today he owns and manages Citium Wealth Management, which applies Modern Portfolio Theory to the investments of high net worth clients.  For the last 5 years, he has also been an adjunct professor in the MBA program at Seattle University, where he teaches Advanced Corporate Finance and Investment Management.  He and his two daughters reside on Bainbridge Island, which is a short ferry ride from downtown Seattle.

Bin Liu
Program Manager
Cisco Systems

Bin Liu is a program manager for the Supply Chain Network Design & Management team at CISCO. He coordinates with various business units within CISCO on a range of projects including designing and providing solutions to mitigate risk, improving lead time performance and supporting cost effect growth strategies.
   
He has over 10 years of experience in supply chain network design and supply chain operations with a specialization in supply chain optimization & modeling, risk management, data visualization and project management.

He holds two Master degrees; an M.E. in Supply Chain Management from MIT and an M. S. in Operations Research from George Mason University. 

Andre Lowe
New Venture Manager
Intel Corporation

Andre Lowe works at Intel Corporation as a New Venture Manager in the Incubation and Innovation Group (IIG).  IIG looks for disruptive business concepts inside Intel, works to develop the business model and strategy, and evaluates the market potential.  IIG then values and optimizes the portfolio of business options and selectively funds them in a VC-like model.  The mid-term goal for each business is to staff the venture with entrepreneurial-minded experts, to fund them through a series of tech-readiness milestones, and then to find good external funding partners to help bring each business to a semi-autonomous state.

In prior roles inside Intel, Andre has worked in equipment negotiations, treasury accounting, risk management, and helped start up Intel’s Automotive Solutions Division.  Andre regularly teaches many of Intel’s advanced financial valuation classes, such as Real Options, Monte Carlo analysis and Decision tree analysis.  Prior to Intel, Andre was the director of an independent video games developer.

Andre lives in Scottsdale, AZ with his two children (aged 4 and 6) and his wife.  Between work and kids, there isn’t much free time, but in the past Andre has enjoyed kickball, motorcycles, rugby and polo.

Dr. Mark Manfredo
Professor
Morrison School of Agribusiness and Resource Management,
College of Technology and Innovation, Arizona State University

Dr. Mark Manfredo is a Professor in the Morrison School of Agribusiness and Resource Management in the College of Technology and Innovation at Arizona State University.  His research program focuses on commodity price analysis and agribusiness risk management, with particular emphasis on futures and options markets and price forecasting.  His work has appeared in leading agricultural economics and agribusiness journals including the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Agribusiness: An International Journal, and Agricultural Finance Review, as well as journals outside the discipline including the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Energy Economics, Applied Financial Economics, and the Journal of Supply Chain Management among others.  Dr. Manfredo recently served as the co-chairman of the NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management (2007-2011).  At Arizona State University, he teaches courses in futures and options markets and agribusiness finance at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and also serves as a Faculty Honors Advisor for Barrett, The Honors College.  In 2007, he received ASU’s Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching/Instruction Excellence by the Office of the Provost, and was also presented with the Western Agricultural Economics Association “Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award” that same year.  He currently serves on the Educational Foundation Board of the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance (AFMA).  Dr. Manfredo has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Dr. Glenn “Max” McGee
President
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Dr. Glenn “Max” McGee is recognized as a dynamic leader, speaker and writer on critical issues
in educational policy and practice. Since 2007, he has served as President of the Illinois
Mathematics and Science Academy, a residential academy that educates the top math and
science students in Illinois and is active in statewide outreach programs. As President, Dr.
McGee has expanded IMSA’s statewide presence with the opening of three field offices. In
2009, he led the Academy to receive Intel’s “Star Innovator Award” as the top high school in
America, and has guided the Academy through a period of significant financial challenges. He
continually works for the good of all students and was instrumental in the revision and passage
of the new Illinois State Report Card, which was passed unanimously by the Illinois General
Assembly. In addition, Dr. McGee collaborates with schools worldwide to bring students and
educators together to research, discuss and design solutions to the most challenging problems
facing our world.

Prior to coming to IMSA, Dr. McGee served as a former Illinois State Superintendent of
Education and has been a teacher, principal and district superintendent. He serves on the board
of directors of the Golden Apple Foundation, the Great Books Foundation, the Governor’s P-20
Council, the Illinois Association for Gifted Children, as well as the Diversifying Higher
Education Faculty in Illinois. Dr. McGee is a regular speaker at state and national conferences,
has published several articles and coauthored two books, most recently The Perfect School. Dr.
McGee’s published research on high achieving, high poverty schools that have closed the
achievement gap has garnered state and national attention for identifying how schools and
communities can help all students succeed.

Dr. McGee’s mission is to make an enduring difference in the lives of all children and share his
passionate commitment to and support for Illinois’ educational leaders. He credits his family
with being his inspiration. He and his wife, Jan, the Executive Director of the Associated
Colleges of Illinois’ Center for Success in High Needs Schools, have three children, one
grandson and two granddaughters. Max has retired from running marathons, but is still an avid
and successful triathlete.

Sam McLafferty
President and CEO
Palisade Corporation

Sam McLafferty is Palisade's founder, president, and CEO. He started the company in 1984 with the release of PRISM, a stand-alone Monte Carlo simulation package for DOS on the PC. PRISM later evolved into @RISK for Lotus 1-2-3, and then for Excel. Sam is Palisade's lead developer, with over thirty years of programming experience. He works closely with the technical and sales staff, ensuring that customer feedback is heard. He personally oversees the development and evolution of every one of the fifteen software products Palisade sells. Prior to Palisade, he was a risk analysis consultant.

Chirag Mehta
Hydro-Mechanical Engineer
Black & Veatch

Chirag has over 7 years of experience in Mechanical Engineering and Project Management, providing consulting services in the area of hydropower facilities, navigation locks, dams, levees, fish facilities and flood control facilities.  He has performed mechanical and structural inspection and analyzes on bridge cranes, gantry cranes, hoists, valves, gates and various other machine elements.  He has experience preparing plans and specifications of the mechanical systems, and performing mechanical engineering design and finite element analysis.

Chirag’s expertise is in performing multi-disciplinary facility-wide risk assessments, screening level assessments, detail on-site inspections and data collection, dam and levee safety modifications, engineering reliability analysis, and developing risk remediation alternatives. He has experience working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Risk & Reliability Directorate of Expertise in developing tools for predicting reliability of mechanical and electrical systems for public safety and asset management.  He has used @RISK in performing linear and non-linear Monte Carlo Simulations, cost-benefit economic analysis on variety of heavy civil infrastructure projects leading to risk-based decision making process for asset management and developing national economic development plans for the Corps. 

He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering degree from Nirma University (India) and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering degree from University of Southern California.  He is also a registered Professional Engineer and a certified Project Management Professional.

Patrick Murray
Senior Economist
HDR, Inc.

Patrick Murray is a Senior Economist with HDR Decision Economics.  He has over 8 years of experience in supporting infrastructure construction programs through quantitative methods. His work has supported capital projects for federal, state and local clients in the transportation, water, and energy sectors. His analytical support for management decisions has included risk management analyses, cost-benefit analyses, freight planning, business case analysis, financial analysis and statistical methods. 

Mr. Murray has played a key role at HDR in developing many of the modeling processes for the risk management analysis, benefit-cost analysis, and other risk based analytical support. He has led efforts within HDR to develop risk-based methods to account for cost escalation in key materials.

Prior to joining HDR, Mr. Murray was a research assistant in the University of Alaska School of Fisheries where his work included research topics in fisheries management and market conditions.  He has a Master of Science in Resource and Applied Economics from University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Dr. Jay Noel
Chair of the Agribusiness Department
California Polytechnic State University

Dr. Jay Noel is the Chair of the Agribusiness Department at the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  His research interests include economic analysis of agricultural trade issues, natural resource allocation, quantitative analysis of agricultural production and marketing, and analysis of agricultural cooperative performance. He is the author and coauthor of a number of popular and academic articles on agricultural management, marketing, and natural resource allocation issues. Specialties: International Trade Issues; Agribusiness Marketing and Management; Water and Natural Resource Allocation Issues. Dr. Noel received his PhD in agricultural economics from UC Davis.

Dr. Javier Ordóñez
Director of Custom Solutions
Palisade Corporation

Dr Javier Ordóñez holds a BS in Civil Engineering from the Universidad de Cuenca, Ecuador and a MS in Project Management from the University of Maryland. Javier earned his PhD from the University of Maryland performing research on project risk analysis. His current research deals with cost and schedule integration and correlation issues through the use of Bayesian belief networks.

Javier's experience is in the areas of construction and project management, optimal project and capital investments selection, earned value management, engineering and project risk analysis, and operations research applications to engineering and management problems.

Javier has taught as an adjunct professor in the Project Management Program at University of Maryland and provides training in risk and decision analysis. He is also registered as a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Matthew H. Rosenberg, CPA, CFA
Managing Partner
RoseCap Investment Advisors, LLC

Mr. Rosenberg is Managing Partner for RoseCap Investment Advisors, LLC, a private investment management and financial planning firm in Boulder, CO. Among other things, his responsibilities include portfolio management, formulating investment strategy, and development of financial models for use by the firm. Throughout his career Mr. Rosenberg has developed financial models for numerous large and small companies across multiple asset classes/sectors, investment vehicles, and asset types.

Prior to founding RoseCap, Mr. Rosenberg was Managing Director with Jackson Oats Shaw Corporate Real Estate, a privately held real estate firm in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Rosenberg also previously served as Vice President/AE with General Electric‘s Commercial Finance Division. He started his career in investment banking, underwriting and syndicating leveraged loans and high yield bonds for Wachovia Securities in Charlotte, NC.

Mr. Rosenberg received his Masters degree in Accounting and Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas, at Austin, where he was also a member of the 2002 National Championship baseball team. He enjoys reading and competing in numerous sports, and also serves as a lecturer of finance, investments, and accounting for Colorado Mesa University, in Grand Junction, CO.

Mark S. Rudd
President
Rudd Asset Management (RAM)

With over 40 years of experience in the energy business and a diverse business background, Mark believes the DecisionTools Suite and @RISK are a great fit. Use of the Palisade software has become a core strength of RAM energy consulting.

Today, that combination allows Rudd Asset Management to apply Monte Carlo simulation and the power of statistics to reduce project uncertainty. Once variables are modeled and simulated, a project can be optimized to maximize revenues while reducing expenses using 40 years of actual plant experience.

Mark holds a BSE in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He also obtained the following designations from the Association of Energy Engineers:

  • Certified Energy Manager (CEM)
  • Certified Energy Auditor (CEA)
  • Certified Demand-Side Management Professional (CDSM)
  • Certified Energy Procurement Professional (CEP)
  • Certified Sustainable Development Professional (CSDP)
  • Certified Business Energy Professional( BEP)

Dr. Sharon Sarmiento
Aviation Consultant
Unison Consulting, Inc.

Dr. Sharon Sarmiento has 24 years of professional experience as an economist, including the last 15 years in aviation consulting. As Principal of Unison Consulting, Inc., Sharon leads the firm’s consulting services in airport economics, and has completed numerous projects involving transportation demand forecasting and economic analysis for more than 50 airports. In recent years, Sharon has spearheaded the integration of risk analysis using Monte Carlo simulation in Unison’s work involving demand modeling for air transportation and related airport services, benefit-cost analysis of airport capital projects, and airport financial modeling.

Sharon holds a Ph.D. in Economics from University of California, Irvine, with specialization in urban economics, transportation economics and applied econometrics. She holds an M.A. in mathematical behavioral sciences from the University of California, Irvine; an M.A. in international and development economics from Yale University; and a B.S. in business economics (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines.

Dr. Vladimir Savin
Chief QA Engineer
EPAM Systems

Dr. Vladimir Savin has 25 years of research and software development (PL/I OS IBM/360, C/C++ PC), creation and implementation of Industrial Project Management Systems for Nuclear and Thermal Power Plants. For that purpose system development strategy, vision, requirements, design, mathematical models, algorithms, database and software had been developed. He worked as Senior Research Officer, Ph.D. at Belarus Scientific Research Heat Engineering Institute and Belarus State University as Lecturer in IT.

From 1998 Dr. Vladimir Savin worked at Client-Server Programs Ltd., Galaktika Corporation as Project Manager, at SemiTech as Quality Director, at ScienceSoft as Process Manager, at EPAM Systems as Chief QA Engineer for CMMI, ISO 9001, ISO 27001, SAS70, COBIT implementation and support.  

Anthony Sclafani
Project Development Engineer
Apollo Solutions Group

Mr. Sclafani leads the technical and financial development of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for existing buildings.  His projects are characterized by the delivery of guaranteed energy savings for a guaranteed fixed price and typically range in price from $1M-$50M.  Mr. Sclafani is responsible for determining the optimal investment of his customers' capital into various energy systems while managing the risks of the cost and performance guarantees.  He uses energy simulation software and quantitative risk analysis tools to manage these risks.  Mr. Sclafani is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California and holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from San Diego State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Steven Slezak
Professor
California Polytechnic State University

Steven Slezak has nearly 30 years experience in strategic business planning and in financial planning and analysis. He has utilized Palisade software since 1998. His consulting practice serves clients in health care, agribusiness, and education. He has particular expertise in financial and market risk management, and has worked as a risk manager for energy companies and a Chicago trading firm.

Mr. Slezak is also a Lecturer in the College of Agriculture, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he teaches finance and credit, strategic planning, linear programming, and trade and development. He has also taught fixed income securities and business calculus at Cal Poly. He previously taught corporate financial management and financial mathematics at the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University.

He holds a BS in international studies from Georgetown University and an MBA in Finance from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. William Strauss
President
FutureMetrics, LLC

Dr. William Strauss is the founder and president of FutureMetrics. FutureMetrics is the recognized leading US consultancy in the economics of the production and use of biomass fuels. Dr. Strauss is also a founder and a Director of Maine Energy Systems. Maine Energy Systems’ (MESys) primary mission is to support a transition to the use of renewable wood pellet fuel for heating of homes and businesses.

Bill Strauss is the chief economist for the Biomass Thermal Energy Council (Washington, DC) and is the chief economist for the Maine Pellet Fuels Association. Bill served as the chief economist on the Maine Governor’s Wood-to-Energy Task force in 2008-2009. 

He has an MBA (specializing in Finance) and a PhD (Economics and Earth Systems Science) both from the University of New Hampshire.

Bill has published a book titled The Myth of Endless Growth: Exposing Capitalism’s Unsustainablity (ISBN 978-0-557-62496-6).

Bill enjoys mountain biking in the summer and skiing in the winter.  He has logged more than one million vertical feet helicopter skiing in British Columbia, Canada.

Basil Stumborg
Senior Business Strategy Advisor
Finance Group, BC Hydro

The mandate of the Finance Group is to support better decision making across the company. This means both introducing, teaching, and carrying out structured decision making processes as well as supporting best practice around risk analysis and communication.

Mr. Stumborg is just completing the decision analysis / risk assessment for BC Hydro’s Long Term Acquisition Plan for meeting the Province’s energy needs. This work is included in the introduction of a Risk Framework to help characterize the uncertainty around the supply and demand side options as well as to capture the key uncertainties on the planning horizon such as GHG offset costs, demand growth, natural gas prices etc.

Basil Stumborg's other current role is to set up and promulgate Triple Bottom Line decision-making across the company. This structured decision making approach incorporates tools from decision analysis and risk analysis in a way that allows multiple objective tradeoffs to be done rigorously and transparently.

He has done graduate work in Economics (MSc and beyond) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where his interest was in choice under uncertainty and the valuation of non-market goods. He also has an MA in economics from McGill University.

Chris Taber
Director of Commercial Operations & Planning
Ikaria, Inc.

Chris Taber is the Director of Commercial Operations & Planning for Ikaria, Inc. He directs commercial analytics at Ikaria and develops forward-looking models to forecast commercial outcomes as well as potential outcomes of product development decisions under consideration.  Prior to joining Ikaria, Chris worked in management consulting in the US and in Europe, focusing mainly on retail strategy.  He holds a BA from Princeton and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Ikaria, Inc. is a critical care company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapies designed to address the significant needs of critically ill patients in the hospital and ICU settings. The company’s lead product is INOMAX® (nitric oxide) for inhalation, the only FDA-approved drug for the treatment of hypoxic respiratory failure associated with pulmonary hypertension in term and near-term infants. Ikaria is headquartered in Hampton, NJ, with research facilities in Madison, WI, and manufacturing facilities in Port Allen, LA and Madison, WI.

Thompson Terry
Senior Training Consultant
Palisade Corporation

Thompson Terry is a senior member of Palisade’s training and consulting staff. With more than 15 years of experience at Palisade, including eight in technical support, he is recognized as an expert in all Palisade software products and their applications.

Thompson has led numerous training seminars for hundreds of professionals on risk and decision analysis, and provided customized onsite training in a variety of industries including insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, defense, and food safety. Clients Thompson has trained include: The Hartford, Unilever, Duratek, Eastman Chemical, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, National Rail (UK), RWE Thames Water (UK), National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago, Stone & Webster, and Northrop-Grumman.

Thompson holds a BS in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University with specializations in economics, marketing, and finance.

Gustavo Vinueza
Consultant and Trainer
Palisade Corporation

Gustavo Vinueza is a Systems Engineer from University in Cuenca, Ecuador. He also earned an MBA from Torcuato Di Tella University in Argentina and a Ms. In Finance from Adolfo Ibáñez University in Chile. His main topics of interest include financial and operational modeling, including scientific and academic research into business practice as well as data mining relative matters. He has 16 years of experience and he’s been a consultant for companies in several industries: finance & banking, telecommunications, insurance and IT related services.

His experience includes managing Project portfolios both operational and IT related, cost reduction programs, public purchases bidding, operational controls, capacity analysis and audit processes and software development projects, besides technological infrastructure implementation. He has also earned diplomas in Project Management, Usability, Business Process Management and Business Analytics.

Erik Westwig
Software Engineer
Palisade Corporation

Erik Westwig received his BS in 1991 and MS in 1994 from the applied and engineering physics department at Cornell University. In 1998 he published the book Mathematical Physics with co-author Bruce Kusse, which was re-released in its second edition in 2006. Since 1995, Erik has worked as a software engineer at Palisade as part of the DecisionTools Suite development team.

Dr. Ok-Youn Yu
Assistant Professor
Appalachian State University

Dr. Ok-Youn Yu is an assistant professor in the Department of Technology and Environmental Design at Appalachian State University, NC, USA. He earned his Ph.D. from the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University in May 2009. He received his M.S. in Construction Management from Texas A&M University and before that he worked in South Korea as a bridge and tunnel engineer for nearly five years. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Texas. His research interests include risk and decision analysis for project system management, renewable energy monitoring system development, infrastructure sustainability, stochastic design of an early warning system for structural failure, and building information modeling (BIM).