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Young Leaders Come Together at ConExpo-Con/Agg


There was something new at ConExpo-Con/Agg this year: Young Attendees Meetups, created to help promote the professional growth of young leaders. Attendees under 40 were encouraged to participate in this new initiative to build their professional network, connect with their peers and take advantage of complimentary perks, such as education seminars, raffles, nighttime events and more. The Tech Experience domes were also a magnet for up and coming industry leaders.

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The Tech Experience domes were also a magnet for up and coming industry leaders.

At the March 7 Young Attendee Meetup, Filipe Biscaia Demeterco Novafronta from Curitiba, Brazil, said “We came here to learn about other companies and talk to new people from other industries.” Jamie Dunn of Dunn Construction, Bellevue, Iowa, echoed that sentiment: “We came to ConExpo-Con/Agg for business opportunities, to learn more to better the industry and for our future. But we’re here now to take a break and talk about what we’ve seen and learned about.”

On March 8, participants attended a Young Leaders Luncheon, featuring keynote speaker Gary Guller. Guller is a well-known motivational speaker on leadership and teamwork, and was the first one-armed climber to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.

On March 9, the Young Attendee Meetup started with the Live Benefit Auction to support the Call of Duty Endowment. Later, the Tech Experience featured a DJ and a raffle for prizes, including Pac-12 tickets. The after party took place at Hakkasan Nightclub at MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.

On March 10, Young Attendees met in the Silver Lot Beer Garden for more networking, raffles and prizes. Participants had their choice of after-party venues at Hakkasan Nightclub or Jewel Nightclub at the Aria Hotel and Casino.

On the final show day, Young Attendees held their final meetup in the Tech Experience. This meetup featured a Pac-12-hosted basketball contest with entertainment, DJ and prizes of Pac-12 championship game tickets and merchandise.

Infrastructure Vision 2050

A proposal to develop surge-priced “Hyperlanes” to ease congestion and improve mobility took home top honors at the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge Finale Event at ConExpo-Con/Agg. Judges representing a broad swath of industry and policy leaders awarded $50,000 to Baiyu Chen and Anthony Barrs from the University of California at Berkeley for their proposal to build new infrastructure to allow autonomous vehicles to travel at high speeds along existing roadways, and to guard against congestion in the Hyperlanes by using surge pricing.

“It’s really exciting to see that our idea was recognized by some of the biggest names in the industry, and especially here at ConExpo-Con/Agg,” Chen said following the competition.

The prize marked the culmination of two years’ worth of work by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers to generate crowd-sourced solutions to address the future of infrastructure in America, and throughout the world. The campaign’s three phases – Complain, Dream and Build – drew hundreds of ideas from across the world about how to revolutionize infrastructure, manufacturing and construction.

Judges from the Brookings Institution, Local Motors, the College for Creative Studies, Bechtel Corp. and the Las Vegas Monorail Co. heard pitches from five finalists (who traveled to Las Vegas from destinations as far as Uganda) who competed for a total of $100,000 in prize money.

Taking home second prize was Peter Muller of Denver, who proposed building an automated transit network (ATN) known as the SmART Driverless Vehicle System. Third place went to Kevin Lu, the founder of Pyro-E, a company that designs and builds solid-state energy properties. Lu proposed an “Adaptive Pavement System” that would automate traffic to reduce congestion.