• March 10 - 14, 2025

Bill Vass

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Vice President of Engineering

Bill Vass is Vice President of Engineering at Amazon Web Services. In this role, Bill oversees more than 42 cloud and edge technologies that allow AWS’ customers to store, analyze, manage, and retrieve information quickly and efficiently. Bill’s teams deploy, manage, and monitor the cloud. They provide large scale storage; support gaming, large scale simulations, and studio rendering; provide data transfer and real time streaming services; lead AWS’ product development into the Internet of Things (IoT); create robotics and autonomous systems; support the Snowball Edge processing device systems; and lead AWS’ research and development into quantum computing. In short, his teams develop and operate the largest software defined storage, streaming, IoT, automated management, and monitoring systems in the world, used by web-based companies, consumer companies, enterprises, and governments. Before joining AWS, Mr. Vass was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Liquid Robotics, Inc., a pioneering Data as a Service, cloud-based solutions company that designs and builds autonomous robots that serve a wide range of customers in the energy, shipping, defense, communications, scientific, intelligence, and environmental markets. Prior to that, Mr. Vass was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Sun Microsystems Federal, an independent subsidiary of Sun Microsystems with its own board of directors, where he was responsible for growing over $1.4B of revenue. His responsibilities spanned Product Development, Sales and Business Development, Marketing, Partner Management, and Service Delivery. Before his role leading Sun Microsystems Federal, Mr. Vass served as Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Sun, where he defined and delivered the technology vision and architecture while he managed global deployments in support of Sun’s 50K business users. During his time as CIO, Mr. Vass significantly improved security, availability, and application delivery while reducing the overall operations cost of IT from $880M to $360M. Mr. Vass had a lengthy public service career. Working for the Secretary of Defense in the Office of the CIO, he was on a team responsible the for oversight of a $35.5B budget, as well as system and software acquisition, research, development, and integration standards for over 6,800 IT systems. His organization managed networks, servers and applications across the Pentagon’s defense networks. Prior to joining the Office of the CIO, Mr. Vass was CTO and technical lead for the U.S. Army’s personnel systems worldwide. Before his work at the DoD, Mr. Vass developed large-scale commercial Information Technology engineering and business systems solutions for defense system integrators, as well as the oil and gas and ocean engineering industries.

Sessions With Bill Vass

Wednesday, 20 March

  • 09:05am - 09:35am (CST) / 20/mar/2024 02:05 pm - 20/mar/2024 02:35 pm

    How Digital and AI Will Transform the Energy Industry

    Digitalization/AI/Machine Learning/Robotics/Cybersecurity

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other digital tools hold enormous potential to help the energy sector deliver energy cheaper and more efficiently while also accelerating the transition to a lower-emission energy system. Where are companies putting these tools to use today? What are the opportunities on the horizon? How can executives parse hype from reality to make the most of these tools in their businesses? How “fast” is AI coming? What are the risks in embracing AI?  

  • 12:00pm - 12:50pm (CST) / 20/mar/2024 05:00 pm - 20/mar/2024 05:50 pm

    Electric Vehicle Penetration: Accelerating or braking?

    Transportation & Mobility/Electrification (EVs/built environment)

    Electric vehicle (EV) sales are growing quickly in key markets. Strong government support and stringent tailpipe emissions standards, along with robust early consumer interest, have underpinned this growth. In reaction, auto manufacturers have placed EVs at the center of their net zero and long-term financial strategies. Now, slowing EV sales are raising important questions around consumer readiness for the electrified transport model. Why is there a striking gap between China and Europe, on one side, and the United States on the other? Is the EV demand growth of recent years sustainable? What role will governments, fuel providers and consumers play in the sector’s future?  

Thursday, 21 March

  • 09:30am - 10:10am (CST) / 21/mar/2024 02:30 pm - 21/mar/2024 03:10 pm

    Quantum Technologies: A gamechanger for energy and climate?

    Digitalization/AI/Machine Learning/Robotics/Cybersecurity

    The term “gamechanger” has nearly become cliché in describing the exciting technologies disrupting the energy ecosystem. But quantum computing might very well warrant its use. Making calculations a billion times faster than a conventional computer, think of the applications for this technology in addressing climate change. From longer-use battery technology for our electric vehicles to helping farmers plant with less carbon-intensive fertilizer are just two of the many, many ways quantum computing might indeed change the game.

  • 03:30pm - 04:00pm (CST) / 21/mar/2024 08:30 pm - 21/mar/2024 09:00 pm

    Integrating Digital/AI Technologies in the Hydrogen Ecosystem

    The synergy between digital/AI technologies and the hydrogen ecosystem can be critical in the scaling of key operations throughout the hydrogen value chain. Whether in sector coupling, optimization, or end-use simulation, these technologies utilize great potential for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of operations and business models. How do we realize these benefits? What potential blind-spots exist?