I don't believe there is chronic a “disconnect” between thermal management specialists and real world manufacturing the author is pointing to. Most companies I know of (including several where I worked) took into considerations the variations in material properties, assembly process (reflow & on-board thermocouple locations), were considered and bracketed for upper and lower bounds.
There is some relevance to the language issue when communicating design and assembly specs to overseas vendors.
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.