Eric Aldstadt, Head of Automotive Engineering - North America and Latin America North
Hybrid Body Panels with Structural Foam Reinforcements Enable Significant Weight Reduction in Automotive Engineering

Eric Aldstadt is Head of North American Engineering for Automotive Acoustics and Structurals at Henkel. His technical responsibility encompasses Henkel’s automotive A&S portfolio from design concept, tooling and validation, through vehicle launch and post-production. Previous to this role, Eric lived in Shanghai, China to lead Henkel’s A&S business in Asia-Pacific. He started his career at Henkel as a Research and Development Chemist. Aldstadt earned his MS in Mechanical Engineering from Pittsburg State University and his MBA from Lawrence Technological University.


April BagleySystem Responsible – Body Electro-Mechanical
FCA / Jeep Wrangler

April Bagley has over 29 years of experience in body design and product development including extensive experience in executing vehicle programs from concept to launch. She is currently the Senior Manager for Body Electro-Mechanical Systems for FCA US LLC. Previously, she was the Wrangler Body Manager (Project Responsible). In this role she was responsible for managing the design and development of body components for the Wrangler, including management of functional objectives, cost, weight, quality and launch execution. Ms. Bagley holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Manufacturing from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from the University of Michigan.


Jason Balzer, Technical Leader
Ford Motor Company
Lightweight Structures, Joining, & BEV Battery Structures

Jason Balzer has worked at Ford for 22 years. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University, and a MS in Engineering Management from the University of Michigan.

He began his career at Ford in the Advanced Vehicle Technology organization in 1997, working on new lightweight technologies. Jason has spent half of his career in Ford’s Advanced areas working on new technologies to reduce the weight &/or improve the efficiency of the Body In White. He has also held a number of positions as a Body Structures Program Design & Release Engineer. In 2012, his focus returned to lightweight technologies as a Body Structures Technical Specialist.

Jason holds 20 patents and has received the Henry Ford Technology Award 3 times, during his career at Ford. His current position is Body Structures Technical Leader for Lightweight Structures and Joining. In this role, he and his team are responsible for developing lightweight materials & technologies to help meet the future Body Structure performance targets.


Paul Beach, President         
Octillion Power Systems
Advances in Li ion Battery Technology to Reduce Cost and Weight

Mr. Beach is currently the President of Octillion Power Systems and SinoEV Technologies. Prior to Octillion, Mr. Beach served as President of Quallion LLC where he worked for 12 years in advanced power systems. Key market segments served: medical, military, aerospace and green tech. Mr. Beach joined Quallion in February 2001 and ultimately assumed control over all business development functions, including marketing and sales, program management and customer support. Prior to joining the Quallion team, Mr. Beach was a Bay Area litigator specializing in representing multinational corporations in complex intellectual property disputes. Mr. Beach is proficient in Japanese and holds a B.A. from Colby College, a J.D. from University of Maine Law School, and a L.L.M. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Specialties: Knowledge of the li ion battery market for medical, miliitary, aerospace and vehicle batteries, including HEV, EV, PHEV batteries.


Kai-Peter Berndt, Sales
Composite Lightweighting Solutions for Driveline Systems

Kai-Peter Berndt brings 20+ years of extensive experience in the automotive and powersports industries in Germany and USA. Since 2015, his Milwaukee based company Powersports Consulting LLC specializes on high performance components in engine & driveline development. He represents technology leading manufacturers from Europe, e.g. DYNEXA – carbon fiber filament winding specialist from Germany. For DYNEXA he is the exclusive US sales agent and program manager for OEM and aftermarket products like carbon fiber driveshafts, axle shafts and a variety of additional component solutions.


Riad ChaayaGlobal Product Line Director Liftgates
Magna International
Lightweight Thermoplastic Liftgates

As Global Product Line Director of Composite Liftgates, Riad Chaaya is responsible for the development of liftgate technology and innovations in support of Magna customers all over the world. Chaaya has 24 years of international management and automotive experience in process engineering, manufacturing, plastic injection processing and tooling, design and exterior and interior product development. He has lived and worked in eight countries and holds two patents in composites for lightweighting and pedestrian safety.

Chaaya held previous roles with Magna Exteriors as Global Technical Director of Composite Liftgates and Director of Business Development. Before joining Magna in 2015, he spent 16 years with Plastic Omnium and four years with Tarxien.

Riad Chaaya graduated in 1995 from the University of Toronto with a degree in Applied Science and Mechanical Engineering.


Thomas ClearyReliability Manager, Auto Glass Solutions, Corning Automotive Glass         
Corning Incorporated
Lightweighting Opportunities in Glazing

Thomas Cleary is reliability manager, Auto Glass Solutions, Corning Automotive Glass. Tom’s work for Corning has focused on auto glazing and other glass related programs since he joined the company in 2010.

Tom has more than 20 years of experience in the auto glazing industry. Prior to joining Corning, Tom spent 15 years at Ford Motor Co.’s Glass Division/Visteon/ACH LLC/Zeledyne Corp., where he specialized in the area of glazing robustness and reliability. He was named Technical Fellow while at Visteon, and served as manager of Advanced Technology, Research & Development for Zeledyne.

Tom holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in ceramic engineering from Alfred University. He also holds a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Detroit Mercy.


Bruce Colter, Vice President & General Manager, North America
Automotive Engine Components Designed & Optimized by Additive Manufacturing

During his 25-year career in the digital manufacturing ecosystem, Bruce Colter has held senior leadership positions and demonstrated a proven record of accomplishment in growing and rebuilding companies in 3D Printing, Advanced Manufacturing and SCM/ERP/ MES on a global basis. With a keen understanding of sales & marketing, operations, media and advanced manufacturing business models, Mr. Colter has established a worldwide network of professional relationships at leading OEM, Consulting and Service Provider companies.

Most recently, Bruce Colter led the North American Additive Manufacturing, Sales & Marketing and Corporate Strategy effort at FIT-America, a subsidiary of FIT AG. Responsibility for two (2) FIT-America offices & staff in NA (Peoria and Boston). Prior to FIT, he held a similar role at Linear AMS and doubled revenues YOY for 5 years, then orchestrated the selection of an Investment Banker for the sale process leading to Moog’s acquisition of Linear Mold & Engineering (now Linear AMS) in 2016. At FIT, Bruce brought his unique skills in executive- level operations, strategic planning, sales & marketing for increasing revenues (8X) and growing sales opportunities (20X) while reporting to the Founder & CEO.

At Colter & Associates, Mr. Colter pioneered the virtual consulting concept using C&A's network of over 200 associates providing value-add solutions to specific client requirements. Under his direction, the Organizational Development and Executive Search (ODES) partnership expanded to address 7 vertical industries and application needs including software & 3D Printing. Client demand created additional opportunities in capital formation, M&A as well as turnaround & divestiture work over the years.

Mr. Colter was President of EMEA's Operations for 3 years (based in Dublin Ireland) for Computer Products, Inc., a $100 million public company. While at Computer Products, Inc. (CPI), Mr. Colter was instrumental in starting up two divisions - Computer Products Research Corporation (Systems) and the EMEA Division. He also supervised CPI's sales, marketing, and business development departments. Prior to CPI, Mr. Colter served in field & corporate sales, marketing, and product planning areas for Honeywell Incorporated and Leeds & Northrup, a unit of General Signal.

Mr. Colter received a B.S. in General Engineering (Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering) from the University of Illinois and is an MBA graduate of The University of Chicago's Booth General Management Program. Bruce and his wife Heidi are recent empty- nesters and enjoy outdoor activities, sports & travel from Benton Harbor, MI.


Dr. Matt EnloeSenior Technical Manager         
Performance Optimization of AHSS with Controlled Niobium Additions

Matt’s expertise centers on physical and mechanical metallurgy of advanced steels and alloy design for product/process optimization.  He holds both a BS and MS in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a PhD in Metallurgical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.  He is also a licensed professional engineer in the State of Michigan.  Prior to joining CBMM in 2018, Matt held positions in both product development and process metallurgy most recently at General Motors, and prior, at Severstal NA, and Caterpillar. 


Dr. Joy Forsmark, Technical Expert, Metals Additive Manufacturing        
Ford Motor Company
Metal Additive Manufacturing in Automotive: Challenges and Opportunities

Joy Forsmark has been a technical expert in light metals at the Ford Motor Company Research and Advanced Engineering Laboratories in Dearborn, MI since 1999. Joy has worked on numerous Ford research programs on the mechanical properties, processing methods and performance simulation for Al and Mg components in both powertrain and automotive body applications. Currently, she works in the Additive Manufacturing Research Group leading efforts in 3D printing for metals to understand process/properties relationships for material behavior under a variety of modalities, including laser powder bed, binder-sintering, and direct deposition technologies. Joy received her B.S. in Materials Science from Rice University and M.S. and PhD. Degrees in Materials Science from the University of California, San Diego.


Michael Hartrick, Director, Fuel Economy & Climate
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
Policy Perspective - U.S. Fuel Economy Regulations and Their Implications for Lightweighting

Mike Hartrick is currently in his fourth year as the Director of Fuel Economy & Climate for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade association representing light-duty vehicle manufacturers with approximately 70% U.S. market share. His duties include assessing current and proposed fuel economy and greenhouse gas policy and regulations, and organizing and communicating industry positions on them. He previously worked for FCA for over 16 years with experience in regulatory affairs, powertrain testing, and emission testing. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Michigan Technological University.


Dr. Kidambi S. Kannan, Technical Manager
AutoForm Engineering
Tailoring Part Properties towards Light Weighting – A Digital Engineering Perspective

Kidambi Kannan is Technical Manager with AutoForm Engineering USA. His responsibilities include the role of technical specialist, and training management. Following a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, Kidambi joined EASi Engineering as a Project Engineer, and eventually served as Project Manager for sheet metal forming projects. Kidambi joined AutoForm Engineering USA, Inc. in 2002 as Technical Manager, and has been intimately involved in the rapid and industry-wide expansion of AutoForm’s presence over the past 16+ years.


Brad LethornEngineering Program Manager         
Carbon Revolution

Mr. Brad Lethorn,  Engineering Program Manager for Carbon Revolution, is responsible for the application of one piece carbon fiber wheels for USA OEM customers.  Mr. Lethorn has 20+ years of experience with engineering, design and development of aluminum body OEM base brakes and high-performance braking systems.  He was also an Engineering Manager for 10 of the 20 years, where he had the pleasure of leading teams of talented engineers to be the best version of themselves through the development of thriving team environments.  Brad has 6 awarded patents, 5 pending and is always working hard to strive for continuous improvement via new technology innovation with a focus on customer application.


Joe Matecki, Product Manager - Innovation         
SHAPE Corporation
The Lightweighting Past and Future of Bumper Beams

Joe Matecki is an 18-year veteran of the automotive industry, with a primary focus on product development engineering of structural and crash energy management components. In addition, Joe has led innovation efforts centered on applying advanced materials and processes aimed at vehicle lightweighting. His time at Shape has resulted in numerous patent awards in bumper beams, battery trays and body-in-white components. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Grand Valley State University.


James McCutcheon, Manufacturing Applications, 3D Printing
Using Additive Manufacturing to Enable Lattice Structures for Automotive Lightweighting

James works with 3D printing partners and customers to create products that capture the value of HP's Multi Jet Fusion technology. His background is in mechatronics and mechanical design, with a focus on automotive applications.


John McElroy, President
AutoLine TV
The Auto Industry is About to Go Upside Down

John McElroy is the host of “Autoline Daily” the first industry webcast of industry news and analysis. He is also the host of the television program “Autoline This Week,” an Emmy Award-winning, weekly half-hour discussion program featuring top automotive executives and journalists. McElroy also hosts “Autoline After Hours,” the first regularly scheduled live webcast about the industry. The shows can be seen online at www.autolinedetroit.tv McElroy also broadcasts five radio segments daily on WWJ Newsradio 950, the CBS affiliate in Detroit. He writes a monthly op-ed article for Ward’s Auto World.

His past experience includes five years at Detroit Editor for Road & Track, and as the American correspondent for World Cars, which was published by the Automotive Club of Italy. He was also invited to write the annual automotive entry for the Encyclopedia Britannica Yearbook. He spent most of his career at the trade magazine Automotive Industries where he ultimately rose to Editorial Director. McElroy was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall Of Fame in 2018.


Dr. Matthew Menyo, Product and R&D Manager, Materials Development
Validated Digital Manufacturing Applications and Materials for Automotive

Carbon unites advances in hardware, software, and molecular science to enable digital manufacturing solutions. Matthew Menyo leads New Product Development for Carbon's Materials team, creating innovative new resins for the consumer, automotive, aerospace, and industrial sectors. 

Matthew received a B.S. in Materials Science from Penn State and a graduate degree in Bioengineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, completing his PhD with Professor Craig Hawker. He has worked on projects ranging from polyolefin/clay nanocomposites to dynamic covalent hydrogels to photopatterned polymer brushes, and is passionate about bringing this experience to Carbon, to create a future fabricated by light. 


Rob Nelson, VP Sales and Marketing         
Almag Aluminum
Extrusion Profiles for EV Battery Box Design

Rob Nelson is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Almag Aluminum of Brampton, Ontario, and an active member of the Aluminum Extruders Council’s Automotive Team.  Rob has a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology from McMaster University and now leads a team to support todays extrusion design challenges.


Cory Ryner, Chief Technology & Strategy Officer
Busche Performance Group
Lightweight Suspensions

Cory Ryner is Chief Technology & Strategy Officer at the Busche Performance Group (BPG) Technical Center in Southfield Michigan.  Through the years in automotive chassis and powertrain his teams have been responsible for a multitude of Tier 1, vertically integrated lightweight chassis solutions and several key conversions from cast iron to aluminum.  Amongst them have been both the GM Full Size Truck/SUV and Ford F150 Front Knuckle conversions to aluminum.  Utilizing the latest in CAD/CAE and Simulation Tools for product design and validation testing he continues to lead his engineering teams to drive continued optimization in lightweight components for automotive and commercial truck. 

Cory is a 21-year industry veteran, serving in Engineering and Management roles with Metaldyne and Diversified Machine Inc. And Royal Oak Industries.  He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Technology from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.


Allen Sorgenfrei, Senior Engineer

Lightweight Seating: Maintaining Comfort & Safety as Feature Content Increases

Allen Sorgenfrei has worked in the automotive seating industry for over 20 years.  He studied electrical and mechanical engineering at Michigan Technological University.  Working at JCI, Ford and Tachi-S in Germany, China and the U. S., he has experience in complete seat, structures, mechanisms, manufacturing engineering and advanced development.


Adrian Tautscher, Principal Technical Specialist – Applications
Impression Technologies Ltd         

Hot Form Quench (HFQ®) Aluminium Sheet Technology

Adrian Tautscher has over 23 years of experience in the automotive sector, working directly for OEM’s and in the supply chain. Adrian joined ITL in October 2017 as Principal Technical Specialist - Applications to apply his knowledge and understanding into a new growth sector to further build on the benefits that the hot stamped aluminium HFQ® technology process is bringing with cost effective, lightweight production of vehicle structures in the automotive and transport sectors.

Adrian previously worked at Jaguar Land Rover for 15 years, initially as Group Leader for the Materials Engineering Body-in-White/Corrosion Teams that led the introduction of new materials into a new generation of lightweight aluminium body architectures starting with the aluminium body structured Jaguar XJ in 2003. Adrian progressed to become Group Leader for Sustainable Aluminium Strategies at JLR, leading the original REALCAR (Recycled Aluminium Car) project, as a £2 million part UK Government funded research project. This progressed on to the REALCAR 2 next phase research project launched in February 2013. These projects developed recycling strategies based on production scrap and End-of-Life recycling. A new recycled tolerant aluminium alloy was developed and introduced to the complete range of aluminium bodied Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. This created additional revenue through optimised recycling and saved CO2 in the production of the aluminium. Adrian launched the third phase project in 2017 with the £2 million Innovate UK REALITY (Recycled Aluminium through Innovative Technology) project. Adrian continues to work on recycling/Circular Economy initiatives.

Adrian has previously held positions at Lotus Engineering and British Steel. At Lotus, based in the Materials and Processes Department, Adrian provided manufacturing and materials support for both Lotus and client projects.  This included developing 'up front' manufacturing feasibility on vehicle programmes from clay models or renderings of the vehicle exterior relating to metallic materials.  At the British Steel (Tata) Welsh Technology Centre Adrian’s role in the Press Forming Technology Section started as Graduate Trainee, progressed through to Project Leader and then on to Section Head. The role supported British Steel’s customers in resolving technical issues relating to press performance, covering both UK and overseas operations. Adrian holds a Degree in Mechanical Engineering.


Kristen TeboPLT Applications Lab Manager
Coherent, Inc.
Advancements in Joining of Challenging Lightweighting Materials Using Tailored Beam Fiber Lasers

Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and Masters in Material Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan. Graduate work affiliated with the Center for Ultrafast Lasers at UofM. Industrial material science work at Coherent with product portfolio lasers including the Highlight ARM for joining advanced lightweighting materials and other challenging applications.


Adam Thomas, Development Engineer R&D
AC Floby AB
Aluminum Composite Brakes: Lightweight, No Rust, Low Emissions

Adam Thomas is leading the engineering work at Automotive Components Floby for development of lightweight aluminum metal matrix composite (MMC) brake solutions. Prior to this, Adam have held a series of project manager positions within the European automotive industry, both at Tier-1 and OEM level. His project portfolio consists of successful projects within product development and production industrialization, giving him an ability to combine innovative technical solutions with a healthy business sense. Adam holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from University of Chalmers.


David TuckerLeader of Automotive Strategy & Production Development
Using Additive Manufacturing to Enable Lattice Structures for Automotive Lightweighting

David Tucker leads the automotive strategy and production development for HP's 3D Print business. Specializing in production systems and design for manufacturability, he uses problem-solving to eliminate failures before they occur. Previously David held multiple roles in the automotive industry, leading functions in advanced engineering, product engineering, project management, and asset procurement.


John Tyson II, PEFounder and President         
Trilion Quality Systems
Coupon to Crash: Improved Understanding of Materials & Structures with Optical Methods

John Tyson II, PE is the founder and president of Trilion Quality Systems, a manufacturer and developer of advanced optical measurement systems. He has more than 35 years’ experience in the field of laser based and optical inspection methods of holography, shearography, digital image correlation and photogrammetry, has eight patents in the field, developing test applications for the B2 and Space Shuttle. He is a graduate of Duke University with a BSE in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and is a professional engineer. He lectures extensively, has written and reviewed peer-reviewed journal articles, and chaired association committees.  He authored Optical Leaking Testing Method in MIL-STD-883. Mr. Tyson is co-founder of the Laser Methods Group of ASNT (American Society for Nondestructive Testing).  He has also worked on ASTM & iDICs committees for furthering the standards in the industry.


Dr. Leslie Wolschleger, Vice President, Research & Development
Sika Automotive
Bonding Technologies for Multi-Material Vehicle Body & NVH Reduction

Dr. Leslie Wolschleger is the Vice President, Research & Development responsible for development of acoustic baffles, structural reinforcers, structural adhesives and other automotive products. She joined Sika in 2006 as a Research Scientist and has had a number of responsibilities, including global leadership for Sika’s parts business comprising of thermoplastic baffles, structural reinforcements and acoustic dampers. During her tenure, she also led a team in discovering and implementing new chemical building blocks for use in both existing and new adhesive products for the automotive market. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Michigan State University.