SAE 2014 Convergence

October 21-22, 2014

Detroit, Michigan, USA

COBO Center

External Transfer Trends

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Organized by Harald Wilhelm

With the trend to more driver assistance functions in automotive applications, the requirements for those technologies become more similar to other industries like aerospace, military or IT. In this session we will to compare the requirements and processes of these industries to the automotive industry. We will have representatives from automotive and adjacent industries to debate the future of the automobile and predict which industries will be transferring its technology to the automobile.

Harald Wilhelm, Continental AG
Towards Highly Automated Driving

Michael Heimrath, BMW Research and Technology
Industrie 4.0

Brett Hillhouse, IBM
Tejas Desai, Continental
Christine Tovee, Airbus
Todd Kovach, Garmin OEM Automotive Group
Elliot Garbus, Intel Corporation


Harald Wilhelm Harald Wilhelm
Head of Quality Program & Systems, NAFTA
Automotive Quality
Continental AG

Harald Wilhelm was born in Kaiserslautern, Germany in 1963. He is holding a Masters Degree (Dipl.-Ing) in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

He started his professional career as a Powertrain embedded software engineer at VDO in Schwalbach, Germany in 1989 developing engine controllers for Mercedes-Benz.

In 1995, he moved to the US and joined ITT Teves in Auburn Hills, MI. Here he held several positions with increasing responsibilities in the development of electronic brake systems. Today, Harald is responsible for Process-, Project- and Knowledge-Management as well as for the Quality-Management-System and the ISO/TS16949 audits and certification for Continental Automotive NAFTA.

Since 2007, Harald is a dual citizen of the US and Germany. He is married and has two children.


Michael Heimrath Michael Heimrath
BMW Research and Technology
Head of Projects Connected Drive

Michael Heimrath was born in Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany in 1958. He studied engineering at University of applied science in Munich from 1979 to 1984.

After graduating from university he started his professional carrier at BMW Group in the department of Mechatronics testing. In 1987 he became Head of night design and head of lights test where he firstly came in contact with display systems.

After four years as manager of communication and information systems he started as head of display systems night design. Three years later, he became responsible for cockpit integration.

In 2003 Heimrath started a new direction in the Value interior sector which gave him profound knowledge of BMW interior systems. From 2006 until 2011 he was responsible for the functional accountability display systems. In 2011 he started his recent function as Head of Projects ConnectedDrive at BMW Group Research and Technology with the focus on Driving Simulation & Usabilty, Sensors & Input-/Output Devices, Human-Machine-Interface, Cockpit 20+, Active Safety & Cognition and Driving Assistance & Perception.

Tejas Desai Tejas Desai
Head of Interior Electronics Solutions, North America
Interior Division
Continental AG

Tejas Desai was born in Rajkot, India in 1965. He studied Electrical Engineering with specialization in RF / Microwave Electronics at Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA.

He started his professional career as a RF Design engineer at Optimax Inc. in Hatfield, PA in 1987 and focused primarily on designing RF electronic components. In 1992, he shifted his focus to electronic product design for the automotive industry and helped develop various products. Among them are the receivers along with the standards for the Remote Keyless Entry systems that he developed at Ford Motor Company and advanced bi-directional remote control systems for TRW.

In 1997, he joined Siemens Automotive, the then automotive division of Siemens in Auburn Hills, MI. He was responsible for of building up business and the local capability to develop wireless products for the Body Electronics business field. He was instrumental in Siemens Automotive winning their first keyless vehicle program in North America and he led the team successfully in this endeavor. In 2002, he was appointed to lead Wireless Product Development in North America for the Body & Security business unit of Siemens VDO Automotive including global responsibility for Immobilizer and Reader products.

In November 2008, following the acquisition of Siemens VDO by Continental in 2007, he was appointed to lead Interior Electronics Solutions for the emerging market in India and in November 2009 appointed to lead Interior Electronics Solutions for entire Asia. In his role as Head of Interior Electronics Solutions for Asia, he is responsible for system development, innovation and strategy of/in the Interior division to adapt and customize Continental technologies for the Asian market, and the Affordable Car activities within the Interior Division of Continental.

Since October 2012, Tejas has returned to the United States and appointed to lead Interior Electronics Solutions for North America while continuing his responsibilities with the Affordable Car activities within the Interior Division of Continental.

Over the different roles in his career, Tejas has been awarded over 40 patents with multiple patents and trade secrets pending.

Tejas Desai is married since 1989 with one daughter, aged 14. In his free time, he enjoys outings with his family and watching American Football.

Brett Hillhouse Brett Hillhouse
WW Automotive Executive

Mr. Hillhouse is responsible for IBM's Rational Automotive solutions and consulting. His 20 years of Automotive and Aerospace experience includes product development engagements at global OEM's and Tier 1 suppliers. The scope of these engagements include reengineering of requirements and systems engineering, software model driven development and data management for the full product development lifecycle. Previously, Mr. Hillhouse has held several industry and PLM leadership positions at IBM and Siemens PLM (formerly SDRC).

Mr. Hillhouse holds a BS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University.

Christine Tovee Christine Tovee
Vice President, Research and Technology
Head of the Corporate Technical Office (CTO)
Airbus Group, Inc.

Christine Tovee was appointed Vice President for Research and Technology and Head of the Corporate Technical Office (CTO) for Airbus Group, Inc. She is responsible for defining the technology needs of this business unit and delivering US-based research for the entire company. Christine is based on the campus of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA and travels frequently to maintain a national network of research partnerships.

Previously, she had completed a three-year tenure as Chief of Staff to the EADS Chief Technical Officer based in Munich. She first joined EADS, now Airbus Group through Paradigm Secure Communications in 2005. She took on the responsibility of the Technical Manager for the Joint Network Integration Body (JNIB). JNIB was a joint customer-industry team developing practical solutions to integration and inter-operability issues to achieve a seamless data and communications network capability across the battlespace for the UK MoD. JNIB is a novel initiative that encourages engineering by collaboration across different organisations and systems. Next, she was seconded to Astrium Services in Paris to look at future technical strategies in the areas of Ka Band Satellite Telecommunications and services related to Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). During that time, she frequently returned to the UK to chair the sub-group on Integration, Standards and Interoperability for the UK MoD Capability Investigation on UAS. She also completed an learning expedition to Brazil to evaluate the local research environment in 2011.

Prior to joining Paradigm, Christine spent five years with BAE SYSTEMS on the Sigma Fast Track Management Scheme. During this period, she fulfilled several technical and system engineering roles on a diverse group of projects, both in the UK and the USA including C4ISTAR projects, avionics, helicopter flight controls, ground based air defence and combat systems for ships.

Christine holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc) degree in engineering science from the University of Toronto and a Masters (MSc) in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also completed graduate courses in the Technology and Policy programme at MIT. As part of her research work, she developed an experiment that later flew on the NASA Neurolab Space Shuttle mission.

Christine grew up in Canada with roots in both the East and West sides of the country. She lived in the United Kingdom for eight years and then Paris for 2 years. She now holds dual Canadian and British citizenship.

Her interests include complex systems, extreme sports, art, mountains, basketball and travel. She speaks French fluently as well as English, as well as some German. In the autumn of 2009, she completed an expedition to summit Mt Kilimanjaro via the Western Breach route.

Todd Kovach Todd Kovach
Automotive Key Account Executive
Garmin OEM Automotive Group

Mr. Kovach has been involved in Marketing & Sales of Automotive Electronics for over 36 years.

He joined Garmin OEM Automotive Group in 2010 and is responsible for business development of Garmin branded navigation software, navigation modules and complete infotainment systems for Detroit based OEM accounts.

Before joining Garmin he held the position of Vice President & General Manager at Alpine Electronics Inc. for 8 years, responsible for the operation of the Detroit Automotive Business Unit which included business development, product engineering, system & component validation testing, program management, material requirements planning and P&L for OEM Infotainment Systems, Premium Branded Audio Systems and Integrated Center Stack Display products for customers such as Chrysler, Ford & General Motors.

Elliot Garbus Elliot Garbus
Vice President, Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions Group
General Manager, Transportation Solutions Division
Intel Corporation

Elliot Garbus is vice president of the Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions Group and general manager of the Transportation Solutions Division for Intel Corporation. He is responsible for delivering Intel's vision for connected cars spanning from In-Vehicle-Infotainment and autonomous driving, to intelligent transportation systems.

Previously, Garbus was vice president of the Software and Services Group and general manager of Business Planning & Marketing for the System Software Division. In this role he was responsible for software technology strategy, Intel's software development platforms, and establishing a new cross-device open-software platform. Garbus has been general manager of the Visual Computing Software Division delivering programs and developing software products to enhance Intel visual computing capabilities, and prior to that he was general manager of the Developer Relations Division, working with developers to demonstrate and showcase the capability of Intel platforms.

Garbus joined Intel in 1988 and has held positions in general management as well as management positions in processor and platform architecture, new product planning and application engineering. He holds 15 patents relating to microprocessor system design.

Garbus received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester.