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SAE 2016 Range Extenders for Electric Vehicles Symposium Keynote Speakers Announced

WARRENDALE, Pa., Sept. 25, 2016 - SAE 2016 Range Extenders for Electric Vehicles Symposium today announced its keynote speakers for the November 2-3 event in Knoxville, Tennessee. On both days, executives from General Motors, Wrightspeed and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will share insights on finding a suitable solution for alleviating drivers’ range anxiety.

Mark Verbrugge is the Director of the Chemical Sciences and Materials Systems Laboratory at General Motors. He started his General Motors career in 1986 with GM Research Labs after receiving his doctorate in chemical engineering from the College of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1996, Verbrugge was awarded a Sloan Fellowship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received an MBA. In 1997, Verbrugge joined GM's Advanced Technology Vehicles as Chief Engineer for Energy Management Systems. In 2002, he rejoined the GM Research Labs as Director of the Materials and Processes Lab. The lab was later expanded in scope and is now the Chemical and Materials Systems Laboratory. Verbrugge has published and patented in topic areas associated with electroanalytical methods, polymer electrolytes, advanced batteries and supercapacitors, fuel cells, high-temperature air-to-fuel-ratio sensors, surface coatings, compound semiconductors, and various manufacturing processes related to automotive applications of structural materials. Verbrugge is a Board Member of the U.S. Automotive Materials Partnership LLC and the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium LLC, and an adjunct professor for the Department of Physics, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Ian Wright is the Founder & CEO of Wrightspeed. With over 20 years of high-tech engineering and management experience, Wright has ushered in an era of electric transportation. As founder of Wrightspeed, Co-founder of Tesla Motors and creator of the X1- the fastest street legal electric vehicle in the world, Ian has continued to fuse his passion for racing with his technical curiosity. At Wrightspeed, Ian has successfully built a company that uniquely meets ever-increasing market demands.

His senior executive experience at Tesla Motors, Altamar Networks, Cisco, and NET has enabled him to shape a first-class team at Wrightspeed, patent three products in the last few years, steadily secure funding to scale production, and land a number of early customers including FedEx. Through Ian's leadership, Wrightspeed is expanding clean transportation opportunities across the globe. Wrightspeed's electric powertrains are the next step in the evolution of vehicle propulsion.

Michael Berube is the Vehicle Technologies Office Director at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). He leads initiatives and programs that help reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and secure a clean energy future. The Vehicle Technologies Office supports research for hybrid drivetrains, advanced batteries, lightweight materials, advanced combustion and fuels, vehicle systems integration, and Clean Cities deployment activities.

He brings more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry to his EERE post, specifically in the areas of environmental compliance, energy and safety policy, product development and marketing. He has worked on a broad range of electric vehicle, connected car and advanced powertrain initiatives. Michael also led multiple environmental and energy initiatives within the Chrysler Corporation.

Michael has a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from MIT. He later returned to MIT as both a graduate student and researcher where he received a master’s degree in the Technology and Policy Program and a master’s degree from the Sloan School of Management. He was recognized for his early work on corporate sustainability and led research for the MIT International Motor Vehicle Program.

SAE 2016 Range Extenders for Electric Vehicles Symposium will offer a rich attendee experience, comprised of a two-day conference program exploring the role of engines and novel prime movers on extending the range of electric vehicles. This unique event will focus on powertrain and fuel opportunities and challenges, policy and regulation driving designs, infrastructure and the advances in range extender technology. For more information about the event, the conference program, or to register, please visit

To request media credentials, email or call 1-724-772-8522.

SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting more than 127,000 engineers and technical experts, we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our philanthropic SAE Foundation, including programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™.

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