Sergio Marchionne, Bob Lutz, Mary Nichols and George Whitesides Highlight Lineup of Keynote Speakers for SAE International 2013 World Congress

WARRENDALE, Pa., Jan. 17, 2013 - SAE International announces its list of keynote speakers for the SAE 2013 World Congress & Exhibition, slated for April 16-18 at Cobo Center in Detroit.

Sergio Marchionne, Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group LLC, will deliver the keynote address during the SAE World Congress Annual Banquet on Thursday, April 18, in Cobo’s Riverview Ballroom. Marchionne guided Chrysler Group to profitability just two and a half years after it was established in 2009. He has dedicated his career to business turnarounds, transforming conventional organizations by mining their ranks for potential leaders and then inspiring them to achieve. Marchionne also leads the 20-person Fiat Group Executive Council (GEC), Fiat’s highest executive-decision-making body apart from the Board of Directors, and serves as Chief Operating Officer of the GEC's NAFTA Regional Operations Group. In addition, he is Chairman of Fiat Industrial S.p.A. and CNH Global N.V.


Mary D. Nichols, Chairman, California Air Resources Board, will be the Opening Keynote Speaker on Tuesday, April 16 from at 8:30 a.m. in the AVL Technology Leadership Center. Nichols has devoted her entire career in public and nonprofit service to advocating for the environment and public health. In addition to her work at the Air Board, she has served as Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air and Radiation program under President Clinton, Secretary for California's Resources Agency from 1999 to 2003 and Director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles.


George T. Whitesides, CEO and President, Virgin Galactic, will provide the Opening Keynote Address on Wednesday, April 17 from 9-9:45 a.m. in the AVL Technology Leadership Center. Virgin Galactic is the spaceflight company founded by Sir Richard Branson. In his role, Whitesides is responsible for guiding all aspects of the company to the launch of commercial operations in the United States and a proposed spaceport in Abu Dhabi. This includes oversight of The Spaceship Company, a manufacturing entity to produce additional space vehicles. Virgin Galactic currently has deposits from more than 550 individuals for its spaceflight experience, as well as preliminary agreements with satellite operators to launch as many as hundreds of small satellites.


Robert A. (Bob) Lutz, Retired Vice Chairman, General Motors Company, will provide the Opening Keynote Address on Thursday, April 18 from 9-9:45 a.m. in the AVL Technology Leadership Center. Lutz is president and chief executive officer of Lutz Communication, counting among its clients General Motors Company from which he retired May 1, 2010 as vice chairman after a 47-year career in the global automotive industry that included senior leadership positions at BMW, Ford and Chrysler.

“We are proud to offer the SAE World Congress this outstanding lineup of keynote speakers,” said Mircea Gradu, Chrysler Group LLC Vice President and Head of Transmission, Powertrain and Driveline Engineering and Head of Virtual Tools Analysis. “Sergio’s acumen is legendary and his refreshing frankness enlightens; George Whitesides will speak to the limitless innovation in the future frontiers of space; Mary Nichols will focus on the responsibilities we all face in terms of the environment; and Bob Lutz is an industry icon who brings a tremendous insight.”

For more information about the SAE 2013 World Congress, visit; to request press credentials, call 1-724-772-8522 or email .

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

SAE International is a global association of more than 133,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International's core competencies are life-long learning and voluntary consensus standards development. SAE International's charitable arm is the SAE Foundation, which supports many programs, including A World In Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series.


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