Sustainability: The New Frontier for Innovation

September 19-21, 2023 | Schaumburg, Illinois

Working Together for a Greener Tomorrow

Every year, commercial vehicle engineers from around the globe rely on COMVEC™ to discover the latest technology trends in internal combustion engines, autonomous vehicles, new powertrain options and more. At COMVEC, you’ll connect with engineering professionals to network, hear keynotes, and participate in panel discussions on the most important topics impacting the industry,

The technical program changes each year to address those critical topics and is tailored with input from past attendees. In 2023 the education program has been divided into three specialty tracks:

Tuesday – Sustainability for Mobility


Organizers:  Craig Barnes, Rod Beazley, Michael Clement, Danan Dou, Michele Kaiser, Andrew Lund, Jim McCarthy (LEAD), Rob Messina, Navtej Singh, Nishant Singh, David Stout

Renewable & Low Carbon Fuels / Hydrogen – Part 1

This panel is focused on system level solutions for developing future commercial vehicle powertrains using renewable and low carbon fuel and various levels of hybridization.  Life cycle analysis will include well-to-wheels, tank-to-wheels and the economics associated.  Consideration will be given to the total carbon emitted to the environment by making the fuels and then using the fuels in vehicles.  The GHG emitted to make the fuels (diesel, hydrogen, natural gas, bio-fuels, others, etc.) can vary based on manufacturing processes.  For example, hydrogen can be produced using many processes including coal, natural gas, wind, solar, etc. all of which have a different GHG footprints.  Moving to the vehicle side, system level solutions are needed to enable fuel efficient vehicles while minimizing the GHG emissions.  Hybridization can play a role for maximizing efficiency and minimizing emissions, as will full electric vehicles.  The mix of solutions including ICE, hybrids, fuel cells, and BEVs will be discussed.  Session 1 is focused on OEMs as they consider trade-offs for various system level solutions while addressing the well-to-wheels, tank-to-wheels and ability to meet future emission regulations and Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) goals.  The combination of both sessions will provide a broad view for maximizing vehicle efficiency while understanding the total impact from each solution.

Renewable & Low Carbon Fuels / Hydrogen (to include Net Zero and Future Zero) – Part 2

Session 2 is focused on producing the fuels and making them readily available to commercial vehicle consumers.

Electrification and Carbon Neutrality

Electrification is being adopted in automotive and transportation industry as one of the pathways for carbon neutrality. The solutions range from internal combustion engine hybridization to all electric drivelines powered by batteries and fuel cells. The challenges are numerous, while for Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) charging infrastructure, grid capacity, raw material availability, battery fast charging and its thermal management are some of the key barriers, for Fuel Cells Electric Vehicle (FCEV) its hydrogen extraction, distribution, and cost among other factors. However, at the same time government infrastructure spending, policy incentives, advancements in battery technology, smart and micro grids are lowering some of these barriers. In this session, you will hear from cross-industry experts on the challenges and opportunities with electrification to achieve carbon neutrality and outlook with advancements in battery technologies, smart/micro grids, and other critical infrastructure.

Wednesday – Digital & Software Innovation


Organizers:  Mehdi Ahmadian, Paul Behrens, Mike Doseck, Wensi Jin, Michele Kaiser, Satish Kumar (LEAD), Navtej Singh, Stephan Tarnutzer, Dan Williams


Connectivity provides a major shift in the commercial vehicle sector for both on and off highway vehicles. It enables many critical services and provides fleet and business owners with immediate and continuous access to the health, location, and performance of their vehicles. As data, analytics, and machine learning continue to mature, companies will be able to avoid unplanned downtime and operate more efficiently, saving them time and money. The panelists will discuss connected vehicle datasets for engineering staffs, operators, and fleet managers and reflect on the questions: Is there such a thing as too much connected data? What are the key challenges in the connectivity in all segments? How should we think differently about onboard diagnostic and performance signals?

Perpetually Upgradeable Machines

Embedded software is starting to define much of the characteristics of today’s truck and bus as well as off-road machines. Upgradeable apps are making their way onto vehicles and machines thanks to connectivity and HMI systems. With cloud computing and next generation mobile processors, software will open new possibilities that extend machine capabilities, implement embedded AI, and leverage digital twin running in the cloud alongside the machine, among others. As we prepare for this future, what are the first set of services that we can expect to come online? How should an engineering organization evolve its work force and their processes to deliver these services? What are the lessons that the commercial vehicle community can learn from the passenger vehicle industry? This panel session will bring together practitioners from commercial vehicle industries, academia, and government to discuss this future of perpetually upgradable machines.


With the first generation of data driven initiatives having been implemented, the industry is still grappling with what their ultimate strategy should look like. Questions that still need answers are around consolidation and ownership of the platform and the ability to share data across the ecosystem, without compromising on IP. Additionally, questions on who captures the value and what each player in the ecosystem should and shouldn't do.  The panel also deliberates on implications of developments with new sensor technologies and AI in providing better prognostics and product quality improvement.


Thursday – Smart Engineering for Sustainability


Peter Jarrus (LEAD), Michele Kaiser, Chris Mays, Rob Merrion, Charlie Moritz, Navtej Singh

Smart Engineering for Sustainability

A carbon-neutral sustainable future is going to require engineering advancements across a multitude of engineering domains.  Everything from materials to software will need to be considered and it will have to be approached with an eye on systems engineering to ensure that the vehicles and equipment of tomorrow will be sustainable.  Learn from engineering leaders of key commercial vehicle and equipment industry companies on how these challenges are being addressed as part of their engineering innovation.