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Solving the propulsion puzzle

Never has vehicle propulsion strategy been so dynamic—and hotly debated—as it is today. And nowhere will engineers working in this space find a better place to learn about future directions than at SAE’s 2019 WCX, the annual World Congress Experience taking place April 9-11 at Detroit’s Cobo Center. 

On the morning of April 11, two back-to-back Leadership Summit panels will deliver top-level insights on engines, transmissions, electrification, fuels, enabling technologies, regulatory challenges, and much more. From 10 to 11:10am, hear and engage with OEM and supplier decision-makers discuss the theme, “Today, Tomorrow, and the Future of Propulsion Systems.” And you’ll want to keep your seat for “Still Not Dead: The ICE’s Continued Evolution” confab that follows from 11:20am-12:30pm.  

Moderating the festivities: SAE Mobility Media editorial director Bill Visnic (the 10am panel), and editor-in-chief Lindsay Brooke (11:20am). Both roundtables take place in The Exchange, a comfortable theater area on the WCX exhibit floor.   

The SAE Leadership Summit discussions cover the “business of technology”—how new approaches are expected to impact the future of mobility. In addition to the popular Propulsion/Powertrain theme, primary topics and events for the WCX ’19 conference include connectivity/HMI and autonomy; regulation; systems engineering and cybersecurity, as well as a CTO roundtable. 

Powertrains Today and Tomorrow 

The macro-trends are clear: increasingly more-efficient and more-affordable electrification technology is available to augment internal combustion. But it can do more than augment, of course: as many world regions increasingly look askance at fossil-fuel emissions and urban air quality, electrification is gaining momentum to completely replace internal combustion—perhaps sooner than ever believed possible. 

Within this global context, OEMs and key suppliers need decide how, when and where electrification makes sense, how it aligns with consumer demand and regulatory oversight and equally important, how to fit it all within a realistic cost- and technology-development framework. 

Sharing their strategic views for this looking-over-the-horizon panel are: Dante Boutell, manager of the Powertrain Division of Toyota Motors North America; David Filipe, Vice President, Powertrain Engineering, Ford; Tim Frazier, Executive Director of Advanced Engineering, Cummins; John Heywood, professor of mechanical engineering and Director of the Sloan Automotive Lab at MIT; John Juriga, Director, Powertrain Systems – Hyundai America Technical Center and Jeff Lux, Head of Transmission Powertrain, FCA - North America. 

ICE’s Not Dead Yet! 

Next comes the disruptors—those determined to extend the life, efficiency, and value of combustion engines. They’re bringing a feast of innovations: Multi-fuel opposed-piston 2-strokes; variable compression ratio solutions, Miller/Atkinson cycles; HCCI and lean-burn methods, rapid-fire cylinder deactivation, next-gen boosting solutions, new fuels—and the return of the Mazda Rotary, to name a few topics you’ll hear.  

“ICE’s Not Dead Yet” drew a packed room at WCX ’18 and this year’s version promises to re-ignite the fire. Experts include Dave Crompton, the new president and CEO of Achates Power; Scott Bailey, CEO of Tula Technologies; Peter Davies C.Eng. FIMechE, senior director powertrain at Garrett Motion Inc.; Dr. Uwe Dieter Grebe of AVL; Masahiro Moro, president and CEO of Mazda North America; and Atsushi Teraji, Ph.D, Deputy General Manager, Nissan Motor Co. 

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