Episode 121 - Reinventing the Wheel with Carbon Fiber

The team at Carbon Revolution is going against some age-old advice—they’re reinventing the wheel. And they’re seeing results.

Back in 2004, Dr. Ashley Denmead, Chief Technology Officer and Founder of Carbon Revolution, was part of the Formula SAE team at Deakin University in Australia. After building a too-heavy car the year prior, Ashley and his engineering team looked to save weight in the wheels. Their idea? Build them out of carbon fiber.

Thus, the journey of Carbon Revolution began. Today, the company designs and manufactures some of the world’s most technically advanced and highest performing wheels on the planet, and one of the most advanced lightweight technologies on any car. There are more than 50,000 Carbon Revolution wheels on the road today, including on vehicles such as the Ford GT and the Ferrari F8 Spider.

From four guys in a garage to 550 people in a 10,000 square-meter facility with Ford, Ferrari and General Motors among its customers, Carbon Revolution proves anything is possible with passion. Hear from Dr. Ashley Denmead on the company’s journey to success and the future of lightweight carbon fiber applications.

Meet Our Guest

Chief Technology Officer and Founder, Carbon Revolution

Dr. Ashley Denmead is the Chief Technology Officer and a Founder of Carbon Revolution. Ashley holds a double degree in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, and a PhD in composite materials at the Deakin University Centre for Materials and Fibre Innovation. Ashley was involved in the first one-piece carbon fibre wheels as an undergraduate student between 2004-07, when he led Deakin University’s Formula SAE-A team. He and his classmates designed and manufactured lightweight wheels for the FSAE-A race car, with the aim of improving the car’s performance by increasing efficiency. The project attracted a lot of attention, and in 2007 Carbon Revolution was founded with the purpose of bringing disruptive efficiency technology to all vehicles.

Since then, Ashley has progressed from a technical specialist to become the company’s CTO. In this role, he oversees responsibility for all engineering programs, product performance and R&D activities. He is listed as an inventor on all of Carbon Revolution’s patents (over 55). In nearly 15 years of operation, Carbon Revolution has progressed from single prototypes to designing and manufacturing wheels at scale for some of the most prestigious brands in the world including Ferrari, Ford, General Motors and Renault.

Our Host


Innovation Strategist & Co-Founder, Brulte & Company

Grayson Brulte is an autonomous mobility advisor and consultant who provides strategic counsel and political insights to help clients navigate what’s next.

As an SAE strategic partner since 2017, Grayson brings his in-depth industry knowledge to host SAE Tomorrow Today. His unique perspective factors in economics, politics and technology into one-of-kind weekly conversations with innovators changing mobility and its impact on society.

Grayson is a thought-leader who regularly provides insights to publications including Bloomberg, Reuters, The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter and Forbes. His written opinions and insights have been featured by organizations including the Consumer Technology Association in presentations to the Federal Trade Commission.

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