2021 Theme: Energy, Sustainability, and the Future of Commercial Vehicle Transportation

September 14-16, 2021 | Rosemont, IL or Online

COMVEC™ 2021: Digital and In-Person

Energy Balance and Future Transportation

COMVEC™ has always been the premier North American conference spanning the on-highway, agricultural, construction, industrial, military and mining sectors. While we remain focused on advancing the industry towards increased fuel efficiencies and a more diverse propulsion portfolio of commercial vehicles, you’ll also connect with industry leaders with strategies to balance today’s technology costs, development efforts and current economic conditions.

The convening point for engineering professionals around the world seeking new solutions for Energy Balance and Future Transportation, COMVEC 2021 is where you’ll learn what others are doing to overcome supply chain challenges in today’s environment and meet the experts driving the latest research and innovations in new powertrain options, autonomous vehicles, braking, platooning and more.

What Can You Expect at COMVEC 2021?

On your own schedule and according to your personal comfort, COMVEC 2021 is where you’ll reconnect with key industry leaders, academics and government experts either in person or through our digital offering. Conveniently held near the Chicago airport, September 14‑16, 2021, or right from your home office, you will:

  • Engage in powerful discussions with OEMs and top suppliers about the latest innovations in commercial vehicle technology
  • Meet industry experts in key technology areas and attend presentations with peer-reviewed technical papers
  • Participate collaboratively with technical leads of government policymakers as they interact with corporate R&D leadership
  • Showcase your expertise in future-forward technologies, alternative fuels, and new powertrain designs

NEW in 2021! Two Ways to Attend COMVEC

In-Person Event

  • Meet with technical leaders in government, academia and R&D at socially-distanced networking events
  • Participate in 4 keynote presentations and 28 technical sessions and panel discussions, which includes a seat at the Buckendale Lecture — all with rigorous safety measures in place
  • Spend time getting up close to the latest commercial vehicle innovations in the exhibit hall
  • Meet future partners and good friends during face-to-face networking events and hallway conversations
  • Enjoy the benefits of being back at an on-site event where you can participate live in critical industry discussions
  • Get free replay access to any livestreamed discussion following the event
  • Stream the free, pre-event webcast from your home or office
  • Create lifelong bonds during Young Professional activities like meet-and-greets and speed mentoring sessions
  • Revel in the return to live events with special events including evening receptions
  • Receive access to technical papers following the event
  • SAE Members can join the industry in Rosemont, Illinois for as little as $925

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Digital Event

  • Connect with technical leaders in government, academia and R&D on our advanced digital platform during designated online networking events
  • Livestream 3 keynote presentations and participate in 7 technical sessions
  • Chat with speakers and engage in live discussions from the in-person event in Rosemont, Illinois, September 14-16
  • Meet with leading suppliers in the digital exhibit hall
  • Talk to colleagues and peers in a secure chat room
  • Get free replay access to any livestreamed discussion
  • Stream the free, pre-event webcast from your home or office
  • Attend sessions on your schedule without travel or accommodation costs
  • Receive access to technical papers following the event
  • SAE Members can register for as little as $395

Learn More


Featured Speakers

Tuesday Keynote

Deanna Kovar

Vice President of Production & Precision Ag Production Systems, Deere & Company

Keynote Abstract:
"Becoming a Smart Factory on Wheels: How Highly Automated and IoT-Connected Vehicles are Enabling Farmers to Improve Productivity and Sustainability"

Deanna Kovar serves as the Vice President of Production & Precision Ag Production Systems within John Deere’s Agricultural & Turf Division.  In this role, she leads a global team of experts focused on unlocking value for the agriculture industry through equipment and technology solutions.  In her 20 years with Deere, she has held many roles in Sales, Marketing, Customer Support and Product Development spanning the continental US and the globe and is very knowledgeable about bringing precision ag technology to market.

After growing up as the daughter of a Wisconsin Dairy Farmer, Deanna earned a degree in Agricultural Business Management from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and later an MBA from Loyola University in Chicago. Deanna, her husband Zack & daughter Maggie reside in Bettendorf, IA.

Sponsored by:

Wednesday Keynote

Philip Stephenson

General Manager, PACCAR Technical Center

Keynote Abstract:
"Electrification and Commercial Vehicles: The Why, the How and the When”

Keynote will cover electrification fundamentals, policy issues, and technical challenges including electric powertrains and charging infrastructure.

Dr. Philip Stephenson is General Manager of the PACCAR Technical Center. He has held this position since 2012.

Before joining PACCAR, he was Director of Product Development and Engineering with A123 Systems where he led engineering teams in the US and Germany. Dr. Stephenson was also Chief Engineer for product development and validation at Behr and was instrumental in the expansion of Behr’s test facilities to support their North American automotive business. Dr. Stephenson also previously worked on combustion system research and development at Mercedes-Benz Research in Stuttgart.

At the PACCAR Technical Center, Dr. Stephenson leads teams responsible for product validation of Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks and for development, calibration testing and customer support of PACCAR powertrains for North America.  The PACCAR Technical Center is also engaged in technology development for medium- and heavy duty vehicles in electrification, autonomy and data analytics.

Dr. Stephenson earned a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University.

Sponsored by:

Thursday Keynote

Michael Berube

Deputy Assistant Secretary, Sustainable Transportation Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

Keynote Abstract:
DOE Priorities on the Path to Transportation Decarbonization and the Role of Commercial Vehicles. 

Michael Berube is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Engery. In this role, he oversees EERE’s Sustainable Transportation sector, which includes the Vehicle, Fuel Cell, and Bioenergy Technologies offices. This portfolio focuses on research and development to increase access to domestic, clean transportation fuels and improve the energy efficiency, convenience, and affordability of transporting people and goods to support U.S. energy security, economic productivity and competitiveness.

Previously, he led the Vehicle Technologies Office. In this post, he led an array of activities that help reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and secure a clean energy future. The Vehicle Technologies Office supports about $300 million in annual research funding 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 new 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.

Sponsored by:

Wednesday Buckendale Lecture Keynote

Chris Atkinson, Sc.D., Fellow ASME, Fellow SAE

Director, Smart Mobility; Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University

Dr. Chris Atkinson is currently the Director of the Smart Mobility Initiative and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Ohio State University. From 2014 to 2020 he served as Program Director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) of the US Department of Energy. At ARPA-E he initiated and managed external research and development projects in the advanced clean energy area totaling over $120 million, including NEXTCAR, a program using connectivity and automation to improve vehicle energy efficiency.

He is the founder of Atkinson LLC, a consultancy in advanced powertrain and vehicle technology that develops methods in rapid transient calibration and virtual sensing. From 2009 to 2011 he was the Director of the West Virginia University Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions, in addition to holding the rank of tenured professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering. He has authored over 70 peer-reviewed publications (with over 2250 citations) and holds two US and international patents. He received the Ralph Teetor Award from the SAE in 1994, in addition to being a Fellow of SAE, and a Fellow of ASME. He received the degree of Doctor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 1991, the degree of MS in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University in 1987, and a BSc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Natal in South Africa.

In the News


Precision ag aids sustainability

July 30, 2021 - Deere VP Deanna Kovar, a 2021 SAE COMVEC keynoter, provides thoughts on autonomy's future, computer vision, machine learning and data management.

Continue reading »

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