WardsAuto Interiors Conference

May 9, 2017  |  COBO Center  |  Detroit, Michigan

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MORNING KEYNOTE

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Ralph Gilles

Head of Design, FCA – Global

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Ralph V. Gilles was appointed Head of Design, FCA – Global in April 2015 and named a member of the Group Executive Council (GEC) for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA). The GEC is the highest management-level decision making body within the FCA organization and is led by the FCA Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Gilles has also served as the Senior Vice President – Product Design and President and CEO – Motorsports, FCA – North America; President and CEO – SRT Brand and President and CEO – Dodge brand for FCA US LLC. He was named Vice President – Design in September 2008.

Gilles holds a Master of Business Administration from Michigan State University (2002) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit (1992).

AFTERNOON

KEYNOTE

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Eric Brown

Director, Interaction Design, BMW Group Designworks

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As the Director of Interaction Design at BMW Group Designworks Los Angeles studio, Eric is passionate about how digital interactions can intersect with physical environments to create truly engaging user and brand experiences.

At Designworks, Eric leads a team of interaction designers and an array of user interface design initiatives for projects ranging from in-car digital displays, mobile devices, in-flight entertainment systems and various other product specific Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs).  Most recently he has functioned as the Designworks project lead for the BMW i Inside Future sculpture showcased at CES 2017.

Prior experience includes working in close collaboration with the BMW i team on interfaces for the BMW i3 and i8 vehicles and interfaces for the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive show car unveiled at the Geneva auto show. He has also been engaged in future thinking interface concepts for consumer electronics, aviation, medical and performance based clients.

P1: MATERIALS INNOVATIONS

Materials can make or break a consumer’s first impression of a vehicle interior, but their importance goes far beyond aesthetics. Panelists will discuss the latest concepts for giving designers more creative freedom, reducing weight, reducing cost and optimizing eco-friendliness.

Rose Ryntz

Rose Ryntz

Vice President, Advanced Development and Material Engineering

IAC

Moderator

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Bob Eller

President

Robert Eller Associates LLC

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Adriano Odino

Technical Director, Business Unit

RENOLIT COMPOSITES

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Tony Tognetti

Trinseo

P2: NEW IDEAS IN SEATING

A seat is a seat until someone invents something truly new that folds into the floor or uses electronically controlled air bladders to increase comfort. This session looks at examples where designers throw out the rule book and create something dramatically different.

John Oilar

John Oilar

Vice President

Magna

Moderator

Nick Petouhoff

Nick Petouhoff

Engineer Director

Adient

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BOSE

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Kai Kruger

Director of Engineering

Recaro Engineering Performance Car

P3: AUTONOMOUS INTERIORS 2.0

We’ve all seen the first generation of living-room-on-wheels designs for autonomous vehicles. This session looks at the next generation of concepts being developed with self-driving vehicles in mind.

Nina Mital

Nina Mital

Pocketsquare Design

Moderator

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Dave Muyres

Director

Yanfeng Automotive Interiors

Carter Cannon

Carter Cannon

Manager – Functional Integration

IAC Group

Stefan Weissert

Stefan Weissert

Director, Car Multimedia Division

Bosch

P4: LIGHTWEIGHTING INTERIORS

Automakers have spent decades removing mass from vehicles, but there’s still work to do, especially in the cabin.  Numerous technologies and strategies for removing weight while still enhancing comfort, quiet and aesthetics will be discussed.

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Moderator

Mike Maddelein

Mike Maddelein

Vice President, Global Engineering

Inteva Products

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Jim Badhorn

Product Manager, Underbody Systems

Roechling Automotive

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Sika

P5: CREATING THE ULTIMATE USER EXPERIENCE

The “user experience,” a term that has migrated from consumer electronics to the world of automotive interior design, presents a new challenge: How do designers and engineers take the flood of information flowing in and out of vehicles and personal devices and turn it into positive encounters that delight, inform, entertain and protect drivers and passengers?

Kimberly Clavin

Kimberly Clavin

Ninjaneer

Pillar Technology

Moderator

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Faurecia

Chris Ludwig

Chris Ludwig

Sr. Director, EPIC Experience Team

Harman

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Visteon

P6: MANUFACTURING WORLD-CLASS INTERIORS

Panelists will discuss manufacturing processes and technologies that enable automakers and suppliers to produce world-leading interiors.

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Moderator

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John White

Henkel

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P7: THE FUTURE OF PREMIUM MATERIALS

How will current materials associated with luxury such as leather and natural wood evolve to meet future demands for weight reduction, new designs and production efficiencies? What other materials are being developed that offer designers new definitions of luxury?

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Moderator

Thomas Gould

Thomas Gould

Director of Industrial Design & Craftsmanship

Adient

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Gary Braddock

Design Partner

Pocketsquare Design

Stephen Jeske

Stephen Jeske

Senior Vice President – Sales, Marketing and Product Development

GST AutoLeather

P8: DESIGNING THE COCKPIT OF THE FUTURE

Before the totally autonomous vehicle arrives in the future, a range of technologies will begin transforming how we interact with cars. Realistically speaking, what will the near-term cockpit, instrument panel and HMI look like for the next several product cycles?

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Moderator

Aidano Nascimento

Aidano Nascimento

Design & Innovation Studio Manager

Inteva Products

Jim Hotary

Jim Hotary

Director of xWorks Innovation Center

Faurecia

Matt Yurdana

Matt Yurdana

Creative Director, The Internet of Things Experiences Group

Intel

P9: WHAT DO CONSUMERS REALLY WANT?

Car buyers never asked for infotainment systems that connect with smartphones, minivans with two sliding doors instead of one, or even heated seats. Today, many consumers can’t live without these features. This panel will discuss how to anticipate consumer wants and needs in vehicle interiors and how to learn from past mistakes.

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John Sousanis

Managing Director

WardsAuto

Moderator

Susan Drescher

Susan Drescher

Product Management, Instrumentation and Driver HMI

Continental AG

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Sylviane Meyer

Global Director of Research and Insights

Adient

Mike VanNieuwkuyk

Mike VanNieuwkuyk

Vice President, Automotive

Harris Insights & Analytics

Renae Pippel

Renae Pippel

Director of Global Strategic Research

Yanfeng Automotive Interiors

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