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Keynote Speaker Lineup - 2018

 

2018 Keynote Speakers 

The 20th Annual SPE® TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference, the world’s leading automotive engineered polyolefins forum, returns to the Troy Marriott in the Detroit suburbs from October 7-10, 2018The theme of this year’s 2018 technical conference and exhibition is “TPO Driving the Future” and will showcase talks by keynote speakers from LyondellBasell, Inteva Products, Miller Cole LLC, and IHS Markit.

This year the conference continues its long-standing tradition of offering in-depth technical sessions covering seven different topic areas, including Materials Development, Surface Enhancements, Interior Applications, Lightweighting Technologies, Process Developments & Simulations, Sustainability & Emissions. These sessions reflect the innovations happening in the polyolefin industry, both in the Detroit region and around the world. 

The conference’s keynote speakers provide great background information for the technical sessions and encourage attendees to think about the big picture. In recognition of the conference’s 20thyear, Lon Offenbacher, founder of Inteva Products, will kick off the conference on Monday, October 8 with his keynote, "A Look Back and a Look Forward." "It’s hard to believe that it’s been two decades since the SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference began.” In his keynote, Offenbacher will provide real-life examples of how innovations in TPO not only provide competitive advantages but allow for the development and launch of entirely new product lines.

Dr. Heiko Pries, VW/Audi is also marking 20 years of automotive development experience at this 20thAuto TPO conference. Pries works with the Quality of Materials Department at Audi in Ingolstadt, Germany. On Monday, October 8, After Lon Offenbacher’s keynote on Monday, Dr. Pries will present, "What Will the Future Hold for Us?” and share his views on what has changed in interior and exterior applications, and what he sees for the future.

 

On Tuesday, October 9, Suzanne Cole, CEO of Miller Cole LLC "The Impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)" will examine the effects of trade policies on the Plastics Industry. Cole notes that, “When NAFTA went into effect on Jan. 1, 1994, the three countries involved—Canada, the United States and Mexico—probably had little idea of what the net result would be 25 years later.” Attendees will learn about the impact of resin tariffs, the competitive landscape with a revised NAFTA, and other impacts on global trade, US jobs, and the economy. 

 

Following Suzanne Cole’s keynote Tuesday, October 9, Joel Morales, Polyolefins Americas, IHS Markit brings a wealth of industry knowledge to the 20thAuto TPO Conference. His keynote is entitled, “Global Trade of the Polyolefin Market.” Learn about what conventional expectations may have been as little as a year ago, what has changed in the global markets over the last year, and what the outlook looks like for these materials going forward both locally and globally. Morales will discuss global trade patterns and what buyers and sellers can expect in the near to medium term.

 

 James Guilfoyle, Executive Vice President, Advanced Polymer Solutions and Global Supply Chain, LyondellBasell will wrap up the conference by sharing insights on key trends emerging in the automotive industry in his session, “Market Disruptors and Their Impact on Our Industry.” Guilfoyle remarks that “recent disruptive trends, such as the US shale and oil boom, has led to consolidations within the chemical market.” Guilfoyle will explore the the numerous trends influencing the chemicals market and how his company is investing to meet the challenges of today while advancing the innovations that will improve tomorrow.

 

 

  

2017 Keynote Speakers

The 19th Annual SPE® TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference, the world’s leading automotive engineeredpolyolefins forum, returns to the Troy Marriott in the Detroit suburbs from October 1-4, 2017. The theme of this year’s 2017 technical conference and exhibition is “TPO’s Leading Lightweighting,” and will showcase talks by keynote speakers from Toyota, Braskem, LMC, The Dow Chemical Company, and the Plastics Industry Association. 

This year the conference continues its tradition of offering in-depth technical sessions covering ten different topic areas, including lightweighting of parts, additives and modifiers, surface enhancements, and bio-based/recycled materials. These sessions reflect the innovations happening in the polyolefin industry, both in the Detroit region and around the world.

Each day, keynote speakers set the stage for the technical sessions.  On Monday, October 2, after brief remarks by conference co-chairs, the event begins with a keynote entitled Managing Through the Automotive Revolution by Jeff Makarewicz, the Group vice-president of Vehicle, Quality, & Safety Engineering at the Toyota Technical Center, will kickoff the conference by discussing the future of the industry within the context of the past. "While the automotive industry is showing record sales and profits, strong headwinds are on the horizon, and the lessons of the past cannot be forgotten. Capacity, compliance, and competitiveness are weighing heavily on the minds of all companies.” In his keynote, Makarewicz will provide insight into some of the challenges facing automakers and the impact and opportunities for the TPO industry. 

Following Jeff Makarewicz on Monday, October 2, Jeff Schuster, the Senior Vice President of Forecasting at LMC Automotive, will offer a keynote entitled The State of the Auto Industry: Upcoming Trends and Innovations. Schuster suggests that, “the auto industry is arguably in the most transitional period since the invention of the vehicle. Auto sales are trending flat, regulations have been impacting vehicle development and what we drive but may be changing, and technology is defining and altering the future of the industry.” Learn where the global industry volume is headed in the future, the overall competitive outlook for vehicle segments, the shifts in North American production and sourcing, and the impact of regulations and technology on the industry. 

Day Two, October 3, will begin with a keynote address by Dirk Zinkweg, the Associate Marketing Director for Transportation within Dow’s Elastomers, Electrical & Telecommunications (EE&T) business. At The Dow Chemical Company, Zinkweg leads global marketing for Dow’s ENGAGE polyolefin elastomers in impact modified polypropylene for automotive TPO.  In his talk, Polyolefin Elastomer Impact Modifiers for Polypropylene, Future Trends and Predictions, Zinkweg will cover industry trends forecasted through 2025, focusing on material supply, market trends, and regulatory issues for elastomeric impact modifiers. Zinkweg will focus on how innovation will shape the future of the industry. “Raw material suppliers into the TPO market need to provide innovative products, technology, and services to meet the needs of OEM’s, molders, and compounders alike to accelerate innovation and push the boundaries of performance, aesthetics, and fuel economy.”

The second keynote address on Tuesday, October 3 will feature a keynote entitled State of the Polypropylene Industry – Supply and Technology by Darrell Williams, Director of Sales, Technical Service and Business Development at Braskem. Williams notes that while the growth in the North America polypropylene market is currently being fueled by the material’s performance, ease of processing and cost competitiveness, “future growth will be sustained by the development of innovative products that meet new performance demands related to sustainability and enhanced physical properties.”  At the TPO Conference, Williams will stress the importance of “navigating a market that requires growing the polypropylene supply chain while delivering on the technical demands of an increasingly sophisticated OEM base."

On Wednesday, October 4, Pattricia Davitt Long, Senior Vice President - Industry Affairs for the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), will wrap up the conference with a keynote that will provide an overview of PLASTICS. She will share the association’s rebrand and mission, as well as plastics industry economic updates and outlook. She will also discuss the new technology to be unveiled at NPE2018, the upcoming triennial trade show, scheduled for May 2018 in Orlando, Florida.