Judge Bios

Propulsion System Integration Presentation

Laura Barlow

Laura Barlow is the Engineering Development Opportunities (EDO) Program Coordinator for the Active Safety and Autonomous team located at the Canadian Technical Centre in Markham, Ontario. In this role she is responsible for developing rotational plans for a team of engineers, placing them at our various GM sites in Canada. In addition, Laura is also the Talent Development Specialist for the team, developing various programs to supporting Personal Development, Technical Development and Business Acumen. She joined GM in 2011 and since then held various roles. Starting in Electrification working on Hybrid and Extended Range Electric Vehicles (Buick Lacrosse and Volt), as a Test and Bench Engineer, then as an  Algorithm Design Development developing software supporting GM’s 12V Stop/Start feature. In 2016 she joined the Active Safety and Autonomous team as the Diagnostics Technical Specialist supporting SuperCruise and other ADAS features.

Doug Chemellli

Doug Chemelli is a Lead Product Engineer at American Axle & Manufacturing.  He has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University, graduating in 2008.  His work focuses on Component Engineering of Driveline / Propulsion systems, including the development of innovative mechanical & electric drive axle technology.

Keith Confer

Keith Confer is the Engineering Manager for Advanced Vehicle Systems in Delphi Technologies Advanced Systems Group.   He has over 30 years powertrain systems experience with extensive background in automotive air and fuel system design and development.  Keith holds ten US Patents and has authored multiple papers and publications on the topic of advanced powertrain systems.  In addition to his work on Dynamic Skip Fire and hybrid systems, Keith is involved in an ARPAe funded project that leverages data from vehicle ADAS systems to improve fuel efficiency and vehicle range.

Wenbo Du

Wenbo Du, Ph.D. is an Application Engineer at Siemens Software, specializing in CFD and multiphysics simulation for electrified powertrain applications. He is responsible for providing training and technical support for Simcenter STAR-CCM+ and Battery Design Studio customers including GM, Ford, FCA, Toyota, and various other leading companies. He also delivers technical demonstrations of Siemens Simcenter solutions to prospective customers in the battery, electric machine and electronics industries. Wenbo holds a PhD in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan.

Darren Erickson


Chris Jarrell

Christopher M. Jarrell (Chris) is the Senior Manager of the Electrified Systems Engineering Group at DENSO International America, Inc. (DIAM) located in Southfield, Michigan. Chris joined DENSO in 1995 as an application engineer, responsible for the development of starters and alternators for the Chrysler Group. In 2000, Chris was promoted to senior engineer, where he led the engineering effort for the first DENSO starters and alternators to Ford.  Chris was appointed to the positon of staff engineer in 2006 during and led the DENSO alternator effort for General Motors Co.  and later advanced to engineering manager in 2012 and senior manager in 2015. In 2012, Chris joined the newly established DENSO Electrical Hybrid Vehicle(EHV) department and lead development work for HV products for General Motors Corp.  Currently, Chris is leading his team for traction inverter localization and advanced development for North American based OEMs. Chris received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering for Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan.


Forrest Jehlik

Forrest Jehlik is a Principle Engineer conducting advanced technology vehicle research at Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Powertrain Research Facility (APRF). Such research involves hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicle technology. Particular areas of interest are the application of machine learning techniques in data analysis and modeling. He also served as the Lead Technical Coordinator for the Challenge-X student vehicle competition.

Previous to joining Argonne Forrest was employed at General Motors Research & Development Center where he served as the lead combustion engineer for a program that developed a proprietary 4.5L Duramax diesel engine combustion system.

Forrest received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from The University of California-Riverside and his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Forrest has been awarded numerous research awards, patents, and authored numerous technical publications. He is also a proud alumnus of both the Propane and Ethanol Vehicle Challenges.

Chris Meagher

Chris Meagher is the Executive Director for Engine and Transmission Hardware Engineering for GM’s Global Product Group. Chris joined GM in 1979 as a development engineer in the Cadillac Motor Car Engine lab, and held various assignments leading up to becoming Global Chief Engineer and Program Manager of GM 4-cylinder Ecotec engines in 2007. He served as the Executive Director of Transmission & Electrification Hardware Engineering from 2010-2017, and then as the Executive Director of Global Engine Hardware from 2018 until recently being named to his current position. Chris has a BSME from the University of Notre Dame, is a licensed Professional Engineer, and has served on several Engineering Advisory Boards for various schools. He also serves on the Main Street Pontiac Board and is a volunteer with Team Rubicon, a disaster relief organization. Chris is married with 4 children and 3 grandchildren and currently resides in Livonia, MI.

Hung Nguyen

Hung joined GM as an alumni of EcoCAR and the University of Waterloo Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering Faculty. He is an Advanced Chassis Engineer at GM Canada within the Innovation & Advanced Technology Group. Hung began his career at GM’s Computer Aided Engineering Division with a focus on chassis before moving onto development of the ebike. His experience also includes Innovation Specialist at 2908 and Design Thinking.

Bryan Ross

Bryan Ross is the engineering manager for the Kenworth Vehicle Integration Department. This team is responsible for vehicle definition for performance and functionality. Following the SPICE process (V-cycle) to define all vehicle properties such as fuel economy, NVH, drivability, diagnostics, HMI, etc. In addition developing software functionality requirements for ADAS, energy management, powertrain controls, HMI, and all other vehicle software. Bryan has been a PACCAR employee for 14 years and has had roles as lead engineer for Engine Integration, NVH property owner, Internal Audit, and Patent Officer.

Controls & System Modeling and Simulation (CSMS) Presentation

Chris Balton

Chris Balton the Manager for the Advanced Controls group for Advanced Technology at the PACCAR Technical Center. During his 13 years at PACCAR Chris has led projects in Powertrain Controls for PACCAR Engines, Transmissions and Predictive Cruise Control. He has also developed vehicle level simulation models to support conventional as well as Hybrid powertrain development and HIL testing. Currently Chris is supporting the controls development for the PACCAR Super Truck 2 program as well as several ADAS and Hybrid projects. Chris has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado as well as a PE license in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.

Tom Ender

Tom Ender joined GM in 1997 as a controls engineer and is currently a Senior Manager for the Vehicle Motion Embedded Controls and Diagnostics Team.  He and his team develop controls and diagnostics for a wide variety of chassis, propulsion integration, thermal, electrical and body embedded systems.  Tom served as the team mentor for the University of Waterloo during ChallengeX, was a Controls Judge for EcoCar and the controls event captain for EcoCAR2 and EcoCAR3.

Ren Fang

Ren Fang is a Senior Application Engineer in the Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) department at dSPACE Inc. Having joined dSPACE in 2014, Ren’s current responsibilities consist of managing and executing turnkey HIL projects at dSPACE. His areas of technical expertise include HIL Test Automation, Electric Motor control and simulation, FPGA programming for custom sensor simulations, and HIL Co-simulation with dynamometer systems. Ren graduated from California State University, Los Angeles with an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering. An EcoCAR 2 alumni, Ren served his team as Electrical Team Lead and later Controls Team Lead.

Nick Kothari

Nick Kothari is currently a Controls System Engineer (CSE) defining requirements for future Electrification programs. As a CSE Nick is responsible for inventing, prototyping and testing new controls features to ensure they meet program, drive quality, safety, and regulatory requirements before they are handing off to the production teams. Through his years at General Motors, Nick has worked in all phases of the controls development cycle on hybrid, PHEV, and battery-electric vehicles. Nick started as a Validation Engineer for the EV1 Battery Pack Module in 1998. Since then he’s worked on many GM projects and production programs including the 2-Mode hybrid truck, Chevy Volt, Chevy Spark, and Chevy Bolt EV. Nick is from Columbus, OH and holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Ohio State University and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from a school in Ann Arbor, MI.

Noel Mack

Noel Mack is the Product Line Executive for AAM, where he has global responsibility for engineering of components and subsystems, including torque transfer devices and electronically controlled systems for AAM’s portfolio of driveline products. Previously Noel was the director of the New Energy Vehicle department of Great Wall Motors, the business unit lead for Driveline and Transmission Systems at Ricardo and held various positions at Magna, including the role of Director of Hybrid Development for Magna Powertrain. Noel has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he developed and taught a graduate course in Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Performance and Design.

Chris Manning

Chris Manning is a Senior HIL Applications Engineer at dSPACE Inc. Prior to working at dSPACE he participated in EcoCAR 2 for three years working on the controls subteam. While working for dSPACE, Chris has worked with over 30 auto manufacturers and suppliers on Hardware-In-The-Loop (HIL) systems for validating embedded controls. He has worked on projects covering engine, transmission, AWD, steering, braking, and ADAS control systems. Chris specializes in mechanical test systems at dSPACE Inc and has worked on and commissioned a variety of systems for testing steering ECUs.

Jason Mullins

Jason Mullins is currently the Engineering Group Manager for Electrification Energy Management at General Motors.  This team is responsible for the Electrification Torque Supervisory controls for all of GM’s electrified vehicles.   Jason has 20 years of industry experience with a strong background in Controls and Calibration.   Jason joined GM in 2007 as a Diesel Calibration and Controls Engineer.  Since then, he has multiple position within GM’s Propulsion Systems Embedded Controls organization.  Prior to his current position, Jason was the Engineering Group Manager for Rear Wheel Drive Hybrid Propulsion Calibration.  Jason holds BSME from the University of Kansas and a MSME from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Maulin Patel

Maulin is currently leading & managing the Global Systems Engineering team for the Microcontrollers group of NXP – covering MCU & MPU (application processors). He has more than 30 years of experience in the field of software & systems engineering and has held various leadership roles at IBM, Intel, Conexant Systems and Trident Semiconductors prior to joining Freescale/NXP. He earned his BSEE from SP University, India and MSEE degree from Kansas State University, USA. He also holds 11 patents in the various software fields such as system management, reliability, availability and serviceability. He is very passionate about building platforms with superior end user experience with ease of use focus and quality.

Joaquin Reyes

Joaquin Reyes is the Lead Vehicle Modeling and Simulation Engineer at Proterra Inc.  He is responsible for the creation of numerical simulations to support the development of all ECU control software at Proterra. His role also involves modeling activities for transit bus range performance, charging infrastructure, vehicle design and HIL bench testing.  Previously, Joaquin spent 6 years working in the Modeling and Simulation team at Pratt & Whitney Canada where he supported the development of numerical simulations for Aero gas turbines and aircraft simulator platforms. Joaquin has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University Nacional of Colombia. He received his Masters of Engineering in Aerospace from the University of Toronto with an emphasis in gas turbine modeling.s.

Swarooph Seshadri

Swarooph Seshadri is the Technical Evangelist for Automotive Student Competitions at the MathWorks and is the full time MathWorks technical lead for EcoCAR. He has been providing guidance for the CSMS and the CAVs swim lanes. Swarooph graduated with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M university in 2011 with a focus on system modeling and energy optimization of HVAC systems. He has been at the MathWorks ever since helping customers adopt model-based design through technical support and training in the areas of automotive, mechatronics, robotics and automated driving systems.

Bo Sun

Bo Sun graduated from The Ohio State University. Bo is responsible for AD/ADAS Sensing System in DENSO North America.

Aakhilesh Singhania


Joel Van Sickel

Joel Van Sickel is an Application Engineer who focuses on electrical systems at MathWorks.  He specializes in power electronics and power systems with a focus on HW design and system simulation.  He holds a Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University.


Connected and Automated Vehicle Systems (CAVs) Presentation

David Anderson

David Anderson is the Program Manager for the Energy Efficient Mobility Systems (EEMS) Program within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO). He leads a team responsible for a research portfolio that focuses on understanding the potentially dramatic energy outcomes that may result from emerging disruptive transportation technologies such as connected and automated vehicles, shared mobility, and advanced powertrains, and aims to identify and develop solutions that support an increase in mobility energy productivity.

Robb Bolio

Robb Bolio is the Global Vehicle Performance Manager for Autonomous and Electric Vehicles for General Motors.   Robb’s team is based out of the Milford Proving Ground and part of the Global Autonomous Driving Center. Robb leads a team of engineers that are responsible for full vehicle integration and autonomous driving feature development.  This includes vehicle dynamics, energy, plug-in charging, noise and vibration, vehicle motion control and AV sensing.  In his current role, Robb and his team have lead the development of the Chevrolet Volt, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Cruise AV and Cadillac’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system. During Robb’s 28 year career at GM he has held several engineering roles with increasing responsibility.   He started in the GM Truck & Bus engineering group testing small trucks and SUV’s before honing his expertise in vehicle dynamics.  The last 15 years of Robb’s career have been focused on new technology development and advanced controls including StabiliTrak 3.0, extended range electric vehicle and electric vehicle development.  Robb has been awarded 11 US Patents and has earned a Boss Kettering Award for his work in advanced controls development.  Robb holds a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University and a Masters of Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Leo Breton

Leo Breton pioneered real-world, in-use mass emissions and fuel economy testing as an EPA engineer in the mid 1990’s.  He invented the seminal technologies still used in today’s PEMS systems and personally built and proved the first system to do this – it was known as ROVER.  ROVER also showed how additional data from the OBD system and a GPS device could be used and combined for diagnostic purposes to understand the causes of emissions anomalies. To ensure real-world testing would be possible to a larger audience, he transferred the ROVER technology to market where it has been commercially available for over 10 years.

John Cotner

John Cotner is currently working as an Engineering Manager for Automotive Cybersecurity and Embedded Control at NXP Semiconductors. John has worked in a variety of positions within the automotive electronics industry for the past 30 years focusing on systems engineering. This work has resulted in 5 patents granted in the U.S. For the past 19 years at Motorola/Freescale/NXP, John has worked extensively on powertrain electronics, functional safety, automotive cybersecurity, and vehicle connectivity. John received both B.S.E. and M.S.E. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan

Connell D’Souza

Connell joined MathWorks in 2016 as a technical evangelist on the student competitions team. He primarily supports student competitions in Aerospace and Unmanned Systems. Connell holds an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University, Boston.

Andrew Huster

Andrew Huster is a Controls System Engineer in the Automated Driving and Active Safety Production Controls group at General Motors. In this position, he develops software for sensor fusion that enables advanced ADAS features like Super Cruise. Prior to his current position, he was an ADAS Feature Integration Engineer, responsible for integrating night vision and adaptive lighting features onto vehicles. Andrew has a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Ohio State University.

Simeon Iliev

Simeon Iliev joined Argonne National Laboratory in June of 2015. He is a research engineer at the Advanced Mobility Technology Laboratory and works on testing and evaluation of advanced vehicle technologies. Simeon earned a Master’s of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in May of 2015, as well as a dual Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering also from IIT in August 2013.

Vivek Jaikamal

Vivek is passionate about leveraging the power of software and simulation to accelerate product development and reduce costs. Throughout his 25+ year career in the automotive industry, he has helped automotive OEMs and suppliers shorten their development, testing and calibration times with the help of new technologies and tools.  With AVL, he is now focused on brining cutting edge testing solutions to customers engaged in developing the exciting new generation of electric, assisted and autonomous mobility products.

Chris Kisner

Chris Kinser is Director of the Global Autonomous Driving Center. Chris’ team is responsible for Vehicle Integration of General Motors’ Autonomous Vehicles, Automated Driving and Active Safety technologies.  His team has developed prototypes of the companies’ first mass produced self-driving vehicle based on the Bolt EV.  They have delivered exciting new features to market like the truly hands-free Super Cruise on the Cadillac CT6. During Chris’ career he has held significant roles across the company always focused on new technology development and innovation.  He was a key contributor on projects like the EV1, Parallel Hybrid Truck, GMX295 StabiliTrak 3.0, Chevrolet Volt, and our latest Electric vehicles. Chris’ expertise in software, controls systems and vehicle performance integration have earned him three Boss Kettering Awards.  He served on international assignment in Shanghai, China delivering on our first Plug-In Hybrid vehicle with our Joint-venture partners.  Chris has a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University and a Masters of Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Jacob Krakauer

Jacob Krakauer is a mechanical engineer in the Automated Driving Strategic Marketing group. He works with government and educational engagements as well as Intel reference designs for autonomous vehicle systems. His main focus is on educating the public and academic worlds of the innovations that Intel brings to the industry in addition to developing robust systems for automotive use.

Troy McCormick

Troy McCormick is an Engineering Manager in the Driver Assistance division at Robert Bosch in Plymouth, MI.  He currently leads a group of engineers focusing on the development and testing of Automotive Radar based Driver Assistance functions.  Troy has been working in automotive software engineering for 21 years.  He has been employed at Robert Bosch for 13 years, but previous employers include Delphi, General Motors, and Lockheed Martin.  Troy’s hobbies include recording music and playing piano, guitar, and bass.

Scott Miller

Scott Miller has been with General Motors since March 1994 and is currently Executive Director, Autonomous Development and Validation.  In this role, he works internally with our partners in Product Development, Safety, and vehicle performance to ensure timely success of autonomous vehicle programs within General Motors.  Prior to his current role, Mr. Miller worked in the Fuel economy space for 14 years.  He held the position of Global Director of CO2 Strategy, Development and Governance, where he lead GM’s Fuel Efficiency Strategy and Technology Development plans to meet global CO2 / Fuel Economy requirements.

Scott has held various key assignments throughout his career at GM, including Director of the Energy, Mass and Aerodynamics organization.   Earlier career responsibilities included Vehicle Performance as the Vehicle Development and Controls Manager on the Volt, Spark, Two Mode Hybrid Trucks and GM’s first Belt Alternator Starter programs. Scott holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the Catholic University and a Bachelor’s in Aeronautical Engineering from Embry-Riddle.   Prior to joining GM, he was a project engineer responsible for military hovercraft technology.  Scott resides in White Lake, MI, with his wife and three children.

Jacob Perrin

Jacob Perrin is the Applications Engineer responsible for ADAS software tools at dSPACE Inc in Wixom, MI. Having graduated from the University of Michigan in 2015, Jacob has worked at dSPACE Inc for 3 years on projects including aerospace communication busses, V2X HIL simulators, and autonomous driving sensor data recording systems. Jacob’s primary role at dSPACE today is to manage all activities related to the RTMaps product for perception software development including engineering, support, and training.

Frank Schneck

Peterbilt – 21 years, Emergency One – 10 years, Marmon Trucks – 3 years.  Total of 34 years truck experience and Inventor on 5 U.S. patents. Peterbilt Preceding Experience: Supervisor of Advance Concepts, Medium Duty hydraulic brake program, Special Projects, Cab Structures, Natural Gas vehicles, New Markets Product Development. Section Manager of Medium Duty Development / Cost Management / CAD Systems, Hoods / Outerbody / Sleeper (Interior & Structure) Development.

Yun Cai

Yun Cai is a pre-sales technical support engineer at Siemens PLM Software Inc. She has over 6 years of experience working in the automotive industry, where Yun focuses on applying integrated safety technologies to improve vehicle safety performance. Yun worked closely with OEM crash safety engineers to improve occupant protection designs. She was involved in analyzing occupant performance from crash tests and CAE simulations during her stay at Ford Motor Company. Currently, Yun focuses on supporting Prescan to better suit customer needs, helping customer build test scenarios and solving simulation related issues. Yun Cai has a master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering from Wayne State University.

Project Initialization Approval (PIA) Presentation

Kyle Crawford

Kyle Crawford is a program manager at the Columbus Engine Plant.  Kyle joined Paccar in 2014 and is responsible for the introduction of new engine models for the engine plant, which includes equipment modifications and additions as well as process updates required for the cylinder head and block machining as well as the engine assembly.  Kyle holds a Master’s of Science Degree (Chemical Engineering) from Mississippi State University.

Lynn Gantt

Lynn Gantt is an Energy Architecture Lead Engineer at General Motors.  He joined GM in 2010 as a summer intern and has since held positions working on Fuel Economy Learning Vehicles and in Vehicle Development as an Energy Engineer. Most recently he worked on the energy execution of the all new Silverado and Sierra light duty pickups.  Lynn holds a Master and Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and an MBA from Indiana University.

Dan Mehr

Dan Mehr earned his bachelors of science from the University of Wisconsin in 2008 after participating in the FutureTruck and ChallengeX advanced vehicle technology competitions. Upon graduating, Dan joined General Motors as an energy storage system integration engineer and completed his masters of engineering in energy systems at the University of Michigan. After working on five PHEV applications as a RESS analyst, performance integration engineer, and validation engineer, Dan transitioned to the Chassis team. Dan was the rear suspension Design and Release Engineer for the third generation Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Acadia and the all new Buick Envision. Launching these three all new suspension systems globally. Now Dan is the global Assistant Program Engineering Manager for the Cadillac XT5 and is completing an MBA at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. While working at General Motors, Dan has continued to support AVTCs.  Dan has served as GM’s Mentor Lead, Technical Lead, Event Captain and now Event Judge during the last four AVTCs.

Lynette Popma

Lynette Popma joined General Motors in 2000 and is a Propulsion System Safety Engineer in Milford, Michigan.  She holds a BSE in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University and is a Master Black Belt in DFSS.

Bob Ransijn

Bob Ransijn, M.Sc. is managing a group of application engineers at Siemens Software focused on Siemens’ System Simulation solutions. He has 12 years of technical experience working with many automotive and non-automotive customers in implementing system simulation methodologies using Simcenter Amesim for the performance analysis and energy management of vehicle systems, subsystems and controls. In his career he has worked extensively with OEMs like GM, Ford, FCA, Toyota, Honda and in recent years also with NIO, Lyft and GAC R&D as well as many suppliers. Bob holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Twente in The Netherlands.

Michele Rodgers

Michele Rodgers is the Director of Program Management for Peterbilt Motors Company.  Located in Denton, Texas, Peterbilt has a global reputation for superior quality, industry leading design, innovative engineering and fuel-efficient solutions, and is regarded as the “Class” of the industry. Rodgers has more than twenty years of experience at Peterbilt on the engineering and program management teams.  Starting her career as an intern, Rodgers has held several positions of increasing responsibility. She also serves as a member of the Peterbilt Women’s Initiative Group (PBWIN) steering committee.  PBWIN’s mission is to serve as champions for the empowerment of women at Peterbilt. Rodgers holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Texas, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. Additionally, she is a licensed professional engineer. Rodgers lives in the Dallas area with her husband and two children and enjoys spending her free time with her family.

Ann M. Schlenker

Ann M. Schlenker is the Director for the Center for Transportation Research at Argonne National Laboratory. Ms. Schlenker’ s applied research area is actively seeking to reduce the transportation sector’s reliance on fossil fuel and the environmental impact; while improving mobility access with affordable solutions. Her responsibilities include evaluating the energy and environmental impacts of advanced technologies and new transportation fuels. She oversees engineering research to improve engine fuel efficiency and combustion processes, the benchmark and analyses of vehicle, component and engine control strategies for advanced technology vehicles and validating the electric drivetrain interoperability with the Smart Grid. She is also responsible for flexible modeling and simulation tool development for possible advanced vehicle configurations. Moreover, a cornerstone of mobility system research is focused on large scale transportation system modeling with an intelligent transportation infrastructure, connected and automated vehicles, and emerging business models with human decision interactions. In addition, Ms. Schlenker has responsibility for the DOE Student Vehicle Competitions for advanced propulsion technologies and automation innovations.

Michael Wahlstrom

Director of Global Electronic Components and Subsystems, General Motors

Target Market Presentation

Leigh Anderson

Leigh Anderson, MBA, Higher Education Program Manager for Automotive worldwide at Siemens Software. Leigh has 15 years of product management experience in the engineering software industry across a wide range of products ― from embedded software to simulation. Another 10 years of experience in startup companies, including automotive sensors and processors provides additional perspective ― the integrated automotive design challenge is increasingly a multi-disciplinary imperative, spanning electronics hardware, embedded software, networking, cabling/harnesses, and diverse mechanical and sensor subsystems. Leigh is also a car enthusiast, a nationally certified veteran high-performance driving instructor for 3 national car clubs and makes mods to his own track car.

Heather Croteau

Heather Croteau is a Technology Manager for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO). As a member of the Energy Efficient Mobility Systems (EEMS) team, she manages a research portfolio that examines the energy impacts of emerging transportation technologies, such as connected and automated vehicles, shared mobility, and advanced powertrains, and develops solutions that increase mobility energy productivity. Prior to joining the EEMS team, Heather was a support contractor for both VTO’s communications and outreach efforts and analysis portfolio.

Taylor Frey

Taylor Frey is the marketing manager for the North American affiliate of AVL, a global leader in advanced propulsion technology. She received bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Public Relations/Advertising from Penn State University. While there, she participated in AVTC’s for several years. She began her career as a writer in the communications office for the Pennsylvania Senate, and then moved to Michigan to shift to a marketing role at AVL. She has a M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Eastern Michigan University, and lives in Metro Detroit with her husband and the occasional foster cat.

James K. Harkins

James K. Harkins (Jim) is the Engineering Director of Electrified Systems Engineering at DENSO International America, Inc. (DIAM) located in Southfield, Michigan.  Harkins joined DENSO in 1996 as an application engineer, responsible for the development of starters and alternators for the Chrysler Group.   In 1999, Harkins was promoted to senior engineer, where he introduced General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC to DENSO’s segment conductor alternator series.   Harkins was appointed to the position of staff engineer in 2001 and later advanced to manager of the Engine Electrical Engineering Department in 2004.  In 2008, Harkins was promoted to senior manager of Engine Electrical Engineering Department, where he worked with North American automakers advanced idle stop start systems and eventually on electric hybrid vehicle(EHV) components.   In 2012, Harkins established DENSO’s EHV Department at DIAM to advance development for North American customers and facilitate localization.   In collaboration with laboratories in Japan and Germany, Harkins established DENSO’s high voltage laboratory at DIAM, dedicated to power electronic, electric motor and electrified system development. Prior to joining DENSO, Harkins worked on wire harnesses as an intern with Alcoa Fujikura Ltd(AFL) in Allen Park, Michigan. Harkins received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in Dearborn, Michigan.   He also holds certificates for Japanese studies through the University of Detroit-Mercy in Detroit, Michigan.  Currently, Harkins has four awarded patents and several applications pending. He is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Engineering Society of Detroit and has supported Michigan Technological University’s Chief’s Hybrid Challenge Chief’s Council, as well as the University of Michigan-Dearborn Formula SAE Electric program.

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Technology Integration Program Manager within the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office. In this role, he oversees a broad technology portfolio, which is focused on accelerating the development and widespread use of advanced vehicle technologies to help reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and to provide reliable, and affordable, transportation choices. The Technology Integration Program portfolio includes, Alternative Fuels, Fuel Economy, Electrification, Energy Efficient Mobility Systems, and the Alternative Fuels Regulatory Program.

Lauren Tabolinksy

Lauren Tabolinsky joined MathWorks in 2008 and currently manages Academic Programs at MathWorks.  Before joining MathWorks, Lauren was a product manager at Harvard Business School Publishing.  Lauren holds a B.A. degree from Monmouth University and a Master’s degree in Marketing Communications form Emerson College.

Lisa Tipton

Lisa Tipton is located at Robert Bosch in Farmington Hills corporate office and is lead for STEM education event planning and supports personnel marketing and campus relations for focus university recruiting for Bosch NA rotational development junior managers program. She has worked in automotive HR, marketing, sales and communications for 20 years. Lisa has held past positions with General Motors and Delphi.

Project Strategy and Risk Review

Jesus Cota

Jesus started his career with PACCAR as an Associate Design Engineer at Kenworth Mexico in 2008. He moved to Kenworth Division at Kirkland, WA in 2012 and held positions of increasing responsibility such as Engineering Supervisor – Core Interiors and Program Manager for new product development.  As part of PACCAR development program, Jesus was selected for the role of Sr. Operations Auditor for PACCAR Corporate, in which he focused in providing internal control evaluation and consulting services to all PACCAR locations globally. Jesus re-joined Kenworth in 2018 as a Sr. Program Manager. Jesus earned his Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from Baja California State University (Baja California, Mexico) and MBA in Management from Cetys Universidad (Baja California, Mexico).

Anthony Farrell

Anthony Farrell is an Engineering Manager in the Chassis Controls – Active Safety division. He is responsible for technical project management, software management timelines, and international associate coordination. He has 17 years’ experience in chassis controls working for Conti, Siemens, and Bosch.  His background is in vehicle dynamics, calibration, applications, and project management.

Sim Gill

Sim Gill is a Vehicle Performance Engineer at the Milford Proving Grounds, and is part of the Global RWD Development Team.  In this role, she is responsible for Powertrain N&V, focusing on exhaust tuning.   As a student, Sim was the Team Lead for her school’s FSAE team.  She joined GM in 2011 as a Manufacturing Controls Engineer and has since held positions as a Powertrain Resident Manager and as a Suspension and Structure DRE.  Sim holds a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Dalhousie University and an MBA from Kettering University.  She is also a licensed Professional Engineer.

Dr. Rachael Nealer

Dr. Rachael Nealer is the Chief of Staff for the three Sustainable Transportation Offices (Bioenergy Technologies Office, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, and Vehicle Technologies Office) in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to her current role, Dr. Nealer was with the Vehicle Technologies Office, where she managed a portfolio of research and development that spans transportation systems modeling and produces publicly available transportation data, modeling, and analysis done at DOE, the national labs, and beyond.

Bill Venner

Bill joined GM in 1999 as a Noise and Vibration Engineer. He has held many different positions including Vehicle Development for Noise and Vibration and Ride and Handling, Design Release for Steering Systems and Plant Quality Engineer. Prior to his current role as Director of Steering and Structures, he held the position of Managing Director GM Korea Vehicle Performance, Proving Ground and Test Labs (2011-14). Bill holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech.

Zach Slaton

Zach Slaton is the Director of Program Management at Kenworth Truck Company. Zach has been with Kenworth since 2007. During his career he has held positions of increasing responsibility including Principal Engineer and Vehicle Integration Supervisor. His most recent assignment was Engineering Section Manager for Architecture, Hardware, and Software within PACCAR Embedded Engineering.  Prior to joining Kenworth Zach completed 6 years of increasing diesel engine design responsibility at Ford Motor Company. Zach holds both a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. He is also a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and a registered Professional Engineer in Washington State.

Inga Yuditski

Inga Yuditsky joined General Motors in 2011, and is a Propulsion System Safety Engineer in Milford, Michigan. She holds a B.S.E in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and a M. Eng. in Energy Systems Engineering from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.