Confirmed 2024 Speakers

Be Informed and Inspired by Leaders and Innovators
Brian Breuhan

Brian Breuhan

Global Manufacturing Optimization Strategist

General Motors

Brian Breuhan has over 20 years of experience working in mechanical design, project engineering and project management within the automotive engineering/manufacturing industry. Brian has held various professional leadership roles for nonprofits, including, Executive Board Member for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Metro Detroit, Industry 4.0 Advisory Council for Automation Alley and a member of the Industrial Advisory Board for Wayne State University. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Wayne State University and a Master of Science in Engineering Management from Central Michigan University.

Trent Randles, Borgwarner

Trent Randles

Engineering Manager - Transfer Case Assembly & Operational Excellence


Trent Randles has worked for Automotive Tier-1 suppliers for the last 10 years including Plastic Omnium, Magna Seating and BorgWarner. Holding various engineering positions in operations, design, program launch and engineering leadership has given him a unique perspective of the manufacturing industry. Throughout his career he’s led multiple digital transformation initiatives involving Digital Twins, Augmented Reality, and Cyber-Physical Production Systems.

In his current role as Manufacturing Engineering Manager at BorgWarner, he continues to promote digital technology advancement through educating others, coaching his team, and developing key partnerships.

Trent holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Technology Management from University of South Carolina – Upstate and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University. He is passionate about advancing technology in manufacturing, learning from others in this area and being a mentor to those seeking knowledge about it.

Paul Stephen, Ford Motor new

Paul Stephens

Manufacturing Transformation Lead

Ford Motor Company

Paul Stephens in an innovation leader across Ford’s manufacturing, playing a critical role in transforming the carmaker’s vehicle production, especially for electric vehicles and greenfield plants. Since February 2023, he is responsible for next-generation manufacturing innovation initiative to improve production efficiency and lower costs. His main focus is on new electric vehicles and platforms, and production at Ford’s upcoming EV factories in Tennessee and Kentucky. Stephens has been with Ford for more than eight years in a variety of manufacturing engineering roles across various model launches and tooling, and across vehicle operations for forward vehicle launches. He a degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering University.

Marc Dugas, Ford

Marc Dugas

Technical Battery Production Specialist

Ford Motor Company

With over two decades of manufacturing and process engineering experience, Marc Dugas serves as a technical specialist at Ford Motor Company. A global leader, Marc has successfully implemented Stafford Beer's POSIWID approach, launching efficient engine assembly systems worldwide. Presently, Marc is revolutionizing battery pack and cell to pack assembly processes, setting new benchmarks for Ford's electrified future.

Eric Anderson, S&P Global

Eric Anderson

Associate Director, Light Vehicle Powertrain forecasting for the Americas

S&P Global 

Eric Anderson serves as Associate Director, Light Vehicle Powertrain forecasting for the Americas at S&P Global Mobility (formerly IHS Markit), performing research and forecasts on light vehicle production, electrification and competitive forces around the region. He has an in-depth understanding of market conditions, OEM electrification and platform strategies, product lifecycles, as well as the regulatory environment. This also entails understanding consumer habits, preferences, trends, and macroeconomic conditions expected to play out in the market. Prior to joining S&P Global, Eric worked for a global Tier 1 automotive supplier and played a key role in their North American supply chain and logistics operations. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Western Michigan University and a Master of Business Administration from Walsh College.

Automotive Evolution 2023 Speakers

Estes Portrait

Jud Estes

Quality Engineer

Daimler Truck North America

Coming soon...


Humam M. Alwan

Software X Quality Management - Reactive Problem Solving Master & Instructor


Humam M Alwan is a dynamic professional with a rich and diverse background in engineering, business, and operations management. Armed with a BS and MS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Oakland University and an MBA from the prestigious University of Michigan, Humam is a true expert in his field.
With a Master Blackbelt and Instructor certification in Shainin Red X problem-solving, program leadership credentials in Kepner Tregoe, and a PMP certification, Humam boasts a formidable skill set that sets him apart in the world of Automotive design and manufacturing. His impressive achievements include graduating from the esteemed Manufacturing Leadership Program at Stellantis and spearheading root cause analyses that collectively generated astounding savings exceeding $300 million.
Currently, Humam serves as a Reactive Problem Solver and Master Black Belt Instructor in the Software X Global Quality Management Group. In this role, he has played a pivotal role in training and mentoring numerous candidates across North America, Brazil, Italy, and Morocco. His expertise shines brightest when tackling the most intricate challenges related to electrical and electronic systems and software warranty and launch issues on numerous high-impact programs.
Before venturing into automotive manufacturing and design, Humam held the position of Head of Operations at a multi-clinic healthcare organization. It was here that he first honed his skills in applying lean manufacturing principles, demonstrating his adaptability and versatility.
In addition to his professional endeavors, Humam Alwan is also a dedicated educator. He imparts his extensive knowledge by teaching classes on product lifecycle management and lean manufacturing at Oakland University's School of Engineering and Computer Science. His commitment to sharing his wisdom ensures that the next generation of engineers and business leaders are well-prepared for the challenges of the modern world.
With a career that seamlessly combines operational excellence, systematic problem-solving, and a passion for education, Humam M Alwan is a true trailblazer in his field, making a lasting impact wherever he goes.

Leonel Leal, Ford

Leonel Leal

Advisor, Mobility Industry

Stealth-Mode EV

Leonel Leal is an innovative leader in advanced product and manufacturing engineering, with a broad range of experience across pure electric vehicle manufacturers, including Tesla and Faraday Future, as well as industries outside the automotive industry. He joined Ford this year to take on a new role responsible for next-generation advanced feasibility for manufacturing of EV architectures and software-defined vehicles in the carmaker’s Model e division. In the role, he is helping to improve integrated engineering, product and manufacturing development, including design for manufacturing processes. Leal previously held advanced and senior manufacturing engineering roles at Tesla and Faraday Future, including advanced manufacturing strategy and vehicle and battery integration. He went on to be senior director of global advanced manufacturing engineering and digital transformation at white goods manufacturer Whirlpool, and later led vehicle design engineering at Amazon, leading on engineering technology for future last mile-delivery technology. He has a Bachelor of Science in product design from Stanford University.

Lars Carlstrom, ItalVolt resized

Lars Carlstrom


Statevolt - Italvolt

Lars is a Swedish-born entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience across multiple industries, with particular focus on real estate and recently green industrialisation. He is passionate about supporting the global energy transition to power the world more sustainability and is a strong advocate of advancing low carbon energy solutions. Lars believes that battery cell factories can be used as a dual-track solution for advancing the energy transition and economic development. He advocates for building battery cell factories in areas which have experienced economic decline or underinvestment. By focusing development in these areas, battery cell plants can help generate employment opportunities and deliver direct and indirect economic benefits. In 2021, Lars founded a company that plans to build a 45GWh battery plant in Italy, which will be the country’s largest, independent, battery cell factory. The battery cell factory will focus on creating new opportunities for re-skilling and upskilling workers in Italy’s automotive industry. Italvolt is supporting the green industrialisation of Italy, and Europe, more widely, by delivering battery cells which will help drive decarbonisation across a variety of industries. In 2022, Lars founded Statevolt, which is planning to build a 54 GWh battery factory in Imperial Valley, California. The Statevolt project will focus on developing a new, ‘hyper-local’ business model for battery development. The arrangement will see the business source its key feedstock, lithium, and power, from local sources, to minimize the environmental impact of production and build a more sustainable and secure supply chain. The unifying aim of Lars’ work in building battery cell plants is to support economic regeneration, green industrialization, and good jobs, in Italy and USA.


Eric Anderson

Associate Director, Americas Light Vehicle Powertrain forecasting

S&P Global Mobility

Eric Anderson serves as Associate Director, Light Vehicle Powertrain forecasting for the Americas at S&P Global Mobility (formerly IHS Markit), performing research and forecasts on light vehicle production, electrification and competitive forces around the region. He has an in-depth understanding of market conditions, OEM electrification and platform strategies, product lifecycles, as well as the regulatory environment. This also entails understanding consumer habits, preferences, trends, and macroeconomic conditions expected to play out in the market. Prior to joining S&P Global, Eric worked for a global Tier 1 automotive supplier and played a key role in their North American supply chain and logistics operations. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Western Michigan University and a Master of Business Administration from Walsh College.


Raj Sohmshetty


Wayne State University Office of Business Innovation & Technology Commercialization

Raj Sohmshetty is a recently retired employee of Ford Motor Company where he had served in various technical and people leadership roles. His experience spans automotive product development, manufacturing, and technology development. In his most recent role as a Technical Specialist in Ford Research & Advanced Engineering, he led research projects related to Industry 4.0, AI/ML, robotics/automation, manufacturing data analytics, and future mobility systems. Raj has published over 25 conference and journal papers, reviewed technical papers, and chaired sessions for SAE and Smart Manufacturing and Automation Conferences. He has received over 60 patents in automotive design, manufacturing, and future mobility systems fields and multiple Trade Secret Awards.
Raj Sohmshetty holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras; a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo, Ohio; & an MBA degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Raj Kawlra, Stellantis

Raj Kawlra

ex-Head of NA Stellantis Production Way Deployment

Stellantis (Retired) Manufacturing Consultant

Coming soon...

William Friess, Director / Delivery Partner, Kyndryl

William Friess

Director / Delivery Partner


William (Bill) Friess is a Director / Delivery Partner within Kyndryl’s Manufacturing, Communications and Energy (MCE) organization. With over 37 years of IT Industry experience, Bill’s most recent assignments include Account Management responsibility for major Automotive Manufacturers.
Bill’s industry experience includes Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Sales and Marketing, Finance and Product Development. With over 30 years’ experience working with Automotive clients, he has extensive experience related to predictable, high-quality delivery of large, complex, global initiatives. His track record includes a special focus on successful recovery of Troubled Projects and Programs. Bill also has significant experience with IT Operations, Systems Development, Process and Organizational definition, development, deployment and management.
Bill received a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University with a major in Operations Research / Information Systems and secondary concentration Industrial Technology. Bill is an IBM Certified Project Executive, was PMP Certified from the Project Management Institute (PMI), certified as an IBM Executive Project Manager, and holds a Foundations Certificate in IT Service Management (ITIL).

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Victor Gaylor

Quality Auditor


Coming soon...

Dan Skulan

Dan Skulan

General Manager – Industrial Metrology


Dan Skulan helps companies increase production throughput, maximize flexibility, and ensure optimal part quality in precision metal manufacturing using both CNC and Additive technologies. Backed by a global team of industrial metrologists, he works consultatively with companies who wish to achieve higher levels of productivity by incorporating Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 Principles. Dan holds degrees in Electronics Technology, Industrial Manufacturing and Marketing and has over 35 years practical experience with manufacturing process evaluation, design, and automated process control.

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Greg Ruscak

Engineering Manager


Greg joined Telsonic right after completing his studies as Mechanical engineer at Wentworth institute of Technology in 2015. He started working as applications engineer in Telsonic’s applications laboratory in Boston. Ever since then, he’s been working creatively and systematically to meet demanding customer needs by solving some of the most challenging applications and engineering problems. Many of these projects have made it successfully into production and are now present in a broad spectrum of automobiles, trucks and many other vehicles and products. These accomplishments, along with his focus on continuous improvement using his six sigma experience and scientific approach, led him to become the Engineering Manager serving the Americas market from our Boston location. His emphasis in our Linear, Torsional, and PowerWheel® technologies has helped to expand the application spectrum for the automotive industry.

Manbir Singh

Manbir Singh

Digital Transformation Leader-Automotive


Manbir Singh is a forward-thinking and dynamic leader in the digital transformation space within the automotive industry. With a deep understanding of the intersection between technology and manufacturing processes, Manbir’s expertise includes driving digital innovation, operational efficiency, and fostering sustainable growth.
Manbir has led numerous digital transformation initiatives across various domains throughout his career involving automation, advanced analytics, and AI/ML technologies. Manbir holds a Bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and an MBA from the University of Texas-Tyler.
Manbir brings a holistic approach to his engagements, combining his technical expertise with a deep understanding of industry knowledge and its associated challenges. He advocates for stakeholder engagement at all levels of the organization during the digital transformation journey to gain insights into existing processes and identify pain points, thus, delivering tailored strategies for digital transformation.

Rajeev Puri, Kyndryl

Rajeev Puri

Chief Technology Officer - Industrial, Communications & Power sector


My success story has been around IT optimization at scale with data center consolidations to virtualization to the Journey to Cloud and now focused on digital transformation with containerization, application migration and management deployment of artificial intelligence, automation, edge computing and much more.
I am a Master Inventor, Author, Distinguished Engineer, and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Kyndryl US. In the last 26 years, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most inspiring clients & mentors across the Industrial, Communications & Power sectors.
Rajeev holds MS in Computer Science and BS in Electrical Engineering from University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

C. Glover - Copy

Chris Glover

Chief Executive Officer

Volkswagen Chattanooga

Chris Glover graduated from the University of Cape Town, South Africa with a degree in Electronic Engineering in 1987.
Glover’s lifelong career with Volkswagen then began, where he has held positions within information technology, product management, manufacturing planning and production. More than half of these positions were international assignments in Germany, Brazil, China, Mexico and now the United States.
After a decade with Volkswagen of South Africa, Glover began his international career with 2 assignments in production in Wolfsburg, Germany. From 2004-2007, Glover led Production Planning and Industrial Engineering at the Curitiba plant of VW Brazil. He returned to South Africa as Division Head for Production from 2007-2010 and Division Head for Production Planning from 2010-2012. Thereafter, Glover spent 7.5 years in Shanghai as Head of Production Planning for SAIC Volkswagen from 2012-2019, where he was responsible for the planning and construction of seven new vehicle factories, including the first all-electric vehicle plant in Anting, Shanghai. He then spent 2.5 years as Vice President of Production and Logistics at VW Mexico in Puebla before joining the team in Chattanooga, Tennessee at the beginning of 2022.
As President and CEO at the Volkswagen Chattanooga plant, Glover has overseen the successful launch of the ID.4 in 2022 and the factory’s transformation to become Volkswagen’s North American hub for electric vehicle and battery assembly. With Chattanooga now entrenched as a key player in the VW Group’s international strategy, Glover and team are now setting their sights on the future growth of the plant to meet the increasing demand for electric mobility in the North American region.
Glover speaks four languages: English, Spanish, German and Portuguese. He is married with 3 children.