Burkhard HuhnkeUS – In his role as vice-president at Volkswagen’s North American Engineering and Planning Center (EPC), Burkhard Huhnke will encourage innovation in the market, build relationships with national R&D organisations and liaise with universities. His appointment is effective immediately.

“Dr Burkhard Huhnke’s 18 years of experience in research and development have prepared him for his expanded role here at the North American Engineering and Planning Center,” said Matthias Erb, executive vice-president of Engineering and Planning. “Dr Huhnke’s expertise will help direct our innovation efforts in the North American Region, for example in terms of lightweight materials and connectivity.”

Huhnke previously served as head of Product Engineering at VW’s Chattanooga plant, leading the product engineering teams for the Passat and mid-sized SUV projects. From 2006 to 2011 he was executive director of VW’s Electronics Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, California. His other achievements include helping to initiate the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Center (VAIL) at Stanford University and leading the Autonomous Car Project: Volkswagen Passat Junior.

Huhnke will continue to represent VW at the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation. He has also been named research fellow at the Global Center for Disruptive Innovation at Hult International Business School in San Francisco Bay, California.