September 15–17, 2020

Novi, MI

2019 Speakers

Ed Begley, Jr.
Actor, Author, and Environmental Activist

When it comes to taking personal responsibility for sustainability, few individuals can match the record of actor and activist Ed Begley, Jr. Originally recognized for his portrayal of Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the long-running hit television series St. Elsewhere, Begley has since authored two nationally distributed books on sustainable living — Living Like Ed and Ed Begley’s Guide to Sustainable Living — and is known for turning up at black tie Hollywood events on his bicycle or from the subway station.

Begley represents the gold standard for sustainable living and energy efficiency advocacy and is one of the sought-after speakers on EVs, solar power, and energy storage. His empowering and humorous message on sustainable living includes everything from stories about driving his 1970 electric cart to helpful hints on picking the “low hanging fruit” of energy savings.

Begley lives in a custom LEED Platinum home that is truly a showcase of energy efficiency and sustainable living thanks to its solar electricity, solar water heating, gray water recycling, and lighting automation. His transportation hierarchy starts with his bicycle, then moves from public transportation to pure electric automobiles and hybrids. When not speaking about his long-time dedication to renewable energy, Begley can be seen on the critically acclaimed ABC show, Bless This Mess.

Mark Verbrugge
Director, Chemical and Materials Systems Laboratory at General Motors

Mark Verbrugge started his career at GM Research Labs in 1986 after receiving his doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of California (Berkeley), College of Chemistry. In 1996, he was awarded a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan Fellowship. After completing his MBA, Mark returned to GM as the chief engineer for Energy Management Systems within Advanced Technology Vehicles (ATV).

In 2002, Mark rejoined the GM Research Labs as director of the Materials and Processes Lab, which maintains global research programs ranging from chemistry, physics, and materials science to the development of structural subsystems and energy storage devices. The lab has since expanded in scope and is now the Chemical and Materials Systems Laboratory. Mark has published and patented in the areas of electroanalytical methods, polymer electrolytes, advanced batteries and supercapacitors, fuel cells, high-temperature air-to-fuel-ratio sensors, surface coatings, compound semiconductors, and various manufacturing processes related to automotive applications of structural materials.

Mark has been honored with the Norman Hackerman Young Author Award, the Energy Technology Award from the Electrochemical Society, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Council for Automotive Research, and an R&D 100 Award. He is a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Bob Taenaka
Senior Technical Leader, Electrified Vehicle Battery Cells/Systems, Ford Motor Company

Bob Taenaka is a senior technical leader in Electrified Vehicle Battery Cells and Systems at Ford Motor Company, responsible for battery cell technology and battery system performance in support of Ford's present and near-term future production hybrid and electric vehicles. Bob's team also carries out battery system sizing and performance/life modeling/validation activities. In this role, Bob also supports the technical oversight of battery cell suppliers, helping to bring their cell designs and manufacturing quality processes to automotive standards. He has played a key role in battery development for each of Ford’s production electrified vehicle models launched to date. Prior to joining Ford in 2001, Bob spent 18 years with Hughes Space & Communications, serving as battery engineer for the Galileo Probe mission to Jupiter; principal investigator or program manager for several nickel-hydrogen and sodium-sulfur battery development efforts; and held responsibility for in-orbit support on battery usage for satellite customers and ground stations.

Venkat Anandan
Group Leader, Solid State Batteries, Ford Motor Company

Timothy Arthur
Principal Scientist – Materials Research Department, Toyota Research Institute of North America

Shmuel De-Leon
Shmuel De-Leon Energy

Ellen Hughes-Cromwick
Assoc. Director and Senior Economist, Univ of Michigan Energy Institute

Brian Ingram
Materials Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory

Leslie Kilgore
VP Engineering & Technology, Daimler-DTNA-Thomas Built Buses

Jody Leber
Senior Technologist, CSA Group

Christopher Michelbacher
EV Charging & Infrastructure Manager, Audi of America

Naoki Ota
CTO, 24M

Kunal Phalpher
Chief Commerical Officer, Li-Cycle

Dave Rich
BFO - BOM Family Owner 12V - 48V Vehicle Electrification and Tech Development, General Motors

Michael Sanders
Senior Advisor, Avicenne Energy

Saeed Siavoshani
Technical Specialist, Hybridization/Electrification, Siemens PLM

Brian Sisk
VP, Product Development, A123 Systems

Cory Steuben
Account Director, Munro & Associates

Matt Thorington
Calibration Engineer, Bosch

Matti Vint
Engineering R&D Director, Powertrain Systems, Valeo