Dr. Richard Buckius
Vice President for Research, Purdue University
Dr. Buckius joined Purdue University in September 2008 as the Vice President for Research and Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Previously, he served as the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Assistant Director for Engineering (2006-08), Acting Assistant Director for Engineering (2005-06), Director for the Engineering Directorate’s Division of Chemical and Transport Systems (2004 -05), and Program Director of the Thermal Systems and Engineering Program (1987-88). He was Head of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC, 1988-2005). In addition, he served as Associate Head (1985-87), the Richard W. Kritzer Professor (1992-97), and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research (1988-91) at UIUC.
Buckius is author/co-author of over 100 publications, books and invited talks and articles. He co-authored a textbook titled Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics (Mc-Graw-Hill). He is a member of the editorial board of Nanoscale and Microscale Thermophysical Engineering, Heat Transfer Research, and Heat Transfer-Japanese Research. Among his honors are ASME’s Potter Gold Medal (2006), ASEE’s Ralph Coats Roe Award (2003), and numerous UIUC teaching awards, including the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (1980).
Buckius received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and his PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1972, 1973 and 1975, respectively.
Dr. James Lyons
Chief Technology Officer, Novus Energy Partners (Chief Engineer, GE Global Research - retired)
Dr. James Lyons became a founder of Novus Energy Partners in 2008 after a 30 year technology career at GE. Jim serves as the Chief Technology Officer at Novus - a new venture capital firm focused on the creation and growth of clean/renewable energy companies.
Jim was Chief Engineer for Electrical and Electronic Systems at GE Research serving as technology leader and mentor for a 250-member global team. He was a leading advocate for renewable energy within GE and corporate champion and principal technologist for its wind energy business – GE’s most successful startup ever with $6+B 2008 revenue. He was also the technology leader behind the creation of GE’s Digital Energy business unit in 2000.
He’s most recently led new business/technology initiatives on waste gasification, electric vehicles, advanced batteries, and photovoltaics. Jim has served on the board of directors of Powerex, the Electric Drive Trade Association, Nordic Windpower, fortu GMBH, and the US Offshore Wind Collaborative. He was co-chair of the 2006 American Wind Energy Conference and an initiator of the AWEA/DOE roadmap to generate 20% of US electricity from wind. Jim has a BSEE degree from RPI, an MSEE from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Chief Strategy Officer - Corporate Development Office, ITOCHU Corporation
Bob Sunada is Chief Strategy Officer, Corporate Development Office ITOCHU Corporation. He is responsible for undertaking a broad range of new business development initiatives, focusing on LINEs (L: Life & Healthcare, I: Infrastructure, N: New Technologies & Materials, E: Environment & New Energy and s: synergy) as found in ITOCHU’s Medium-term Management Plan, Frontier 2010e.
From 2008 to 2009, he served as CEO of ITOCHU Electronics. He was Vice President and General Manager, IT & Aerospace Division, ITOCHU International Inc (USA) from 2004 to 2008 in addition to being CEO of ITOCHU Technology Inc. (Santa Clara, USA) since 2003. He was instrumental in creating new business opportunities through investment in US technologies as well as assisting IT product and service companies enter Japanese and Asian markets.
He served as a member of the board of directors of ITOCHU Aviation which represented major aerospace and defense manufacturers such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing.
He also served as a member of the investment advisory board of a US-based venture capital fund.
From 2002 to 2003, he was General Manager, Telecommunication Business Department. In 2001, he served as General Manager, Telecommunication Business Department No. 2, Information Technology Business Division. From 1999 to 2001, he served as General Manager of Overseas Telecommunication Business Section No. 2. He joined ITOCHU Corporation in 1982.
Sunada earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from Hitotsubashi University.
Founder, Automotive Insight
Mike Thomas founded Automotive Insight to bring new automotive consulting services to clients. Founded in 2004, Automotive Insight is a Veteran-owned company that provides extensive automotive industry knowledge, experience, skills and relationships to produce results. New insights are generated through extensive analyses, idea generation, technical and business studies. Areas of concentration include vehicle Fuel Economy technology assessments, Vehicle Electrification, Hybridization and Smart Grids, Wireless communications for Vehicle Safety and New Materials.
Prior to founding Automotive Insight, Thomas opened SAIC’s Detroit Automotive practice. During his tenure, SAIC acquired ANX e-Business, providing secure, low-latency network communications for OEM and supplier data exchange. Other endeavors included developing a winning program for hydrogen fuel cell technical development with the DOE and modeling of embedded software systems for improved quality.
Thomas began his automotive career at Ford Motor Company in 1968, and served 30 years in worldwide strategic, product, technical and business planning, product development, and powertrain and vehicle program management.
As Director of World Wide Automotive Planning, he led the development of a U.S. and European consensus to globalize Ford’s powertrain operations. This accomplishment became the foundation for the development of Ford 2000. Subsequently, Thomas led Ford's Powertrain complexity reduction initiatives to improve engineering and manufacturing efficiency, enable supplier cost reductions and achieve quality competitiveness.
As Executive Director to USCAR, Thomas led Big Three research collaboration efforts with the government to develop fuel efficiency improvement technologies. He assisted in the formation of the Army’s National Automotive Center (NAC) to conduct dual-use technology developments for future military and industry vehicles.
From 1983 to 1987, Thomas led Ford Brazil’s Product Development during the implementation of the Escort and Cargo programs, and directed the technical support for Ford’s merger with Volkswagen to form Autolatina.
Thomas was born and raised in Indiana. He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1964. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. In 1968, Thomas received his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Denver.
Dr. John Wall
Chief Technology Officer, Cummins, Inc.
Dr. John C. Wall is Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of Cummins Inc., based in Columbus, Indiana. John was named to this position in March 2000. Since joining Cummins in 1986, he has held positions in Emissions Research, Advanced Product Development, Technology Planning, and Research and Technology.
As John has progressed from research and product engineering into engineering leadership, he has remained directly involved in the most critical technology programs for low emissions, powertrain efficiency and alternative fuels. He contributes domestically and internationally in the areas of diesel engine emission controls and fuel property effects on emissions. He initiated and is actively involved in Cummins’ sponsorship of a laboratory for engine research and biofuel development at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) - Bombay. He serves on Boards of Directors of Cummins joint venture companies, including Cummins India, Ltd; Cummins Research and Technology, India; Cummins-Komatsu Industrial Power Alliance; and Cummins Westport Inc., where he also serves in a technical advisory capacity to Westport Innovations on fuel systems and combustion technology. John plays a key role with Cummins’ Science and Technology Council in identifying advanced technologies that should receive the attention of Cummins and the Council. John holds U.S. Patent 6,244,256: “High Temperature Coolant Loop for Cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation for Internal Combustion Engines.”
Before joining Cummins, John worked in fuels and lubricants research at Chevron. His research team at Chevron was the first to quantify the contribution of fuel sulfur to diesel particulate emissions.
John's technical interests today include advanced technologies for emission control and energy conversion, energy and environmental policy, renewable fuels, and engineering in a global work environment.
John studied Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his SB and SM degrees from the Mechanical Engineering Honors Program in 1975 and his ScD in 1978. His doctoral research was in the area of internal combustion engine efficiency and emissions. He continued his research in engine emissions and fuel effects on emissions at Chevron Research and then at Cummins. John’s technical publications have focused primarily on engine emissions and fuel economy. Most recently, John’s technical contributions outside Cummins have been primarily via industry working groups and speaking opportunities.
Vice Chairman, Bright Automotive; President, Waters & Associates, LLC
John E. Waters brings more than 25 years of entrepreneurialism, engineering experience, and advanced automotive expertise to Bright Automotive, a company ready to transform the automotive industry with proven, scalable, and highly efficient transportation solutions.
A pioneer in electric vehicles, John invented the battery pack system for General Motors’ first production electric vehicle, the EV1, and subsequent electric and hybrid electric vehicles. He also advanced and commercialized enabling battery technologies, such as lead acid, nickel metal hydride, lithium-ion, and applied them to transportation solutions. John helped launch Delphi Corporation's lithium battery business, led the joint venture of lithium battery manufacturer EnerDel, and developed lithium battery systems for the Segway® Human Transporter and the iBOT® medical device.
John launched Bright Automotive from Rocky Mountain Institute where he established the Transportation Practice a few years earlier. While at RMI, he consulted with several Fortune 100 companies, including Alcoa, Dell, and Ford Motor Company, to develop sustainable energy solutions and corporate strategies.
Dr. Bill Wylam
Chief Engineer-Batteries; Director of International Manufacturing, Delco Remy Division of General Motors Corporation (retired)
Dr. Wylam has a degree in Materials Engineering from Purdue University. He joined the Delco Remy Division of General Motors Corporation in 1957 and served as Chief Engineer-Batteries, Director of International Manufacturing, and Director of Technology Development. He led the development of many electric and hybrid-electric powertrain systems including the motor and battery system for the GM EV1 electric vehicle. Leaving GM in 1997, he became a technology executive with Remy International, supplier of high power components for North American and European hybrid systems, until his retirement in 2005. He now operates International Energy, LLC, an energy consulting company based in Indianapolis. He has been a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers for more than 40 years, is past chairman of the SAE Battery Subcommittee and past chairman of the Battery Council International Technical Committee. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Flagship Enterprise Center since its creation in 2003, a member of the Dean’s Industry Advisory Council for the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI since 1997, a member of the Advisory Board of the Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy since its formation, a member of the Advisory Committee for Atraverda, Inc. in the United Kingdom and a member of the Advisory Committee of Ener1, Inc. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Purdue University in May of 2006.
Dr. Hideki Hayashi
General Manager - Smart Grid Technology, Transmission & Distribution Systems; Toshiba Corporation
Hideki Hayashi is General Manager-Smart Grid Technology, Transmission & Distributions Division and Chief Engineer of Smart Community Div. of Toshiba Corporation Principal Office. He has been assuming leadership roles in some of the most technically challenging smart grid projects such as Miyako-Island Micro Grid (already in operation), US-Japan Collaboration of New Mexico Smart Grid Project, Integrated Energy Storage Systems for Smart Community, Next Gen. Optimal T&D Smart Grid Projects, Japan Smart Communities, etc. He is the Japan Representative of IEC SMB SG3, Expert of TC8 AHG4 and convener of Jisc/Cenelec Smart Grid WG, member of International Standardization Working Group of Japan Smart Community Alliance (JSCA), Japanese Committee of IEC-ACTAD, and Power System Technical Committee of the Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association (JEMA) etc. In these capacities, he is actively participating in international and domestic committees for the next generation power network and smart grid global standards.
He recently spearheaded Toshiba’s engineering efforts in the photovoltaic systems and smart grid systems. He completed his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Graduate School of Engineering Research at the University of Tokyo in March, 1978. He then joined Toshiba Corporation in April, 1978, and has been pursuing engineering, development, design of electric power systems monitoring and control systems, and electric power system solutions. He completed his doctorate (engineering) at the University of Tokyo in 1996.
Alec Proudfoot is the engineer at Google Inc. who started the RechargeIT plug-in vehicle project. He was a member of the engineering team at AeroVironment that created the GM Impact prototype. The Impact entered production as the GM EV1, the first modern high power AC induction electric vehicle. Alec has followed the alternative fuel vehicle scene as an engineer, a consumer, and journalist -- some of his footage appeared in the documentary film "Who Killed the Electric Car."
In addition to his alternative fuel vehicle work, Alec has a diverse engineering career, spanning fields from aviation to medical devices to telecommunications, and has also worked as a professional helicopter pilot. Most recently, Alec was a renewable energy engineer at Google working on the RE<C project, and previously worked as an engineering manager on imaging related applications for projects including Google Book Search and Google Maps. In his "20% time," Alec advised Google's philanthropy organization on energy and transportation issues.