Kettering University President Dr. Robert K. McMahan is part of a SXSW Eco panel discussing how automakers are using new materials to increase fuel efficiency of vehicles on October 7.
McMahan is part of a panel entitled, ‘It’s a Sprint, Not a Marathon -- The Race to 54.5 MPG.’ Panelists will discuss the how automakers are dealing with the required increase in fuel efficiency to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. To achieve this, they are turning to new lightweight materials. Performance plastics and lightweight composites are up to 10 times stronger and 50 percent lighter than steel, and 30 percent lighter than aluminum. The lightening of materials used will make stronger and green cars that will potentially accelerate and stop faster, be safer, be more fuel-efficient and have reduced emissions, among other advantages.
“Kettering University has an incredible history of excellence in Science, Engineering and Business that has its roots in the founding of the American automotive industry,” McMahan said. “As one of the nation’s top STEM and business universities, our students and graduates will continue to play a key role in shaping the future of the automotive industry as well as many others. It is an honor to represent Kettering University at one of the world’s most prestigious gatherings of industry leaders and to discuss a topic on which our talented students, faculty and alumni will make an immense impact in the coming years.”
Other panelists are Paul Mascarenas, Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Ingénieurs des Techniques de l'Automobile (FESITA) President and Chairman of the Executive Board; Raymond Boeman, Oak Ridge National Laboratory/U.S. Department of Energy Director and Energy Partnerships, Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate; and Scott Fallon, Sabic - GM Automotive Mktg Innovative Plastics.
SXSW Eco, which is entering its fifth year, provides a space for business leaders, investors, innovators and designers to advance solutions that drive economic, environmental and social change. The three-day conference, which is October 5-7 in Austin Texas, features collaborative events, panel sessions, competitions and presentations of transformative products, technologies and ideas.