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photos by Marc Rozman
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Congress in Detroit is a major event for the people who create cars and trucks, delving into future technologies and trends, and matching people to jobs. The “Powering Possibilities” theme revolved around “untapped discoveries.”
Technical sessions covered integrated design and manufacturing, powertrain, management and marketing, electronics, materials, body/chassis, and sustainability. Sessions were led by people from a wide range of companies and groups — NASA Langley, GE Aviation, Intel Security, DARPA, Steelcase, and others. Panelists were highly wide-ranging, including the CTO of Toyota, head of powertrain controls at GM, the senior chief engineer at Honda R&D, a VP from Faurecia, and others. One presenter was Dr. Hussein Dourra, SAE Fellow, Senior Technical Fellow at FCA, and FCA Senior Manager of Powertrain Controls Sciences; he spoke with Allpar’s Marc Rozman at the show.
FCA was represented by powertrain chief and panelist Bob Lee, transmission chief and moderator Jeff Lux, and numerous session organizers and participants. FCA’s Weiguo Zhang won the Forest R. McFarland and Arch T. Colwell awards, while Bob Lee garnered the Franz Pischinger Powertrain Innovation award.
This year, there seemed to be many more job openings, and both suppliers and major automakers were pitching to fill positions. FCA US was among those eagerly recruiting new engineers; the company has ambitious plans and by many reports, not enough people to achieve all of them.
The event was held at the newly renovated Cobo Hall, an attractive event space which provides fine views from the roof and perimeter.
Numerous companies showed off their projects and products, with Chrysler revealing the Pacifica hybrid.
There were also classic car displays, including a privately owned Amphicar and a Model T presented by Ford.
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