Patrick joined Google in 2005 and helped to build Android from it’s early days to the thriving ecosystem of 100+ device partners and 1B+ users it is today. He has managed engineering efforts for the Android Open Source Project, Partnership Engineering, Google Play, and Nexus. He now leads Android Automotive, delivering open source software to power automotive infotainment for the industry.
Patrick has years of experience in software engineering, systems design and product strategy. Prior to Google, he worked as a consultant in product development, project management, IT strategy, software architecture and development for companies large and small, spanning finance, e-commerce, real estate, supply chain, inventory and point-of-sale systems.
Patrick was born in Upstate New York, spent his formative years in Boston, and now lives in San Francisco with his wife and three daughters.
Donna has been with Ford Motor Company for more than 25 years. She is currently Ford’s Technology and Features, Strategy and Planning Director. In this role, Donna is responsible for establishing and getting alignment for Ford’s technology and features strategy, globally.
Prior to this role, Donna served in leadership roles including chief of staff to Ford’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Ken Washington, and the director for the Research and Advanced Engineering Business Office, director of Research Operations at Ford’s Greenfield Labs in Palo Alto, California, and Global Product Development Quality Manager for Electrical at Ford.
Donna’s career at Ford is grounded in the Electrical and Electronic Systems Engineering Organization within Product Development, where she has held various technical and leadership roles in body module electronics design, electrical systems design and analysis, purchasing, quality as the 6-Sigma Project Champion for Electrical systems, and the Electrical Program Module Team leader launching key Ford vehicles and technologies. Donna has always been attracted to first-to-Ford or industry programs and technologies. She led the team in launching the first-to-industry award winning Sync in-vehicle infotainment system and the first to industry ambient lighting on the 2008 Ford Focus.
Donna was selected the 2018 Women of Color in STEM, Technologist of the Year by the Career Communications Group award selection committee for her experience, advocacy, and mentoring in STEM.
She is enrolled in the Global Executive Track Ph.D. Program at Wayne State University, where she is researching the intersection of innovation and quality.
Lauren Black, Ph.D. has an energetic and driven personality that combines a STEM education and mindset. Such a background has allowed Dr. Black to excel in her current role of leading New Innovation and Advanced Product Development within Vitro, a Tier 1 automotive supplier.
Prior to this, Dr. Black served in lead roles for New Innovation and Product Development for Arconic in areas of automotive, aerospace , and consumer applications. Furthermore, she led a team and helped developed new processes for the world’s first carbon-free aluminum smelting at Alcoa.
Dr. Lauren Black holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northern Illinois University and is currently attending MIT for her Certification in Innovation & Technology.
She is currently a council member in Advanced Technologies for the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, an active SAE member, and in her free time is apart of the volunteer fire service.
MARK A. JOHNSON, P.E. is currently the Operational Excellence Champion for General Motors Global Product Integrity organization, where he leads the deployment of structured problem-solving tools, methods and teams to improve product development operations and results.
Johnson’s involvement with the SAE Foundation has been both broad and deep, setting fundraising records in support of SAE’s award-winning science, technology, engineering and math education programs through a deep economic crisis. Johnson is a past-chair of the Board of Trustees of the SAE Foundation. Over his years of SAE membership, Johnson has also served as a member of SAE’s Board of Directors as well as the Finance Committee, Bylaws Committee, Education Board, Sections Board, and Motor Vehicle Council. He is also a past-chair of the Mid-Michigan SAE Section. In 2015, Johnson received SAE Foundation’s Donald W. Ableson Award for Visionary Leadership. He serves as the key executive for GM’s SAE International activities.
Johnson earned his MBA degree (cum laude) from the University of Michigan and his Bachelor of Science degree (cum laude) in Mechanical Engineering from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University).
Johnson is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan.
Soraya is the CTO Chief of Staff and Director of R&A Business Office at Ford Motor Company. Supporting the CTO, Kim leads R&A’s global business operations and oversees university research, strategic external partnerships including USCAR, Research Library & Information Systems, and STEM program. Prior to joining Ford, Kim was the Chief Innovation Officer at the American Center for Mobility, a leading state-of-the-art test facility for connected and automated vehicles, where she worked with the core team in standing up the facility, securing funding and partnering with global companies. Kim also worked for the Global Commercialization Group at the University of Texas in Austin where she evaluated and supported new technologies. She is an attorney by training with a background in mergers and acquisitions.
Dan Nicholson was appointed General Motors Vice President Global Propulsion Systems in December 2014 and became Vice President of Electrification, Controls, Software & Electronics in 2019. Prior to that, Dan was the Executive Director for Global Powertrain Embedded Controls at GM. In that role Dan ran the day-to-day operations of the global engineering team responsible for all powertrain controllers and software as well all powertrain calibration.
Nicholson began his career with General Motors as a co-op student at Buick Motor Division in 1982. He has an extensive background in Product Engineering and subsequently progressed through a series of leadership positions including engineering group manager, director of controller integration, director of engine calibration, chief engineer for V8 engines, managing director of GM Powertrain-Germany GmbH where he led all powertrain operations for the country unit, and Vice President of Global Quality.
Nicholson earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University, and a master of business administration degree from Stanford University.
Nicholson is also the President of FISITA, and a director of the Engineering Society of Detroit.
Doug Patton is Senior Technical advisor at DENSO International America, Inc. (DIAM), and senior director of DENSO Corp. Located at DENSO’s North American headquarters in Southfield, Michigan, he provides input and support on all aspects of R&D in North America. In his previous position as Executive Vice President Engineering and CTO he oversaw all North American product engineering and development, campus facilities and operations including all testing and technical services, and Engineering Administration. He was responsible for climate control, engine components, and systems and components, engine electrical, safety products, cluster, in-vehicle-infotainment (IVI) and body electronics and small motor engineering.
Patton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1977 and a Master of Business Administration degree in 1984, both from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.
He serves as president of the DENSO Foundation Board, is on the Board of Directors for the Engineering Society of Detroit (currently past president), and is also a member of the SAE, where he was the 2017 president. He is also an Engineering Society of Detroit Fellow.
Patton is a member of the Detroit Economic Club, Lawrence Technological University’s College of Engineering Advisory Board, the Engineering Advisory Council of Kettering University and the Executive Leadership Team of the North American International Powertrain Conference.
Andrew Poliak is the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) for Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America (PASA). As CTO, Andrew leads innovation initiatives including Advanced Engineering, Advanced UX/UI/ID visionaries, Product Planning and leads business development with major automotive / mobility customers as a future mobility consult. In addition to helping to develop product, technology and business, Andrew passionately champions in-house intellectual property strategic work to promote a safe autonomous future.
Previously, Andrew was Vice President of Planning & Innovation at Panasonic Automotive. Here, he tapped core company infotainment strengths and also envisioned a new mobility relevance with Android OS at the heart of Panasonic’s infotainment technology stack. Andrew is a tireless advocate of open collaboration and believes the most diverse ideas are just beneath but have yet to be uncovered. That philosophy is paired with strong partnering spirit to innovate, test, learn.
Prior to Panasonic, he led planning and business development for advanced driver assistance systems, reconfigurable clusters, telematics, connected services and infotainment at Blackberry QNX Software Systems. This tenure covered industry categories core to automotive, general embedded, medical, infotainment and IoT.
With more than 20 years of experience, Andrew has multiple patents in automotive acoustic, multimedia and navigation technologies. He has been a part of successful technology launches in over 100 million vehicles and his track record as an innovator combined with his deep expertise continually gives Panasonic an edge in the race for future success in automotive systems.
Andrew graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Business Administration.
Kousay Said, Chair
Kousay Said, Chair
Kousay Said is the Chief Strategy Officer at Ecovia Renewables. His 30 year career is a journey focused on resource efficiency and circular economy, with stops along the way as the Senior Vice President- Commercial and Strategy at Leggett & Platt Automotive, President and CEO of GreenMantra Technologies, and Managing Director of Dow Solar Solutions.
Kousay studied mechanical engineering and holds an MBA from Oakland University. He was elected as an SAE Foundation Trustee in February 2016.
Michael Robinet serves as executive director, Automotive Advisory Services at IHS Markit. As executive director in the global automotive advisory practice, Michael works with industry leaders, suppliers, OEMs and government entities throughout the global auto ecosystem, advising on the fields of supplier strategy profitability, global production planning and forecasting, future product programs, analyzing sourcing and production strategies to help drive business decisions. Michael has more than three decades of experiences in automotive forecasting, strategic analysis and manufacturing finance.
Jeff Varick is Founder and CEO of Brandmotion, LLC, a developer of highly integrated vehicle retrofit safety solutions for distribution through the automotive aftermarket. Brandmotion distributes emerging OEM-based technology and OEM-quality vehicle accessory solutions through a North American network of over 2,500 distributors, restylers, vehicle fleets and 12-volt installers.
Brandmotion has been a leader in developing Connected Vehicle solutions for the aftermarket, to help bring advanced vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology to a greater number of cars and trucks on the roads through aftermarket channels of distribution. The company is an inaugural member of the University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center (MCity), and is serving the Tampa CV Pilot as Vehicle Integrator, responsible for all sourcing, integration, installation and verification of the Tampa CV Pilot vehicles.
Brandmotion was named Manufacturer of the Year in 2015 by the SEMA PRO Council, the aftermarket association. In 2016, Jeff was honored by the same group within SEMA as Person of the Year for his leadership in taking the aftermarket into the Connected Vehicle age.
Prior to forming Brandmotion, Jeff held a wide variety of product development, business development and marketing strategy leadership roles within the global automotive industry, including Director of New Product Strategy for Johnson Controls, new business development manager for GM International Operations in Zurich, Switzerland, and design engineer at GMs Design Studios in Warren Michigan.
Jeff received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Tim Whited has spent his 40-year professional career focused in the field of corrosion control for assets owned and operated by the Oil & Gas Industry. He began his career by developing his own corrosion control company which was ultimately sold. He is presently employed by MESA of Tulsa, OK and is Director of Business Development for the Corrosion Solutions group. His experience includes all-phases of the corrosion control services business, with a specialty of innovating new corrosion solutions and improving existing technologies. Many Oil & Gas operators in the U.S., Canada and the Middle East are valued customers.
Mr. Whited has benefited significantly from a STEM focused education, holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Illinois State University. He has been a member of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) for most of his career. He is an inventor on four patents and has published over (10) NACE technical papers and articles.
Approximately 15-years ago, Tim began an exciting journey that continues today as a passionate collector of cars from various eras. His goal has always been to collect interesting cars of all ages, experience them for a period of time, then sell and find others of interest. This passion has enabled Tim to meet a wonderful assortment of car collector enthusiasts and travel the country for many events. A major highlight of this hobby has been the tremendous honor of having two cars accepted to be shown and judged in the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2007 & 2009. Car collecting is also responsible for leading Tim to the SAE Foundation as result of the incredible experience related to the purchase of a car at the Barrett-Jackson auction in 2013 where all proceeds went to the SAE Foundation.
Tim resides in the mountains west of Boulder, CO and has a vacation home on Galveston Island, TX.
Kent grew up on a family farm in Nebraska and he graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
From 1988 to 1993, Kent was with Ford New Holland in Detroit Michigan and New Holland Pennsylvania as a Senior Project Engineer responsible for cab, seats, controls, and interior trim. Since 1993, Kent has been with Sears Manufacturing Company holding positions of Chief Engineer, Director of Off Road Engineering, and Vice President of Off Road Engineering in Davenport, Iowa. In August of 2000, Kent and his family lived in the United Kingdom for three years serving as Managing Director at Sears Europe in Wales.
Upon his return in 2003, Kent served Sears Manufacturing Company as President – Off Road Division and Managing Director- Sears Europe. In July, 2008, Kent became President of Sears Manufacturing Company. Kent serves on the Board of Directors for Sears Europe and for Sears – GSK Asia. Kent is a member of ASAE (American Society of Agricultural Engineers), SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and AEM (Association of Equipment Manufacturers).
Kent is happily married and has three children.