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The new automotive DNA: Driving to a sustainable future


Monday 5 November 2012, 6.00PM

Speaker: Professor Alan Taub, University of Michigan, Materials Science and Engineering and Vice President (retired), General Motors, Global Research & Development

Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture

Today’s automotive industry – as a business necessity – is focused on technology solutions that will make our products more sustainable in terms of energy, environment, safety, congestion, and affordability.  These solutions will enable a new automotive DNA encompassing electrification of the propulsion system, advanced electronics and controls, new telematics and connected vehicle capabilities, lightweight and advanced materials, and energy-efficient, environmentally friendly manufacturing processes.  The convergence of these technologies will allow the industry to reinvent the automobile, reduce its dependence on petroleum, and move toward sustainable personal mobility. During his talk, Dr Taub will highlight the most promising technology options and approaches and discuss the key challenges and opportunities in each area.  

Alan Taub joined the faculty of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan in the Autumn of 2012. In his role there he will be conducting research in advanced materials and processing and leading a new initiative to establish an Advanced Manufacturing Center within the College of Engineering.

Taub retired from General Motors in April 2012. Prior to his retirement, he was Vice-President, Global Research & Development, leading GM’s advanced technical work activity, seven science laboratories around the world, and seven global science offices.  He joined GM R&D as Executive Director in 2001 and was named Vice-President in 2009. 

Before joining GM, Taub spent 15 years in research and development at General Electric, where he earned 26 patents and authored more than 60 papers.  He also worked at Ford Motor Company for eight years. 

Taub received his Bachelor’s degree in materials engineering from Brown University and Master’s and PhD degrees in applied physics from Harvard University.  Taub was elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering in 2006.  He is currently Vice-Chair for the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT) for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and is a member of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) Energy Materials Blue Ribbon Panel.  He also serves on advisory boards for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Taub received the 2011 Acta Materialia Materials & Society Award.  In 2010, he was awarded the Charles S Barrett Medal from ASM International’s Rocky Mountain Chapter.  He received the Materials Research Society’s Special Recognition Award in 2004 and Woody White Service Award in 2002.  He also received the Brown University Engineering Alumni Medal in 2002.  

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