The conference is dedicated to innovations, trends and strategies in lightweight automotive industry and interaction with top automotive leaders in various specializations.
This educational and informational conference will be focusing on newest strategies in lightweight automotive industry and opportunities for further development.
The Automotive Lightweight Materials Conference 2017 will bring together engineers, managers, automotive specialists and others interested in latest technologies and strategies in lightweight automotive industry.


– Material selection strategies in lightweight automotive industry

– Joining techniques innovations for lightweight materials

– Design architectures for advanced lightweight materials

– Material production methods and challenges faced throughout the process

– Weight reduction opportunities for vehicle manufacturing



To discuss the attendee opportunities or register for the event please contact:
Sophia Davis
Event Producer
Tel.: +420 226 633 310

To get assistance with booking a room and arranging your flight tickets please contact:
Maria Ristol
Operation manager
Tel.: +420 226 633 309
E-mail address:

Event Speakers

Jeffrey Helms

Global Automotive Manager Celanese Engineered Materials


Werner Stelzer

Independent professional

Surender Maddela

Sr. Researcher Lightweight Material Processing

General Motors

Jeff Wang

Staff Research Scientist and Manager of Technology Commercialization at GM RDs China Science Lab

General Motors

Steve Fletcher

Global Director, CAE

Tata Technologies

Frank Schumann

Manager Advanced Material & Process Group Europe

IAC Group

Dr. Paola Bruno

Materials Engineer

Antolin Interiors Deutschland GmbH

Giovanni Di Stefano

Head of Materials& Process Technologies


Juergen Hirsch

Senior scientist – consultant for Hydro Aluminium R&D


Andreas Hartwig

Deputy director of Fraunhofer IFAM


Peter Wells

Co-Director of the Centre for Automotive Industry Research

Cardiff Business School

Muhammad Yasir

Material Manager


Henning I. Karbstein

Manager, New Business Development

BASF Dispersions and Resins, North America

Mario Woerle

Product Line Manager Polypropylene Compounds

A. Schulman

Tobias Ross

Business Development Manager


  • Jeffrey Helms
    Dr. Helms received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1984 and his Ph. D. in Chemistry in 1988 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition, Dr. Helms received his MBA from Michigan State University through the Executive MBA program in 2000. Dr. Helms has been employed by Celanese Corporation in the Engineered Materials business since November 2008 where he is the Global Automotive Corporate Accounts Director. In this role, Dr. Helms is responsible for driving and coordinating the growth of Celanese product lines at the OEM level for Celanese priority global OEMs. Prior to November 2008, Dr. Helms had been employed by Ford Motor Company since October 1988. He held several positions in the Ford Research Laboratory including Plastics Technical Specialist, Plastics Research Team Leader and Manager of the Materials Research and Advanced Engineering. Over this time, he led or managed projects including lightweight materials, corrosion, coating technologies, fuel cell systems, materials characterization, biomaterials and manufacturing technologies. Following his tenure in the Ford Research organization, Dr. Helms held the position of Manager, Team Value Management, Ford North American Product Creation, Manager of the Paint Material Development and Release activity in the Ford Global Paint Engineering organization and Chief Engineer of Materials Engineering, Testing and Standards in the Ford Product Development organization. Dr. Helms is a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, the Society of Automotive Engineers and the American Chemical Society.
  • Werner Stelzer
    Austrian born, Swiss resident, graduate studies in Electrical Engineering (Graz) and Controls Engineering (Zurich), MBA from Boston University. International career from R&D and Controls Engineering at Sulzer Bros., Switzerland to world-wide responsibility for Marketing & Sales of Flow Control Division of Rockwell International Inc., Pittsburgh, to President/Managing Director of all Subsidiaries of the Swiss-Italian-Japanese Electronics Corporation of Carlo Gavazzi Omron, Zug, Switzerland. Since 1987 in Aluminium with Alusuisse – then Alcan – then Rio Tinto Alcan – then Constellium - as Managing Director of the Swiss Rolling Mill (independent business unit with full P&L responsibility) and member of the Board of Directors until 2001 when he became Vice President – Alcan Automotive Global Programmes. In addition, he had successfully managed - for a number of years - and then sold the High Pressure Aluminium and Magnesium Die Casting activities in Germany and Slovenia. He was Managing Director of several automotive businesses within Alcan and held a number of supervisory board appointments with Alusuisse/Alcan subsidiaries. In his 20+ years in the aluminium industry he has been greatly devoted to Automotive Leightweighting with aluminium in all its product forms. Under his leadership aluminium Automotive Body Sheet (ABS) became the material of choice in large volume BiW applications at European OEMs starting with the Audi A8 in 1994 followed by other Audi models as well as Merceds, BMW, Jaguar-LandRover, etc. During a period of 7 years he was Chairman (and CoChairman) of the Rollers Council of the European Aluminium Association (EAA).
  • Surender Maddela
    General Motors
    Bio coming soon
  • Jeff Wang
    General Motors
    Staff Research Scientist and Manager of Technology Commercialization at GM RDs China Science Lab, responsible for development and implementation of various vehicle lightweighting technologies including advanced high strength steels, aluminum and magnesium alloys.
  • Steve Fletcher
    Tata Technologies
    Steve is the Global Director for CAE at Tata Technologies leading a team of over 300 CAE engineers around the world. The team cover Automotive, Aerospace and Industrial Heavy Machinery engineering development with analysis through FEA, CFD, MDBS and SEA. Built on a foundations of structural FEA, Steve has specialised in light weighting and composite materials programmes for many of the world’s leading OEM’s. Together with his team at TTL, Steve is committed to advancing the use of the CAE techniques within the product development environment to ensure products are brought to market more quickly, at a lower cost base and with zero failures. Steve is a professional chartered engineer with an Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Leeds.
  • Frank Schumann
    IAC Group
    Bio coming soon
  • Dr. Paola Bruno
    Antolin Interiors Deutschland GmbH
    Material development/support for the GA Project Development Center in Germany; R&D Development Activities relatively to Materials and Process for Interior Trim Door Panels: 1. Design and Development of Natural Fibers Polymer Composites (NFPC) Technology for interiors trims: - Development of renewable composites (injection molding and thermoforming process) for automotive interiors trim applications (Doors, i.e. BMW 5 series); - Material and Process Technology development (i.e. IR-heating, Back injection molding process, Development of Improved Surface Materials and so on.) 2. Development and support of R&D projects in the field of Innovative Materials & Surface decoration for Interiors Trim Applications: From concept evaluation in earlier stage, during development to secure release process. Past Professional Experiences Science Carrier in Materials Science and Engineering in USA National Lab and European Univ. Institutions. Activities mainly focused on Materials for Energy Harvesting: i.e LIB, Thermoelectrics, Photovoltaics.
  • Giovanni Di Stefano
  • Juergen Hirsch
    Senior scientist – consultant for Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products / Germany Professor (apl) at the Institute of Physical Metallurgy & Metal Physics “IMM” at Technical University “RWTH” Aachen - Director Prof. Korte-Kerzel 2015-16 President of DGM (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Materialkunde, German Society for Material Science and FA „Aluminium“
  • Andreas Hartwig
    • Study of Chemistry at Cologne University, Diploma thesis on synthesis and electron beam curing of polyurethane acrylates for separation membranes in the group of Prof. Hummel • Doctoral thesis on radiation and plasma polymerisation of chiral acrylates at the University of Cologne, Prof. Hummel • Postdoc at Twente Universiteit, The Netherlands, Surface modification of polyacrylonitrile in the group of Prof. Smolders • since 1992 scientist at Fraunhofer-IFAM • since 1998 foundation and head of the department “Adhesives and Polymer Chemistry” • 2006 Habilitation and Privatdozent at the University of Bremen for Macromolecular Chemistry • 2012 Professorship for Macromolecular Chemistry at University of Bremen • since 2007 Deputy Director at Fraunhofer-IFAM • between June 2009 and July 2010 acting director at Fraunhofer-IFAM • Research interests: adhesive bonding, adhesives chemistry, adhesion science, fibre reinforced plastics, thermosetting polymers, supramolecular concepts, nanocomposites, biomimetic materials
  • Peter Wells
    Cardiff Business School
    Peter Wells is Co-Director of the Centre for Automotive Industry Research at Cardiff Business School and Head of Logistics and Operations Management. His research and publishing interests are focused on the global automotive industry, mobility studies including electric bicycles and car-sharing, and on sustainable business models. He has worked in Cardiff University since 1988. In terms of academic disciplines his work has ranged across spatial industrial development, economics, organisational theory, industrial ecology, technological change, socio-technical transitions theory, business model innovation and sustainability. His research and consulting on the global automotive industry has involved companies throughout the value chain, national and international government bodies, and NGOs. His latest books are: ‘The automotive industry in an era of eco-austerity’ (Edward Elgar, 2010), ‘Business models for sustainability’ (Edward Elgar, 2013) and ‘The global automotive industry’ (edited with Paul Nieuwenhuis; Wiley, 2015).
  • Muhammad Yasir
    Dr. Muhammad Yasir completed his Bachelor of Engineering in Metallurgical Engineering. Further, he pursued his master studies at the University of Augsburg, Germany, in the field of Material Science. Later he has done his doctorate in corrosion science at University of Leoben, Austria. He is working in the field of automotive since last 11 years. Currently, he is a Material Manager at Faurecia Automotive (A Global Automotive Components Supplier) in Germany. He is responsible for global material roadmap and material selection of LVE/CVE systems.
  • Henning I. Karbstein
    BASF Dispersions and Resins, North America
    Henning Karbstein is manager for new business development at BASF’s North American dispersions and resins business. He is also responsible for idea management and implementation of innovative business models, products and processes. BASF dispersions and resins are used on a variety of composite materials for automotive, industrial and residential applications. Since Karbstein joined BASF in 2012, he introduced a prototyping pilot composite line for light weight nonwoven fiber composites at BASF’s facility in Wyandotte, Michigan, near Detroit. He is also involved in some of BASF’s cross-business unit customer focus teams. Before joining BASF, Karbstein held various positions in product development, process and program management at the Schaeffler Group. He was responsible for new product launches with engine components for Porsche and General Motors in Germany, the US and China. He is named inventor in 20+ patents for valve train technology and hydraulic control systems for automotive combustion engines. Karbstein was also responsible for lean production and business processes Schaeffler’s in North American plants. Karbstein holds a degree of mechanical engineering from the Technical University (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, KIT) in Germany. He grew up in Germany and lived during his career in Karlsruhe and Stuttgart (Germany), Rochester Hills/MI and currently Charlotte/NC.
  • Mario Woerle
    A. Schulman
    My name is Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Mario Wörle. I studied plastics engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Rosenheim. Over the last 10years, I am working at A.Schulman, I had various responsibilities from Project Engineering for Engineering Plastics, over Business Development for Polyamides and being the Head of Innovation and the A. Schulman Academy for 3 years. Since January 2016 I am the Product Line Manager for our PP and PP flame retardant compounds (Polyfort® and Polyflam® PP) for the EMEA Region (Europe, Middle East and Africa). In my existing role the main focus is on building the business base for our 100kT PP and PP FR compounding plant in Yanbu (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), which will start its commercial operation from August 2017.
  • Tobias Ross
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