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SAE International sets keynote speakers for 2019 COMVEC

June 27, 2019
SAE International recently solidified the keynote lineup for the 2019 COMVEC Technology Connection.

SAE International recently solidified a distinguished lineup of keynote speakers for three days of expert-led panel discussions at the COMVEC Technology Connection set for Sept 9-11 at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis IN.

The COMVEC conference is intended for professionals who develop vehicles and equipment spanning the on-highway, off-highway (agricultural, construction and industrial), ground defense and mining sectors.

“We are thrilled to welcome a panel of experts with a breadth of knowledge and industry backgrounds to spearhead conversations around the most pertinent topics impacting global commercial vehicles,” said Melissa Jena, senior project manager for engineering events at SAE. “From alternative fuels to electrification and efficiency, this annual event provides industry innovators with the opportunity to network and engage in important discussions that will help advance the development of the evolving commercial vehicle industry.”

This year’s keynote speakers include:

  • Jennifer Rumsey, vice president and chief technical officer for Cummins (Sept 9)—As a member of the Cummins Leadership Team, Rumsey helps set the strategy for the company, which includes a commitment to leading in critical technologies and providing a broad portfolio of power solutions for its global customers in diverse industries.
  • Rich Freeland, president and chief operating officer for Cummins (Sept 9)—Freeland joined Cummins as a foreman at the Cummins Parts Distribution Center after graduating from Purdue in 1979. He has served as the company’s president and COO since 2014, bringing a unique perspective to the position after leading three of the five Cummins business segments.
  • Giorgio Rizzoni, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and electrical and computer engineering Ohio State (Sept 10)—Since 1999, Rizzoni has been the director of Ohio State’s Center for Automotive Research. His research activities are related to modeling, control and diagnosis of advanced propulsion systems, vehicle fault diagnosis and prognosis, electrified powertrains and energy storage systems, vehicle safety and intelligence, and sustainable mobility.
  • Franklin R Chang Díaz, chairman and CEO of Ad Astra Rocket Company (Sept 10)—In 2005, Chang Díaz founded Ad Astra, a US firm developing advanced plasma rocket technology and applications in sustainable energy. After a 25-year career as a NASA astronaut, Chang Díaz is a veteran of seven space missions, logging more than 1,600 hours in space, including 19 hours in three space walks.
  • Carla Bailo, president and CEO at the Center for Automotive Research (Sept 11)—At the Center for Automotive Research, Bailo led Ohio State’s involvement as the primary research partner for Smart Columbus, a $140 million program for transforming central Ohio into the nation’s premier transportation innovation region.

To learn more about the technical program and events at COMVEC, visit