Promoting excellence in mobility engineering

  1. Events
  3. FISITA PLUS Archive
  4. FISITA PLUS 2019

Speaker Profiles


Olivia Walker

Previously Head of City Development - Mobility Solutions, Bosch

Session 1: The Mobility Eco-System

As part of a global team, Olivia led the development of Bosch’s work with cities on the future of mobility, based in London. Prior to that, she was a consultant for 13 years focused on how long-term macro trends disrupt the traditional industry. An active participator in the debate and work on how we can achieve safe, clean and accessible travel in cities, Olivia has a strategic understanding of city mobility and associated business models.

Prof. Nick Reed

Founder, Reed Mobility

Coming from a psychology background, Prof. Nick Reed has worked in transportation research for more than fifteen years. From early studies using driving simulators to examine driver behaviour, he has since been instrumental in connected and automated vehicle projects in the UK to the value of more than £50m. Nick was Academy Director at TRL (the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory) before becoming Head of Mobility R&D at Bosch, the world’s largest automotive supplier. Retaining a visiting professorship at the 5G Innovation Centre, University of Surrey, he has departed Bosch to create Reed Mobility – an independent expert consultancy on future mobility topics.

Dr. Geoff Davis

Chief Strategy Officer, HORIBA MIRA

Session 2: Future Technologies

Dr Davis joined HORIBA in 2015 following its successful acquisition of MIRA, where he had previously held a number of commercial, technical and strategic executive roles. He first joined MIRA in 2009 following 10 years at Ricardo.  

He is an experienced engineering consultancy professional with a background in automotive engineering, with insight on some of the latest automotive technologies and trends and first-hand experience of working across a wide range of overseas territories and industry sectors building new business operations and delivering engineering and strategic consultancy projects for clients.

Moving to MIRA in 2009, Dr Davis was part of the team of four executives that delivered the re-birth of what is the UK’s foremost transport R&D organisation, subsequently selling the business to HORIBA in 2015.

He is now part of the global management team for HORIBA’s Automotive business unit where he spends the majority of his time focussed on corporate strategy, technology development and marketing. He also dedicates time to supporting the Automotive Council as part of their technology working group.

His current areas of focus include the fast-paced changing areas of Connected Autonomous Vehicles and related subjects in Vehicle Resilience and Cyber Security.

Prof. Chris Brace

Professor of Automotive Propulsion and Deputy Director of the Powertrain Vehicle Research Centre, University of Bath

Session 3: Energy and Propulsion Systems of the Future

Chris Brace is Professor of Automotive Propulsion and Deputy Director of the Powertrain Vehicle Research Centre at the University of Bath. He leads the Advanced Propulsion Centre Spoke for ICE System Efficiency, based at Bath.
Chris leads a wide portfolio of propulsion systems based research including ICE systems; advanced transmission systems; hybrid and battery electric concepts. The research requires the intensive measurement of multi-physics processes, leading to greater insight into system behaviour under dynamic operating conditions.


Prof. Frank Zhao

FISITA President and Professor and Director of Automotive, Tsinghua University

Prof. Frank (Fuquan) Zhao is a Professor and Director of Automotive Strategy Research Institute at Tsinghua University, China (since May 2013) where he leads a group of strategic research on automotive industry policy, corporate management and technology strategies.

Prof. Zhao got a doctorate degree in Engineering from Hiroshima University in Japan in 1992 and has years of on-the-job experience in Japan, United Kingdom, United States, and China. Prior to joining Tsinghua University, Prof. Zhao had the experience of Vice President of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, President of Zhejiang Geely Automotive R&D Center, President of Zhejiang Automotive Engineering Institute, and Chairman of DSI company of Australia since November 2006; Vice President of Shenyang Brilliance JinBei Automobile Company Limited and General Manager of its R&D Centre since 2004; and Engineering Specialist and Research Executive of Technical Affairs at DaimlerChrysler since 1997.

Lucy Yu

Director Public Policy, FiveAI

Lucy is director of public policy at FiveAI, Europe’s largest self-driving vehicle company, developing automated vehicles to deploy as passenger transportation in cities.

Lucy’s background combines roles at several high profile British technology startups with over a decade of technology policy and regulation in government, including establishing the Mobility as a Service policy team at the UK Department for Transport. She has also worked at the Cabinet Office, the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and the International Telecommunication Union, leading a variety of work focused on new mobility services, regulating emerging technologies, the social impact of technology, and national security.

She represents the tech sector on the City of London Transport Strategy Board, is a Non-Executive Director at the Institute for Ethical AI and Machine Learning, and a founding director of Ada, the National College for Digital Skills. 

Tom Harle

Strategy Principal, ustwo

Ustwo is a digital product studio on a mission to launch products and services that have meaningful impact in people's lives. The global independent studio works across healthcare, automotive, finance, education and immersive entertainment, sometimes all at the same time. So Tom's work has always explored the application of technology in spaces with complex stakeholder relationships.

As a Strategy Principal at ustwo auto, Tom partners with mobility clients to shape the next essential parts of their customer offering, through developing a rich and evolving understanding of user needs around the world.

Dr. Jo Dally

Strategic City Partnership Lead., BP, Advanced Mobility

Dr. Jo Dally leads on Global Strategic City Partnerships for BP’s Advanced Mobility Unit. Jo's role focuses on developing partnerships with cities and their networks to respond to new and disruptive trends in mobility.

Before joining BP, Jo held various roles that had science, evidence and innovation at their core. Most recently she was Head of Policy at the Royal Society, where she was responsible for policy portfolios ranging from Research Culture to the UK’s Exit from the EU. Before this, Jo worked in the Civil Service. Her roles included Deputy Director for Horizon Scanning and Emerging Technologies, Head of Innovation in the Government Office of Science, and leading the Nuclear Security team in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

She also spent 2 years as Private Secretary to the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser and in an earlier role in Parliament was a Specialist Adviser to Select Committees.

Prof. Thomas von Unwerth

Professor of Advanced Powertrains, TUC, Technical University of Chemnitz

Thomas von Unwerth, Professor of Advanced Powertrains and Director for the Institute of Automotive Research at TUC, Technical University of Chemnitz, prepares the next evolution step for e-mobility. His research work is mainly on fuel cells and fuel cell systems for automotive applications as well as on series manufacturing technologies for key components.

He joined TUC in 2010 from Volkswagen AG corporate research, Wolfsburg, where he was responsible for fuel cell systems and later for fuel cell fleet implementation at Shanghai Volkswagen, China. Nowadays he also is founder and CTO of a fuel cell developing company, FCP Fuel Cell Powertrain GmbH in Germany.

He is chairman and initiator of the hydrogen and fuel cell cluster ‘HZwo’ in Saxony, Germany, and is a member of the consulting committee for propulsion and energy management within the association of German engineers (VDI) and the commission for hydrogen and fuel cells. 

Peter Davies

Director Security Concepts, Thales

As a Technical Director of Thales in the UK, Peter has been their leading expert on cryptography responsible for providing cryptography and information security direction and expertise on a variety of products and projects.

Previous work includes the development and certification of flexible and interoperable commercial security solutions that are also widely used by governments; these solutions are available worldwide and support the security of both communications and informatics in an international, multi-grade environment. Peter's specialist knowledge is at the core of the cyber defence and forensics activities that he undertakes combatting existential threats against businesses.

Peter has interacted on security and products at every level from the Prime Minister, through to Board, to deep technical; including Certification Labs and partners developing and sustaining business opportunities worldwide. Peter has generated patents in the area of digital DNA and his research covers aspects of technical security as well as aspects of super-identities and their role in combatting human based cyber-attacks.

Dr. Milena Kukova

Marketability Engineering Specialist, HORIBA MIRA

Dr. Milena Kukova is a Marketability Engineering Specialist at HORIBA MIRA. Occupying a unique position between marketing and engineering, Milena ensures that market research is fed into the engineering process so customers’ preferences are accurately reflected in vehicle development programmes. Her pioneering approach adopts traditional and innovative techniques to bring market research practices up to date with the current and expected changes in the automotive market, with the aim to increase the success and relevance of vehicles in the market place.

Milena joined HORIBA MIRA in 2014, whilst completing her PhD in Market Research at Coventry University. Prior to completing her PhD Milena has achieved an engineering degree in Computer Science, an MA in Design and Branding Strategy and has worked for over 10 years in design and branding roles. With her academic knowledge combined with professional experience, Milena is in an ideal position to provide expertise on Marketability Engineering.

Niclas Brännberg

Director CAE, NIO

Since 2016, Niclas Brännberg has led NIO’s global CAE operations from its Advanced Engineering Centre in Oxford. Overseeing a team of 45 engineers, Brännberg is responsible for advanced concept engineering and simulation for the Chinese manufacturer that develops smart, high-performance, electric vehicles.

With over 30 years’ of experience in engineering and automotive research and development for OEM, tier-one suppliers and technology companies, Brännberg has developed extensive knowledge of simulation, with an emphasis on passive safety systems and structures. Prior to joining NIO, Brännberg was responsible for the Interior CAE team at China Euro Vehicle Technology (CEVT) in Gothenburg Sweden. Between 2011 and 2014, he led the CAE department at Qoros Automotive Co in Shanghai, China and preceding that, worked as director of Product Design at Altair Engineering AB in Sweden. During this period, Brännberg focussed on CAE crash simulation and analysis for a broad range of OEMs including Volvo, Porsche and smart.

Paul Mascarenas OBE

Independent Director, Business Advisor and Technology Executive

Paul Mascarenas OBE is Chairman of FISITA (UK) Ltd. Previously, he was President and Chairman of the Executive Board of FISITA from 2014 - 2016. Paul is a Member of the Board of Directors at ON Semiconductor and the U.S. Steel Corporation; he is also Special Venture Partner with Fontinalis Partners. Paul is also President for FISITA Member Society SAE International.

Previously, Paul served as Chief Technical Officer and Vice President - Engineering, Global Product Development, at Ford Motor Company. In that role, he led Ford’s worldwide research organisation, overseeing the development and implementation of the company’s technology strategy and plans.

Paul also led the establishment of Ford’s Silicon Valley Research and Innovation Center, which supports the company’s vision to provide uncompromised personal mobility for people around the world.

Dr.-Ing. Michael Würtenberger

VP Research E/E Architecture and Technologies, BMW Group

Michael Würtenberger is VP Research E/E Architecture and Technologies for BMW. He is leading the centre of excellence, driving new technologies for Digital Systems and Artificial Intelligence.

Michael’s background combines different roles in digital product development and E/E systems including user interaction and interior. He was responsible for the launch of Connected Drive in 1997, in-car head-up displays in 2003 and the launch of Mini Connected one of the first smartphone apps for cars in 2011. On the technology side, he established software competencies and implemented an open source policy for BMW Group.

Taner Ozcelik

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Intelligent Sensing Group, ON Semiconductor and SCI LLC

Mr. Ozcelik joined ON Semiconductor in August 2014 as the Senior Vice President of the Aptina Imaging Business, and on 20 February 2015, he was named the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Intelligent Sensing Group of ON Semiconductor and SCI LLC.

Mr. Ozcelik has served at the intersection of semiconductors, consumer electronics, computing and automotive industries for more than two decades. Before joining ON Semiconductor in August 2014, he served as Senior Vice President of Aptina’s Automotive and Embedded business.

Prior to this, Mr. Ozcelik served as Vice President and General Manager of NVIDIA’s automotive business from 2012 to 2014, and as General Manager of the Avionics, Automotive and Embedded Business of NVIDIA from 2006 to 2012.

While at NVIDIA, he developed several award-winning firsts in automotive, which spanned a variety of applications including infotainment systems, digital instrument clusters, automotive tablets and ADAS, which are now featured in cars worldwide. During his career, Mr. Ozcelik has also held positions as President and CEO at MobileSmarts and as Vice President and General Manager at Sony Semiconductor for its Digital Home Platform Division.

Mr. Ozcelik holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Bogazici University, Turkey. He is listed as an inventor on 23 U.S. patents.  

Dr. Mircea Gradu

Senior Vice President of Quality and Validation, Velodyne Lidar

Dr. Mircea Gradu is the Senior Vice President of Quality and Validation at Velodyne Lidar leading the company’s efforts to design, develop and manufacture world-class products compliant with the international quality standards.

Dr. Gradu is an Officer of SAE International and the 2018 President and Chairman of the Board. With over 25 years of experience in the automotive and commercial vehicle industry, Dr. Gradu started his career at Daimler-Benz AG in Stuttgart, Germany, served as Vice President of Transmission Powertrain and Driveline at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and prior to Velodyne led Engineering and Quality at Hyundai Motor America.

An SAE Fellow, Dr. Gradu has been awarded 56 patents on mechatronic automotive systems, published over 40 technical papers, was honored with the SAE Edward N. Cole Award for Automotive Engineering Innovation and listed among the 50 most influential Automotive Executives by Motor Trend, being credited with the revival of the rear-wheel-drive automotive platforms through the introduction of the novel and fuel-efficient transmission solutions. He holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Stuttgart, Germany. 

Timothy D'Herde

General Manager, Powertrain Division, Toyota Motor Europe

Timothy is Toyota Motor Europe’s Powertrain Division General Manager. His team focuses on the development of powertrains for the European market and on introducing leading technologies for Toyota’s global implementation.

Timothy joined Toyota Motor Europe in 2002. Initially starting as Diesel Engine Design Engineer, moving on to petrol engines and subsequently electrified powertrains (including Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Battery Electric Vehicles and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles). He has been working several years at Toyota Motor Corporation Japan, where he was a key contributor to the team responsible for developing Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) internal combustion engines. Timothy also experienced the implementation of Toyota Production System (TPS) principles during his time-based at TMUK Deeside Engine Plant, optimising the engine assembly line by significantly reducing the cycle time. The Advanced Powertrain department in his division is working closely together with Universities and European engineering companies studying future technologies creating Ever-better cars.

Dr. Chris Vagg

Head of Electrical Design (Formula E Electric Powertrain & Control Systems), Groupe Renault

Dr. Chris Vagg is currently Head of Electrical Design (non-F1) at Renault Sport Racing France. He has been responsible for the Formula E electric powertrain since the beginning of the series in 2014 as well as consulting on other high-performance electric powertrain projects in the Group. He studied Mechanical Engineering as an undergraduate at the University of Bristol, graduating in 2009, before taking a placement at the Brawn GP Formula 1 Team between 2009-2010.

He subsequently undertook a PhD at the University of Bath on the subject of energy management in hybrid electric vehicles, before moving to Renault Sport Racing in 2014. In his time with Renault, Chris’ responsibilities have grown with the Formula E project and now include the electric powertrain, from architecture to final design and validation, as well as all VCU software. Chris has a strong interest in all forms of electrified, intelligent and connected transportation.

Chris Evans

Director of Products, Ceres Power

Chris is Director of Products at Ceres Power.  He is a Control Systems engineer by background and modelled hybrid powertrains for his dissertation at Oxford. He started his career at Ricardo, working on advanced combustion system control, engine simulation and model-year programmes with Ford and BMW Mini. He now leads Product Development Programmes at Ceres Power, responsible for the development of the core fuel cell stack for integration into a range of stationary and motive applications.

Yifan Tang

Chief Technology Officer, SERES

Yifan Tang is Chief Technology Officer at SERES based in Silicon Valley, USA. At SERES, he leads the development of electric powertrain technologies and products, as well as the development of advanced battery cells and autonomous driving systems. He is also a board director at Tiveni, a battery module startup company with offices in the USA and Germany. SERES, partnering with its main strategic investor Chongqing Sokon Industry Group, aims to produce intelligent electric vehicles and their key components for worldwide markets.   

Previously he held technical and management positions at (most recent first) Facebook, Lucid Motors, Tesla Motors, Trimble Navigation, IBM and Curtis Instruments, all in Silicon Valley, since 1999. He holds a Master’s degree from Tsinghua University in China and the PhD degree from Ohio State University in the USA.