Foresight brings world expert on future cars to West Midlands

01 December 2005 #SMMT News

One of the world’s leading experts on cars of the future will address scientists and engineers at a key conference in the Midlands next week.

Joseph Carpenter Jr of the US Department of Energy is a specialist in lightweight materials and technology that will literally shape the cars of future decades.

He is a keynote speaker at an International Conference on Materials for Lean Weight Vehicles being held at the University of Warwick’s International Manufacturing Centre on December 7/8.

Pat Selwood, SMMT Foresight Vehicle Project Manager, a member of the conference organising committee, said: “We are delighted to have secured such an influential and high profile international speaker.

“Dr Carpenter is a key player in the crucial FreedomCAR initiative in the US. His thoughts will be interesting and persuasive for everyone interested in environmental issues surrounding the automotive industry.”

Dr Carpenter is the Technology Development Manager for the US Department of Energy (DOE) Automotive Lightweighting Materials effort, a joint initiative between DOE and the US automotive and energy-supply industries.

He is best known in the US for his work with the FreedomCAR project, a partnership involving General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, oil companies and the US government with the aim of developing cleaner, more efficient vehicles.

Dr Carpenter will tell his audience that from 2004 to 2008 $1.7-billion is being invested in North America on research into advanced vehicle technologies, hydrogen fuel initiatives and fuel cell research.

Prior to the conference researchers from the Society of Motor Traders and Manufacturers Foresight Vehicle programme will report back on progress on a raft of projects. Most of the projects are into making vehicles cleaner, safer and more efficient.

Dr Carpenter has been invited to attend to see the progress being made by the UK’s primary knowledge transfer network in driving projects for the latest technologies.

On lightweight technologies, SMMT Foresight Vehicle has worked on a number of projects including:

APPLE – (Advanced Polymeric Composite Panels with Low Environmental Impact) – uses specially formed plastics to make car panels, such as doors and wings.

ROADLITE- (Research, Development and Demonstration of a Lightweight, Chassis-less Composite Semi-trailer) using hi-tech reinforced plastics to build truck trailers as strong as traditional metal trailers. They would last longer, be easier to re-cycle, cheaper to build, cause less damage in accidents and reduce CO_ emissions.

EGSHEV – (Engine/Generator Sets for Hybrid Electric Vehicles) – a device to replace heavy starter motors and flywheels on hybrid vehicles.

SMMT Foresight Vehicle is an industry-backed initiative involving more than 400 UK companies and universities. It is managed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and now widely recognised as the UK’s primary knowledge transfer network, advancing new automotive technologies.

Visit Foresight Vehicle on the web at:


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