INTERVIEWS

General Motors

General Motors
Paul J. Wolcott
Body SMT Innovation
" In advance of the 4th Lightweight Vehicles Manufacturing Summit 2017, Dr. Paul J. Wolcott Body SMT Innovation, General Motors gives us an insight into his thoughts about the conference and his presentation. "

1. Please tell us a bit about your background and your current role?

My background is in automotive lightweighting solutions and advanced manufacturing. Early in my career I worked on advanced powertrain materials systems and lightweight alloys. Later, my Ph.D. dissertation work was related to a unique solid state welding technology called ultrasonic additive manufacturing. It is a method of additive manufacturing that can be used for dissimilar welding, embedded sensing solutions, and component integration. More recently, my current role at General Motors is to investigate innovative solutions related to Additive Manufacturing (AM) and how to best use the technology in automotive applications.

2. What has been the most interesting project you’ve worked on?

My dissertation work was quite interesting. Being able to work on a very new technology allowed me to interface with things like smart materials, integrated electronics, and embedded sensors, while concurrently developing an understanding of the micromechanical behavior of the underlying matrix material.

3. What manufacturing technology are you most interested in at the moment?

I think there is a lot of potential for Additive Manufacturing within automotive applications. With the design flexibility, there are a number of unique things that can be done. With recent and ongoing developments in the technology, it is becoming more and more feasible for applications.

4. In your view, what materials/technologies hold the greatest potential in cost effective automotive lightweighting going forward?

Outside of AM, I think there is a lot of potential for composites to be an attractive lightweight solution so long as
the technical and cost hurdles can be overcome effectively.

5. Without revealing too much, can you please tell us a bit more about your presentation at the next Lightweight Vehicle Manufacturing conference in Detroit?

My focus for presenting at the conference will be on identifying the challenges and opportunities for additive manufacturing in the automotive industry.

6. What are you most looking forward to at the event in Detroit?

I’m most interested in meeting with folks in the industry to see how new manufacturing technologies are being used and investigated. It is an exciting time to be in the automotive industry and to see the new types of innovation being applied to vehicles.

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