Steven Sherman
About: Steven Sherman - Fuel Economy Development Engineer

In advance of the Global Automotive Lightweight Materials Detroit 2017 conference, Steven Sherman, Fuel Economy Development Engineer, Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center provides an insight into his thoughts about the conference and presentation:

1. Steven, can you please tell us a bit about yourself and your current scope of work?
My career motivation is to ‘change the way people think about and use  energy’; I see the ‘terawatt problem’ of global energy consumption and the disruptive changes coming to market as the biggest challenge and opportunity for the early 21st century. I recently joined Novation Analytics where I use advanced vehicle efficiency modeling and planning software to help OEMs evaluate the effectiveness and impact of technology investments. Prior to this role, I was a fuel economy development engineer at the Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center (HATCI). I studied Chemical Engineering, Energy Systems Engineering, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan.

2. Briefly, what implications do you see CAFE standards and GHG regulations to have on the automotive lightweighting in the next 3-5 years?
Huge – they have already been a major driver for lightweighting and they still have nearly 10 years to go. Doubling vehicle efficiency is far from trivial and a lot of everything will be needed. Even if CAFE/GHG changes in the US, other global markets aren’t slowing down. We’re also seeing technology improvements and cost reductions that are bringing the technologies to market, beyond just regulatory requirements.

3. What other areas beyond the regulations and lightweighting are you interested in?
The automotive industry is changing more in the next 15 years than it has the previous 100. We’re seeing four disruptive and synergistic trends and technologies coming to market – autonomous, connectivity, efficiency electrification, and shared/service-based mobility.

4. What do you see as the biggest challenge for the automotive industry?
Short/medium-term – meeting CAFE/GHG/ZEV regulations in a cost-effective manner Medium/long-term – transitioning to a completely new service-based business model and ecosystem.

5. What materials and technologies do you see having the most potential in delivering cost efficient automotive lightweighting?
I think material experts can answer this question a lot better than my generic response of high strength steel, aluminium, magnesium, carbon fiber, and plastics... I would also add lithium, given its importance for batteries.

6. What car/motor vehicle do you drive?
I am fortunate to have a unique fleet, two of which were ahead of their time in materials:
1. 2006 Honda Insight (first hybrid sold in the US, all aluminium)
2. 1992 Mazda Miata (only weighs about 2000 pounds)
3. 2005 Ford Ranger
4. 1996 Acura NSX (all aluminium, titanium connecting rods, many other innovations)

All of them have only 2 seats and are manual transmissions so my pedal : seat ratio is ideal for me.

7. Without revealing the full details of your full presentation, with 50-100 words can you describe your presentation and how it will help your fellow colleagues?
My presentation will cover an overview of GHG regulations, including why they matter and important flexibilities within them, the current compliance state of the industry and OEMs, and future implications for meeting them through 2025. The incentive they offer for lightweighting will be included, as well as taking a look at a few examples of lightweighting in the market. It also includes a brief history lesson about the first transportation disruption around 1900 and how that thinking can be applied today.

8. What are you looking forward to at this year’s GALM Detroit Conference?
I’m honoured to have been invited to speak and look forward to sharing my knowledge about how CAFE/GHG regulations are shaping the industry, implications for the future planning, and how I see the automotive industry changing as a whole.

At the Global Automotive Lightweight Materials Detroit Conference in August, Steven will be presenting a case study on how to Understand How Automotive Regulations Drive Lightweighting And Sustainability Strategies - Past, Present, And Future: MY 2015 GHG Status Report And Outlook To 2025. For more information,  visit: