Sue Hartfield-Wunsch
About: Sue Hartfield-Wunsch - Technical Fellow, Body Manufacturing Engineering

In advance of the Global Automotive Lightweight Materials Detroit 2017 conference, Sue Hartfield-Wunsch, Technical Fellow, Body Manufacturing Engineering, General Motors provides an insight into her thoughts about the conference and presentation:

1. Sue can you please tell us a bit more about yourself and your current work within the automotive lightweighting space?
I have worked for GM for over 30 years, with the last 17 years focused on aluminum sheet. I have global responsibility for aluminum sheet specifications and supplier approvals. We have implemented 6 common aluminum grades globally, and continue to work on new grades for improved strength and improved formability. I also work on advanced technology projects for die and press. A lot of these projects have focused on getting data to create material data cards for formability analysis.

2. What is the focus of your presentation at GALM USA 2017?
My presentation will focus on technical challenges in manufacturing aluminum sheet metal components. I will discuss aluminum sheet specifications and the importance of grade commonization. This presentation will also discuss practical implementation hurdles such as developing design guidelines, formability analysis material data cards, and manufacturing plant readiness.

3. What automotive trends in your opinion are shaping the industry?
In my opinion, the big changes are electric and hybrid vehicles. Both require lightweighting to offset the mass of batteries and other components.

4. What materials and technologies do you see having the most potential in delivering cost efficient automotive lightweighting?
High strength steels, including the new Gen 3 steels, continue to be cost efficient for automotive lightweighting. We have also seen a dramatic increase in aluminum castings, extrusions, and sheet use in recent years. Carbon fiber composites offer a lot of promise but they are still cost-prohibitive for wide spread use.

5. What car/motor vehicle do you drive?
Chevrolet Equinox

6. What are you looking forward to at this year’s GALM Detroit Conference?
I am looking forward to learning more about recent developments in Gen 3 steels, mixed material vehicles, and composites technology, including carbon fiber composites.

At the 6th Global Automotive Lightweight Materials Detroit Summit in August, Sue will be presenting a case study on how to Understand & Overcome Manufacturing Challenges For Aluminum Sheet In The Automotive Industry. For more information, visit: