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Issue 32 | November 2015

Welcome to Issue 32 of insidetrack

The big news this month is the imminent relocation of the FISITA head office to a brand new 2,500 square foot office close to London Stansted Airport. We will be moving in the last week of November and the staff team are looking forward to a modern working environment which will e an excellent facility for FISITA for many years to come. We also plan on utilising the additional space as a place for our members to meet and work. This member initiative will begin soon after the move as we host the EuroBrake Steering Committee for a two day planning and strategy meeting in December. 

We will be extending an open offer of free use of the FISITA head office to all members commencing in early 2016. The office first floor is currently being equipped with 14 'hot desks' and a 16 seat board/meeting room with full online conferencing facilities which will be available to you to use as a benefit of membership. We will provide further information on this service as soon as we have completed the move and prepared the booking process. 

I am delighted that we were able to speak with Ford of Europe VP and COO Barbara Samardzich for this month's industry people interview. Barbara is an inspirational leader, and for me, a real influencer - but don't take my word for it, take a look at the interview and see for yourself. Equally inspirational is FISITA's friend Sarvesh Yechury, who has a really impressive career pathway to date and I get the feeling he's only just beginning to make his impact on our industry. The focus of Barbara and Sarvesh provide excellent examples of personal motivation and achievement which offers inspiration for others to follow. 

As the FISITA World Automotive Summit gets ever nearer, we provide a look into a new initiative for the event which sees us offering four exhibition spaces to organisations that are seen to be delivering innovation in support of the automotive/mobility agenda. This is set to become a regular feature at every Summit, providing delegates with the opportunity to learn a little more about progressive initiatives from each different country that the Summit is held within. 

Continuing the theme of career development, SAE International has contributed a great insight article regarding their 'A World in Motion' programme and we provide our usual snapshot of activities and achievements from within the FISITA membership community and beyond. 

All the best
Chief Executive, FISITA
In this issue of insidetrack...
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FISITA headquarters to relocate to M11 Business Link, Stansted
Image courtesy of East Anglian Daily Times

FISITA has announced the relocation of its global HQ to the brand new office park at the M11 Business Link in Stansted, 30 minutes from central London and conveniently located for London Stansted Airport. 

The move will provide FISITA with additional office space to continue its organisational growth, whilst providing FISITA membership with an accessible meeting hub that will be available free of charge. 

FISITA CEO Chris Mason said, "I am delighted to have received Board support to relocate FISITA's headquarters to Stansted. This move gives us the space and improved connectivity with members required as we continue to modernise and develop services to our members around the world, positioning our organisation positively to move forward and deliver our recently approved plans for 2020 and beyond." 

FISITA President Paul Mascarenas OBE added, "As an international membership organisation, FISITA needs to be well connected and accessible for our members. The Stansted head office will provide our UK based team and members with a modern environment in which to work for many years to come. This is a smart move for our organisation and we are looking forward to becoming a valued part of the local community."

FISITA's new registered office address will be: 29 M11 Business Link, Stansted, Essex CM24 8GF, United Kingdom. Details about how to book meeting space at the new FISITA HQ will be published in a future issue of insidetrack.
Interview: Barbara Samardzich on the 2015 Ford Prize for Women in STEM Study

In this exclusive interview for insidetrack, Barbara Samardzich, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Ford of Europe, speaks about the important work Ford is doing to encourage women to pursue careers in STEM fields. 

Why is the 2015 Ford Prize for Women in STEM Study focusing uniquely on women?

We established the prize through our Professional Women’s Network team which, while focused on making Ford an employer of choice for everyone, is also actively encouraging women to pursue careers that leverage the STEM subjects. The Ford Prize for Women in STEM is just one action we have taken to provide opportunities for women in STEM.

What are the challenges facing women considering a STEM field?
While young women tend to do as well as their male counterparts in STEM subjects, as they make decisions about what career path they will follow, women more than men move away from STEM. There are many causal factors for this, including a limited ability to see “someone like them” active in a career that involves STEM, a lack of understanding of the numerous career opportunities a degree in the STEM subjects can lead to, and in some instances, a lack of encouragement into these areas by teachers or parents. Influencing young women while they are making their career choices is important in helping to keep them interested in STEM subjects and encouraging them to continue with those studies once they enter university.

What was it like for you advancing your career in a male dominated industry?
Fortunately, engineering is a very objective field and I have always felt I was evaluated and treated very fairly, and judged by my engineering expertise, not my gender. I think if you find a career that you love and leverages your skills well, you will find that success in the workplace is not difficult to come by.

What do you love about the industry / what got you into the industry?

I love that every day I can see consumers using the products that I have worked so hard on, and right alongside our competitor's products! It is very rewarding to see how satisfied customers are with our products as well as understand how we can continue to surprise and delight them. I also really appreciate the challenges the automotive industry provides; not just the technical challenges of developing and implementing state of the art technologies for our vehicles, but also the business challenges. The automotive industry certainly provides ample opportunity for an individual to grow both professionally as well as personally.

What advice would you give to women considering pursuing a STEM career?
Go for it! The doors that can open up to you with a STEM background are limitless. Regardless of the field you find yourself working in, the analytical thought process and the tools you acquire studying a STEM subject will absolutely serve you well. I would also encourage anyone wondering about what a focus on STEM subjects might lead to in their career to check out a website and YouTube Channel focused on exploring the opportunities and challenges a STEM focus can provide:

What does the future hold for women in the industry?
I think we will see more and more women entering into senior positions within the automotive industry. We have made some great progress over the last couple of years. The most important thing our industry holds (for everyone), however, is exciting and challenging career opportunities.

Why should women apply for the 2015 Ford PWN Prize?
The 2015 Ford Prize for Women in STEM provides a great opportunity to not only gain a financial supplement for your education, but to gain familiarity with a great company like Ford and have the opportunity to meet some of the fantastic people we have working here!

Case Study: SAE International and "Engaging Students in Auto Engineering"

Education is a leading priority of SAE International's portfolio. The organisation strives to be a conduit for relationship building between industry and education with a focus on curriculum and programme development, programme support and professional training.  

SAE has developed a "STEM Pipeline" to support the education and training of students and young engineers, starting at the elementary school level and continuing through to post-graduate study and training, continuing to offer professional development to young engineers at the start of their careers. 

Through a programme known as "A World in Motion (AWIM)" younger students are offered an Engineering Design Experience where STEM subjects are integrated into learning by placing students in the roles of scientists and engineers. Administered by teachers and assisted by industry volunteers, students are required to design a product or devise a solution to a problem, examining: • who the product is for • what must be accomplished in order to make it • gathering and synthesising information • designing, developing and testing a prototype • preparing a presentation of their ideas. This hands-on experience provides students from primary education through to high school a range of different design projects that 
reinforce classroom-based learning of STEM subjects.

At the higher education level, SAE International has a range of activities to engage students. SAE student-run Collegiate Chapters offer student members of the organisation the opportunity to meet on campus to discover common areas of interest and exchange ideas, with 415 branches across the Americas and offshore. Collegiate Design Series (CDS) competitions offer student teams the opportunity to design, build and test the performance of real vehicles through a range of competitions including Formula SAE, SAE Aero Design, SAE Clean Snowmobile, Baja SAE, and SAE Supermileage. 

SAE also publish Momentum, a dedicated bi-monthly magazine for students that publishes articles by students and is distributed to all SAE International student members free-of-charge. 

Following graduation, SAE has developed a strategy for transitioning student membership to SAE Professional Membership with a set target for 2015 of 850 members. SAE staff attend CDS events to meet students face-to-face and discuss the benefits of transferring membership, and employ active email campaigns to its student members to maintain engagement. Benefits of transferring to full membership include one free year and four years of reduced fees, encouraged through a simplified application system and a officially branded SAE baseball cap (CDS events only). 

For those young professionals transferring to full membership, SAE maintain engagement through a variety of activities. SAE International Sections are units of members in a defined geographical area who hold monthly technical meetings on the latest engineering trends, organise workshops and seminars to sharpen technical expertise, attend technical tours and local events, and volunteer for SAE International's STEM education programmes. 

The presentation on "Engaging Students in Automotive Engineering" was made by Mr. Murli Iyer, FISITA VP - Americas, on behalf of SAE International as part of the "Local Knowledge and Best Practice" session at the FISITA Council Meetings in Cologne, in September 2015. FISITA members can view the presentation here.
The road to a career in Formula 1
In this exclusive article, Formula 1 engineer Sarvesh Yechury tells insidetrack how he followed a childhood dream and became an engineer for Formula 1. 

"From a very young age I wanted to work on cars and loved to compete in motorsport events. After finishing my schooling in India, the natural choice was to travel to the UK to pursue my dream of working in the automotive industry, in particular motorsport. 

I did my Bachelors in Automotive Engineering at Coventry University. Whilst at Coventry I got involved with Formula Student, and I also worked in the Product Development Department at Cummins Engine Company. I became Vice President, and later President of the Coventry University Engineering Society and supported the organisation of tours to car factories and engaged members of the society by holding seminars and discussions with industry leaders. I completed my Masters in Motorsport Engineering and Management at Cranfield University and gained valuable practical experience with various race and rally teams.

After a few years working around the world in various formula competitions, I entered the world of F1 with Force India, and now work on various aspects of the race car as a Vehicle Science Trackside Support Engineer. It has been an exciting and fulfilling journey so far!"

You can read a full length interview with Sarvesh by by clicking here. 
Advanced Propulsion Centre to exhibit at FISITA Summit
As part of this year's FISITA World Automotive Summit, the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) will be presenting some of their work to the invited international audience of leading industry figures from FISITA's Honorary Committee

The Advanced Propulsion Centre was formed in 2013 as part of a commitment developed between the UK government and the national automotive industry, through the Automotive Council. The objective of the APC is to position the UK as a global centre of excellence for low carbon powertrain development and production, a key aim of the Industrial Strategy created by the Automotive Council in July 2013.

The APC is an industry wide collaboration of innovators and producers of low carbon propulsion systems, facilitating a range of projects that cover four of the five strategic technology areas outlined by the Automotive Council: Electric Machines and Power Electronics • Energy Storage and Energy Management • Internal Combustion Engines • Lightweight Vehicle and Powertrain Structures. 

The fifth strategic technology, Intelligent Mobility, falls within the remit of the Transport Systems Catapult. Andrew Everett, Chief Strategy Officer of the organisation, will be presenting at the FISITA Summit in a workshop focussed on 'Radical Innovation'. 

Both the national government and industry have committed a combined £1bn to the APC in support of a ten year programme to complete the research and development value chain within the UK, enabling advanced propulsion technologies to be ready for on and off road applications, turning technologies into products. 

The FISITA Summit will be an excellent opportunity for the APC to share more about their work with the international selection of industry experts that attend this exclusive FISITA event. If you are attending the FISITA Summit you can visit the APC team at their booth. Alternatively, send an email to and they'll be happy to talk to you. APC will be exhibiting alongside the BLOODHOUND SSC Project, Transport Systems Catapult and the Automotive Investment Organisation.
Sumitomo Chemical celebrate 100th anniversary
2015 marks the 100th anniversary of FISITA Honorary Committee member Sumitomo Chemical's operations. The company began as a fertiliser manufacturing plant under the direct management of Sumitomo General Head Office to transform sulphur dioxide gas - harmful to crops in its natural form - into calcium superphosphate fertilisers. Beginning with this specific task and only 158 employees, the past century has seen Sumitomo Chemical grow to become a world-leading chemical company, with over 30,000 employees in over 30 countries. 

Since it was founded to resolve environmental challenges whilst contributing to the improvement of agriculture, Sumitomo Chemical has prioritised earning and maintaining the trust of society. Under the banner of the "Sumitomo Spirit" the last 100 years of operations has led to a diverse portfolio and string of technological innovations. 

As a global company, Sumitomo Chemical proactively uses the power of chemistry to seek solutions for the problems facing food, the environment, resources, and energy, whilst pursuing technological collaborations with both academia and industry in order to apply R&D research quickly and efficiently. 

The staff team at FISITA HQ would like to offer congratulations to Honorary Committee representative Masakazu Tokura, President of Sumitomo Chemical, and wish the company another century of success. 
Click above to watch Sumitomo Chemical's 100th anniversary video, "Gifts of Chemistry"
Honda and GM to collaborate on driverless car technology
Member of the Board of Directors at GM, Mr. Steve Girsky, at the Fuel Cell Agreement press conference

Honorary Committee members Honda and GM could be about to expand their partnership to develop hybrid and self-driving vehicles. The two automakers began working together back in 2013 on a core system for fuel cell vehicles, which should be on the market by 2020 following Honda's planned March 2016 rollout of an independently developed fuel cell car.

Honda President Takahiro Hachigo said, "We're thinking about what we can do together with GM on a technological level. The fuel cell partnership has gone extremely well. We want to consider expanding it to include self-driving technology, information technology and electrification."

Honda has not yet made public any concrete plans it has for manufacturing a driverless car, so a partnership in this area would be beneficial as GM are set to release driverless cars in 2017. Likewise, GM would benefit from Honda's high-level technical expertise in hybrids. 
Faurecia developing 'Active Wellness' seat
Honorary Committee member and automotive parts manufacturer Faurecia is developing an 'Active Wellness' seat that detects the stress and fatigue of drivers using built in sensors, and offers customised treatment.

As an example of its capabilities, if a driver's heart rate lowers, the seat will begin a lower back massage and provide a cooling sensation to the driver to ensure they stay alert at the wheel. 

Faurecia's Vice President of Innovation, Rob Huber, told CNBC's Closing Bell: "If you're stressed out, your heart rate increases and your respiration increases. If you press 'stress detected' it'll give you a soothing massage and a warming sensation that will calm you down. This car is about connectivity and understanding more about the individual person."

According to, emotional driving such as "road rage" is potentially as dangerous as being on a cellphone whilst driving. Rob Huber anticipates that the smart seat will be initially available in premium quality vehicles from as early as 2018. 
Driverless Conference heads to London 
The Driverless Technology Conference and Exhibition (DTCE'15) will be held on 23 November at the ILEC Conference Centre, London, UK. DTCE'15 is a senior level seminar, which brings together over 300 attendees across the driverless supply chain.

The conference will address the use of innovative driverless technology in real-world environments, aiming to provide a strategic overview of current driverless trials. Also under discussion will be the required global collaboration needed to make changes to the legislative, regulatory and testing frameworks to enable driverless technology to flourish in the right environment and reach the consumer in the near-term.

Technical workshop sessions will be hosted alongside the conference, and will cover cyber security solutions, technical testing, and validation strategies for connected and autonomous vehicles. 

FISITA has 3 tickets for the conference and exhibition to give away to members. For your chance to attend, please send your name, job title and email address to

To find out more about the conference and view the complete agenda, visit
Call for Papers
FISITA 2016 World Automotive Congress
Organised by FISITA
26-30 September 2016, Busan, Korea

The Korean Society of Automotive Engineers (KSAE) and FISITA are proud to announce the 36th FISITA World Automotive Congress in Busan, Korea. The FISITA Congress brings together industry and academia to share knowledge and ideas, providing the next generation with a new era of transportation solutions whilst serving as a powerful motivator for the continued growth of the automotive industry and its contributors. 

Congress highlights include an Executive Track, Interactive Progress Sessions, the FISITA Student Congress including the Islands of Excellence, and Technical and Cultural Visits. 

The deadline for abstracts is 30 November 2015

For more information, visit the FISITA 2016 Congress website at
FIVE 2016 - 4th International Conference on Fires in Vehicles
Organised by FIVE
4-6 October 2016, Baltimore, USA

FIVE 2016 brings together experts in the field of fire in vehicles for two days of presentations and exhibits. Previous conferences in Gothenburg, Chicago and Berlin were were all successes with delegates attending from around the world. Each day of the conference will be opened by a keynote presentation by a field-leading expert that will introduce the key themes for the day. 

The deadline for abstracts is 1st December 2015

For more information, visit the conference website at
The FISITA Automotive Diary is your online resource for all kinds of automotive engineering events happening across the globe. From conferences, forums, seminars and workshops, be sure to check back regularly to see what is new. Click here to visit the FISITA Automotive Diary.

TU Automotive Europe '15
2 - 3 November 2015, Stuttgart, Germany

3 - 6 November 2015, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Advanced Engineering UK
4 - 5 November 2015, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Automotive Engineering Show
4 - 5 November 2015, Birmingham, United Kingdom

FISITA World Automotive Summit 2015
11 - 12 November 2015, London, United Kingdom

AutosympoThis event has FISITA support
11 - 12 November 2015, Roztoky u Prahy, Czech Republic

The 21st Small Engine Technology Conference 2015 This event has FISITA patronage(SETC 2015)
17 - 19 November 2015, Osaka, Japan

KSAE 2015 Annual Conference and Exhibition
18 - 21 November 2015, Gyeongju, Korea

EAEC-ESFA 2015This event has FISITA patronage
25 - 27 November 2015, Bucharest, Romania

Driverless Technology Conference and Exhibition
27 November 2015, London, United Kingdom
Inside Track is designed and produced by FISITA, the International Federation of Automotive Engineering Societies. FISITA is the international network for the automotive engineering profession, representing over 210,000 engineers in 37 countries. FISITA is one of the world's leading advocates of careers in the automotive profession, creating pathways for young engineers through its established links with the industry. Visit to find out more. To contact the editorial and design team, email Josh Morrall, FISITA Communications Officer,

Copyright © 2015 FISITA, All rights reserved.

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