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ORNL’s Smoky Mountains Mobility Conference gathers DOE, industry thought leaders for high-level talks on efficient, secure mobility future

Topics: Clean Energy Transportation Systems

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is driving the conversation to accelerate solutions in the race to achieve zero net-carbon, zero congestion, and zero fatalities for a more efficient, safe, and secure mobility future.

The lab’s Smoky Mountains Mobility Conference (SMMC) convenes international thought leaders in Chattanooga, Tennessee, September 3-6, 2019, to weigh in on the future of transportation. The conference is designed to connect mobility experts from diverse disciplines across industry, universities, national laboratories and the government to advance the development of solutions for the nation’s most challenging transportation problems.

ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia welcomes attendees and keynote speaker Daniel Simmons, assistant secretary in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, sets the stage for the conference with an opening address. Simmons will discuss energy storage, affordability and integration as well as new communication technologies, advances in electric vehicles and an emphasis on cybersecurity.

Simmons also joins Michael Berube, acting deputy assistant secretary of transportation at DOE, for SMMC’s executive panel, which includes Carla Bailo, president and chief executive officer, Center for Automotive Research; Tim Frazier, executive director of advanced engineering, Cummins; Luc Vincent, executive vice president of engineering and produce, Lyft; and Moe Khaleel, associate laboratory director, ORNL.

We are assembling the world’s best experts in mobility at this year’s conference and are excited to be meeting in Chattanooga which is quickly becoming a world class hub of innovation.

- Robert Wagner

“We are assembling the world’s best experts in mobility at this year’s conference and are excited to be meeting in Chattanooga which is quickly becoming a world class hub of innovation,” said Robert Wagner, conference chair and director of DOE’s National Transportation Research Center at ORNL. “The combination of presentations from 25 well-known international leaders coupled with significant networking opportunities with more than 100 attendees will lead to a dynamic conference, setting the stage for the future of transportation.”

The SMMC focuses on four core areas: electrification, net zero carbon fuels, automation and connectivity, and future fleets with keynote sessions led by well-known transportation thought leaders. Joel Maguire, director of the portfolio strategy team for BorgWarner, delivers the keynote on electrification. BorgWarner is a global company that provides technologies for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles. Joan Ogden, founding director of the sustainable transportation energy pathway program at the University of California Davis, leads the net zero carbon fuels session. Ogden is a distinguished professor focusing on new energy technologies such as alternative fuels, hydrogen, fuel cells, and renewable energy.

General Motors executive Cem Saraydar, director of the electrical controls system research laboratory, keynotes the automation and connectivity session. Carl Hergart, director of advanced powertrain for PACCAR, concludes the keynote sessions with a discussion on future fleets. Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, PACCAR is one of the largest manufacturers of heavy-duty trucks in North America.

The SMMC provides a forum to drive the conversation on the future of mobility and improve cross-disciplinary communications to accelerate the development of inter-disciplinary solutions

- Robert Wagner

“The SMMC provides a forum to drive the conversation on the future of mobility and improve cross-disciplinary communications to accelerate the development of inter-disciplinary solutions.” Wagner said. “In other words, we want to change the conversation and bring together diverse experts that may never cross paths at more traditional conferences.”

ORNL is home to the National Transportation Research Center (NTRC) which is the only DOE designated user facility on transportation. The NTRC leverages ORNL signature capabilities in high performance computing, data sciences, neutron sciences, material sciences, and advanced manufacturing in support of core early stage research in electrification, energy storage, advanced engine and fuel technologies, materials, vehicle systems, and vehicle cyber security.

Ongoing transportation research at ORNL focuses on advanced energy storage and electric drive systems, including fast wired and wireless charging; lightweight materials and multi-material structures for harsh environments; advanced combustion engines and alternative biofuels; data science, analysis, and vehicle cybersecurity; vehicle systems integration; and intelligent mobility systems.

For more information about the SMMC, visit smmc.ornl.gov.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit https://energy.gov/science.