Since 1999, the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®), leading global OEMs and Tier Suppliers, as well as the TPO supply chain have pooled their resources to create the SPE® TPO Global Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference, a dynamic, interactive, and cost-effective learning experience.  Now in its third decade, the event is the world’s leading engineered polyolefins forum featuring 70+ technical presentations, keynote speakers, networking, exhibits, and sponsored receptions that highlight advances in rigid and flexible polyolefin materials (PPs and TPOs/TEOs), processes, and applications technologies as well as a growing range of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) and thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) throughout the automobile and in other forms of ground transportation.

The SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference has become the world’s leading automotive polyolefins forum and typically draws 900 attendees from 20 countries on 4 continents who are key decision makers and some of the world’s foremost authorities on transportation polyolefin applications, economics, and market trends.   As such, it provides excellent networking opportunities with key members of the entire automotive PP, TPO, TPE, & TPV supply and OEM chain, and the opportunity to learn about designing lighter, less costly automotive components using the latest technologies and applications for these versatile materials. 

Attendees are vitally interested in learning the latest in rigid and elastomeric polyolefins and compounds, as well as TPE and TPV technologies in traditional and emerging areas, such as sustainability and EV/autonomy challenges and opportunities. Nearly a third of conference attendees work for a transportation OEM or a Tier integrator.  The remaining typically come from resin producers, material compounders, color, additive or reinforcement suppliers, academic institutions, laboratories, consultancies, the media and other related industries. 

To help attendees better understand current and emerging trends in this field, technical sessions are organized as follows:

Technical Program Co-Chairs:

  • Dr. Norm Kakarala, SPE Fellow
  • Dr. Alper Kiziltas, Ford Motor Company
  • David Helmer, General Motors Company

Materials Development Session


  • Catherine Wilson, Ford Motor Company
  • Mark Jablonka, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Peter Glenister, LyondellBasell

Surface Enhancements Session


  • Dr. Rose Ryntz, Ryntz & Associates, LLC
  • Jeff B. Crist, Ford Motor Company
  • Jim Keller, Mankiewicz Coatings, LLC

Interior Applications & Laminating Adhesives Session


  • Dr. Pravin Sitaram, Haartz Corporation
  • Austin Wagenhals, Ford Motor Company
  • Hoa Pham, Freudenberg LP

Lightweighting of Polyolefin Parts Session


  • Michael Shoemaker, Borealis
  • Nadeem A. Bokhari, Ph.D., Sumitomo Chemical Group
  • Normand Miron, Audia

Process Developments & Simulations Session


  • Mike Cuneo, Washington Penn Plastic Company
  • Dr. Suresh Shah, SPE Fellow
  • Matt Sprouse, Washington Penn Plastic Company

Applications for Biobased Materials


  •  Dr. Alper Kiziltas, Ford Motor Company
  • Akshay Trivedi, Lear Corporation
  • Drew Geda, Hyundai Motor Group

Enablers for Plastics Recovery & Reuse


  •  Mike Balow, Auxin consulting
  • Dr. Suresh Shah, SPE Fellow
  • Susan Kozara, IAC Group

Innovations in Plastics for Future Mobility


  •  David Helmer, General Motors Corporation
  • Andrew Sanders, Borealis Compounds
  • Frank Schumann, Trinseo, LLC

Two New Sessions for 2021

Enablers for Plastics Recovery and Reuse
Scope: Design for Recycling with focus on Disassembly, Separation, rejuvenation; Infrastructure Developments; Success Case Studies; and Perspectives from Recyclers

Innovations in Plastics for Future Mobility
Scope: Developments in materials for attenuation of signals with RADAR or LIDAR for Autonomous Vehicles, Specific Material Needs for Electric Vehicles, Cleanability considerations and anti-microbial interiors for Ride Sharing Vehicles

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