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2022 Keynotes

Keynote Speakers Announced for 23rd SPE®AutoTPO Conference

The 23rd Annual SPE® TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference, the world’s leading automotive engineered polyolefins forum, will showcase talks by keynote speakers from OPIS, Wards Intelligence, LyondellBasell, and Sirmax. The theme of this year’s 2022 technical conference and exhibition is “Sustainable Mobility.”

The 2022 technical conference and exhibition returns for its 23rd year in person from October 2-5, 2022.

Massimo Pavin – Sirmax: Founder & CEO

Supplying automotive industry with high performing, circular compounds

We are all aware that our planet’s resources are limited. As a conscientious people we have a responsibility to direct initiatives towards usage reduction, reuse, and recycling. Automotive is at the core of this green revolution. In fact, recycled plastic can ensure very high performance, with characteristics comparable to prime.

The concept of upcycling is the creation of an end product of higher quality than the originating base material and that can be used for the production of durable goods, such as various automotive applications. All these products can be made from either post-industrial or post-consumer plastics. In both cases, certification and traceability of the material is crucial. In the U.S., unlike Europe, most recycled plastics are now derived from post-industrial.

Sirmax Group has invested $30 mil to build a post-industrial PP scrap recycling plant on our campus in Anderson, Indiana, using the same quality standards and processes already in use at the group’s other European and international plants, inspired by ISO standards for the processing of prime resins. The Sirmax strategy is to use postindustrial transitionally until post-consumer sources are readily available.

Sirmax is the only PP compounder with in-house recycling capabilities in both the United States (post-industrial) and Europe (post-consumer), truly providing polypropylene compounds with controlled and traceable recycled content.

James (Jim)Hillier – Sr. Director, Advanced Polymer Solutions, US and Canada, LyondellBasell

Challenges, Opportunities, and our Role in Sustainable Mobility

Sustainability has become the dominant factor at the forefront of our global economy and has created transformational opportunities for the Automotive industry. In our lifetimes, no megatrend has become so ubiquitous so quickly, nor has generated the magnitude of expectations for the pace of change.

From material and technology innovation, to infrastructure, supply chains, partnerships, regulatory drivers, and evolving consumer demands, how we navigate and prioritize action as the world makes the transition to a low-carbon economy is critical. Challenges, Opportunities, and our Role in Sustainable Mobility will provide discussion and insight encompassing these areas as we chart the future of the Automotive industry.

James R. (Jim) Hillier is the Sr. Director of Advanced Polymer Solutions for LyondellBasell, one of the world’s largest plastics, chemicals, and refining companies.  Mr. Hillier assumed the position in December of 2020 after his previous role leading LyondellBasell’s Digital Transformation.

Mr. Hillier has served in recent years as the Site Manager for the Clinton Complex, one of the largest chemical plants in Iowa, Chief of Staff for Global Manufacturing and Refining, and Director for Compounding and Catalysts, Americas as part of a career that spans 23 years after joining LyondellBasell predecessor companies in 1999 at the Morris, Illinois site.  He has served in engineering, management, finance, and commercial roles leading both regional and global teams at numerous locations in the Gulf Coast and Midwest.

His focus throughout his career has been on the development of high performing organizations, teams, and people.  He has served on the boards of the Clinton Regional Development Corporation, Tuscola Economic Development Corporation, Ohio Chemistry Technology Council, and ACC Durable Goods Leadership Team.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology and was recognized in 2016 with the University of Wisconsin College of Engineering early career award.

Saquib Toor – Board Member, Alterra Holdings and Beaconhouse Capital Managing Partner

Mergers and Acquisitions of TPO and Olefin based Compounders in North America

Mr. Toor will present an overview of the mergers and acquisitions of TPO and Olefin based compounders in North America and how it impacts the new development of TPO, TPE, TPV for the automotive and other industries. TPO and Olefin based products are one of the fastest growing materials for automotive applications globally.

Mr. Toor has over 17 years of investment and corporate advisory experience including public and private equity investing, distressed debt investing and investment banking.

Mr. Toor was an Executive at D.E. Shaw & Co. and Knighthead Capital prior to Beaconhouse, where he was responsible for sourcing private and distressed investments opportunities, performing due diligence, analyzing companies and industries and credit documentation. He invested in a variety of asset classes (equities, performing credit, distressed credit) and industries (Consumer, Education, Healthcare Services, Biotechnology, Food & Retails, Middle East and ‘off the run’ situations).

Previously a Principal at Centerbridge Partners and JLL Partners, Mr. Toor’s responsibilities included executing private equity transactions as well as making credit investments for the hedge fund.

Mr. Toor worked at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in the Los Angeles office earlier in his career. His duties involved private placements, high yield offerings, equity offerings, mergers & acquisitions and restructurings.

Saquib received both his Bachelors of Science in Economics and his Masters in Business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennyslvania.


JOEL MORALES – Vice President of Polyolefins Americas, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, A Dow Jones company

Global Polypropylene: New Capacity Expected to Outpace Post Covid Demand

Much has changed in the global PP market over the last few years as the impact of
Covid-19, among other things, has resulted in elevated global shipping costs of containers from Asia to Western Markets. As a result PP prices in Western Markets have disconnected from Asian prices like never before. This presentation will discuss the landscape for key future trends in pricing, demand and new capacity as the world continues to work its way towards a post Covid normalcy.


DREW WINTER – Wards Intelligence
How Smart Surfaces, Sustainable Materials are Transforming Vehicle Interiors

Electrification and autonomous features are turning the act of driving into an experience. Future cockpits will be expected to provide a variety of pleasing interactions that entertain, energize, and soothe driver and occupants on demand. TPOs promise to play a pivotal role in this transformation. Smart interior surfaces with embedded electronics will reduce distraction and create varied experiences and interior environments by displaying as much or as little information as occupants want to see, changing colors and offering dramatic cockpit design opportunities.

The growth of electric vehicles and environmental concerns worldwide is creating demand for more sustainable interior materials that occupants can see and touch – and also unseen materials such as sound insulation.

Many automakers now offer premium alternatives to leather and suede such as “Vegan leather.” More are being developed to include an impressive array of post-consumer materials from wine bottle corks to nylon fishing nets. Tesla already has eliminated leather from its vehicles, Volvo announced last year it is eliminating leather in future EV applications. Volvo’s director of global sustainability says the vegan leather market is expected to reach $83 billion (€73 billion) in value by 2025.

But sustainability initiatives aren’t just about EVs. They are part of every OEM and supplier’s future plans. Materials suppliers are responding with an impressive array of sustainable products and processes.

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