The FISITA Academy of Technical Leadership has been established in order to create a unique status within the automotive and mobility systems engineering community, through which outstanding achievers can be acknowledged and recognised for their commitment and contribution to the technology of mobility.
In partnership with
About the Academy
The FISITA Academy endorsement delivers FISITA recognition and status for the world’s leading technology experts, as hand-picked on an annual basis by the FISITA President and an international team of advisors.
This unique status launches at a time of significant technological advancement as the traditional automobile industry rapidly evolves. Technology and technologists are leading this evolution, with the technology of mobility creating a high demand for the engineering capability required to progress the connected, autonomous, smart, clean and safe mobility solutions of today and tomorrow.
The FISITA Academy of Technical Leadership places its recipients within an exclusive group of international technologists, with exclusivity ensured through a strict review and selection process, identifying no more than twenty outstanding achievers to the Academy each year.
Ensuring that only those contributing significant leadership to the international automotive and mobility systems engineering community will be acknowledged through appointment to the FISITA Academy of Technical Leadership.
We are delighted to announce the inaugural recipients of this prestigious status and unique recognition, awarded to each of the following individuals during FISITA’s by-invitation technical leadership event, the FISITA World Mobility Summit in November 2019.
Executive Vice President, Product Engineering, Groupe Renault
Having graduated from Aeronautic Engineering School in Madrid, Mr. Abellan holds management degrees from Harvard Business School. He began his career at Renault in 1990 with most of his professional path spent in Mechanical Engineering – Production and Product. In 2018, Mr. Abellan was appointed Deputy Alliance Executive Vice President, Engineering, and is a member of the Groupe Renault Executive Committee.
Professor Emeritus, Waseda University
Prof. Daisho completed his doctorate at Waseda University in 1976 and later joined their Mechanical Engineering Department as a research associate and then professor. He specializes in research on ‘IC engine combustion and emissions, and alternative fuels and power systems for automobiles’ and ‘Air pollution and global warming mitigation and energy shift related to the transportation sector’.
Chairman of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH
Dr. Denner has been chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH and a limited partner of Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG since July 1, 2012. His responsibilities include corporate strategy, corporate communications and governmental affairs, and real estate and facilities. He is also responsible for the Bosch Healthcare Solutions GmbH subsidiary.
Vice President – Global Innovation and R&D Laboratories, General Motors Company
Ms. Fletcher is focused on the technology-led business transformation of General Motors, leading the teams whose mission is to disrupt the traditional automotive industry. Her experience is broad and global. For more than a decade, she has been in leadership roles guiding the development of GM’s electric vehicle and self-driving technologies, most recently as Vice President-Global Electric and Autonomous Vehicles.
Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
Dr. Pawan Goenka earned his B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from I.I.T., Kanpur and Ph.D. from Cornell University, U.S.A. He is also a Graduate of Advanced Management Program from Harvard Business School. He worked at General Motors R&D Centre in Detroit, U.S.A. from 1979 to 1993. Thereafter, he joined Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., as General Manager (R&D). and was appointed Managing Director in 2016.
FISITA President 2004‑2006
Mr. Hancock retired from General Motors in 2011, and now consults with the automotive industry in the powertrain and alliances areas. His last position with GM was Vice President, Global Strategic Product Alliances. During that time he served as Chairman of GM’s DMAX and VM Motori diesel engine joint ventures with Isuzu and Fiat, respectively.
FISITA President 2008‑2010
Mr. Huss joined BMW in 1983 as an engineer specialising in international homologation. In 1985 he became Product Information Manager, Spokesman for Technology for BMW AG. From 1989 to 1991 he served as Spokesman for Technology for BMW of North America. In 1997 he was named Representative of the Board for Traffic and Environment at BMW AG. He was made Senior Vice President Science and Traffic Policy of the BMW Group in 2002.
Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG
Ola Källenius has been a member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG since 1 January 2015, and Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG since the Annual Meeting of Daimler AG on 22 May 2019. He is also Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG.
Vice President Vehicle Safety, BMW
Prof. Kompass came to BMW in 1986 as crash test engineer, in charge of the airbag testing and crash simulation. Since 2008 Prof. Kompass became Vice President Vehicle Safety for the BMW Group. In this role he is responsible for all crash test facilities, the development of active and passive safety, safety aspects of automated driving incl. human factors design as well as the accident research teams in Germany and the US.
Senior Vice President and Expert Fellow, Groupe Renault
Ms. Leclair began her career at Sligos as a research engineer before joining Renault in 1984 as a CAD engineer. Her first experience in bodywork engineering was on the Safrane project in 1989, then on the Mégane 1 project. Following a number of roles, she was appointed Senior Vice President, Expert Fellow in 2015. She is a member of the Renault Management Committee since 2008 and reports to Alliance Engineering.
Professor, Tsinghua University, China
Dr.Jun Li is now a professor of Tsinghua University, China. Li has led research and product development, science and technology innovation for a state-owned enterprise of automobile, set up leading self-reliance R&D system and capacity, accomplished multi product R&D upgrade projects, as well as research projects.
Chairman & CEO, AVL List GmbH
In 1996, he started his career at AVL List, where he introduced product management, better market orientation of product development and set up a network of representatives in import and export markets. In 1970, he became Vice President and Head of the Instrumentation Division, band then Chairman and CEO in 1979, establishing global subsidiaries on research in internal combustion engines and development tools.
Independent Director, Business Advisor and Technology Executive
Mr. Mascarenas is a member of the Board of Directors of ON Semiconductor (NASDAQ: ON), US Steel (NYSE: X), Spartan Motors (NASDAQ: SPAR) and Borg Warner (NYSE: BWA); and a Venture Partner with Fontinalis Partners. During his 35+ years in and around the automotive industry, he became Chief Technical Officer and Vice President at Ford Motor Company, and led Ford’s Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto.
Managing Officer, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Mr. Mibe joined Honda Motor Co., Ltd in 1987 and has led a number of areas in powertrain, drivetrain and automobile operations. Formerly Executive Vice President and Director of Honda R&D, he is now President and Representative Director of Intellectual Property and Standardization.
FISITA President 1998‑2000
In 1963 he joined Ford Motor Company. As Manager of Advanced Truck Engineering he was responsible for the successful board submission to introduce the Ford Cargo truck. In 1977 he joined Leyland Truck; his major contribution was to lead the development and introduction of the Roadrunner Truck. Mr. McKnight joined the Leyland Bus Board in 1985.
Mr. Daniel E.
VP, Global Electrification, Controls, Software and Electronic Hardware, General Motors
In his current role, Mr. Nicholson is responsible for all electrified propulsion products including batteries and electric drive units. He is also responsible for all electronic control systems and strategies, software and associated electronic hardware for all General Motors products globally. Prior to that, he was General Motors vice president, Global Propulsion Systems.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan
President and Chief Executive Officer, FEV Group
Prof. Pischinger studied Mechanical Engineering at Aachen Technical University. From 1985 until 1989 he worked as a research assistant at the Sloan Automotive Laboratory at M.I.T. until he received his PhD for his work on Spark Ignition in modern combustion engines. From 1989 until 1997 he was in various positions at Daimler-Benz and is now President and Chief Executive Officer of the FEV Group.
FISITA President 2010‑2012
James Edward “Ted” Robertson served until recently as Chief Technical Officer, the Americas, for Magna International and Vice Chairman, of Magna E-Car Systems, a joint venture between Magna and the Stronach Trust focused on the global electrification of the car. Prior to joining Magna, Ted Robertson spent 35 years at General Motors, beginning in 1968 as an Experimental Engineer for GM of Canada.
FISITA President 2006‑2008
Dr. Akihiko Saito has been an automotive engineer and executive for over 40 years, with Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees in Mechanical Engineering. His forte has been in the management of vehicle development. In 1980 he became a member of the team that developed Toyota’s best-selling vehicle, the Corolla. He became Executive Vice President in charge of Toyota’s R&D in 2001.
Executive Officer and Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
During his career, Mr. Sakamoto has served in a number of roles including multiple chief vehicle engineer positions and VP roles. Currently he is in charge of Manufacturing & SCM Operations. He was appointed as executive vice president in April 2014 and executive officer in June 2019. Sakamoto also serves as deputy Alliance executive vice president for manufacturing and supply chain management operations.
Mr. T. Russell
Founder and Chair, Ygomi LLC
Mr. Shields is the founder and chair of Ygomi LLC. Businesses that he has led over the last five decades include Shields Enterprises International, Cellular Business Systems (later Convergys), Navigation Technologies (later NAVTEQ, now HERE), ArrayComm, Connexis, RoadDB, and SEI. He holds a BA in mathematics from Wichita State University and two degrees (an MA in history and an MBA) from the University of Chicago.
FISITA President 2000‑2002
Mr. Suzuki is a past President of JSAE and Chairman of the Board, Mitsubishi Automotive Engineering Co., Ltd. In June 1997 he retired from Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, where he held the post of Executive Vice President, overseeing the research and development of passenger cars, trucks and buses, and quality assurance operations.
Executive Vice President, Member of the Board of Directors, Toyota Motor Corporation
Mr. Terashi graduated from Kobe University with a master’s degree in engineering in March 1980,and joined Toyota Motor Corporation in April the same year. Having spent three decades at Toyota, he was made chief officer of the Toyota ZEV Factory in 2018, while in 2019, he was appointed chief officer of Toyota System Supply and then became chairman of the Advanced R&D and Engineering Company.
FISITA President 2002‑2004
Mr. Ventre has contributed to the development of areas of automobile safety and bodywork structure by presenting more than 30 projects and 19 patents. For his contributions to the automotive industry he received the ‘National Order of Merit’ (1990) and the ‘Knight in the Legion of Honour’ (1988). In 1998 he retired from Renault as VP, Automotive Engineering.
Chief Scientist of Mobility, Shell
After studying Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Hannover, Dr. Wolfgang gained a PhD in Automotive Engineering from Hamburg Tech. As Chief Scientist of Mobility for Shell Dr. Wolfgang contributes internationally recognised scientific expertise and nurtures innovative technology to help deliver supports project development and business growth.
Chief Technology Officer, Ford Motor Company
Dr. Washington has a bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M University. As CTO, he leads Ford’s worldwide research organization, overseeing the development and implementation of the company’s technology strategy and plans, and playing a key role in the company’s expansion into emerging mobility opportunities. He reports to Jim Farley, president of New Businesses, Technology & Strategy.
Advisor, Hyundai Motor Group
Now in an advisory role, Dr. Woong-chul Yang is retired from Hyundai Motor Company after 14 years of service as a Vice Chairman (2011-2018), President (2009-2011) acting as a Head of Hyundai/Kia R&D Division, responsible for whole product development from product planning, design, research, engineering, to performance and quality assurance.
President, China SAE
Mr. Fu graduated from the Mechanical Department of Beijing Institute of Machinery (at present, Xi’an University of Technology). He was the first deputy director and chief engineer at Harbin Gearbox Factory (Branch of FAW) and vice president and president at Harbin Automotive Industry Corporation.
Prof. Frank (Fuquan)
Professor and Director of Automotive Strategy Research Institute Tsinghua University, China
FISITA President Prof. Zhao is a Professor and Director of Automotive Strategy Research Institute at Tsinghua University, China, where he leads a strategic research group on automotive industry policy, corporate management and technology strategies. Prof. Zhao has published five books and more than 300 technical papers in English, Japanese and Chinese, and owned more than 200 patents.
President, Secretary of the CPC, Changan Automobile
Mr. Zhu is the President and Secretary of the CPC of Changan Automobile. He is a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress, part of the Expert Committee of China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, a science & technology leader of China South Industries Group Corporation, a member of Chongqing Science & Technology Advisory Board, and a member of Global Automotive Executive Council.
In partnership with
Automotive News Partnership
The FISITA Academy of Technical Leadership is partnered with Automotive News, whose mission is to help business leaders better navigate the powerful and complex automotive industry. Founded in 1925, Automotive News is recognised globally for its authority, integrity and clear reporting on B2B issues related to automotive manufacturers, original equipment suppliers, franchised dealers and other industry collaborations.