Smithers is pleased to present the Traction Summit 2023 agenda, taking place in May 2023 in San Antonio, Texas!
As an added conference benefit, Smithers is planning a tour of the Treadwell Research Park Track after the second day of the conference, on Wednesday, May 24, 4:30 PM - 9:30 PM. Participants will have a chance to see various track and surface types including wet and dry VDA’s, a high-speed oval, and off-road trails with the opportunity to join the tests by riding and driving.
Josh Guilliams, Vice President of Consultancy, leads Smithers’ technical consulting team based in Akron, Ohio. Josh manages client relationships and works with other Smithers experts on complex projects. He also conducts in-depth investigations of a wide variety of rubber materials and final products on behalf of clients.
Before joining the team at Smithers, Guilliams spent several years in leadership at Polymer Valley Chemicals, Inc., as Technical Director and Vice President of Technical Operations. Prior to his time at Polymer Valley Chemicals, he held technical and commercial roles at Hankook Tire, EASTMAN Chemical Corporation, LANXESS Corporation, and Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations.
Bio coming soon!
Domenico La Camera joined TIP-WBCSD as Research Director in October 2022. He has a strong background in Research and Innovation gained at leading companies. Prior to joining WBSCSD, Domenico held roles of increasing responsibility at Pirelli, General Electrics, Sabic and Owens Corning. He holds a Doctorate in Polymer Science and a Master of Science in Chemistry from University “Federico II” of Napoli, Italy. He is author of eight patents and seven peer to peer articles in scientific journals.
Efficient, collaborative and motivational senior executive and lawyer with demonstrated history of management, legal and public policy successes. Expertise in the areas of manufacturing, transportation, product safety, antitrust, industry litigation, innovation, sustainability and trade. Skilled consensus builder on complex industry issues.
Olivier Brauen currently serves as the vice president for Circularity Business Solutions in Michelin’s newly created Sustainable Material and Circularity organization. In this role, Brauen is responsible for circular strategies and execution. He focuses on aligning “where to play” and “how to win” methods in collaborations with other areas of the global organization to lead circular transformation programs.
Brauen has been with Michelin for more than 25 years, leading business transformation in complex environments and delivering real impacts against Michelin’s business strategy, balancing people, profit and planet.
Prior to his current role, he served as the President and Chief Operating Officer at Michelin Connected Fleet powered by Nextraq, a subsidiary of Michelin. In that role, he was responsible for directing the full P&L and leading an organization of marketing, sales, IT, operations and strategic management teams.
He has also served as the vice president for the Tweel business venture and the director of Passenger Car and Light Truck product marketing worldwide in France.
Born in Switzerland, Brauen’s service to Michelin has taken him around the world, including assignments in China, Singapore, France and now the United States. Over the past 25 years, Brauen has held roles in management, business development, and product marketing. He has led multiple verticals in both B2B and B2C business including automotive, transport, off-highway and Michelin experiences.
Jeremy joined General Motors in December of 2012 and is an active leader in GM’s Supply Chain Sustainability Group. In this role Jeremy leads supply chain efforts related to Energy, Packaging and Carbon emission reductions. He has extensive experience in the automotive sector but draws and builds off past experiences in the pharmaceutical and food industries. Jeremy was recently awarded the Department of Energy award for Better Practices for an Energy Treasure Map supplier outreach program for General Motors supply chain. His passion is in making a better tomorrow through Actions today.
Dr. Beverly Wright has spent over 30 years leading and delivering data science and analytics through corporate, consulting, and academic experiences. She has served as executive, leader, educator, and advisor of data science and analytics teams to help provide solutions for solving complex business problems.
As Head of Data Science Solutions at Burtch Works, Beverly provides guidance to a variety of businesses and to frame and solve critical issues using modeling and advanced analytics. She also serves as Director of Data Science for University of Georgia, Executive Education, where she builds, staffs, delivers, and evaluates programs targeted for executives.
Beverly gives back to her community through operating a nonprofit called TAG Data Science & Analytics – FOR GOOD Initiative, leveraging volunteers, data, tools, and other resources to tackle community challenges. She also serves as Board Chair for TAG Data Science & Analytics, Board Member for Georgia Institute of Technology’s Master of Science in Analytics program, and Neighborhood Nexus, President of the Analytics Society at INFORMS, and podcast host for TAG Data Talk.
Tatsuyuki Abe is a Sales Engineer at Kuraray America, Inc. He graduated from the University of Tokyo with a master's degree in Agricultural and Environmental Biology in 2015, and joined Kuraray Co., Ltd. in Japan as a Sales Representative in the same year. His career started with specific focus in elastomer products in Japan and then expanded to overseas business including China and Korea in 2018. In 2021 he relocated to Houston, TX for his new assignment at Kuraray America, Inc. He is currently focused on sales activities of Kuraray’s elastomer products in North and South America.
Tom has over 25 years of experience in the business and technology development of specialty materials at IBM, W. L. Gore & Associates, and Lehigh Technologies.
Tom joined Lehigh as a late stage start-up, helping grow revenue over 3x, and participated in a successful exit via acquisition by Michelin in 2017.
At Lehigh, his teams developed and commercialized multiple award-winning new products (all sustainable materials) to the very same group of companies targeted by SILPARA.
In addition to a background of innovation, as evidenced by his new business development experience and 11 US patents, he is very experienced in both customer engagement and board/investor level relations.
At SILPARA he is responsible for the definition of the technology and providing expert analysis for the customer and investor community.
Dr. Kevin Kulbaba studied Chemistry at Western University and obtained his PhD in Inorganic Polymer Chemistry at the University of Toronto. He is currently working for ARLANXEO Inc., located in London, Ontario, Canada with over 25 years of experience in the field of polymer science, including 20+ years of elastomer development and rubber compounding. Kevin is a Technical Service and Application Development manager focused on the NORAM markets for tire and specialty applications with focus on BR, SBR and Butyl Rubber elastomers.
August is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, with a bachelor's degree in Applied Science- Mechanical Engineering. He is Director of Rubber Development at Molecular Rebar Design. He & his team are responsible for developing and commercializing discrete and functionalized carbon nanotube products for various applications in elastomers.
Howard Colvin has worked in the rubber industry for over 35 years as a chemist and a polymer scientist. He started his career in the Hydroquinone and Derivatives section in the Goodyear Chemical division, then moved on to the rubber chemicals group. He was in charge of the polymer group at the Goodyear Chemical Division for 13 years where he worked on new materials using emulsion and solution polymer technology. At Cooper Tire he led Cooper’s guayule rubber research program and led the research team who obtained a $6.9 million grant to study all phases of cultivation, harvesting, rubber isolation and tire building. Cooper built the world’s first all guayule tire in 2017.
He was Professor of Chemistry at Florida College for four years, and after returning to the tire industry, worked for the school as an adjunct professor of Biochemistry. He holds over 50 US patents and numerous foreign patents. He won the lifetime achievement Melvin Mooney award from the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society in 2020. He is now a consultant to the rubber industry and suppliers to that industry.
Matt joined Smithers in 2017 as the Technical Director of the Smithers Tire & Wheel Test Lab in Ravenna, Ohio. He is primarily focused on Smithers’ current force and moment testing operations, staff management, and technical decision-making. He also manages a partnership between Smithers and six global tire manufacturers that introduced a new MTS Flat Trac CT+ system and facility expansion in 2018.
Matt has over 17 years of experience in the tire industry, including management experience on the manufacturing side of the business. He has been responsible for numerous testing machines, including MTS Flat Tracs, spring rate, laser measurement, acoustic, uniformity, and high- and low-speed durability.
Matt has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo. He is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, is certified in FARO Measurement Systems, and has had training in Lean and pneumatic systems design. He spent the first part of his career designing automated tire building systems before moving into his multiple roles in tire testing.
Mr. Monte Niemi’s accomplishments include the coveted Ed Warner, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tire Industry Association for his excellence and best practices within the industry and his leadership in developing civil engineering markets for the Tire-Derived Aggregate.
Monte is a member of the TIA’s Environmental Advisory Council and was responsible for developing the TDA definitions and supporting information found in the EAC Glossary.
Through his leadership and educational efforts, the use of TDA is spreading throughout the nation assisting in the End-of-Life Tire Problem. He is instrumental in creating the TDA market for civil engineers, formulating TDA material specifications and working with civil engineers on various projects leading to construction installation specifications.
His work has helped ASTM committees in creating standards, such as ASTM D6270. Monte has been a contributing author on technical Installation Manuals on the application and benefits of using TDA. Presently, more literature and specifications are being produced for the use of TDA as an acceptable aggregate and approved by several DOT’s.
To date, over 1.2 billion of pounds of scrap tire material have been manufactured into TDA. In keeping with and expanding environmentally friendly and sustainable applications that greatly reduce the overall landfill or waste footprint. The future holds a myriad of benefits that TDA will bring to projects and growing beneficial specifications.
Lin Bradley is Technical Market Manager -- Rubber, Americas, for Orion Engineered Carbons. Responsible for technical interactions with Rubber Carbon Black tire customers, Bradley oversees market research, coordination of technical approvals of ASTM and non-ASTM Carbon Blacks, new product and solution introductions, and coordination of laboratory evaluations of Orion products performance in specific applications.
Bradley brings more than 25 years of rubber industry experience to his role at Orion Engineered Carbons. He began his career in rubber at West Pharmaceutical Services as an analytical chemist. His next position was at Fulflex, Inc., where he worked on rubber compounds for golf balls, printing rolls and apparel. He then worked as the mechanical rubber goods applications specialist and then salesman for Columbian Chemicals Company. Prior to joining Orion Engineered Carbons, Bradley served as business development manager at Barbe America, Inc.
Bradley earned a B.S. degree in Chemistry with a minor in Biochemistry and a M.S. degree in Polymer Chemistry at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.