On-Demand Webinars: Automotive

Trends, Material Solutions, and Industrialization Concepts for Front and Rear Automotive Panels


In this 60-minute Webinar, automotive plastic producer SABIC and plastics machine-maker ENGEL combine their knowledge and experience to provide insights on the evolution of an emerging application space – front and rear exterior panels on vehicles.

The session features:

  • A highly visual review of the latest automotive design trends involving electric vehicles and those with autonomous driving capabilities and/or advanced driver assistance systems
  • Brand identity and differentiation considerations
  • Integration of lighting and sensors
  • Material solutions for increased functional integration, weight-out, and aesthetics
  • Manufacturing technologies to support the production of cost-optimized parts with high-quality aesthetics

An audience Q&A follows the technical presentation.


Volker Plehn, Global Automotive Leader, Smart Panels, Lighting and ETP Trim, SABIC

Volker Plehn leads a global team focused on delivering material solutions that can address customer needs for front and smart panels, lighting, display, and trim applications based on engineering thermoplastics (ETP). He has a wealth of experience in the automotive materials world, having served as the global vice president of Sales and Marketing for Interface Performance Materials and director of business development for Toray. Before assuming those roles, he accumulated up to 25 years of experience with DuPont, serving in a range of sales, marketing, and business development positions. Volker holds a Dipl.-Ing (master’s degree) in mechanical engineering from RWTH Aachen University and an Executive MBA from the University of Michigan.

Geert Schellekens, Chief Designer, SABIC

Geert Schellekens serves as chief designer for SABIC. For the company’s global automotive team, he helps drive the front end of innovation by providing industrial design development leadership and support. His background includes a unique blend of expertise in engineering, industrial design, and automotive styling. His early automotive career included design roles with Volvo, PSA, and Mercedes-Benz. In 1995, he joined General Electric’s plastics division (acquired by SABIC in 2007) and became involved in the full bandwidth of industrial design work, including consulting and collaborating with OEMs and design groups across the world on various automotive design projects. Geert has a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Haarlem Business School in the Netherlands, studied industrial design at Design Academy Eindhoven, and holds a master’s degree in vehicle design from the Royal College of Art in London.

Michael Fischer, Head of Business Development, Automotive Technologies, ENGEL Austria

Michael Fischer is head of business development, automotive technologies at ENGEL Austria, a position he has held since 2017. He formerly was ENGEL Austria’s sales manager technology for automotive and technical molding and sales manager automotive. As part of Engel’s global automotive team, Michael is working together with OEMs, Tiers, and partners to innovate production of new and existing components. He is supporting co-operation projects and the development of turn-key solutions in the industry with a focus on new technologies and cutting-edge applications. Michael has a diploma in polymer engineering and processing from the University of Leoben, Austria, and an MBA in global marketing from the Johannes Kepler University Linz.


Lisa Arrigo, Editor, SAE Media Group

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