Driving Steel-6

Driving Steel-6

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

The 6th edition of Driving Steel was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia, the largest passenger car market in ASEAN and one of the largest auto-hubs in South-East Asia, provides the perfect setting for the theme selected – Driving Steel – “Shift Gears”.
Industry experts deliberated on the transformational changes in the automotive industry and their impact on the future material needs, weight reduction, passenger safety, technologies of future like hot stamping and UHSS, new coating and forming techniques.


Takahiro Yoshinaga

General Manager, Flat Products

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp

Topic: An update on advancement of flat steel products for Automotive Application

Mr. Yoshinaga Takahiro is currently working as General Manager, Technical Services in Automotive Flat Products Divison of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation. He started his career as an engineer at NSSMC for hot rolling technical department in 1992. He has 24 years of extensive experience in departments like product development, customer technical services including 5 years in NSSMC Chicago, (U.S.) as customer technical service resident expert. He has a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Yong Zhong

Senior Researcher, R&D Bao Steel

Baosteel China

Topic: Research & Development in the field of AHSS at Bao Steel

Dr. Yong Zhong is one of the senior researchers in R&D Center of Baosteel Co.Ltd. His work focuses on the design, production and application technologies of new generation ultra-high strength steels, especially QP and TWIP steels. He is also working on production and application of cold deformed martinate steel. He did his masters in materials engineering.

Dr. Jin Keun Oh

Principal Researcher, Gwangyang Technical Research Laboratories


Topic: New generation AHSS from Posco

Dr Jin Keun Oh is currently working as Technical Principal Researcher at Gwangyang Research Laboratories. For last 14 years, he has been working in the field of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) and its development at POSCO research laboratory. Dr Keun Oh did his Ph.D. in 2002 from POSTECH. He completed his master’s degree in 1998 at POSTECH in Korea and his bachelor’s in 1996

Dr. Ir. Chris Lahaije

Project Manager Customer Technology

Tata Steel Europe

Topic: Automotive - Sustainability in the steel supply chain , Introducing XPF Steel - New material solutions for light weight chassis and frames

Dr Chris Lahaije is currently working as Project Manager Customer Technology, Tata Steel Europe. He has extensive experience in technical project management, developing innovative solutions, and building long term customer relationships in automotive steel for over 25 years. Dr. Chris is aproven communicator at all levels within a global organization with a long track record of delivering creative solutions to a wide diversity of challenges. Previously, he had worked as project coordinator for aluminum body sheets (ABS) development program. As project coordinator under ABS program he had worked on alloy development, surface conditioning, application development, material launch support & technical support for production CAPEX investments. He was knowledge group leader of aluminum metallurgy. He had also represented Corus in editorial board for the EAA AAM and Super light car program and EU 6th framework project led by Volkswagen. He had represented Tata Steel in World Steel Consortium. Dr Lahaije did his Ph.D. in atomic physics from free University of Amsterdam, MBA from Nyenrode University in Netherlands and his MSc. Physics from the University Of Eindhoven, Netherlands.

John Speer

Professor of Physical Metallurgy

Colorado School of Mines

Topic: Processing of Ultra-High Strength steel

John G. Speer is the John Henry Moore Professor of Physical Metallurgy at Colorado School of Mines, and Director of the Advanced Steel Processing and Products Research Center. He received a B.S. degree from Lehigh University in Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, and a D.Phil. in Physical Metallurgy from the University of Oxford, UK. He was affiliated with the Homer Research Laboratories of Bethlehem Steel Corporation from 1983-1997, where he was involved in product research, customer and operations support, and research management. He became a Professor in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at Colorado School of Mines in 1997, where he teaches metallurgy at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and participates in research activities with the Advanced Steel Processing and Products Research Center (ASPPRC). John also served as Mines’ Associate Vice-President for Research from 2008-2013. He is a Distinguished Member of AIST, Fellow of ASM International, an Iron and Steel Society Professor, past Chairman of the Ferrous Metals Committee of SAE, and is President-Elect of AIME-the American Institute of Metallurgical, Mining and Petroleum Engineers. John’s background is in physical metallurgy and solid-state phase transformations, and steel product development including alloy design/processing response/application and performance.

Dr. Tim Leverton

President and Head – Advanced & Product Engineering

Tata Motors

Topic: Automotive Steel – An emerging market viewpoint

Dr. Tim Leverton joined Tata Motors in April 2010 as President, and Head of the Advanced and Product Engineering Division. In this role he is responsible for leading the global R&D of all Tata branded passenger cars, Trucks and Buses. In February 2014 he assumed additional responsibility for the Purchase and Supply Chain function of Tata Motors. In a career spanning 31 years in the world automotive industry specialising in product development, he has been involved in the engineering design and development of a wide range of vehicles and components, from the smallest car to the largest truck, as well as construction equipment. He has held a number of senior management positions with the Rover Group and Land Rover, BMW Group as Chief Engineer for the 2003 Rolls-Royce Phantom, and JCB as Group Engineering Director. While at JCB he led the successful JCB Dieselmax project which raised the world land speed record for diesel powered cars to 350mph (563kph) at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, USA in August 2006. Dr. Leverton has a BSc degree in Mechanical Engineering from Aston University – UK, and an MBA and Engineering Doctorate from UK Warwick University – UK. He was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering – UK in 2008. In July 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree by Aston University - UK. Dr Leverton is a member of the Honorary Committee of FISITA.

Hongqin Sally Zheng

CoC Steel Manager

Benteler Automotive, China

Topic: Hot Forming Products and Technologies

Ms. Hongqin Sally Zheng is currently working as CoC Steel Manager where she is involved in advanced hot forming technology and innovations in processing of new material applications. Ms. Zheng has worked for Benteler for over 10 year. She has diverse experience in project management and production. As part of her first assignment as project engineer, she is responsible in setting first hot forming line in China.

Dr. Alison Starr

Executive Director - Strategy and Business Development

National Composites Centre, UK

Topic: Affordable Composites

Alison is the Executive Director responsible for Strategy and Business Development at the National Composites Centre in Bristol, UK. She joined the NCC in 2014 from GE Aviation Systems, where she was Director of Strategic Partnerships. Alison has overall responsibility for the development of the NCC strategy, sales and marketing, external relationships, including members, customers, PR, governmentdepartments and funding bodies. Currently she is Chair of EPSRC's "Manufacturing the Future" Strategic Advisory Team and sits on the UK Government Advanced Materials Leadership Council, jointly chairing their Manufacturing and Supply-chain sub-group. Alison has a wealth of knowledge of the UK’s composites industry and strong established relationships with academia, government and funders. She was chair of the UK Composites Leadership Forum from its inception until joining the NCC and over saw the development of the UK’s 2016 Composite Strategy “Lightening the Load”. Alison’s background is in research engineering in aerospace, having worked for GE Aviation, Smiths Aerospace and Leonardo Helicopters (previously AgustaWestland). She worked extensively on future aerospace technologies, focusing on flight-deck design, human interaction and performance before moving to broader roles, in research programme management, funding, strategy setting and government engagement across the GE Aviation Aerospace portfolio of businesses. She is a fellow of Royal Aeronautical Society.

Dr. N Muthukumar

President & Whole Time Director

Automotive Axles Limited

Topic: Industry 4.0 – Are we ready for disruptive innovation?

Dr. N. Muthukumar is President and Whole Time Director of Automotive Axles Limited, Mysuru. He joined AAL in 2008 as GM operations and currently heads India Operations & Export Business. He is the driving force to implement, sustain and improve World Class Performance Elements and Business results. Dr. N. Muthukumar did his Doctoral PhD in Operations Management, from Annamalai University in 2014 & He did his MBA in International Marketing in 1992, M.Sc. in Applied Sciences from the College of Engineering, Guindy, Anna University, Chennai in 1987, and was a Gold Medalist in his Post Graduation studies. Dr. Muthukumar has rich experience of more than 28 years in the Automobile and Pharmaceutical sector. He commenced his career with TVS Srichakra Tyres as Management Trainee in 1987 and became Head of Manufacturing Systems in the same organization by 1994. In 1998 he headed the Business Process Re-engineering in TVS group and post successful completion became Head Operations for Sundaram Industries Limited. He then moved to the TTK Group, running their International Business for about 6 years, before joining Automotive Axles Limited. He was instrumental in making all the Indian operations of TTK-LIG, TPM certified by JIPM TPM in a span of 3 Years. Based o this achievement he was made to Lead Global Continuous Improvement for SSL International UK along with India Operations. Dr. Muthukumar has travelled widely to various countries for Business Tie-ups & Technology Transfer, and Continuous Improvement facilitation. He is also certified lead assessor for Quality system and also a resource faculty for JIPM TPM for CII and assessor for JIPM-TPM Health check in India. He is presently Chairman of CII Mysuru & Director QCFI.

Suresh Pulluru

General Manager, Materials Engineering Department


Topic: Body in White - A competition between materials

Suresh Pulluru is currently Heading Materials Engineering function in Renault Nissan Technology and Business Centre India Pvt Ltd. He has over 22 years of Experience in Materials Engineering in the Automotive Industry. Main achievements in his current role is localization of flat steel greater than 98% and more than 80% of localization of polymers used in the Renault Nissan cars in India. He is Bachelors in Metallurgy.