Chat with the Expert

2021 Chat with the Expert Discussions

What is a chat? It's a two-day session in Member Connection with an SAE Subject Matter Expert on a variety of technical topics, soft skill development, leadership, and workforce development. Add your voice to this dialogue—ask questions, provide answers, and ultimately, gain insights from SAE and its members from around the globe.

Chat Schedule: 

March 30 & 31: Women in the Aerospace Industry

As part of Women's Month in March, we are celebrating women in the aerospace industry with our next Chat with the Expert Discussion. Experts include authors from the book, Flight Paths to Success: Career Insights from Women Leaders in Aerospace, as well as other women leaders involved with SAE.

And, to further celebrate the incredible women within SAE, we will randomly give away 5 of these books to participants over the course of the 2-day chat! 

See the discussion here


Rhonda Walthall, Fellow, Integrated Aircraft Health Management, Fellow PHMS - Collins Aerospace

  1. What should we tell college students that are graduating with aerospace degrees this year and last year?
  2. Are you leaning towards the leadership track or the technical track and why?
  3. Should I get an advanced degree?
  4. Why do women engineers change companies when they are at mid-career?
  5. How will Artificial Intelligence make aircraft safer?
  6. Where do you see commercial aviation moving over the next 10 years?

Tammy Reeve, President - Patmos Engineering Services and Airworthiness Certification Services, LLC

  1. Do you consider the need for safety in small 0-1 person flying cars or unmanned vehicles being any different that the safety of a larger commercial aircraft? Why?
  2. What is the metric we use to decide when women are no longer being discriminated against in male predominated fields such as engineering?
  3. Is it okay to share your personal life with work colleagues  and as part of meetings?

Gina Covarrubias, Engineering Life Coach - Deliberate Doing

  1. Reflect on a tough obstacle you overcame in the past; why are you grateful this happened and how did it force you to evolve?
  2. Think about a woman in aerospace that you admire; what obstacles do you think she had to defeat during the course of her career?
  3. If general, what professional attributes would you say women bring to the workplace that are 'different' or unique?
  4. What is your own special trademark, brand or attribute that you bring to the world?

Brenda Mitchell, Vice President, Engineering, Certification and ODA - Aloft AeroArchitects

  1.  Do you have a mentor?
  2.  Do you understand the concept of organizational savvy and its importance?
  3.  Do you know what your "brand" is?
  4.  Can you prepare an "elevator" speech to highlight your value?
  5.  Are you willing to take risk for a more rewarding career?
  6.  Have you ever asked for a raise?

Previous Chats in 2020 (you can click into each link to see what everyone had to say!)

October 20 - 21

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion and the Future of the Workforce,  with Cheryl Thompson, Founder and CEO of CADIA (Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement

View the discussion here


July 21 - 22:

"Range Extenders for Electric Vehicles: Opportunities for new internal combustion engines" with Scott Curran, group leader for Fuels and Engines Research at ​Oak Ridge National Laboratory. View the chat here.

"Virtual Reality (VR) tools and their contributions in the automotive industry" with Amol Gulve, engineering manager with Volvo Group North America. View the chat here. 


April 21-23; WCX Knowledge BarWe took the WCX Knowledge Bar online for this Chat with the Expert Discussion! Over the three days that WCX was to take place, we got the experts lined up to discuss a variety of hot technical topics. 


  • V2X and How It Assists Automation and Creates Better Roadmanship: Sue Bai. View the chat here.  

  • Quality, Reliability, and Data Analytics:  Dennis L. Craggs, Consultant; Quality, Reliability and Analytics Services. View the chat here.


      • Lightweight Structure Design for Durability & Reliability: Dr. Yung-Li Lee, Sr. Tech Fellow in Durability, FCA US LLC.  View the chat here.   

      • High Voltage Vehicle Charging for EVs and PHEVs: Gene Saltzberg, EV Charging Systems Engineer. View the chat here


        • Powertrain Calibration Controls NVH: Sumanth Reddy Dadam, Controls and Software Engineer III; Ford Motor Company. View the chat here.

          • Getting the Most Out of System Analysis: Fabian Koark. View the chat here.

          • Fuel Consumption and Emissions Improvements of Advanced Cylinder Deactivation: Elliott Ortiz-Soto, Advanced Combustion Program Manager, Tula Technology Inc. View the chat here.


          March 19 and 20:
          Women in Leadership Chat (experts include authors from the book "The Road to the Top is Not on the Map: Conversations with Top Women of the Automotive Industry" as well as other women leaders involved with SAE). View the chat here.

          Terry Barclay, CEO; Inforum
          Amalia Batori, Director Sales; Robert Bosch LLC 
          Elizabeth Champion, Director of Engineering; PTI
          Elana M. Chapman, PhD, Senior Fuels/Biofuels Engineer; GM Global Technical Center 

          Yan Fu, Ph.D., ASME Fellow, SAE Fellow; Manager, Strategy and Enterprise Analytics; Global Data, Insight & Analytics (GDI&A); Ford Motor Company
          Elizabeth Griffith, Director of Engineering and Program Quality; Faurecia Interior Systems
          Denise Rizzo, Research Mechanical Engineer; US Army GVSC
          Kinsey Olson Sovern
          , Chair; SAE Dayton Section
          Andrea Strzelec, Ph.D., Program Director, Master of Engineering in Engine Systems (MEES); University of Wisconsin-Madison


          2019 Chats (you can click into each link to see what everyone had to say!)

          February 7 & 8: Shared Mobility and Micromobility; Annie Chang, Project Manager, Emerging Mobility, Global Ground Vehicle Standards, SAE International. View the chat here.

          April 2 & 3: High Efficiency Internal Combustion Engine Technologies; SAE Member Jim Szybist, Senior Research Scientist at Oak Ridge National Lab. View the chat here. 

          June 26 and 27:  Workforce Development: Sue Bruin, Consultant/Site Leader, Diversity and Inclusion Regional Engagement, Social Innovation, Toyota Motor North America. View the chat here. 

          August 20 and 21: Autonomous and Connected Technologies: Jill Leonard, SAE Product Manager, Ground Vehicles, Patti Kreh, Program Development Specialist, SAE-ITC, and Marcie Hineman, SAE Strategic Marketing Manager, Partnerships. View the chat here.

          October 23: Cybersecurity with Patti Kreh, Program Development Specialist, SAE-ITC. View the chat here.

          2018 Chats (you can click into each link to see what everyone had to say!)

                  May 23 and 24: Automated and Connected TechnologiesJill Leonard, SAE Product Manager, Ground Vehicles 

                  June 12 and 13: Workforce Development 

          SAE Human Resources Department: 
          Melinda Rombold, Chief HR Officer
          Heather DeCarbo, HR Manager, Performance, Compensation, and Succession Management
          Donna Anglemyer, HR Manager, Benefits, Training, and HR Technology

          July 10 and 11: Electrification
          James Sherman, SAE Technical Program Developer

          August 8 and 9: Advanced Materials
          Laurie Strom, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, SAE ITC
          Laura Feix, Standards Specialist Engineer, Aerospace
          John Clatworthy, Aerospace Standards Engineer Team Lead

          September 18 and 19: Advanced Propulsion
          Robert Makowski, SAE Product Manager, Electronic Publications, Ground Vehicles

          October 16 and 17: Cybersecurity
          Patti Kreh, New Business Development Manager, SAE International

          November 6 and 7: Workforce Development
          Chris Ciuca, Pre-Professional Programs Director

          December 11 and 12: End of Year Chat Wrap Up Session

          Join the following experts in a discussion surrounding these topics from this year (in case you missed them last time, we're going to re-open these discussion threads!)

          Advanced Manufacturing
          Rich Polinski, SAE Technical Program Developer 

          Automated and Connected Technologies
          Jill Leonard, SAE Product Manager, Ground Vehicles

          Advanced Materials
          John Clatworthy, SAE Aerospace Standards Engineer Team Lead

          Advanced Propulsion
          Robert Makowski, SAE Product Manager, Electronic Publications, Ground Vehicles
          Courtney E. Howard, SAE Content Strategist & Editorial Director