Kathy Minnich

Ford Motor Company

Keynote: How Changes in the Automotive Industry Influence the Needs for Plastic Decoration Moving Forward

Kathy Minnich, Ford Motor Company

Changes in both vehicle designs with the increase in autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles as well as the introduction of new substrate materials all influence the future of automotive interior decoration technologies. This talk will review the expectations for both appearance and performance of future vehicle interior decorated plastics. The effect of the need for both performance and sustainability will be reviewed as well as market direction and quality expectations.

Speaker Bio: Kathy Minnich is Global Manager for Materials Engineering at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI. In this capacity, she is accountable for a broad scope of engineering and analytical services. Responsibilities include management of the subject matter experts for corrosion protection, fastener and materials engineering, operation of the full-service Ford Central Laboratory analytical resource and oversight of the global materials management enterprise with work streams designed to ensure regulatory compliance and material sustainability. During her career at Ford, Kathy held positions in Component Design and Release Engineering, Chassis and Body Materials Engineering, Fastener Engineering and Corrosion Protection Engineering. She has more than 35 years of personal, hands-on experience in material selection, processing, durability assessment and failure analysis for automotive components. Her formal training includes a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Detroit, an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Wayne State University.