Materials Revolutions Require Admitting You're Wrong

Tuesday, September 14, 2021: 3:15 PM
Exhibit Halls 1-3 (America's Center)
Dr. Paul Edwards , Tesla, Palo Alto, CA
Ask almost any bright-eyed engineer starting their career what new materials should be considered for next generation product designs Their answer seems to be, more often than not, “composites” or “additive manufacturing.” Why?! One of the most insidious is bias. Educators, researchers, mentors, publications and the media, perpetuate this into the next generation creating a cross-disciplinary problem that stifles innovation.

In this talk, I will use one of the biggest step changes in automotive structure materials, architecture and manufacturing as an example. Cast a car like a toy?! No way! Can’t be done, and if it could, it still shouldn’t. It’ll be too heavy, won’t meet requirements, too expensive, take too long. Wrong. In just a few short years, auto body materials, architecture and manufacturing have been re-defined, and it only took convincing ourselves that we were wrong about almost everything, followed by a lot of work.