AKRON—T.J. Higgins, president of Bridgestone Americas' Consumer Integrated Tire Division, U.S. and Canada, will be the keynote speaker at the 34th annual gathering of the Tire Society in Akron Sept. 9.
Higgins, hired by Bridgestone last October, will speak on: “Beyond Black and Round: Translating Tire Technology to Create a Connection with Today's Consumer,” a paper the Tire Society said “will challenge the present state of the industry with a strategic look at how to connect the technology that goes into a tire with a story and a message that truly influences the thinking of today's consumer.”
He is scheduled to speak Wednesday at 8:10 a.m. on the opening day of the two-day conference on Tire Science and Technology, being held at the Akron-Fairlawn Hilton in west Akron.
In a synopsis of his talk, Higgins said, “…tires remain a mystery to most consumers. Featuring more than 30 components and incredibly sophisticated technologies, today's tires perform so well drivers don't have to think about them. This impression is critical as the consumer's ambivalent mindset could permit the industry to spiral down toward commoditization.”
Among the business units that report to Higgins are original equipment and consumer tire replacement sales, Bridgestone Retail Operations and the company's Credit First National Association.
The Tire Society has scheduled 27 technical papers over two days, broken down into eight categories: materials; tire vehicle systems; tire performance; tire road interaction; simulations; emerging technologies; and two student sessions with papers from university students.
The conference is attended by engineers and scientists from the tire and vehicle industries, academia and government.
Also scheduled to speak are Kathleen Schubert, deputy chief, exploration system project, NASA Glenn Research Center, and Bo N.J. Persson of Multiscale Consulting, Jülich, Germany.
Schubert will be the dinner speaker on Sept. 9, addressing NASA's journey to Mars. Persson will deliver the plenary lecture, “Rubber Friction and Tire Dynamics,” at 1:05 p.m. on Sept. 10th.
For more information to register, visit the Tire Society website.