FISITA, the international federation for the automotive and mobility systems engineering profession (sometimes considered a more global version of SAE), has welcomed Professor Frank Zhao as its new President and Chairman of the Executive Board, taking over from Dan Nicholson. Zhao will serve from 2018 to 2020.

Zhao is Professor and Director of Automotive Strategy Research Institute at Tsinghua University in China, where he leads a strategic research group on automotive industry policy, corporate management and technology strategies.

Commenting on his appointment, Zhao said: “Our industry is undergoing a major transformation, so now more than ever, collaboration among industries and across the continents is extremely important. As President of FISITA, I request that our community continues to works collaboratively, so we can deliver additional benefits to our members and promote global recognition of our colleagues and supporters.”

The Closing Ceremony at FISITA 2018 in Chennai, India, also marked a number of new Executive Board appointments:

  • Ms. Nadine Leclair – President Elect 2020-2022 (Senior Vice President, Expert Fellow, Groupe Renault)
  • Mr. Yuichi Azuma – VP Asia Executive Director, JSAE, Japan
  • Prof. Mike Ma – VP Technical (Professor, Automotive Research Institute, Jilin University, China)
  • Dr. Matthias Klauda – VP Strategic Planning (Senior Vice President, Robert Bosch GmbH, Germany)

Chris Mason, FISITA CEO, said: “We are delighted to have made these new appointments to the FISITA Executive Board, including Prof. Frank Zhao who becomes our new President. As a renowned international figure in the mobility systems engineering industry, Frank’s leadership will be an asset to FISITA’s global community.”

“I would also like to express my gratitude to the departing members of our Board and to Dan Nicholson who has served a fantastic term as FISITA President over the last two years. Dan has displayed exemplary leadership on behalf of FISITA, supporting the creation of a number of exciting new initiatives including our successful one-day event FISITA PLUS.”

As FISITA President and Chairman of the Executive Board, Professor Zhao will oversee the performance of FISITA, while also being responsible for the management and control of the Executive Board.

Prof. Zhao has published eight books and more than 300 technical papers in English, Japanese and Chinese, and owns more than 200 patents. He has received many recognitions in his career including but not limited to the 2001 SAE Forest R. McFarland Award, Fellow of SAE in 2006, Fellow of China SAE in 2016 and the Gold Medal of China Enterprise Management in 2012. Prof. Zhao has held a number of high-level positions at leading automotive companies in Japan, United Kingdom, United States, and China, such as Vice President of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, President of Zhejiang Geely Automotive R&D Center, and President of Zhejiang Automotive Engineering Institute.