Automotive Engineering Excellence: Stories of Joy and Terror – Panel Session

The June monthly meeting is on June 12th from 4:00-5:00 PM ET. Our tech talk will be presented by Dan Wall and Juan Webb

June 12, 2024

4:00-5:00PM US/Eastern

SEA Members: the meeting URL is in your calendar invitation, so you do not need to register on EventBrite.


Automotive Engineering Excellence: Stories of Joy and Terror” offers a captivating exploration into the dynamic world of automotive engineering through the eyes of seasoned experts. In this anthology, a panel of industry veterans unveils narratives that encapsulate the exhilaration and challenges inherent in their field.

With the automotive landscape evolving at a relentless pace, the stories highlight the increasing complexity faced by engineers. From the integration of interconnected systems to the demands of ensuring safety and cybersecurity, each anecdote underscores the intricate balance between innovation and risk mitigation. Delving into the realm of hardware, electrical, and software development, the anthology elucidates the intricate dance of these components within the broader framework of a “system of systems.” Firsthand experiences provide insights into the meticulous processes involved in adhering to standards such as ASPICE (Automotive SPICE) and driving continuous process improvement.

Yet, amidst the technical prowess and strategic foresight, the panelists candidly share moments of terror: instances where unexpected challenges threatened to derail projects or compromise safety. These tales serve as poignant reminders of the unforgiving nature of the automotive industry, where the margin for error is razor-thin.

Ultimately, “Automotive Engineering Excellence” emerges as more than a collection of anecdotes—it serves as a testament to the passion, resilience, and ingenuity of those dedicated to shaping the future of mobility. Whether celebrating triumphs or confronting setbacks, these stories offer invaluable lessons for engineers, enthusiasts, and industry stakeholders alike.

About the Presenters

Dan Wall: With over 40 years of multifaceted experience, Dan has left an indelible mark on the world of software engineering and process improvement. His journey spans roles as diverse as software developer, architect, quality assurance manager, test manager, project lead, and vice-president of production methods. From the trenches of small startups to the boardrooms of multinational corporations, Dan has navigated the complexities of the industry. Key highlights of this panel session include:

CMM ML2 Achievements:

  • Dan’s expertise extends beyond theory. He has guided both a 10-person startup and a 3,000-person division to achieve CMM ML2 (Capability Maturity Model Integration Level 2) certification.

Industry Diversity:

  • Dan’s impact reverberates across sectors—automotive, defense, energy, and commercial. He even lent his expertise to the world of video games (think Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, and Marvel).

Process Guru:

  • As a Principal ASPICE Assessor, Dan has conducted or participated in over 500 CMMI and ASPICE assessments. His insights have shaped the industry’s best practices.
  • He wears multiple hats: scrum master, six sigma master black belt, VW certified SQIL, PSP instructor, and TSP coach.

Thought Leadership:

  • Dan’s voice resonates on global stages. He has graced numerous conferences as a speaker.
  • His legacy extends to the written word—co-authoring several books and technical papers.

Juan Webb brings more than 25 years of experience between the automotive and aerospace/defense industries in safety critical SW&Sys engineering, project management, and driving process improvements. He is a Principal ASPICE assessor and one of two intacs-certified Competent ASPICE Instructors and Software Quality Improvement Leaders (SQIL) in North America. 

He spent several years working as an FAA Designated Engineering Representative, recommending and approving type certification data for safety-critical airborne systems. He also holds certification as an ISO/IEC 27001 Lead Auditor, as well as a TUV certification as a Cybersecurity Engineer, and has provided numerous training-related ISO 21434 and Cybersecurity Management System (CSMS) audits.

With extensive experience in development, coaching, training, auditing/assessing, and leading process improvements, Juan has a proven track record of driving successful project outcomes and helping companies to achieve their business objectives. 

Juan has a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Alabama.

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