In August 2016 Burkhard Huhnke became Senior VP of e-Mobility & Product Innovation in Belmont, California. One of his main tasks is to guide the organization through the transformation process into the era of digitalization. He leads the product line of Volkswagen’s electrical cars in the North American Region.
Previously he represented the company in the $260 Million private and public funded project IACMI – Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation as the VP of Product Innovation of the Engineering and Planning Center of Volkswagen Group of America to mainly foster innovations. IACMI is a U.S. Department of Energy supported composites manufacturing hub.
Relocating back to the U.S. in 2014, Burkhard led the product engineering team at the Volkswagen Chattanooga plant and served as a Board Member for Product Engineering. He was in charge of the Volkswagen Passat and Atlas
At Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Dr. Huhnke initiated and implemented Europe’s largest test laboratory for automotive battery packages and components for the Volkswagen Group and worked on the e-traction projects, e-Golf and e-Up.
From 2006 to 2011, Dr. Huhnke was the Executive Director of Volkswagen’s Electronics Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, CA. He initiated the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Center (VAIL) at the Stanford University Campus together with Stanford Professors Thrun, Nass and Gerdes. He was the project leader for the autonomous car Volkswagen Passat Junior, participating in the DARPA Grand Challenge and the Pikes Peak hill climbing driverless Audi TTS.
Dr. Huhnke’s professional career began as project engineer in 1994 at an optical sensor company where he specialized in vehicle dynamics measurement. He joined Volkswagen in 1998.
Dr. Huhnke studied electrical engineering, at the University of Braunschweig. His dissertation about optical distance measurement was awarded with the International Measurement Prize.
Dr. Huhnke serves as Research Fellow the Hult Business School in San Francisco, and is a member of the Board of Advisors at the College of Engineering at University of Tennessee Knoxville and at the College of Engineering and Computer Science at University of Tennessee Chattanooga.