Presentations Expert Roundtable

Sean Wiedel, Chicago Department of Transportation

Chrissy Mancini Nichols, Metropolitan Planning Council

Tim Grzesiakowski, Metropolitan Planning Council

Christopher Kopp, HNTB

Mark Minor, Manager, Regional Projects & Market Development, RTA

Energy-Efficient Transportation Systems

Business Conference and Delegation

The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc. hosted a Business Conference on Energy-Efficient Transportation Systems in Chicago on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Current developments in the U.S. transportation sector predict that America’s love affair with the car is slowly coming to an end. This is certainly true for metropolitan areas. More and more cities support the implementation of public transit systems, extensive bike lane networks, and walkable neighborhoods. In addition, the national passenger rail company Amtrak experienced a record high in terms of ridership in 2012 and freight companies try to make freight transportation more efficient and green.

At the same time, more and more cities use alternative fuel vehicles for their fleets and public transit agencies try to improve their services. In order to combat congestion problems and to solve the funding gap for infrastructure, highway operators start implementing toll roads and other road pricing concepts. Furthermore, the implementation of IT components becomes an important element in the transportation sector for a better service quality and a more efficient operation.

Most of these developments that are new in the U.S. are already long-established in Germany with its state of the art infrastructure system. The mode share in the German transportation sector is much more transit-, bike-, and pedestrian-oriented than in the U.S. and many sustainable and energy-efficient technologies have already been successfully operating in Germany for many years. 

This conference featured a German delegation with companies that are active in this field as well as German and U.S. transportation experts in order to discuss cutting-edge technologies that can make America’s transportation systems more energy-efficient. 

Attendees learned about new technologies that can help to make transportation systems more energy-efficient and heard about the latest developments and trends in the German and U.S. energy efficiency and sustainable infrastructure markets. They discovered innovative products and technologies from Germany and discussed how they can be featured in the U.S. market and explored synergies and partnership opportunities with German experts. Attendees learned how German cities, transportation agencies, and other stakeholders in the transportation sector solve current problems and how their company can benefit from the delegates' expertise.

Date and Venue

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
8:30am - 4:30pm

University of Chicago: Gleacher Center
Room 400
450 N Cityfront Plaza Dr.
Chicago, IL 60611

Event Impressions

Conference Agenda


Registration, Networking and Breakfast


Words of Welcome and Introduction


Moving Forward - Developments and Challenges in the German and U.S. Transportation Sectors

  • EcoMobility in the Intelligent City – Developments and Trends
    Dr. Sandra Wappelhorst, Senior Expert, Innovation Centre for Mobility and Societal Change
  • Marking Strategic Transportation Investments in Metropolitan Chicago
    Randy Blankenhorn, Executive Director, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)
  • CTA Program Overview
    Christopher Bushell, Chief Infrastructure Officer/Senior Vice President, Chicago Transit Authority - CTA


Panel Discussion and Q&A


Coffee Break and Networking


German Company Presentations - Session I


Lunch Break


German Company Presentations - Session II


Coffee Break and Networking


Moving at the Speed of Technological Progress


Panel Discussion and Q&A


End of Conference

Moderated by Dr. Petra Stieninger

German Business Delegation

The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc. brought a German business delegation of industry experts in the field of energy-efficient transportation systems to Chicago from May 12 -16, 2014, the. The following German companies presented their innovative concepts and products at our Conference:


Petra Stieninger
Senior Manager, Government Projects
Tel.: +1 (312) 665-0977
Email: stieninger(at)

Supported by


Promotional Partners



Conference Booklet

MassTransit Magazine Article About Our Conference