Dr. Cynthia Flanigan is the Technical Leader of Elastomers in Research and Advanced Engineering at Ford Motor Company and has been with the company for over 14 years. She worked for nine years in the Plastics Research group within the Ford Research Laboratory, with focus on developing biomaterials such as soy based polyurethane foam, which led to implementation on seating for all Ford vehicles built within North America. Dr. Flanigan has received several awards such as the R&D100, the SAE International Environmental Excellence in Transportation Award, the Henry Ford Award and several SPE Automotive awards. She leads Ford’s Elastomers Research program, including evaluation of renewable and recycled materials for automotive rubber compounds. Cynthia received Materials Science and Engineering degrees from M.I.T. (B.S.) in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Northwestern University (Ph.D.) in Evanston, Illinois.