From high-performance vehicles to iconic structures to mission-critical military applications – steel is fundamental to American society and our modern way of life. And while the industry aims to help its customers achieve high value and performance with steel, it’s the men and women of the industry who really define what steel is made of.
From our engineers, to our customers, to consumers who are driving vehicles built with steel all over the country – people truly are the drivers of this industry’s innovation. That’s why we decided to honor the men and women who have made a difference in the industry and in the community through their work with steel during this year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). On Jan. 13, 2015, SMDI recognized two individuals who are driving these efforts with our inaugural “Men and Women of Steel” awards, which honor individuals for their innovative uses and applications of steel, both in industry and in the community, during SMDI’s NAIAS press conference in Detroit.
The Men and Women of Steel awards include the Industry Innovator Award which recognizes automotive designers or engineers who showcase extreme innovation through their use of advanced high-strength steel (AHSS). The second award is the Community Hero award, which recognizes an individual whose life has been impacted through the use of AHSS or have used AHSS in a historic manner.
You can watch a live version of the press conference here:
The Industry Innovator Award was presented to Elizabeth Krear for her work as chief engineer for the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Using AHSS in key applications on the Ram helped enable the truck to achieve fuel economy targets of 28 mpg, making it the top performing truck in its class for fuel economy. Green Car Journal recently named the Ram EcoDiesel Green Truck of the Year.
In addition to the award, SMDI has made a $5,000 contribution in Elizabeth’s name to a scholarship for a female engineering student who demonstrates academic excellence and intrepid innovation at Wayne State University’s College of Engineering, Elizabeth’s alma mater.
The Community Hero Award was presented to Ron Moore, a retired firefighter who most recently served as safety and chief training officer for the McKinney, Texas fire department.
With its unique properties and processing flexibility, AHSS has become the fastest growing material used in light-duty vehicles in the past decade. However, many first responders found that typical Jaws of Life and other rescue tools were not able to cut through the material as quickly as needed. Ron conducted countless hours of research and work to properly educate first responders and firefighters on how to work with AHSS in a time-critical manner.
SMDI will also provide Ron with a $5,000 grant to support continued research and training in extraction techniques.
Elizabeth and Ron are two people in the steel industry that truly define what steel is made of. Their work with AHSS inspires others to apply steel in new and innovative ways.
Do you know Men and Women of Steel in your community that are deserving of these awards? Please share their stories with us in the comments.