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GM Engineering Manager Named Winner of SAE International Bill Agnew Award for Outstanding AWIM Volunteers

WARRENDALE, Pa., Jan. 27, 2011 - Robert M. Ferer, program engineering manager, Full Size Truck Program Management, General Motors, has been named the winner of the SAE International Bill Agnew Award for Outstanding AWIM Volunteers. He will receive his award during the Feb. 15th SAE Detroit Section Meeting.

The award recognizes volunteers who further develop students' understanding and experience in math and science by helping teachers use SAE International’s A World In Motion® (AWIM) materials in the classroom. The AWIM curriculum offers interdisciplinary, project-based learning to students in kindergarten through high school. With 10 interactive curricula called “challenges,” AWIM allows students to participate in an “engineering design experience” - a problem-solving process taught at many engineering schools and used by engineering design teams working in the field. Challenges include designing and constructing a JetToy, Simmer or Gravity Cruiser, and more sophisticated fuel cell, electronic and motorized cars.

Established in 2003, the award honors Dr. William G. Agnew, retired from General Motors Research Laboratories, for his support of the AWIM program.

Ferer is a 22-year employee with General Motors, having served in various engineering roles on the Full Size Truck Team since 2000. He became interested in and volunteered for the AWIM program in 2004.  In 2005 he approached staff at Pine Knob Elementary in Clarkston Community Schools to see if they would be interested in participating in the program for their 4th and 5th grades.  Since then, the program in Clarkston has grown to include four elementary schools (Pine Knob, Clarkston, Springfield Plain, and Independence) and also includes Sashabaw Middle School.

Over the past five years, approximately 2,500 students have experienced several AWIM programs in Clarkston, where the students learn to design, engineer, and test designs for toys. Ferer holds a BSME degree from Lawrence Technological University (Southfield, Mich.) and a MSES degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. (Troy, N.Y.)

SAE International is a global association of more than 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International's core competencies are life-long learning and voluntary consensus standards development. SAE International's charitable arm is the SAE Foundation, which supports many programs, including A World In Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series.

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