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SAE International Creates Rodica Baranescu Technical and Leadership Award to Honor Outstanding Women Engineers

WARRENDALE, Pa., Nov. 15, 2011 - SAE International announces the establishment of the “Rodica Baranescu Award for Technical and Leadership Excellence in Commercial Vehicle Engineering” to honor and celebrate the successes of women in the engineering profession and to recognize their contributions as leaders and technicians in the commercial engineering sector.

The award serves to broaden the awareness of the reach and impact of females working in the mobility engineering profession with the goal to stimulate the involvement of women in engineering as well as open doors for young girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities who wish to pursue engineering careers.

SAE International is now accepting nominations for the award, which first will be presented during Awards Ceremony at the SAE 2012 World Congress, April 24-26, 2012 in Detroit. The nominee must be a woman who has demonstrated technical competency and leadership and whose professional career focuses on commercial vehicle engineering. In addition, the individual must be a member of SAE International, and can be employed or retired. Contributions made by the nominee to actively advocate, broaden, and inspire female engineers and/or young girls interested in the engineering field will be considered.

“This is an important new award for SAE International and the entire mobility engineering community,” stated Susan Collett, senior principal engineering, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, NA Inc., and chair of SAE International’s Awards Program Committee. “Rodica has served as an outstanding role model for all engineers and it’s important that we recognize the tremendous work being done by women throughout our industry.”

Matthew Miller, Director of the SAE Foundation, which supports SAE International awards through funding, added, “This award serves to broaden the vision, scope and perception of SAE International as an organization. It’s important that we celebrate the outstanding work being done by female engineers now, and continue to encourage students to pursue the all-important STEM activities.”

Dr. Rodica Baranescu is an SAE Fellow, past president of SAE International, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. She is a mechanical engineer who started her professional and academic career in her native country, Romania, before immigrating to the United States in 1980. For the last 30 years, Dr. Baranescu has enjoyed a very successful professional career with Navistar Inc. as an engineering manager, a career intertwined with active participation in the technical industrial committees, academic teaching at the University of Illinois, and with a constant involvement in SAE International as a volunteer member and leader. In 2000, she was the first woman elected President of SAE International.

For more information on the “Rodica Baranescu Award for Technical and Leadership Excellence in Commercial Vehicle Engineering;” or to nominate someone, visit http://www.sae.org/news/awards/list/baranescu/ .

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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