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Eric Ceresnie honored as first recipient of the SAE Prechter Award

Warrendale, PA, May 25, 2005 - Eric Ceresnie of West Bloomfield, MI has been selected as the first recipient of the SAE Heinz C. Prechter Award for Automotive Excellence. The award was presented at the SAE Foundation Banquet, Tuesday, May 24, 2005 in Detroit, MI.

This award was established to encourage young entrepreneurs in the automotive industry by providing seed funds that would enable them to bring their ideas to fruition. It honors the work, life and memory of Heinz C. Prechter, founder of the American Sunroof Company (now ASC Incorporated). In 1965, Prechter spent $764 on tools, made a workbench from an old door covered in aluminum, and a sewing machine from a junkyard to start the American Sunroof Company. Today, ASC Incorporated is a successful global specialty vehicle and systems company. After Prechter's passing in 2001, General Motors Corporation donated the #2 Chevy SSR to the SAE Foundation to provide the seed funds to establish the award in honor of Heinz Prechter. Prechter's company, ASC Inc., developed the unique convertible roof for the SSR. It was the last vehicle project he worked on before his death.

Ceresnie was selected for his entrepreneurial concept for establishment of a software tool, the Dimensional Requirements Evaluation Process (DREP), for all automotive parts requiring the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) or other forms of production approval. The DREP application applies unique algorithms to assess process capability and recommend necessary tolerance adjustments to optimize overall system quality versus meeting original component design tolerances. It entails a sophisticated, yet easy to use Excel-based software application that manages documents, transfers data electronically, and applies optimal statistical techniques to recommend process capability based tolerances. DREP has evolved from a tolerance adjustment tool to a full featured PPAP management application with robust statistical analysis capability.

Over the past four years, Ceresnie has worked with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute on a number of projects in the areas of automotive product development methods, professional six sigma training, and automotive technology forecasting. Eric has also worked with the Ross School of Business and the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan on creating start-up companies with technology developed at the school.

Ceresnie is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, earning a Masters of Science in Industrial and Operations Engineering. He also holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from the school, as well as a certificate of Hispanic Studies from the University of Barcelona. This summer, he will be joining the management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, Inc. as a senior business analyst.