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Hyundai Executive Mircea Gradu Named 2018 SAE International President Nominee

WARRENDALE, Pa., Oct. 18, 2016 - SAE International’s Executive Nominating Committee has named Mircea Gradu, PhD, executive director, engineering and quality, Hyundai Motor America, as its candidate for 2018 SAE International President. This announcement was made during the opening ceremony of the SAE 2016 Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress held recently in Rosemont, Ill. Dr. Gradu’s nomination will go to a member vote in November. If elected, he will begin his one-year Presidential term in January 2018.

“The priorities of SAE align with my current job responsibilities really well,” said Dr. Gradu. “I’m looking forward to using creativity and innovation to help the members tackle new challenges like big data and self-driving cars.”  

Dr. Gradu joined Hyundai Motor America in 2014 and leads the development and implementation of product strategy to improve both the initial quality of Hyundai models and vehicle durability. He is responsible for model line and systems engineering, vehicle safety, cybersecurity, dealer tools, technical support and training, warranty and field infrastructure for alternative energy vehicles. Since 2014, Hyundai has earned several industry quality awards.

“I think that one of the most important strengths that Dr. Gradu brings is his truly global experience across all the SAE Sectors,” said Donald G. Hillebrand, division director, energy systems division, Argonne National Laboratory. “Few senior executives have exposure across all parts of the automobile, commercial vehicle, and aviation fields combined with experience in all major manufacturing regions in the world. His direct and long term cultural immersions in the European, Asian and American environments have prepared him to be a very effective SAE ambassador.”

Dr. Gradu is a 25-year industry veteran, starting his career at Daimler-Benz AG in Stuttgart, Germany. Past experience also includes key roles at The Timken Company and Chrysler Group LLC in the U.S. He has been awarded 56 patents on mechatronic automotive systems, published over 40 papers and held seminars or offered presentations at SAE, IEEE, TOPTEC, VDI and IFToMM events.

A member of SAE International since 1994, Dr. Gradu’s distinguished career includes being the recipient of the 2008 Edward Cole Award for Automotive Innovation, the 2005 Forest McFarland Award and the SAE-Timken Howard Simpson Innovation Award. Dr. Gradu was appointed SAE Fellow in 2011 and served as Vice President of SAE International - Automotive Sector from 2010 to 2012.

Dr. Gradu holds a master's in mechanical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Stuttgart.

SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting over 127,000 engineers and technical experts, we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our philanthropic SAE Foundation, including programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™.

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