SAE nominates first woman president

At its International Congress last week, SAE nominated its first woman president, Rodica A. Baranescu, Chief Engineer, International Truck & Engine Corporation.

The SAE Annual Nominating Committee of 66 members selected Baranescu in voting on Monday, March 1, 1999.

She will serve as President-Nominee until the member balloting is concluded in late October. Baranescu will then be named President Elect until March 2000, when she will then become the first woman elected to the highest post of the nearly 80,000-member organization.

Baranescu joined SAE in 1980, the same year she began employment at International Truck & Engine Corporation (formerly Navistar). She has been active in SAE, serving a two-year term as a member of the SAE Board of Directors in 1995-97. On Tuesday, March 2, she was elected an SAE Fellow, an honor that recognizes important engineering achievements of members and enhances the status of SAE's contributions to the profession and the general public.

She was a member of SAE's International Coordinating Committee and currently is serving as a member of the Sections Board, using her international experience to help the globalization efforts of SAE International. During 1997, she actively supported the formation of two Romanian Joint Groups, a cooperative activity between SAE and the Romanian automotive society (SIAR).

Born in Romania, she holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Bucharest, Romania. She also taught at the University for 13 years before coming to the United States.

At International Truck & Engine Corporation, Baranescu has worked as an engineer and manager to advance the social acceptability of diesel engines. Her technical efforts have advanced and encouraged the understanding of engine design, combustion, thermodynamics, and alternative fuels. She has served as chair of the Alternative Fuels Committee for the Engine Manufacturers Association since 1983.

Active in the SAE Chicago Section, Baranescu served as chair in 1994. Under her leadership, the section earned the Gold Award of Excellence. Baranescu and her husband George live in Western Springs, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.