1900s
1910s
1920s
1930s
1940s
1950s
1960s
1970s
1980s
1990s
2000s
2010s
2020s

Donald W. Ableson

1999 SAE President

Don has been an active member of SAE International for over 50 years. Ableson was an organizer and Chairman of the SAE Foundation Board of Trustees and the first Chairman of the SAE Foundation Canada. He was a member of the Global Development Conference General Committee, Chairman of the Detroit Section, and a member of the SAE and Detroit Section Finance Committees. Ableson’s SAE involvement also included roles of membership and Chairman of various other committees. Because of his years of leadership positions within SAE, he made a great fit for President of SAE International in 1999. He was awarded the 2005 Medal of Honor and became an SAE Fellow in 2006. Ableson had an over forty-year successful career with General Motors. In the halls of SAE, President Ableson is remembered for his passion for education and globalization.

Herbert W. Alden

1912 SAE President

President Alden completed Henry Donaldson’s term during 1912. He would later be elected to his own term in the 1920s. Alden was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for ameliorating tank design problems during World War I. During 1912, SAE International published its first standard.

Herbert W. Alden

1923 SAE President

President of SAE for part of 1912, Herbert Alden was elected President in his own right in 1923. The engineer began his career with the Pope Manufacturing Company in 1895 and retired as head of the Timken-Detroit Axle Company. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for improving tank design problems during World War I. In 1923, the number of SAE Members surpassed 5,000.

George D. Aravosis

1988 SAE President

George D. Aravosis was SAE International’s President in 1988. Known for being extremely active within the SAE organization before his presidency, Aravosis served on five committees concurrently and chaired on two of them. His earlier career saw him in the U.S. Army prior to teaming up with International Harvester Company (now Navistar International). Aravosis retired from the organization as vice president of marketing, sales, and planning. During his presidency, he led SAE in hosting a FISITA conference.

Bruce R. Aubin

1993 SAE President

SAE International’s President of 1993 was Bruce R. Aubin. In total, President Aubin spent over forty-two years in the air transport industry. Aubin also had a forty-year long career with Air Canada. In 1989, President Aubin was appointed senior vice president of technical operations. He was responsible for all of Air Canada’s engineering, maintenance, purchasing, supply, and aircraft acquisition activities. President Aubin worked tirelessly to guide the Board of Directors to engage in two strategic ideas: Environment/Total Life Cycle Technology and Globalization.

Benjamin B. Bachman

1922 SAE President

Also known as B.B. Bachman, Benjamin B. Bachman became SAE International’s seventeenth President in 1922. Bachman worked on passenger car and truck development for multiple years with the Autocar Company in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. He was an advocate for the transition from solid rubber truck tires to pneumatic tires. President Bachman also served as SAE’s treasurer from 1944-1959.

Rodica A. Baranescu

2000 SAE President

Rodica Baranescu was the first female President of SAE. Baranescu obtained her doctorate in Romania before coming to the United States in 1980. Before obtaining her degrees, she taught at Politehnica University for twelve years. Dr. Baranescu continued her teaching career at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2005. A winner of the Forest McFarland Award and an SAE Fellow since 1999, she is remembered for advancing international relationships, including helping establish two Romanian Joint SIAR-SAE Membership Groups.

Daniel P. Barnard, IV

1952 SAE President

Dr. Daniel Barnard was SAE International’s forty-sixth President. President Barnard earned his master's and doctorate degrees from the distinguished Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and continued to work within the Research Laboratory of Applied Chemistry for multiple years earning the title of divisional director. Barnard was a specialist in fuels and lubricants and established the automotive laboratory for Standard Oil of Indiana. Barnard also had his pilot’s license, an interest he had had since WWI when he enlisted in the Naval Reserve for aviation duty.

Harry F. Barr

1970 SAE President

President Barr came with an exponential amount of notability. His career began at Cadillac in 1929 and he moved to Chevrolet twenty-seven years later to become chief engineer in only a short amount of time. Barr headed the entire General Motor engineering staff in 1963 and was crucial to the overhead-valve family of GM engines and GM transmissions. He always took time to support his community and had a great interest in the welfare of the people around him.

N. John Beck

1982 SAE President

Prior to Dr. N. John Beck’s presidency, he served as a naval officer in World War II. Soon after, he received his degree in Mechanical Engineering. Beck joined General Motors Research Laboratories as a senior research engineer and subsequently earned a PhD. Beck joined Douglas Aircraft in 1953, then teamed up with Cummins Engine Company as vice president of research. After a bit of time there, President Beck went to McCulloch Corp. as chief engineer, responsible for a new chainsaw line. After the acquisition of McCulloch by White Motor Corp., Beck assumed the responsibilities of president of the advanced products division. Beck went on to establish his own engineering firm, BKM, Inc., after he worked at Rohr Corporation. He was involved with SAE since 1952.

David Beecroft

1921 SAE President

President Beecroft was originally a technical writer and editor for several renowned automotive magazines. At the beginning of the 1920s, the number of automobiles in the world was close to ten million. It was under Beecroft that the Cooperative Fuel Research, a joint activity of SAE, the American Petroleum Institute (API), the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce (NACC), and the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) came to be. The focus of the Cooperative Fuel Research was on fuels and lubricants. There were also more than 220 standards during this time.

Vincent Bendix

1931 SAE President

President Bendix strongly supported SAE International’s technical program. He did so by giving personal funds to support research. Bendix was an inventor and an industrialist. He invented, and patented, the Bendix drive – a gear that made the electric starter practical for aircraft and automotive engines. After his father was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident, Bendix was motivated to study a different area of the car – the braking systems. Bendix founded the Bendix Brake Company which acquired the rights to a patent of a French braking system that was far superior to anything available in the United States. During Bendix’s term, a careful study was conducted of student branches and operational cost reductions were implemented to cope with the effects of the Depression.

Harold L. Brock

1971 SAE President

President Harold Brock was fit to a ‘t’ to become an incredible engineer. Some people may say that he was fit to a ‘Model T’ since Brock was instructed at the Ford Trade and Apprentice School starting at age fifteen. It was there that Brock met Henry Ford. Under Ford’s tutelage, Brock met and worked with the greats of the era such as Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver, Harvey Firestone, and many more. Brock moved to John Deere in 1959 as the assistant director of engineering research. He was soon promoted to manager of vehicle engineering, responsible for agricultural tractors all over the world. President Brock also helped establish the Hawkeye Institute of Technology, now known as the Hawkeye Community College.

Andrew Brown, Jr.

2010 SAE President

2010 saw an SAE member of seventeen years become President. Dr. Andrew Brown, Jr. served on multiple committees and boards including the Board of Directors, Foundation Board of Trustees, Technical Standards Board, and Fellows Committee. President Brown came from a long career in the automotive industry, serving as vice president and chief technologist for Delphi. Brown was globally recognized for his knowledge of matters of innovation and was well-versed in chemical engineering, finance, marketing, energy, and environmental engineering. He is also the author of the industry anthem, “Safe, Green, and Connected” in reference to the important aspects of ground vehicles.

L. Ray Buckendale

1946 SAE President

Ray Buckendale, SAE International’s 1946 President, graduated from the University of Michigan and began a life-long career with the Timken-Detroit Axle Company. He served SAE in many posts. During his time in office, Buckendale oversaw the SAE Technical Board’s transition into full operation to guide and direct all SAE Technical Committee activity.

George E. Burks

1966 SAE President

George ‘Ed’ Burks was as kind and giving as he was caring and loyal. President Burks spent most of his career at Caterpillar Tractor Company, where he was responsible for increases in diesel engine output. He became chief engineer there in under fifteen years, and vice president of engineering and research in a total of twenty-six years. Burks held many patents and was dedicated to his career. He gave back to his community by volunteering for several organizations including the YWCA and Boy Scouts of America. Burks also served SAE in nearly every possible capacity before becoming President.

Robert Cass

1953 SAE President

In 1953, SAE saw its fourth English-born President, Robert ‘Bob’ Cass. Cass served in the Royal Naval Air Service as an aeronautical engineer. After his time in the service, he came to the U.S. to teach at Harvard University. A well-traveled man, his teaching career took him to the Soviet Union as well as Japan, where he taught the construction of flying boats. Later, Cass joined the White Truck Company as chief engineer and became assistant to the president of that organization.

Harry E. Chesebrough

1960 SAE President

Harry Chesebrough, SAE’s 1960 President, spent his career at Chrysler in test work, engineering, and management. He served for two years as president of the American Standards Association, ultimately changing its name to the American National Standards Institute. He chaired the SAE Planning for Progress program and helped carry out its plans during his term.

Howard E. Coffin

1910 SAE President

Known as ‘The Father of Standardization,’ SAE International’s fourth President was Howard Coffin. Coffin was a highly accomplished engineer and executive who was also a vice president of engineering for Hudson Motor Car Company. Coffin is well known for his initiative in standardizing material and design specifications. He is also known for encouraging automobile manufacturers to share their patents and their ideas. Coffin assisted in co-authoring the first instruction book for car owners. Coffin stimulated a vigorous standards program, laid the foundation for the SAE Bulletin, and made SAE a more fiscally-sound organization.

William S. Coleman

1987 SAE President

President William “Bill” Coleman came to SAE International after an established career with General Motors that spanned for fifteen years. After GM, President Coleman moved on to Minneapolis Moline, where he rose through the ranks to become president until the company was acquired by White Motor Company in 1970. He joined American Motors, and then Eaton Research where he served simultaneous to his presidency. President Coleman was the director of Eaton’s new product opportunities for the Corporate R&D Detroit Center. He retired as general manager. For SAE, Coleman wrote many technical papers, served as a member on the Board of Directors, and was the Detroit Section’s Chairman.

Archie T. Colwell

1941 SAE President

Archie Colwell, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and the Army Engineers School, spent four years in the service before joining the Steel Products Company. He served SAE as President in 1941 but continued in an active and vital role for many years after. He was chairman for the SAE Finance Committee for twenty-five years and achieved industry funding for the Cooperative Engineering Program.

Charles C. Colyer

1983 SAE President

SAE International’s President Charles Colyer worked in lubricant research for thirty-six years by the time he was elected. He retired as the assistant to the senior vice president of research at Lubrizol Corporation. Colyer was a member for more than thirty years and was Chairman of the Fuels and Lubricants Technical Committee. He is widely known for organizing the development of the Lubricant Review Institute in SAE.

Henry M. Crane

1924 SAE President

President Crane had a substantial career that included work for AT&T and the Western Electric Company. He founded Crane and Whitman Company to develop gas engines, which later became Crane Motor Car Company and eventually Simplex Automobile Company. In 1920, by way of other mergers, Crane became vice president of engineering of Wright Aeronautical Company.

James M. Crawford

1945 SAE President

SAE International’s President of 1945, James Crawford, had ties with SAE for over thirty years before becoming President. Crawford joined SAE in 1913 where he served as a mechanic, designer, and chief draftsman before becoming assistant chief engineer at Chalmers Motor Co. in Detroit. Almost fifteen years later, Crawford went on to Chevrolet as an assistant chief engineer before being promoted to chief engineer two years later. Crawford became one of the most active members on the SAE War Engineering Board, and was Chairman of the Coordinating Equipment Research Committee of the Coordinating Research Council.

William K. Creson

1958 SAE President

A graduate from Purdue University, William ‘Bill’ Creson always had a knack for engineering. In high school he was often found in the school’s shops during evenings, breaks and summer vacations. When Bill wasn’t at the school’s shops, he was working in the town’s automotive plants. Before graduating from Purdue, Creson served in the U.S. Navy during WWI. After graduation, he started working with Ross Gear and Tool Co. and became vice president of engineering within twenty-five years. He is widely known as the authority on the application of power steering to wheeled vehicles. During his term at SAE, Creson helped accelerate the SAE Planning for Progress reorganization.

William J. Davidson

1939 SAE President

SAE International’s thirty-third President, William Davidson, was born in Montreal. After graduating from McGill University, he served in France with the Motor Transport Corps and was awarded the Cross of the Legion of Honor by the French government. During his 1939 presidential term, he stimulated SAE’s relationships with foreign engineers and led an SAE World Engineering Congress. The SAE War Engineering Board was also established in 1939.

George A. Delaney

1956 SAE President

George Delaney was president of SAE in 1956. A distinguished automotive engineer, Delaney was the chief engineer of GM’s Pontiac Motor Division. He also served for a number of years as a consultant and special project manager of the emissions control research program of the Automobile Manufacturers Association. He was a member of SAE for over fifty years, acting as both a local and national treasurer.

Hobart H. Dickinson

1933 SAE President

Hobart “Doc” Dickinson, the 1933 President of SAE International, spent his entire professional career at the National Bureau of Standards. During his term, he made a nationwide automobile tour visiting SAE sections and the Fuels and Lubricants Meetings Committee was formed. An authority on thermodynamics and internal-combustion engines, his interests also included headlighting, engineering management, riding comfort research, and traffic safety.

Henry L. Donaldson

1912 SAE President

President Donaldson came to SAE International with a much different background than his forerunners. Donaldson had experience as a writer and an editor and was also an automotive engineering consultant. Tragically, President Donaldson passed away early in his term. Before his passing, President Donaldson was able to conquer a few initiatives such as popularizing the SAE Bulletin, initiating peer review of technical papers, and copyrighting SAE’s original document, SAE Transactions.

George W. Dunham

1917 SAE President

The first time SAE International saw active participation in a time of war was throughout 1917 during the term of George Dunham. Dunham was the chief engineer of Chalmers Automobile Company. The term automotive was also introduced to SAE’s name during Dunham’s time as President, changing the name of the organization to the “Society of Automotive Engineers.”

John T. Dyment

1964 SAE President

President John Dyment of 1964 had spent his adult life improving not only the design, but also the manufacturing and performance, of the aircraft. Dyment was chief engineer of Air Canada. He enjoyed tinkering and building model airplanes in his youth. As a junior engineer at Ford, he convinced the organization to install Townend rings on the engines of Trimotor planes. This made them faster than other similar models. President Dyment also had an interest in the human element of aircraft performance, stating, “If it's mechanical, we can fix it. If it depends on human element, we can never trust it. So, we as engineers must reduce the human element in air transportation to a rock-bottom minimum.”

W. Paul Eddy

1957 SAE President

Upon his election in 1957, Paul Eddy was the chief of engineering operations for the Pratt and Whitney Division of United Aircraft Corporation. During his term, Eddy greatly contributed to the organization not only in technical areas but in administrative ones as well. He encouraged the expansion of engineering instruction to include a wider variety of educational subjects.

John C. Ellis

1973 SAE President

President John ‘Jack’ Ellis participated with SAE for twenty-three years before his presidential term in 1973. Ellis was drafted into the Army in 1941 and served for five years. After his service, Ellis worked for Shell Oil Company. President Ellis’ title was manager of vehicle emissions control and technical information. His role was to essentially reduce Shell’s vehicle emissions as a corporate-wide effort.

Lamont Eltinge

1991 SAE President

The President of 1991 at SAE International was Lamont Eltinge. President Eltinge worked for several of the major players in the industry including Standard Oil Company (Amoco), the Gas Research Institute, Ethyl Corp., and Cummins Engine Company. For many years, he worked for Eaton Corporation as the director of research. He was a Fellow in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in Washington, D.C.

F. Burrows Esty

1968 SAE President

President Esty came to SAE with over thirty years of experience in six major areas: land, sea, powerplants research and development, model shop, design, and development. Esty worked at Bendix with aircraft magnetos going from drill press operator to magneto component designer. By 1945, he was the head of the experimental shop, one year into his time at the company. It wasn’t long after this that Esty became a chief engineer at Wisconsin Motor. Since the company was approximately 85% custom design, Esty continuously faced design challenges. Through perseverance and persistence, Esty became vice president of engineering in 1957. President Esty was closely involved in the standardized parts program and the manufacture of military family of engines. He also helped in the development of the first Wisconsin overhead valve engine.

Thomas J. Fay

1908 SAE President

Not only was Fay a major author of the first volume of SAE Transactions with his contributions regarding materials, but he was also SAE International’s second President. Fay was an electrical engineer and consultant. He was a substantial contributor to technical papers and discussions at the Society’s first two annual meetings held in 1906 and 1907. Fay had expertise in the areas of materials standards, vehicle durability, and the performance of professional duties. By this time, SAE International’s membership had acquired another fifty members.

Frank W. Fink

1962 SAE President

Frank Fink, SAE International’s President of 1962, had a lengthy and decorated career in aviation. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado, President Fink started his career with Curtiss-Wright. Seven years later, Fink joined Consolidated Aircraft Co., (now known as Convair Division of General Dynamics Corp.) where he rose to chief production engineer at the time of WWII. Convair produced the B-24 Liberator bomber, and the Catalina and Coronado flying boats, three versatile “workhorse” type aircrafts that aided in the victory of the Allied Powers. After WWII, Fink went to Ryan Aeronautical Co. where he helped direct advanced programs.

Lewis E. Fleuelling

1979 SAE President

Known as a major contributor to a lot of advancements in automobile suspension systems was President Lewis “Lew” Fleuelling. Fleuelling worked his way through the ranks at Monroe Auto Equipment Co. and became senior vice president. The President’s early career was not all spent at Monroe, as he served in the Army Air Forces and was involved in twenty-nine bombing missions over Europe during WWII. During his presidency, Fleuelling emphasized the necessity for better communication between government and industry.

C. Erwin Frudden

1947 SAE President

President Frudden’s presidency began in 1947. In his early years, Frudden spent his high school vacations working in tractor plants. After college, Frudden took a job as a tractor engineer for Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company in the Tractor Division. President Frudden took it upon himself to travel throughout the United States and Canada to study tractor operations on various farms. He filed for, and received, several patents covering tractor design, engine accessories and other farming machinery. He was a consultant for the War Production Board’s Farm Machinery and Equipment Branch in WWII. During Frudden’s term, the Engineering Materials Meetings Committee was formed.

Wilson A. Gebhardt

1974 SAE President

Wilson A. “Bill” Gebhardt was the President of SAE in 1974. President Gebhardt was an engineer, an instructor, and a lawyer. He lectured at Case School of Applied Science. After teaching, he moved on to Bendix Corporation where he held a wide variety of positions including the executive assistant to the general manager of Bendix Engine Controls Division. Gebhardt preached responsibility of the engineer in the product liability area. He advised precautions that engineers must take in documenting development, design, and testing activities. By September 1974, thanks to President Gebhardt, SAE successfully relocated from mid-Manhattan, New York to Warrendale, Pennsylvania.

Mircea Gradu

2018 SAE President

Known among his colleagues in the engineering community for extensive research with LiDAR Technology, President Gradu was able to bring over twenty-five years of experience in the auto and commercial vehicle industries with him to SAE. Gradu joined Velodyne LiDAR, Inc. in September 2017. He had an intense background that included deep technical knowledge of design, development, safety, manufacturing, and cybersecurity due to his previous employment at Hyundai. Dr. Gradu previously worked with industry leaders such as Daimler-Benz AG, Chrysler Group, and USCAR. Gradu has published over forty papers and has been awarded fifty-six patents.

Richard Greaves

2015 SAE President

Dr. Richard Greaves is a member of the management board of directors and vice president of Meggitt PLC. He became SAE International’s President in 2015. Dr. Greaves is based in Switzerland and the UK and has chaired the Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) Boeing/Cranfield University Centre of Excellence. He has been a member of both the Bern Chapter of the British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce and the Brussels-based Aerospace and Defense Industries Association of Europe Equipment Commission. President Greaves is a chartered scientist, a chartered engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK), a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (UK), and a Fellow of SAE. Greaves holds various patents, has authored several publications, and is a renowned world expert on conditioning monitoring of engines.

Elliot A. Green

1985 SAE President

President Elliot Green was the vice president of Lockheed-California Company, as well as general manager of Product Support. During his time at Lockheed, Green was involved in the design and development of many aircraft. He held a multitude of positions within SAE including Chairman of the Aerospace Council. He brought significant attention to the SAE Collegiate Design Series by setting up a fund for the Aero Design student competition.

Daniel M. Hancock

2014 SAE President

President Daniel M. Hancock served during 2014. President Hancock served ten years as Chair of the SAE Foundation Board of Trustees prior to his presidency. He came to the presidency with more than forty years of industry experience serving as vice president of global strategic product alliances for GM. This proved valuable when Hancock established his consulting company DMH Strategic Consulting LLC. President Hancock was a recipient of the SAE Medal of Honor in 2009. He is also well known for being a strong advocate for the advancement of STEM education, pushing for developments in the areas of CDS and AWIM.

Greg Henderson

2006 SAE President

Greg first got involved with SAE as a student and grew from that role to become the first SAE Fellow to serve in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in 1986. Five years later, he joined the Board of Directors and later served as the Assistant Treasurer and Treasurer at SAE. Henderson, a Fellow grade member, has received the Medal of Honor from SAE and several awards from his former employer, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. Henderson is fondly remembered at SAE for his passion regarding student engagement and SAE Motorsports. Henderson was the driving force behind the name change of the Society of Automotive Engineers to SAE International to be more inclusive of all SAE sectors, professions, and individuals.

Arthur W. Herrington

1942 SAE President

Arthur Herrington dedicated his engineering career to the development of better off-road military and civilian vehicles. He became president of Marmon-Herrington Company in 1931 and was elected to the SAE presidency in 1942. During his term, the SAE Automotive Technical Advisory Board became the War Engineering Board, and greatly expanded to coordinate efforts for the allied forces.

Henry Hess

1909 SAE President

SAE International’s first publication, SAE Transactions, had three papers; two of the three papers were authored by Presidents. SAE International’s third President, Henry Hess, authored the third paper about ball bearings. During his Presidency, Hess oversaw the debut of the original SAE logo and witnessed membership approach nearly four hundred members. Hess assisted in another major change at SAE even after his Presidency. Originally, SAE International was an exclusive society strictly meant for engineers with professional credentials. Since there were only an estimated 2,000 in the United States, Hess opposed such a radical policy, stating that this would deter potential members. This led to a revision in the constitution of SAE in 1911 so that anyone could join SAE International.

Donald G. Hillebrand

2013 SAE President

Dr. Hillebrand was SAE International’s President of 2013. Hillebrand served as a senior policy advisor with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and later a research and technology strategist for the European Commission. President Hillebrand was an early advocate of nascent technologies such as vehicle hybridization, lithium batteries, and life-cycle analysis and now directs one of the U.S. government’s premier research labs. He was an SAE Washington Fellow and served six years on the SAE Board of Directors.

David C. Holloway

1997 SAE President

1997 President of SAE International, David C. Holloway, was also a Fellow and dedicated teacher. He is well known for his contributions in forming the student chapter of the University of Maryland in 1978. The Mini Baja, a competition hosted by SAE’s Collegiate Design Series, was first won by Holloway and his students in 1982. He is fondly remembered for his support of engineering education within the SAE organization.

Harry L. Horning

1925 SAE President

Harry Horning was first noted as the designer of the structure and operating mechanism of the Duluth Steel Bridge. Horning founded the Waukesha Motor Company in 1906. He is also credited with helping the Society of Tractor Engineers and the National Gas Engine Association merge into SAE International. Additionally, President Horning aided in SAE’s continued research in cooperative fuels.

George J. Huebner, Jr.

1975 SAE President

The father of the automotive gas turbine, George Huebner, Jr., was the President of SAE International in 1975. Huebner was obsessed with tinkering since the age of ten. This led him to work at Chrysler Corporation by the time he was a senior at the University of Michigan. For the following forty-five years, Huebner designed engines for cars, military vehicles and rockets. He had more than forty patents that included everything from turbines to engines. Huebner retired at the top of his field as the executive engineer at Chrysler Corporation.

Russell Huff

1916 SAE President

Russell Huff, chief engineer of Dodge Brother Company, served as President of SAE in 1916. During his purview he aided in the national defense program, presided while arrangements were made for the merger of aeronautical, tractor, and marine groups with SAE, and oversaw substantial growth in membership and technical activities. In 1916, SAE opened a Detroit office and began to admit members of the American Society of Aeronautical Engineers, the Society of Tractor Engineers, the National Association of Engine and Boat Manufacturers, the National Gas Engine Association, and the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. SAE International also published its first aeronautical standard during his 1916 term.

John H. Hunt

1927 SAE President

President Hunt’s largest contribution to SAE International was the development of policies on research. Hunt, a University of Michigan electrical engineering graduate, joined Packard in 1912, Dayton Engineering Laboratories in 1913, and became head of the electrical division of General Motors Research in 1920. Later, he headed the New Devices Section at General Motors. He was sitting president when the first SAE award was created in 1927 – the Wright Brothers medal – for the best paper on the topic of aircrafts.

Ralph H. Isbrandt

1967 SAE President

President Ralph Isbrandt had a broad engineering background and an expansive skillset built on years of experience. Isbrandt had more than forty years of experience within the auto and aero engineering fields. He began as a chassis detailer at A.O. Smith Company then moved onto Firestone to be a research engineer. Isbrandt is honored for his assistance and efforts in cultivating aircraft and motor vehicle suspension systems and for his advancements while serving as vice president of automotive engineering at American Motors Corporation. Safety was always a top priority for President Isbrandt and that is why there is the Ralph H. Isbrandt Automotive Safety Award.

William S. James

1944 SAE President

William James started his career at the National Bureau of Standards. When he was elected President of SAE in 1944, he was chief engineer of Studebaker Corporation, and later became vice president of engineering and research with Fram Corporation. He saw SAE’s World War II work near its completion and established its Special Publications Department.

Charles F. Kettering

1918 SAE President

One of the most influential automotive engineers in history, Charles “Boss” Kettering, was SAE International’s President in 1918. He was an inventor, businessman, engineer, and holder of over 180 patents. He was the head of research for General Motors for twenty-seven years and was the founder of Delco. Kettering’s most widely acclaimed accomplishment is the invention of the electric starting motor. He encouraged and urged the cooperation between petroleum and automotive industries which led to the formation of what is known today as the Coordinating Research Council.

Milton J. Kittler

1963 SAE President

When it was a sunny day in 1963, there was one place where President Milton Kittler could be found: in his neon-lit machine shop located in the basement of his home. Kittler had a love of engines since his youth and it continued to grow during his time at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Kittler spent time as an engineer with International Harvester, before joining Bendix Aviation in the Stromberg Carburetor Division. Kittler had an unusual knowledge for business and finance and didn’t miss an issue of the Wall Street Journal for more than twenty years. President Kittler was active on many committees and he was the SAE National Treasurer for ten years.

Frank O. Klegon

2012 SAE President

President Frank O. Klegon has not only been President of SAE International, but also has been a member for over thirty years. Klegon served on the Commercial Vehicle Congress Executive Planning Council and served as General Chair of the SAE World Congress. Prior to Klegon’s tenure, he spent twenty-five years with Chrysler and Daimler Chrysler, and held multiple positions including executive vice president of product development and design; vice president, core components & process; vice president, truck platform team, and many more. President Klegon is the president of the product/technology assessment and development consulting company for FOKUS Associates LLC.

Richard “Ric” Kleine

2011 SAE President

SAE International’s President of 2011 was Dr. Richard “Ric” Kleine. Kleine started his role at Cummins in the early 1980s and eventually grew to become vice president of quality and business. Prior to his vice-presidency, Kleine held many key executive positions in engineering and marketing. President Kleine previously served as SAE International’s Vice President of Commercial Vehicle and as a member of the SAE Commercial Vehicle Executive Council. Additionally, Kleine’s SAE International involvement includes the Commercial Vehicle Engineering Operations Activity Executive Committee and the Buckendale Lecture Committee.

Andrew A. Kucher

1961 SAE President

An inventor, an engineer, a businessman. That was SAE International’s President of 1961, Dr. Andrew A. Kucher. Years of independent research and multiple contributions made to the field of engineering earned Kucher an honorary Doctorate of Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1954 and another honorary doctorate in 1959 from the Michigan College of Mining and Technology. At the young age of twenty, Kucher designed and built one of the first monocoque fuselage airplanes in the United States. Kucher held close to one hundred patents and innovated several benefactions to modern life. Chief among them was the hermetically sealed motor-compression unit; this is used in refrigerators, deep freezers, and air conditioners. After research with Westinghouse and Frigidaire, Kucher later went to Ford where he formed and directed Ford’s Scientific Laboratory, before becoming vice president of the company in 1957.

John M. Leinonen

1995 SAE President

A thirty-five-year veteran of Ford, President John M. Leinonen came from a concentrated background in truck and auto safety. He retired from Ford during his presidency at SAE to become group VP and principal at Exponent Inc. Leinonen spent six years there before his retirement in 2001. He has been a part of several boards and committees. One of SAE’s most active past Presidents, he co-chaired the 100th anniversary committee.

Henry M. Leland

1914 SAE President

Founder of the Cadillac Motor Car Company and winner of the Dewar Trophy in England for interchangeability of auto parts, Henry Leland became SAE International’s ninth President. Along with expertise in toolmaking, metrology and manufacturing, Leland also had experience working with firearms at Colt. After Cadillac was bought out by GM, the Cadillac division was asked to create parts for World War I, which some of Leland’s colleagues opposed. In response to the adverse reaction from his associates, Leland formed the Lincoln Motor Company, which produced thousands of Liberty Engines (aircraft engines) during the war. He was an outspoken advocate for student membership as well as for the system of primary elections for SAE officers.

Ronald K. Leonard

1998 SAE President

Only a few of SAE International’s Presidents have a formal education in Agricultural Engineering. President Ronald K. Leonard earned a bachelor’s and master’s on the subject. Shortly thereafter, President Leonard found himself at Deere and eventually became the senior division engineer of the cotton harvesting division. Within a few short years, Leonard was named the director of Worldwide Agricultural Tractor & Component Engineering. He has written several articles, spoken at numerous technical society meetings, and holds six patents. Among other responsibilities, President Leonard was the general chairman of the International Off-Highway and Powerplant Congress and Exposition in 1997.

Thomas J. Litle, Jr.

1926 SAE President

In 1926, membership exceeded 6,000 and President Thomas J. Litle, Jr. was in office. President Litle had success in the fields of automobiles, illumination, and refrigeration. In 1917, Litle joined Cadillac and then Lincoln in 1918 to practice research and experimental engineering. Litle became the chief engineer of Marmon in 1926 and published the SAE Handbook while he was President of SAE International.

William Littlewood

1954 SAE President

With a lengthy career in air transportation, SAE International’s President of 1954, William ‘Bill’ Littlewood is most famous for the design of the Douglas aircraft group from the DC-3 through the DC-7. Littlewood was vice president of American Airlines for nearly thirty years. He assisted in instituting a program in which operators of transport aircrafts helped specify the type of craft they purchased. In 1935, Littlewood received the Wright Brothers Medal for a paper on the operational requirements of transports.

Edward T. Mabley

1989 SAE President

President Edward T. Mabley was the last of the presidents to serve in WWII. Mabley left college to serve as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. When he returned home, he graduated from what is now known as the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. It was at General Motors that Mabley led the project that designed the first automatic truck transmission. In 1956, President Mabley moved his family to Michigan for a position at Ford. Two years later, he became a member of SAE. He retired from Ford as the manager of truck product development. President Mabley is a cofounder of SAE’s Truck and Bus Meeting and a large contributor to the ‘A World in Motion’ (AWIM) program.

Harold C. MacDonald

1980 SAE President

1980 marked the SAE’s 75th anniversary, and Harold MacDonald was President for this tremendous milestone. President MacDonald had a long history with the automobile industry, coming from positions with Packard, General Motors, and Ford. At Ford, MacDonald rose to new heights as vice president of engineering and research amongst his staff. He was the author of several publications and held a variety of positions within SAE.

John R. MacGregor

1965 SAE President

Learning carpentry and woodworking from a young age, SAE International’s President of 1965, John MacGregor was destined to be an engineer. Before he was twenty years old, he built about fifty houses with his father, a bicycle mounted glider, and his own automobile — a roadster. He graduated from the University of California in 1923 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He helped establish an Army Air Corps unit on the campus and held a commission in the reserves for fifteen years. Most of MacGregor’s professional experience came from the petroleum industry. At the time of his term, President MacGregor was the director of the California Research Corporation, the research division of Standard Oil of California.

Eugene J. Manganiello

1972 SAE President

Eugene ‘Gene’ Manganiello was SAE International’s President in 1972. Manganiello obtained a B.S. degree in Engineering in 1934 and an Electrical Engineering degree in 1935. After graduation, Manganiello worked on the Ford assembly line for a year before joining the staff of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics as a Mechanical Engineer. He conducted and supervised research with single and multi-cylinder aircraft engines and their response to the cooling of air and liquid-cooled engines amongst other experiments. He became the head of heat transfer section of what is now known as NASA. He rose to deputy director of the heat transfer section. Manganiello is the author of thirty-five technical papers and reports and has had more than fifteen executive positions within SAE.

Charles M. Manly

1919 SAE President

Charles Manly was the fourteenth president of SAE International, and was the first President to be elected from the aviation industry. Manly is widely known for his work in collaboration with the noted aeronautical researcher, Professor S.P. Langley. During World War I, Manly was an advisor to the British War Office and held about forty patents in variable-speed hydraulic drives. President Manly encouraged SAE to welcome members in all stages of their career. Manly also drew attention to the engineering industry’s role in a variety of social issues; during his presidential address, he brought to light the dangers of air pollution and the obligations that engineers owe to the public in areas like vehicle safety. As WWI concluded, the number of SAE Members rose to 4,300.

Howard Marmon

1913 SAE President

President Marmon came from modest beginnings as a builder of grain mill equipment before building the Marmon automobile. Marmon is credited with several innovations including the use of weight-saving aluminum materials. One of his most renowned achievements is his creation of the six-cylinder (V6) engine in the vehicle known as the Marmon “Wasp.” This car won the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911. President Marmon is also credited with initiating the Research Division of the SAE Standards Committee.

Paul Mascarenas

2019 SAE President

Paul Mascarenas served as the SAE President for 2019. He is widely recognized as an accomplished executive, with extensive experience in and around the automotive industry. Over the course of his career, President Mascarenas served in several senior leadership positions with Ford Motor Company, ultimately serving as vice president and chief technical officer. After leaving Ford, he remained active in the Mobility sector, serving in several non-executive director roles and working with start-up and early-stage companies. He has also been on the board of FISITA since 2012 and served as president for the 2014-2016 term. President Mascarenas is a Fellow of SAE International and served as General Chairperson for the 2010 World Congress and Convergence. In 2015, President Mascarenas was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE), by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in recognition of his services to the Automotive Industry.

John L. Mason

1990 SAE President

1990 SAE International President Dr. John L. Mason joined The Garrett Corporation in 1950 and became its vice president of engineering in 1972. Fifteen years later, President Mason was appointed to vice president of engineering & technology for the company’s successor; Allied-Signal Aerospace. During his time at Allied-Signal Aerospace, Mason was on advisory boards including NASA and the National Institute of Standards. He also had a long record with SAE, serving on many boards and technical committees. He wrote nearly fifty technical papers and held six patents.

Philip J. Mazziotti

1981 SAE President

Like many before him, SAE International’s President of 1981 spent time in the service during WWII. President Philip Mazziotti was a fighter pilot in the armed forces. Later, he became a draftsman in Dana Corporations’ Toledo plant in 1941. Twelve years later, he became the chief engineer of the universal joint division. By 1963, Mazziotti was named the director of research and development. By 1975, among other promotions, President Mazziotti was appointed to the newly created position of vice president of product. Mazziotti also held multiple positions within SAE: Director, Chairman of the Finance Committee, a member of the Executive Committee and an elected ‘Fellow.’

Leo A. McReynolds

1978 SAE President

President McReynolds came from a long career at Phillips Petroleum Company. With an educational background in chemical engineering and chemistry, President McReynolds worked his way up to become the manager of the Environment and Consumer Protection Division. He also served as organizer of the Air Pollution and Research Advisory Committee (APRAC) of the Coordinating Research Council in 1967. President McReynolds urged awareness of energy conservation not only to the engineering community, but to the public as well. During his tenure, the SAE Women Engineers Committee was founded.

Gordon H. Millar

1984 SAE President

SAE International’s President of 1984, Dr. Gordon H. Millar, had a professional career with several major players of today’s auto and aero industries. Dr. Millar worked for Ford Motor Company, Meriam Instrument Company, and McCulloch Corporation. During his time at McCulloch, Millar developed a lean oil mix and surface gap ignition system for outboard motors that became an industry standard. Millar holds a total of seven patents, including the lean oil mix advent. President Millar also spent time with NASA to increase the involvement of private enterprise in cooperative research. President Millar then went on to Deere & Company to be their vice president of engineering. He authored several papers for SAE.

Philip S. Myers

1969 SAE President

President Myers was an author of many technical papers and SAE International’s first academic President. He conducted uncountable hours of research on heat transfer and combustion while teaching at the University of Wisconsin. President Myers received the 1966 Arch T. Colwell Award and the 1968 Horning Memorial Award. He was a part of SAE in multiple areas before becoming President.

Arthur Nutt

1940 SAE President

1940 SAE President Arthur Nutt graduated from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1916 and spent most of his professional career with Wright Aeronautical Corporation and its predecessors as an authority on air-cooled and water-cooled aircraft engines. As President, he played a major part in stimulating SAE aeronautical standards to render major service to industry.

Cuneyt L. Oge

2016 SAE President

President Cuneyt Oge of 2016 embodies the global spirit of SAE International. Oge was born in Turkey, went to high school in Europe, and attended college in the U.S. He learned to speak multiple languages and has worked worldwide. Oge retired as Partner in PWC’s PRTM Management Consultants in 2013. He spent the entirety of his career serving the aero and auto industries. He has been a high-end consultant for numerous key players of major industries, and an SAE member for more than twenty years. Along with being a member, Oge served on the Board of Directors and on the Foundation Board of Trustees.

Douglas Patton

2017 SAE President

2017 SAE International’s President was Douglas Patton. President Patton came from the prestigious automotive mega-supplier, DENSO. Prior to DENSO, Patton worked as a release engineer and senior market analyst for Caterpillar. President Patton has been a member of SAE since 1987 and has sat on multiple committees. He played a huge role in SAE's development and push for STEM programs nationwide. President Patton also put emphasis on cybersecurity for niche industries such as agriculture and construction.

Reginald J.S. Pigott

1948 SAE President

SAE International’s President of 1948 was American-educated Englishman, Reginald J.S. Pigott. During his presidential year, he led a reorganization of SAE’s Membership Grading Committee personnel and procedures. Pigott was the chief engineer of Gulf Research & Development Co., in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pigott had more than thirty patents and helped write nearly forty technical papers. He had experience as a chief draftsman, assistant engineer, consulting engineer, superintendent of construction, and several other roles.

Leonard Raymond

1959 SAE President

SAE International’s 1959 President is known for his valuable contributions to the Planning for Progress reorganization, key technical papers, and service as SAE’s International Ambassador of Good Will. President Leonard ‘Len’ Raymond had over thirty years of experience by the time he took his presidency. He acquired that experience from his time at Texas Company in 1928 and later Socony Mobil where he became the chief automotive engineer for research.

Randall R. Richards

1994 SAE President

The 1994 SAE President, Randall Richards, began his engineering career working for Caterpillar in 1970 and became its manager of corporate sustainability. Richards has been active in SAE since 1980. President Richards has been both a member of the Brazil Advisory Committee and the Development Program Coordinating Committee. He is best remembered for his work developing and supporting the SAE Brasil affiliate.

Andrew L. Riker

1905 - 1907 SAE President

Widely known as an inventor and producer of electric cars and commercial trucks, Andrew L. Riker is also known as the first President of SAE International. In 1896, when Riker was 28 years old, he built an electric tricycle that he used for two years. In 1898, B. Altman and Company was the first department store in the United States to use an electric delivery wagon, which came from Riker Electric Motor Co. and had a range of 25-30 miles before needing charged. Soon after, Riker sold his company, concluding that the future of the automobile industry belonged to gasoline and joined forces with Locomobile Company of America to begin to design gasoline-powered automobiles. It was January 1905 in New York that the original founding members of SAE International assembled and elected its officers; Riker became President with Henry Ford as the first Vice President. During his three years in office, membership doubled and the first volume of SAE Transactions printed with three papers.

Ernest S. Starkman

1976 SAE President-elect

President-elect Ernest “Erni” Starkman spent most of his career as a Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Starkman taught courses relating to combustion-generated air pollution and its effects. He was the vice president of environmental activities at GM for three years and he was a member of the SAE Board of Directors. Sadly, Starkman passed away before serving his full term in office.

Rodger F. Ringham

1976 SAE President

President Ringham took office in February of 1976, following the unfortunate passing of Ernest S. Starkman. Ringham had a strong involvement with SAE International and a rich engineering background with an abundant amount of professional experience. Ringham’s career began as a junior aerodynamics engineer at United Aircraft within the Vought Sikorsky Division. Within twenty-two years, he was elected vice president of the division with responsibility for logistics, advanced systems and all engineering activities at LTV Aerospace Corporation and directing more than 5,000 employees. He was the vice president of International Harvester Company. Ringham served as VP to several organizations, represented multiple boards, and was a member of many organizations including: the Military Aircraft Committee of Aeronautical Activity, American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Engineering Advisory Committee of the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association.

James E. “Ted” Robertson

2005 SAE President

2005 was SAE International’s centennial. The President that year was Ted Robertson. Robertson was with General Motors for 35 years, as chief engineer of numerous car and truck programs, became vice chairman of America Specialty Cars (ASC), and then chief technical officer for Magna International. President Robertson served SAE in almost every capacity from the student level at the University of Toronto to a member of the blue-ribbon panel. President Robertson represented SAE on the FISITA Council and became President of FISITA. He is a Fellow of SAE, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, a Professional Engineer (PE), a licensed pilot, authored many papers, and holds six patents.

Dale Roeder

1951 SAE President

Dale Roeder, SAE International’s President of 1951, had a long-standing history with Ford Motor Company. President Roeder first obtained a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1925 from Iowa State University. Soon after, he took a position with Ford. Along with trucks and tractors, Roeder also oversaw Ford’s twenty-two hundred acres of experimental farms. Through hard work and perseverance, President Roeder became chief engineer of the Ford Motor Tractor Division before his retirement in 1963.

Delmar G. Roos

1934 SAE President

Delmar “Barney” Roos, who served as SAE International’s 1934 President, worked on radio and turbine development after his 1911 graduation from Cornell University. After working at Locomobile and Marmon, he joined Studebaker in 1926 and became chief engineer. Following his tenure at SAE, he worked as a consultant to the Rootes Group in England, before joining Willys. He is noted as the father of the World War II Jeep, known as the Willys MB.

C.G. Arthur Rosen

1955 SAE President

Arthur Rosen became President in 1955, on the fiftieth anniversary of SAE International. In 1915, he began work as a draftsman for Dow Pump and Diesel Engine Co., where he rose to chief engineer in less than ten years. When WWI was underway, Rosen acted as chief engineer for Pacific Diesel Engine Co. and taught courses for the University of California Extension School. Five years later, Rosen found himself at Caterpillar Tractor Co., where he successfully created the first Caterpillar diesel. During WWII, Rosen worked on several major projects concerning submarines, including prolonged underwater operations and noise discovery.

Thomas W. Ryan, III

2008 SAE President

SAE International’s President of 2008 was Dr. Thomas W. Ryan, III. President Ryan began his career as an assistant professor at the Pennsylvania State University, then went on to specialize in engines at the Southwest Research Institute. Dr. Ryan has both applied and basic combustion expertise and has implemented both real and simulated combustion environments. Along with his research in combustion, Ryan also has worked extensively with major engine OEMs, government agencies, and lubricant companies. Dr. Ryan began his SAE career as a member during his graduate studies at Penn State. He has had over one hundred publications in the areas of engine, fuels, and combustion. He has sat on numerous committees and has been a board or chair member for several projects.

Arthur J. Scaife

1932 SAE President

Arthur Scaife began his career at the White Sewing Machine Company in the automobile department and remained there for the majority of his career, designing White motor vehicles. His pragmatic administration as 1932 SAE International President off-set much of the Depression’s detrimental economic effects. He supported greater research on diesel fuels and lubricants during his term.

Neil A. Schilke

2001 SAE President

President Neil A. Schilke held research, engineering, and executive positions during an impressive forty-year career at General Motors; he retired as general director of engineering. President Schilke was a Founding Director of SAE Foundation Canada and Co-founder of the SAE Automotive Resources Institute. The SAE Foundation Cup is named in his honor. He was elected an SAE Fellow in 1993. Schilke served on the Board of Directors as Assistant Treasurer, Treasurer, and President. He was Board liaison for the Women Engineers Committee to help mainstream their ideas into SAE. Schilke received the Edward N. Cole Award for Automotive Engineering Innovation, the Ableson Award for Visionary Leadership, and the SAE Medal of Honor; his long-term SAE commitment earned him Emeritus status.

Jack W. Schmidt

1992 SAE President

Jack W. Schmidt began his career at General Motors shortly after graduating from the General Motors Institute in 1954 with a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. President Schmidt retired from GM as the company’s director of Powertrain Systems. He was active in the Indiana and Detroit Sections and chaired in both. He also chaired the VISION 2000 Program Office. President Schmidt held five patents and accomplished much in the ways of processes for standardization.

Gordon L. Scofield

1977 SAE President

President Gordon Scofield was another scholarly man as he was head of the department of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. His bachelors, masters, and PhD were all in mechanical engineering, and he held teaching positions at South Dakota State University and University of Missouri-Rolla. Scofield was a specialist in radiative heat transfer and the combustion process. Exceptional at bridging the gap between academia and industry, Scofield kept the academic community well-informed of where the industry ventured. President Scofield held several positions at SAE before becoming President, such as a member of the Sections Board, the Engineering Activity Board, the Board of Directors, and numerous others. In 1977, SAE established the Fellow Award in recognition of achievements in technology and engineering.

S.M. Shahed

2002 SAE President

SAE International’s President during 2002 was S.M. Shahed. President Shahed served as vice president of advanced products and systems at Garrett Engine Boosting Systems. He has served on many SAE boards and has won many awards for his technical papers. Shahed taught at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Texas-San Antonio. At SAE, he is remembered not only for his technical writings but also for selecting and establishing the first sector vice president.

Richard O. Schaum

2007 SAE President

President Schaum is a forty-year veteran of the automotive industry and was SAE International’s President of 2007. Schaum rose through the ranks at Daimler Chrysler Corporation to the position of executive vice president of product development and quality, a position he held from 1999 to 2003. Schaum has served on the board of directors of BorgWarner Inc., SAE International, Sterling Construction Company, Gentex Corporation, and the Advisory Board for the SAE Automotive Resources Institute. In addition, he works as an automotive consultant and as general manager for 3rd Horizon Associates LLC, a company involved in technology assessment and development. President Schaum was recognized as an SAE Fellow for playing a key role in the development of Chrysler’s emission control systems which met regulatory requirements at benchmark levels of cost-efficiency. 

Mac Short

1943 SAE President

Mac Short, World War I pilot and 1943 SAE President, spent his engineering career in aviation. One of the founders of Stearman Aircraft Company, he became its vice president of engineering, and later a founder and vice president of Lockheed Aircraft Company. His term as President saw expanded results from SAE’s Aeronautical and Technical Committees in the war effort, and SAE International established the War Activity Office in Detroit.

James E. Smith

2009 SAE President

SAE International’s President of 2009 was an active member of SAE International for more than twenty years and served on the organization’s Board of Directors from 2005-2008. Dr. Smith, an SAE Fellow, was a research engineer for the U.S. Department of Energy prior to joining the WVU faculty in 1984. President Smith has received an abundance of awards for his efforts for his many years of teaching, research, and service. He is widely respected as a leader for his development of various advanced technology solutions, innovative design concepts, and many contributions to science and engineering. He has several dozen patents and has published more than two-hundred-fifty adjudicated conference papers, journal articles, or bound transaction papers, in addition to many project final reports and un-refereed publications.

Henry Souther

1911 SAE President

1911 was an incredibly busy year for SAE International as well as its President, Henry Souther. During 1911, SAE became formally incorporated and its competitor, The Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers, dissolved following a court ruling. This enabled SAE to take over all ALAM’s technical sections and started SAE’s standardization program. This is also the year that membership became open to anyone who was in a responsible commercial or financial capacity. President Souther was the first chairman of the SAE Standards Committee and helped establish Langley Field, the Army Air Corps, and Army motor-vehicle transportation.

Stanwood W. Sparrow

1949 SAE President

President Sparrow was elected in January 1949. Sparrow was a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and immediately began working for Stevens-Duryea. Following his time at Stevens-Duryea, during World War I, Sparrow worked for the National Bureau of Standards on aircraft engines. In 1927, President Sparrow joined Studebaker as a research engineer and later became chief engineer. During WWII, Sparrow oversaw the building of Wright Cyclone engines. He was nationally known as a top engine and research expert and authored numerous SAE papers including one milestone named My Friend the Engine.

Clarence W. Spicer

1938 SAE President

President Spicer, SAE International’s President in 1938, had origins at a creamery in Illinois. It wasn’t until 1899, when Spicer was 24, that he first enrolled at Cornell University, taking courses in mechanical and electrical engineering. When Spicer undertook the ‘design of a motor car’ as a class assignment, he developed a universal joint that was practical for automotive use. Spicer applied, and received, a patent for the joint in 1903 and began selling it in 1904. President Spicer established the Spicer Universal Joint Manufacturing Company in 1905. Over a century later, it is better known as Dana Holding Corporation and sells multiple types of automotive parts with billions of dollars in revenue. During his tenure at SAE, he laid the foundation for more activities in railway engineering.

William B. Stout

1935 SAE President

William B. Stout was an engineer, inventor, speaker, and designer with experience in both the automotive and aviation fields. Stout worked for the Packard Motor Company in 1916 before he started the Stout Engineering Company, known for building prototypes like the Stout Scarab car in 1932. In 1934, he founded the Stout Motor Car Company. Stout’s aviation career led to the development of an all-metal cantilever monoplane which he introduced while working for United Aircraft Engineering. Stout is also recognized for his originality in prefab housing and the sliding car seat.

William R. Strickland

1929 SAE President

William Strickland, SAE International’s President for the year of 1929, began his career at the American Radiator Company before joining Peerless Motor Car Company in 1913. In 1922, he began working at AM Research, ultimately becoming the assistant chief engineer for Cadillac. During Strickland’s term, SAE reorganized into professional activity groups, each group under a Vice President.

Ralph R. Teetor

1936 SAE President

A longtime president of the automotive parts manufacturer, The Perfect Circle Co., Ralph Teetor became SAE International’s President in 1936. President Teetor was a prolific inventor who invented Speedostat, the cruise-control device used on many automobiles. Teetor had a highly developed sense of touch that proved to be incredibly helpful in developing a technique for balancing steam turbine rotors used in Navy torpedo-boat destroyers. President Teetor was blinded at the age of five, and though this was not a topic of conversation, his enhanced sense of touch proved helpful in the dynamic balancing of large components.

Jack E. Thompson

2003 SAE President

2003 SAE International President, Jack E. Thompson, spent the majority of his career with Chrysler, where he and his team designed the first Chrysler minivan in 1979. President Thompson also founded and sponsored Chrysler’s Engineering Book of Knowledge. Dr. Thompson is the co-author of more than five papers regarding vehicle crash, NVH analysis and CAD method. He was elected as an SAE Fellow in 1999. Thompson served on the SAE Foundation Board of Trustees and was elected to the Board of Directors.

Duane Tiede

2004 SAE President

SAE International’s President of 2004 was Duane Tiede. Tiede had a twenty-one-year long career with Deere and Company before moving to GNH Global. At his retirement, he was their vice president of functional engineering. President Tiede was active at a national and sectional level within SAE. He served on the Board of Directors and the Off-Highway Continuity/Advisory Committee. He has also written numerous technical papers.

William H. Van Dervoort

1915 SAE President

The Moline Auto Company was founded in Moline, Illinois by SAE International’s 1915 President, William Van Dervoort. President Van Dervoort served on the Council of National Defense and the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps. During Van Dervoort’s term, SAE’s activities expanded into tractor, marine, industrial, and aeronautical areas. The first student branch was also formed at Cornell University.

Claude A. Verbal

1996 SAE President

SAE International’s President of 1996 spent the majority of his career at General Motors. President Claude A. Verbal received his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and has been a registered professional engineer since 1971. President Verbal joined the Buick Motor Division of GM in 1964 as a detail engineer. He became a senior product engineer in 1967 and oversaw Buick’s activity at the Milford Proving Grounds. Eventually, President Verbal was promoted to plant manager in service parts operations for GM. His involvement with SAE surpasses thirty-five years, and he has served on more than five committees.

Jesse G. Vincent

1920 SAE President

President Jesse Vincent was SAE International’s fifteenth President and is best known for his extensive work in the creation of the Liberty V-12 aircraft engine during World War I. Collaborating with Elbert J. Hall of the Hall-Scott Motor Company, the two designed the V-12 Liberty powerplant for the Army Air Force in less than a week. The creation came late in the war and only a small portion of the engines were used in military aircrafts. Thus, the engines were repurposed and converted for marine use in high-end recreational speedboats and championship racers. SAE International’s membership continued to rise to 5,000 members, including the first woman member – Nellie M. Scott.

William G. Wall

1928 SAE President

The twenty-second President of SAE International was William G. Wall. President Wall was chief engineer of the National Motor Vehicle Company, Indianapolis, when he introduced what was described as America’s first six-cylinder car. He also built a winning racer for the Indianapolis 500. President Wall was active in several extraordinary engineering projects, such as the change from steam to internal combustion power in submarines.

Franklin Walter

1986 SAE President

The 1986 President of SAE International was Franklin “Frank” Walter. President Walter had a longstanding relationship with SAE at the time of his presidency. He had already been a member for thirty-five years and was active in the Detroit Section since 1961 in multiple roles including Chairman and Treasurer. Professionally, President Walter had close ties with Chrysler, starting his career with Chrysler in 1948 and remaining there until retirement. During his time at Chrysler, Walter was an assistant chief engineer, chief of styling administration, director of product planning, and chief engineer. He retired as Chrysler’s director of corporate timing planning for product development.

Edward P. Warner

1930 SAE President

When Edward P. Warner was elected as the twenty-fourth President of SAE, he was assistant secretary of the Navy for Aeronautics. Previously, he was an engineer for the Military Air Service, chief physicist for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, and an acclaimed professor of aeronautical engineering at MIT. SAE International celebrated its 25th anniversary and membership exceeded 7,000.

Harry T. Woolson

1937 SAE President

Harry Woolson, an executive engineer at Chrysler during his 1937 SAE presidency, was initially a marine engineer. After he worked with companies building gas engines for boats, he switched to land vehicles as a truck engineer, working at firms like Packard, Studebaker, and Maxwell. As SAE President, he encouraged younger engineers to become active in SAE International.

Todd W. Zarfos

2020 SAE President

President Todd Zarfos came to SAE International with a strong background in the aero industry. Zarfos served as the senior chief engineer of airplane systems within Boeing Commercial Airplanes and retired in 2020. President Zarfos was with Boeing since 1985 and began his career supporting a variety of avionics development programs. Zarfos led the development and certification of the 777-300ER and the 777-200LR airplanes and led the successful launch of the 777 Freighter. President Zarfos is a Fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).

James C. Zeder

1950 SAE President

SAE International’s President of 1950, James Zeder, wanted to be an engineer since he was old enough to push toys along the floor. President Zeder was an automotive engineer that made achievements in hydraulic brakes, power steering, and all-steel bodies for Chrysler Corporation. He served as a chairman and vice-president of program development for Michigan State University - Oakland (now known as Oakland University). Zeder received the U.S. Army’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award after WWII for his contributions regarding military materials and weapons. During Zeder’s presidency, membership surpassed 15,000.

Jeff Hemphill

2021 SAE President

Jeff Hemphill is chief technical officer of the Schaeffler America. He is responsible for new product development, analysis and testing of transmission, engine, chassis, and industrial components and systems for conventional and hybrid vehicles as well as consumer products and industrial machine products.

A member of SAE International since 1998, President Hemphill studied at The University of Akron, while he worked as a machinist and cooperative education student. He also earned an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT which has proven useful in leading innovation efforts for the Schaeffler Americas. His product development experience covers 30 years and includes manufacturing engineering, product design, testing, and vehicle development experience. President Hemphill has more than 70 patents filed or issued.

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