Established in 1984, the award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding presentation skills. The intent of the award is to maintain a high level of presentations at SAE technical sessions by recognizing individuals who make outstanding presentations at those sessions. The recipient must have received the Oral Presentation Award more than twice to receive this award.
Originally established in 1984 as the SAE Distinguished Speaker Award by the Engineering Meetings Board, the award name was changed to the SAE Lloyd L. Withrow Distinguished Speaker Award in 1993 to honor the late Lloyd L. Withrow.
As Department Head of the GM Research Laboratories Fuels and Lubricants Department, Withrow mentored many engineers and contributed significantly to the fields of fuels and lubricants for automotive vehicles. His research on engine combustion from 1926 -1948 was a watershed that is still referenced and utilized. Both engineers and society in general have benefitted greatly over the years from his activities and his personality. Withrow died on December 9, 1992, only five days before his 93rd birthday.
Withrow was an SAE Fellow and noted speaker at many SAE meetings. Through a request from several prominent SAE members, this award name was changed to recognize him for his outstanding communication skills and his continual insistence that those he supervised also develop and demonstrate excellent communication skills, both written and oral.
The award consists of a framed certificate that is presented at the Awards Ceremony during the WCX World Congress Experience.