Rodica Baranescu Award for Technical & Leadership Excellence

Established in 2011, this award celebrates the successes of women in the engineering profession and recognizes their leadership and technical contributions in the aerospace, automotive and commercial vehicle sectors. The award serves to broaden the awareness of the reach and impact of women working in mobility engineering. Its goals are to stimulate the involvement of women in engineering as well as open doors for young girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) who wish to pursue engineering careers.

The award is enabled by a gift from Rodica Baranescu, Ph.D. Baranescu is an SAE Fellow, Past President of SAE International, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. She is a mechanical engineer who started her professional and academic career in her native country, Romania, before immigrating to the United States in 1980. In 2000, she was the first woman elected President of SAE International.

Nominees for this award must be women who have demonstrated technical competency and leadership in engineering. Beginning in 2017, three women will be honored each year - one from each mobility engineering sector (aerospace, automotive and commercial vehicle). Awardees may be employed or retired and they must be members of SAE International.

Year Name Employer
2019 Laura Hitchcock, The Boeing Company, Retired
Denise Rizzo U.S. Army TARDEC
2018 Leslie Kilgore Thomas Built Buses
Michele Kaiser John Deere
Rhonda Walthall  UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS)
2017 Anita M Burke General Motors
Tara Travis Cummins Inc
2016 Andrea Brazzale-Anderson Caterpillar Inc
2015 Dr Christine K Lambert Ford Motor Company
2014 Dr Ewa Alice Bardasz Energetics
2013 Corina Sandu PhD Virginia Tech
2012 Ning Lei Navistar Inc

Nomination Deadline: July 1

Access Nomination Form