SAE International Award for Outstanding Student Leadership in STEM Honoring Max Rumbaugh


This award recognizes an outstanding student leader of one or more SAE activities and, through the award, encourages a vision within the student to become an SAE leader during their adult career.

Past SAE Executive Vice President Max E. Rumbaugh Jr. established this award with a generous gift in 2012 to realize his vision of encouraging and inspiring young SAE members to become engaged with SAE throughout their professional careers/lifetimes.


SAE student members will be nominated by their SAE faculty advisor who will provide a citation detailing the student's outstanding leadership skills during the past academic year. All nominees will meet the following criteria:

  • SAE Student Member who is about to graduate or has already graduated from a university or college in a technical field related to automotive engineering (This includes undergraduates and graduates)
  • The student will have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills in one or more SAE activities during the academic year being concluded during the year of nomination.  (The purpose of this provision is to preclude an individual from being selected for leadership demonstrated solely in years prior to the year of his/her selection.)  One recipient will be selected.
  • It is preferred that the recipient has begun employment when selected (or will soon begin their employment following a pending graduation).
  • Nominations will be judged based on SAE-related leadership activities during the year of nomination, and imminent support of SAE and its activities.


Members of the Selection Committee are not eligible for this award while serving on the committee. Two years must pass before former members of the Selection Committee are eligible to receive the award.


This award includes a lifetime professional membership in SAE and a trip to a major SAE event where the award is presented.

Past Recipients:

2022 Rebecca Vollman University of Central Florida
2021 Dylan Konop Milwaukee Tool
2020 Olivia Cathryn Wanless Kettering University
2019 Cora Taylor Michigan Technological University
2018 Greg Sawvelle San Diego State University
2017 Ian Eickholdt Central Michigan University
2016 Grant Mottershaw  University of Houston
2015 Adam Farabaugh   University of Pennsylvania
2014 Grady Young  Southern Polytechnic State University
2012 Michael Nienhuis  Western Michigan University
2011 Matthew J. Meyer Lawrence Technological University
2010 Randy Floresca San Jose State University
2009 Jill S. DeGowske Lawrence Technological University

Nominations reopen  September 2024