SAE Heinz C. Prechter Automotive Excellence Scholarship

The Heinz C. Prechter Automotive Excellence Scholarship honors Heinz C. Prechter, founder of the American Sunroof Co. (now ASC Inc.).   The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage and support young entrepreneurs pursuing a degree in engineering, including those with a passion for STEM.  This scholarship will award the creative ingenuity an entrepreneurial spirit of a student-driven idea or initiative that is in the early stages of implementation or has already been successfully executed.   As one recent scholarship awardee so eloquently stated, “Engineering is more than just ideation, fabrication, and implementation. Engineering encompasses compassion and the drive to tackle human-centered issues.”  In this spirit and in honoring the work, life, and memory of Mr. Prechter, this scholarship will award funds to support the applicant’s entrepreneurial endeavor. 

Past award recipient initiatives have included:

  • International, student-developed, organization providing free interdisciplinary STEM education to over 2,500 minority youth across 7 different countries.
  • Development of a youth-led 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that addresses a variety of global environmental issues through diverse solutions
  • Student-developed, responsive virtual reality application designed to improve the quality of life for seniors with dementia.
  • Educational resource Apps created to connect students and peer tutors and also to provide students with quick access to essential mathematical formulas.
  • Computer/Electrical Engineering major utilized artificial intelligence and passion for STEAM to become founder of an equitable education non-profit organization that provides free tutoring and mentorship to underrepresented and underserved communities domestically and internationally.
  • Student-developed, working prototype of a portable coordinate measurement system that will serve the crash-safety segment of the automotive metrology market.
  • U.S. Resident

  • Pursue an engineering or related science degree through a U.S. ABET-accredited program

  • Applicants are judged on the basis of the creativity, ingenuity, and practicality of a developed entrepreneurial idea that will result in a positive impact
  • Applicant must outline a fully detailed, actionable design plan that shows the ability to implement this idea within the next 6-12 months if awarded this funding; OR show the already executed idea
  • Two letters of recommendation (from faculty advisers and/or industry contacts) and an essay that specifically highlights information on the entrepreneurial concept and the market segment of the automotive industry this idea will target. Applications will be judged on the basis of the creativity, ingenuity, and practicality of the applicant's entrepreneurial idea and the positive impact it will create.

  • One scholarship of $10,000* will be awarded each year. (*Amount is subject to change)
  • Recipient will be selected by the SAE Scholarship Committee and notified by the end of June.
  • This scholarship will be paid into your account at your selected university in July/August. It can be used for tuition or any other incidental school expenses.

Applications for the 2023/24 academic year have closed. Applications for the 2024/25 academic year will open February 1, 2024.