SMDI Honors Men and Women of Steel at Inaugural Awards During North American International Auto Show

DETROIT, Jan. 13, 2015 – Helping first responders gain access to victims faster. Providing innovative solutions to develop a best in class truck. The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of AISI, honored two individuals today who are driving these efforts with the inaugural “Men and Women of Steel” awards, recognizing individuals for their innovative uses and applications of steel at work and in the community. The awards were presented today at a press briefing during the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The Industry Innovator Award was presented to Elizabeth Krear, chief engineer on the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. The award acknowledges automotive designers or engineers who showcase innovation in their use of advanced high-strength steel (AHSS). The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel uses AHSS to help achieve fuel economy of 28 mpg, making it the top performing truck in its class.

“Fuel economy is very important to the half-ton truck customer, and five years ago Ram engineering made a commitment to owning the best-in-class title,” said Krear. “Trucks are large machines and delivering a 28 mpg Ram 1500 required innovations such as our EcoDiesel engine, an 8-speed transmission, active aero dynamics and lightweight materials, including high-strength steel.”

SMDI will make a $5,000 contribution in Krear’s name to the scholarship fund at Wayne State University’s College of Engineering, Krear’s alma mater.

The Community Hero Award recognizes those whose lives have been impacted through the use of AHSS or who have used AHSS in a heroic manner. The 2015 recipient is Ron Moore of McKinney, Texas, for his efforts in educating first responders and other emergency workers on cutting through steel parts made from AHSS. Moore is a retired firefighter who most recently served as safety and chief training officer for the McKinney fire department. He is an expert in the area of advanced vehicle rescue seminars and has dedicated much of his career to publishing papers and presentations and training first responders on vehicle rescue and extrication techniques. In addition to the award, Moore will be given a $5,000 grant to further support extraction techniques.

“We’re very pleased to recognize Ron and Elizabeth for their use of steel in their work and community,” said Lawrence W. Kavanagh, president, SMDI. “Their accomplishments demonstrate how steel is much more than a material. It helps save lives. It enables stronger, lighter, more sustainable vehicle designs. We’re proud of their efforts and hope their work continues to inspire others.”

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s website at

SMDI increases and defends the use of steel by developing innovative materials, applications and value-added solutions for customers in the automotive, construction and packaging markets. SMDI automotive investors include: AK Steel Corporation, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, ArcelorMittal USA, Nucor Corporation and United States Steel Corporation. For more information on SMDI, visit or follow @DriveUsingSteel on Twitter.

Click here to download the release as a PDF.

Deanna Lorincz
Senior Director, Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 248.945.4763 / 586.634.1766

Jennifer Greenfelder
Director, Automotive Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 248.945.4767