SMDI Recognizes Honda and Gestamp for Use of Advanced High-Strength Steel at 15th Annual Great Designs in Steel Seminar

DETROIT, May 11, 2016 – The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), awarded the “Automotive Excellence Award” to Honda R & D Americas, Inc. and Gestamp for their work in implementing advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) innovations in a hot stamped rear frame. The award was presented today at the 15th annual Great Designs in Steel (GDIS) seminar in Livonia, Mich. 

Shawn Crichley, principal engineer, vehicle design-body and Brad Klein, senior engineer from Honda R&D Americas, Inc. along with Kou Khang, platform director from Gestamp, received the award for their GDIS 2015 presentation, titled, “Special Presentation: Advanced High-Strength Steel Breakthrough Technology.”

The goal of the project was to reduce rear frame mass and design complexity, while maintaining performance through implementation of hot stamped high-strength steel. The result was a 20 percent weight reduction compared to previous models and full realization of the rear frame crush mode.

“In 15 years of GDIS, winners of the Automotive Excellence award have demonstrated significant contributions to steel in the marketplace and the Honda and Gestamp project was no exception,” said Jody Hall, vice president of the automotive market, SMDI. “The project implemented an innovative hot-stamping process with localized soft zones to create crush initiation sites. This combination allowed them to achieve mass reduction and reduce part count, while maintaining all performance metrics.”

The SMDI Automotive Excellence Award recognizes individuals or teams from automakers, suppliers or the academic community who embrace innovation and make significant contributions to the advancement of steel in the automotive marketplace. Award winners are chosen from presenters at the previous year’s GDIS seminar. Candidates are rated in several categories, including: challenges and benefits associated with cost, mass reduction and performance; overall contribution to the advancement of steel; and implementation in production.

GDIS debuted in 2002 with 545 registrants and has grown in attendance and scope. In 2015, more than 1,250 North American vehicle manufacturers, Tier 1 suppliers, equipment suppliers, university representatives, steel company personnel and technical reporters attended the seminar. 2016 marks the seminars 15th year with more than 1,600 registrants. Founding members include: AK Steel Corporation, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, ArcelorMittal USA LLC and Nucor Corporation. GDIS 2016 featured welcoming remarks by Roger Newport, chief executive officer of AK Steel Corporation. Helping to support this year’s event are GDIS Gold Sponsors’ AutoForm, Gestamp, Superior Roll Forming and Vari-Form. 

For a high-resolution photo, please click here.

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.

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, and Nucor Corporation. For more information on SMDI, visit or follow @SMDISteel on Twitter.

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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 / 586.823.7145