Steel Advocates Recognized For Driving Automotive Innovation At The 2018 North American International Auto Show

Steel Advocates Recognized For Driving Automotive Innovation At The 2018 North American International Auto Show

DETROIT, MI, January 16, 2018 — The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), today presented the annual Industry Innovator and Community Hero awards to two distinguished honorees who are championing the use of advanced high-strength steel (AHSS). The awards presentation took place at a press briefing at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The Industry Innovator Award was presented to Jack Dolan of FCA US LLC for his work with the steel industry on innovative AHSS solutions on current and future FCA vehicles. Dolan is the Architecture Line Executive for Large Vehicles at FCA and leads the application and advancement of AHSS and FCA’s ongoing use of steel in their vehicles exemplifies this. His dedication to innovation in steel helped reach the efficiency goals for the award winning Chrysler Pacifica Minivan, as well as driving innovative use of steel solutions for future FCA products.

The Community Hero Award recognizes individuals and organizations whose work using steel impacts the quality of life of the community. The 2018 recipient is Dr. Donald Malen of the University of Michigan. Dr. Malen is an adjunct faculty member where he teaches graduate level courses in Automobile Body Structure and Product Design. Previously, he was an engineer with General Motors Corp., where he worked on vehicle structure design for 35 years. Dr. Malen continues to work closely with the steel industry where he has assisted with the development of the WorldAutoSteel Design Advisor software to enable material decisions based on the A2Mac1 historical automotive benchmark database.

“The continued use of steel shows the resilience of the industry and the recognition of its strength, durability and value by automakers and consumers alike,” said Jody Hall, vice president of the automotive market for SMDI. “We are extremely pleased to honor Jack and Don for their continued efforts to drive automotive innovation through the use of steel.”

Previous Men and Women of Steel awardees include:

  • 2017 Industry Innovator, Gregory Warden, executive director and global functional leader, body, exterior & dimensional engineering at General Motors Corp.;
  • 2017 Community Hero, Steve Marks, industry technical support manager at Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR);
  • 2016 Industry Innovator, Mike Sweers, chief engineer for the Toyota Tundra and Tacoma vehicle programs and the vice president of engineering design – interior at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.;
  • 2016 Community Hero, The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Vehicle Technologies for its support of research, development and deployment of efficient and sustainable highway transportation technologies to improve fuel economy and minimize petroleum use;
  • 2015 Industry Innovator, Elizabeth Krear, chief engineer on the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel; and,
  • 2015 Community Hero, Ron Moore, retired fire chief of McKinney, Texas, for his efforts in educating first responders and other emergency workers on cutting tools or alternate solutions for passenger compartment access.

Editor’s note: For an electronic image of the award presentation, please click here.

Image caption: Blake Zuidema, senior director of the Automotive Product Applications Division at ArcelorMittal; Jody Hall, vice president, automotive market, SMDI; SMDI Community Hero Award recipient, Dr. Donald Malen, adjunct professor at the University of Michigan College of Engineering; SMDI Industry Innovator Award recipient Jack Dolan, architecture line executive for large vehicles at FCAof FCA US LLC. ; Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO, AISI and president and president of SMDI.

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 20 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 120 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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