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Lifetime Achievement Awards

USCAR began presenting Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2003 to recognize individuals who made significant contributions to USCAR during an extended period of time. Most recipients have been active USCAR participants for at least a decade. Their dedication, expertise and the value of their contributions to the organization and our member companies have been immeasurable.

Saad Abouzahr has been involved in USCAR’s collaborative efforts since before the creation of USCAR, going back to the original formation of the Automotive Composites Consortium (ACC). His contributions, starting in 1988 with the ACC, through regular participation as director of USAMP and the Materials TLC, represent close to 30 years of participation. His contributions were essential in the development of a multiyear, cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), through which more than $21 million was leveraged and managed as part of the USAMP cooperative agreement portfolio.

Abouzahr has made significant contributions to the development of testing and characterization of advanced materials, especially fiber-reinforced polymeric composites. Almost two decades ago, he led several of the key developments of aluminum vehicle components. In his award presentation, Abouzahr was recognized for always bringing “a wealth of technical knowledge and decades of experience to guide discussions” and offering valuable insights to teams as to what was needed to deliver new materials in a cost effective and efficient manner, thus earning “the utmost respect and admiration of his colleagues.”

For the past 20 years, Mike Martin has provided steady leadership at USCAR through numerous transitions within the ULG, BTS and operational staff. He has successfully led an amazing number of activities at USCAR.  He is an expert in the art of collaboration, as he has repeatedly demonstrated by organizing and facilitating both new and seasoned working groups, teams and consortia. He has stepped far beyond the perfunctory requirements of his position and made outstanding contributions to the success of USCAR. Through his leadership, Martin has helped guide the discussions and decision-making process at the ULG and then assisted the BTS in implementing the ULG’s vision across the various teams at USCAR. 

Over the years, he has participated in the hiring and retention of a team of USCAR staff members who work seamlessly together to provide a high level of service to our customers, government and suppliers. He led the charge on a comprehensive update and compilation of the USCAR Policies and Procedures Manual, and worked with the Real Estate Stakeholders and landlord to renew the office lease five times, achieving significant savings and taking advantage of negotiated tenant improvement allowances. He has managed the USCAR Operations budget so spending was under budget every year, allowing for the creation and maintenance of a cash reserve. 

As noted in the presentation, “He’s been an essential and appreciated member of the USCAR team.”