USCAR Recognition Awards – 2019

2019 Award Recipients

  • 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.

    Tom McCarthy
    Director – Energy, Propulsion & Sustainability, Ford Advanced Propulsion Technical Leadership Council (APTLC)

    Tom has been an active member of the APTLC for many years. His steady support was critical for consistent funding and active participation by Ford employees, even during the recession of 2007-2008. He fostered greater cooperation between teams such as the Engine Benchmarking Group, Transmission Working Group and Fuels Working Group.

    Tom has been a dedicated and passionate leader in the USCAR APTLC.  He has the unusual ability to see the big picture while still understanding the depth and breadth of the underlying technical details. He helped lay the groundwork allowing all parties to come together to form a collaboration with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). Over the past few years, Tom was a champion for the extensive technical discussions and analysis with AFPM relating to higher octane gasoline for the US. Tom helped USCAR crystallize its technical position and the specifics of the higher-octane proposal, which was no small effort after the USCAR companies started from quite different positions. He also held dozens of planning-level exchanges with his counterparts at AFPM and ensured the process moved at a reasonable pace. Those efforts ultimately led to a draft bill “The 21st Century Transportation Fuels Act” being proposed and discussed in the U.S. House Subcommittee on Environment. His involvement was so significant (both time and effort) he was included in the USCAR Team Award presented to the High-Octane Fuels Task Force last year.

    Tom has taken leadership roles on key issues, including:

    • Pushed for higher octane fuels and the associated legislation in the US Congress
    • Sustained support for US DRIVE to publish technical papers about higher octane fuels
    • Engaged other stakeholders over a period of several years to advance the analysis of combustion, improvements in fuel and research to find alternate fuel sources
    • Took the lead to put forward a Net Zero Carbon Fuel initiative, including engagement with DOE to ensure a common understanding and common pathway that all parties could buy into
    • Supported efforts in the area of low temperature aftertreatment
    • Participated in the review and rewriting of the Advanced Combustion and Emission Controls (ACEC) Tech Team roadmap for US DRIVE
    • Proposed and supported efforts to analyze the need for California Air Resources Board (CARB) to update the California Predictive Model (CPM) resulting in CARB agreeing the CPM needed to be updated
    Mary Cunningham
    Collaboration Manager, USCAR (July 24, 1948 – March 13, 2020)
    USCAR Council, Leadership Group, Technical Leadership Councils and more

    Mary Cunningham was an invaluable member of the USCAR Staff for 23 years. She began her career at USCAR in 1996 as executive assistant to the executive director. In 2005, her role evolved and she took on the broad responsibilities of USCAR Collaboration Manager. Mary excelled in this role as she supported nearly every team in USCAR, including the Council, Leadership Group and all of the Technical Leadership Councils. Her work encompassed everything from meeting scheduling, planning, preparing agendas, writing minutes, maintaining rosters and coordinating communications. Mary was incredibly organized, and she also maintained historical records and documentation of every team she supported.

    Mary was responsible for several major reports and events hosted by USCAR. These included the USCAR Annual Report, the annual U.S. DRIVE Highlights of Technical Accomplishments report, the USCAR Annual Recognition Event, and the bi-annual U.S. DRIVE All Tech Team Meeting. Each of these reports and events were complex and time sensitive, requiring a well-honed set of skills to execute flawlessly. Mary had an impeccable work ethic and overall administrative capabilities; she excelled at networking, coordinating and problem solving, all of which enabled her to consistently deliver outstanding results for USCAR.

    Mary was one of the best team members and leaders one could hope for. She always went above and beyond expectations, and supported and encouraged all. She would do whatever it took to ensure the details were right, everything was done and make everyone look good. Mary was unselfish and had great empathy for all her co-workers. She was one of the hardest working employees USCAR has ever had; but she made her work seem effortless.

    Everyone who worked with Mary thought of her as not only a co-worker, but a friend. The entire USCAR extended family will miss Mary; she was enthusiastic, trustworthy and kind. She will never be forgotten.

    Mary Cunningham (July 24, 1948 – March 13, 2020)

  • USCAR Team Awards recognize those teams and members who leveraged their resources, exceeded expectations, overcame challenges and created outstanding value for our member companies.

    AUTOSAR North American User Group – Subgroup Leads

    AUTOSAR is a standardization initiative of leading automotive manufacturers and suppliers founded in 2003. The goal is the development of a reference architecture for ECU software that can manage the growing complexity of ECUs in modern vehicles. USCAR initiated and leads the AUTOSAR North American User Group.

    The AUTOSAR-North American User Group is a different type of team than most other USCAR teams.  Instead of conducting research and developing technology, the AUTOSAR group takes an existing software development tool and helps it become more widely used. AUTOSAR’s success is measured by how well software developers at our Member companies are trained in the correct and efficient use of AUTOSAR. In a normal year, the USCAR AUTOSAR group would be expected to make technical presentations on best practices, host single-topic workshops on the latest methods and meet to define future needs.

    2019 was unique in which all typical tasks were completed but with more frequency and variety of content than could be expected. AUTOSAR then went further by recognizing the need for more skilled developers and started a partnership with research universities to introduce AUTOSAR at the student level, for the benefit of both the students and our Member companies.

    Team members recognized as part of the AUTOSAR Subgroup Leads are:

    Sravan Gujjula

    Rick Flores
    John Gonzaga
    Prathap Venugopal

    Christopher Thibault

    Keith Derrick

    Robert Baillargeon


    Electrical Wiring Component Application Partnership (EWCAP)

    In 2019, EWCAP performed as if they were three different high-performing teams: a connector team, a terminal team, and a high-frequency data connector team. This was accomplished with a single point-of-contact engineer from each company. The EWCAP team met in-person every Tuesday throughout the year, more than any other USCAR team. This dedication paid-off with the publication of two major specification updates and two major design releases. EWCAP re-wrote both USCAR-2, the electrical connector validation spec for evaluating the next generation of airbag connectors, and USCAR-21, the electrical terminal crimp validation spec for validation of billions of wire-to-terminal joints used by our member companies. EWCAP also developed two designs for common high-frequency coaxial cable connectors; many applications for these new connectors are for systems that enable automated driving. These accomplishments resulted in increased lab efficiency from common testing and supply base efficiency from common parts.

    Team members recognized as part of EWCAP are:

    FCA US
    Larry Logli
    William Will

    Greg Leece
    John Bielawski

    Greg Shanahan


    Transmission Working Group – Axle Subcommittee

    The Axle Subcommittee managed and completed two very involved projects simultaneously. The first project, Independent Front Axle Spin Loss, developed a singular axle efficiency comparison method and evaluated spin loss benefit of front axle disconnect systems.  This work will be captured in an SAE recommended practice that has entered into the writing stage and will be vetted by the SAE Axle subcommittee as a recommended practice to be used for break-in of front axle systems.

    The second project was on Rear Beam Axle Characterization, which developed an axle break-in schedule using the asymptotic regression approach to predict axle efficiency change. The SAE Axle Subcommittee published SAE technical papers and a recommended practice, SAE J3218 for use in breaking in rear axle systems.

    Team members recognized as part of the Axle Subcommittee are:

    FCA US
    Tim Schumaier
    Jasbir Singh
    Siqin Wei

    William Guarino
    Steven Zhou

    Tim Grzadzinski


    USABC Beyond Li-ion RFPI Workgroup

    The U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) Beyond Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) Request for Proposal Information (RFPI) Workgroup started a new RFPI targeting development of high energy density batteries using a lithium metal negative electrode. The RFPI has two categories: one focuses on cell technology; and the other on large-scale manufacturing of lithium-metal foil which can readily be integrated into high-speed electrode fabrication processes. Gap charts also were developed for each of these categories listing performance targets and requirements. These are the first targets developed for battery technology using lithium metal as negative electrode for automotive xEV applications. The Workgroup exercised great effort to  ensure that both technical and economical factors unique to the automotive industry were integral to the targets and thus will help guide future applicants toward project scopes of highest possible value to our industry; it also has laid the groundwork for OEMs to explore new and potentially disruptive technologies for lithium-metal negative electrodes on the market.

    Team members recognized as part of the USABC Beyond Li-ion RFPI Workgroup are:

    FCA US
    Oliver Gross

    Alvaro Masias

    Meng Jiang

    Department of Energy
    Brian Cunningham

    Idaho National Laboratory
    Jack Deppe

  • The Special Recognition Award is designed to recognize individual OEM participants who excelled in the past year and demonstrated their exceptional commitment to USCAR by going above and beyond the call of duty. It recognizes those whose leadership inspires their teams to achieve greatness.

    Matt Denlinger, Battery Research Engineer, Ford
    U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC)

    Matt is an exemplary project manager on several very challenging USABC programs including the PPG Industries development program, Enabling Thicker Cathode Coatings for Li-Ion EV Batteries, and the PSI Low-Cost/Fast-Charge Technical Assessment. He was confronted with a multitude of wide-ranging challenges that could have threatened the successful outcome of the programs, were it not for his measured and capable leadership. Matt led difficult negotiations to align contractors in terms of expected roles and performed extra due diligence by studying patent literature to complete the Technical Advisory Committee’s understanding of proposed technology to support an informed evaluation. Under Matt’s leadership, these programs produced valuable results for USABC and the industry.

    Joy Forsmark, Technical Expert, Ford
    Additive Manufacturing Task Force

    Joy co-authored the Manufacturing TLC Additive Manufacturing (AM) Multi-Laser Project Scope and Statement of Work and obtained funding approval. She identified, vetted and selected the appropriate project principle investigator and research partner. She also performed the necessary AM material micro-hardness testing supporting post build inspection and mechanical testing tasks of the project. Joy’s contributions have enabled incorporation of project findings into an industry standard to be published by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International. Joy continues to positively impact and improve the value of the USCAR manufacturing activities. The outcome of her findings and contributions will be provided to each USCAR OEM for implementation into their product and manufacturing engineering disciplines.

    Bryan Pryor, Engine Lubrication System Technical Specialist, GM
    Engine Oil Pump Test Project

    The Engine Oil Pump Test was formed in order to align the test procedures for engine oil pumps from all USCAR OEMs. Bryan harmonized various tests from GM, Ford and FCA into a very reasonable, thoughtful set of performance standards.  Eight different tests have been completed within the last year due to his leadership. This specification reduces development test time by about 15 percent when compared to the previous average development time used by each automaker. The first half of SAE/USCAR-46 “Engine Oil Pump Performance and Durability Procedures” is scheduled for release within the next several months. Bryan’s dedication to this project directly contributed to its swift completion.

    Patty Racco, Powertrain Ergonomic Technical Specialist, Ford
    Ergonomics Task Force

    Patty’s leadership skills and in-depth knowledge of Ergonomics and many of the production processes and technical challenges in automotive manufacturing were instrumental in the preparation and kick-off of three new Manufacturing TLC (MTLC) projects: The Development Of Ergonomic Specifications For The Use Of Right-Angle Power Tools, Dynamic Motion Library for Human Simulation Improvement and Create A Technology Roadmap for Ergonomics in Automotive Manufacturing. As Chair of the Ergonomics Task Force, Patty managed its growth and implemented restructuring that improves OEM and supplier representation and performance in current projects of the task force portfolio. She leads most of the technical development projects within the USCAR ergonomic project portfolio and continues to sustain the value of USCAR’s Ergonomic R&D manufacturing portfolio leveraging over $11.5 million through the Auto Partnership of Canada, academia and industry.

    Vijay Saharan, Senior Technical Specialist, GM
    USABC Low-Cost/Fast-Charge EV RFPI Working Group

    Vijay was assigned as the team leader of the Low-Cost/Fast-Charge (LCFC) EV RFPI Working Group upon first joining USABC; this is not a position typically assigned to new members due to its level of responsibility. However, due to his background, USABC leadership decided to move forward. He not only made the transition from the last leader smoothly but also did an excellent job efficiently managing the work group. The LCFC EV RFPI work group led by Vijay launched four new programs worth $12.7 million last year. As the program manager, Vijay launched the LCFC EV program with Microvast ($4.5 million) in 2019, which is currently one of the largest EV programs within USABC.

  • The Research Partner Award recognizes external collaborators, who have become essential members of our USCAR teams. They bring the depth and resources of their organizations or companies, expanding our circle of collaboration, and go the extra mile and to do more than their contracts require.

    Tracy Berman, University of Michigan

    Tracy Berman has been involved with Low-Cost Magnesium (Mg) Sheet Component Development project from its inception, having played a crucial role in both microscopic and macroscopic characterization of the various Mg alloys investigated. The various optical, electron-scattering methods, and mechanical-performance data have been indispensable in reaching the project goals. Tracy conducted all of the Electron Back-Scatter Diffraction (EBSD) and Orientation Imaging Microscopy tests herself, including sample preparation, data collection and analysis. She went far above the number of tests that were anticipated in the project SOW to aid the team’s understanding. Tracy’s expertise was needed to understand variances of sheet texture level, requiring careful sample preparation and collecting vast amounts of high-resolution imaging data that needed analysis. She made certain all technical needs of the team were met, going back several times to evaluate different batches, so we could provide a robust understanding for eventual specifications for this material.

    Sergey Golovashchenko, Oakland University

    Sergey led a team of researchers to develop experimental designs and protocols, optimize and modify tooling designs and operate an operations cell to achieve the team’s goals. He validated a production simulation apparatus for evaluation of die wear and galling when fabricating oil-coated sheet aluminum and used the apparatus to run and evaluate a large matrix of forming die and punch materials to expand the team’s understanding of wear and galling of tooling. The apparatus was capable of running a broad matrix of new forming die and cutting tool coatings that allowed the team to select materials of interest for application to die design standards.  The apparatus at Oakland University offered the team the benefit of local access, for both oversight and collaboration.  Previous projects had been run at a facility in Sweden, the only other similar one globally.

    Josh Pihl, Oak Ridge National Lab and
    Ken Rappe, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    As a members of the U.S. DRIVE Advanced Combustion and Emission Control (ACEC) Tech Team Low-Temperature Aftertreatment (LTAT) project, Josh Pihl and Ken Rappe co-authored four protocols: three-way catalysts (TWC), diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), storage and NOx reduction, each of which are of high value to our Members. These multiple protocols required validation to assure they would accurately assess the capability of each technology. Josh and Ken utilized their testing capabilities and extensive knowledge to correlate results.

    Completion of each protocol required approximately six-to-nine months of work, much of which was beyond the scope of daily work. Josh and Ken also applied the protocols in multiple DOE awards focused on the development of low-temperature oxidation catalysts. These protocols served as the basis for testing catalysts in DOE awards. The TWC and storage protocols address an emerging crisis to develop more efficient TWC technologies for gasoline aftertreatment systems. The confluence of fleet super ultra-low emissions vehicle systems and the hyper-escalation of PGM costs is driving the need for these catalyst technologies now more than ever. With their leadership, the team has provided testing documents that apply to the immediate needs of the car companies for the development of these aftertreatment technologies.

    Additionally, these protocols have been peer-reviewed and presented during widely attended catalysis venues such as the CLEERS (Cross-Cut Lean/Low-Temperature Exhaust Emissions Reduction Simulation) conference and the North American Catalysis Society Meeting. This greatly increased the exposure of these protocols to universities and R&D laboratories.