SPE announces dates for 44th automotive awards gala

SPE's 44th-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala will be held Nov. 12 in Livonia, Mich., USA; part nominations are due by Sept. 10.

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The Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE, Troy, Mich., USA) has announced the date, location and theme for its 44th-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala, the oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries, and deadlines for the event's annual parts competition.

This year’s Awards Gala will be held Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 at Burton Manor in Livonia, Mich., where winning part nominations (submitted by Sept. 10) and the teams that developed them will be honored during an evening that celebrates automotive plastics innovation.

Jeffrey Helms, global automotive director, Celanese Corp. who returns as the 2014 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards chair, says, "This is a time of both great challenge and great opportunity in the automotive industry. Automakers in all parts of the world are working very hard to reduce the weight and emissions, and increase the fuel efficiency of their vehicles to meet new legislative mandates for 2025, or to reduce the cost of ownership where regulations on fuel economy are secondary to market development. However, as they pursue these goals, they cannot afford to sacrifice durability, aesthetics, safety, or convenience, nor can they allow their component costs to increase more than the market will allow. The plastics and composites supply chains are uniquely positioned to help automakers achieve these goals by using the power of component integration, reduction in tooling investment, more efficient designs, and the weight and performance benefits of plastics in so many parts of the vehicle."

Current competition categories include:

  • Body Exterior
  • Body Interior
  • Chassis/Hardware
  • Electrical Systems
  • Environmental
  • Hall of Fame
  • Materials
  • Process/Assembly/Enabling
  • Technologies
  • Powertrain
  • Safety
  • Vehicle Engineering Team Award (VETA).

To win, teams must survive a pre- competition review and two rounds of presentations before industry and media judges. There is no cost to nominate parts or vehicles. However, nominations that are accepted into the competition need to be presented (in person or by webinar) by their nominating teams during the first round of Automotive Innovation Awards Competition judging, Oct. 2-3. Finalists from that round will advance to a second presentation before a panel of Blue Ribbon judges on Oct. 13.

Winners of each part category, the Vehicle Engineering Team Award (VETA) winner, as well as a Hall of Fame winner will be honored during the Automotive Innovation Awards Gala on November 12. This annual event typically draws 600-700 OEM engineers, automotive and plastics industry executives, and media. 

For more information about the SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Competition and Gala or to download nomination forms and rules for this year’s competition, visit speautomotive.com/inno or call +1 248-244-8993 extension 4.

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