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7/2/2012 | 1 MINUTE READ

Plasan's Lownsdale to receive SPE achievement award

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Gary Lownsdale, chief technology office at Plasan Carbon Composites, has been named the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award winner by the Automotive Div. of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) and will be honored in November.


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The Automotive Div. of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE, Troy, Mich., USA) announced on June 30 that automotive composites pioneer Gary Lownsdale — currently chief technology officer, Plasan Carbon Composites (Bennington, Vt., USA) — has been named the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Lownsdale will be honored for his role leading automotive plastics and composites innovations at the 42nd-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala on Nov.7, 2012 at Burton Manor in Livonia, Mich.

First given in 2000, the Lifetime Achievement award recognizes the technical achievements of individuals whose work in research, design, and engineering has led to significant integration of polymeric materials on passenger vehicles. 

Lownsdale has had a career-long interest in plastics and composites and has made significant contributions to the field in the last four-and-a-half decades, including work at Chrysler, Ford, Schlegel, GE Plastics (now SABIC Innovative Plastics), Hercules Aerospace, Trans2, Mastercraft Boats and now Plasan Carbon Composites.

Since joining the company, Plasan has been awarded contracts to produce CFRP body panels for the 2008MY Corvette ZR1 and 2008MY Dodge Viper ACR supercars as well as numerous components on the recently introduced new-generation Viper sportscar. As North America’s largest automotive supplier of carbon composite body panels, the company has been able to drop the effective cycle time to produce these parts from 90 minutes to 17 minutes under Lownsdale’s leadership. Additionally, Plasan has co-developed a new patent-pending out-of-autoclave molding process and pressure press with partner, Globe Machine Manufacturing Co. For the first time, this work allows carbon composites to be produced fast enough for use on medium-volume production vehicles. Lownsdale, who became vice- president-Technology and is now chief technology officer has also established new R&D centers in Bennington, Vt. and Wixom, Mich.

On Nov. 7, Lownsdale will be honored for his significant contributions to automotive composites and plastics at this year’s SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Gala. starting with the VIP Cocktail Reception at 4:30 p.m., sponsored by Ticona Engineering Polymers. At 5:00 p.m. the main exhibit area will open for general admission and guests can review this year’s Automotive Innovation Awards part nominations. Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the awards program itself will last from 7:00-9:00 p.m. 

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 and speautomotive.com/awa, or call +1 248-244-8993.