Nominations are Now Being Accepted for the 2016 Altair Enlighten Award

Altair announced it is now accepting nominations for the fourth annual Altair Enlighten Award. The 2016 award program brings with it new categories allowing nominees to submit entries for lightweighting achievements in two distinct categories: full vehicles and modules. This change has been made to give full and proper recognition to both the vehicle manufacturers and the suppliers who help them to meet their increasingly aggressive weight targets, separately.

The 2016 Altair Enlighten Award will recognize achievements in weight reduction across the entire automotive industry, from motorcycles to passenger cars, light trucks to commercial vehicles and buses. Now entering its fourth year, the annual award will be presented in collaboration with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) at the 51st annual CAR Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan, August 1-4, 2016.

“After three years, the Enlighten award and the automotive lightweighting industry have outgrown the original, single award program,” stated Richard Yen, Vice President, Automotive at Altair. “Making the decision to add a second category to the award was the obvious and natural next step. The supplier base now contributes hugely to the vehicle lightweighting effort. It is therefore our pleasure to give suppliers of vehicle modules and systems their own, dedicated category and invite them to join the award and attract the recognition they deserve.”

The Enlighten Award gives companies involved in automotive design and manufacturing the chance to be recognized as a leader in the development of lightweight solutions. The 2015 award was won by Ford Motor Company for its use of various lightweight materials to minimize the weight of the 2015 Ford F-150. Ford’s engineers took a holistic approach to weight reduction by incorporating advanced materials into the entire design of the vehicle, including the frame, body, powertrain, battery, and interior features such as the seats. In addition to the grand prize, two runners-up were named in 2015.

General Motors was awarded first runner-up for developing and using innovative computer-aided engineering (CAE) methods to achieve a 163 pounds (74kg) weight reduction on the Alpha architecture of the 2012 Cadillac ATS/CTS. Faurecia, together with Automotive Performance Materials, took home the second runner-up award for its NAFILean (Natural Fibers for Lean Injection Design) solution. This innovation brought sustainable design to instrument panels, center consoles and door panels of the 2013 Peugeot 308 by integrating a natural, hemp-based fiber with polypropylene, which allows for complex shapes and architectures along with a weight savings of 20-25 percent.

“Over the past few years we’ve received dozens of terrific nominations demonstrating the determination of automakers and suppliers alike to meet the challenges of continued mass reduction.  As pressure continues to increase on the industry approaching the 2016-2018 mid-term review, we expect to see significant new innovations to be showcased in this year’s competition,” said Dr. Jay Baron, President & CEO at Center for Automotive Research. “We look forward to the 2016 nominations highlighting exciting new approaches to automotive engineering and design contributing to further reductions in weight, fuel consumption, and emissions for light-duty vehicles.”

Manufacturers and suppliers interested in submitting a nomination are able to access additional information about the nomination process on the Altair Enlighten website. To allow sharing of innovation to further this goal, while respecting the business and technical confidentiality of all applications, designs submitted must be implemented on a production vehicle produced between August 2013 and August 2016, with no geographical restrictions.

Applications for the 2016 Altair Enlighten Award must be received on or before Friday, May 20, 2016 to be eligible. Winners will be announced in August 2016. The judging panel will include industry experts and academic leaders, as well as CAR and Altair representatives.

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