SME Honors Loyal Member with the 2011 Award of Merit

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) announced today that it is recognizing Robert V. Petrach Jr., CMfgE, with the 2011 Award of Merit, for the contributions he has made to the his local chapter, affiliated chapters and the Society overall.

Petrach, an injection molding manager at Safety Technology International in Waterford, Mich., was nominated for this recognition by members of SME’s Oakland-Macomb No. 69 chapter for his dedication and great enthusiasm for manufacturing engineering. The Award of Merit is bestowed on outstanding SME members who, in the judgment of the International Awards & Recognition Committee, have made valued, balanced contributions to the Society's professional activities and growth.

“Bob does an excellent job of cultivating membership in the chapter as well as encouraging new members to become more active through board leadership positions,” said John Agapiou, PhD, FSME, chapter chair and staff research engineer for General Motors. “He is a very effective mentor and does a great job promoting the benefits of SME membership.”

Petrach’s role as a mentor was reinforced by the letters of support received from current and former students.

John Dinovski, CMfgE, American Axle & Manufacturing, was a student at Oakland University when he first met Petrach. “As one of the first certified manufacturing engineers (CMfgE) in our chapter, Bob encouraged us to pursue certification. Years later, when I was responsible for certification, he was a person I could always depend on to help teach the review classes and get new ideas on how to structure the class.”

Petrach has been an SME member since 1994 and has been active in Chapter 69 since becoming interested in certification. He has served as chapter chair twice, has been the chapter's membership chair and programs chair, and has taught certification review classes on many occasions. Petrach is the former chair of SME’s Plastics, Composites & Coatings Community. He has held a variety of manufacturing and engineering positions at General Motors Corp. and Delphi Corp. over a 38-year career.

In recognition of Petrach’s experience and interest in plastics, composites and coatings, he has chosen to receive the award at SME’s Composites Manufacturing 2011 in Dayton, Ohio, in April. The conference is designed to provide cutting-edge knowledge on composite applications, processes and best practices, and will connect manufacturing engineers and management from the world's dominating industries: aerospace, medical, wind energy, transportation, recreational, consumer products and green manufacturing.

Nominations for the 2012 Award of Merit are due August 1, 2011, and forms are available at

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