SPE® Announces 42nd-Annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala

The Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®) today announced the date, location, and theme for its 42nd-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala, the oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries. This year’s event will be held Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at Burton Manor in Livonia, Michigan.

Jeffrey Helms, global automotive director, Ticona Engineering Polymers, who returns as the 2012 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards chair said, “With automakers facing tougher emissions and fuel-economy standards in nearly every geography, and vehicle lightweighting a key strategy for hitting those numbers, this year’s theme is Plastics Drive 54.5. Plastics and composites are the real lightweight materials and they can help transportation OEMs improve vehicle range – whether you’re driving a conventional internal combustion engine, a hybrid, or a plug-in electric vehicle. With polymers, you can also reduce costs, eliminate secondary operations, improve aesthetics, and better manage energy in a crash for better passenger safety. By drawing attention to how plastics can help automakers meet new U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations of 54.5 miles/gallon [1] required by the year 2025 as well as maintain other important benefits, we at the SPE Automotive Division hope to help drive higher plastics use in tomorrow’s passenger vehicles.”

SPE’s Automotive Innovation Awards Program is the oldest and largest competition of its kind in the world. Dozens of teams made up of OEMs, tier suppliers, and polymer producers submit nominations describing their part, system, or complete vehicle and why it merits the claim as the Year’s Most Innovative Use of Plastics. This annual event typically draws 600 to 800 OEM engineers, automotive and plastics industry executives, and media. As is customary, funds raised from this event are used to support SPE educational efforts and technical seminars, which help educate and secure the role of plastics in the advancement of the automobile.

The mission of SPE is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics worldwide and to educate industry, academia, and the public about these advances. SPE’s Automotive Division is active in educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments for all phases of plastics and plastic based-composite developments in the global transportation industry. Topic areas include applications, materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design, and development.

For more information, visit: www.speautomotive.com/inno

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