09/15/2010

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Allan Murray to be honoured with SPE Lifetime Achievement Award

Murray will be honoured at the 40th annual SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Gala on 9 November 20109 in Livonia, MI, USA. The award recognises the technical achievements of automotive industry executives whose work has led to significant integration of polymeric materials on vehicles.First given in the year 2000, past winners of the SPE Lifetime Achievement Award include:J.T. Battenberg III, former chairman and chief-executive officer of Delphi;Bernard Robertson, then executive vice-president of DaimlerChrysler;Robert Schaad, chairman of Husky;Tom Moore, retired vice-president, Liberty and Technical Affairs at then DaimlerChrysler;Shigeki Suzuki, general manager - Materials Division, Toyota Motor Company;Barbara A. Sanders, retired director - Advanced Development & Engineering Processes at Delphi Thermal Systems;Josh Madden, retired General Motors Corp. & Volkswagen of America;Frank Macher, former CEO of Collins & Aikman Corp., Federal Mogul Corp., and ITT Automotive, and who also spent 30 years at Ford Motor Co.; andIrv Poston, retired head of Plastics (Composites) Development-Technical Center, General Motors Corp.When Dr. Allan Murray retired from Ford in 2001, he was the automaker's technology director for the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), a government-industry initiative established to develop technology for affordable, fuel-efficient vehicles. In this position, which he held for about five years, he led teams of government and industry researchers who were working on a wide range of technologies, including advanced vehicle construction, powertrains, fuel cells, batteries, and power electronics. Prior to this, Murray was manager-Technology Strategy for Ford's Plastic & Trim Products Division (PTPD), where he was responsible for identifying multi-million dollar efficiencies for the organization's major products and manufacturing processes by benchmarking its manufacturing and engineering practices against leading competitors. Before this, Murray was manager-Advanced Technology Office, PTPD, where he led an innovative 40-person technical center in the development of leading-edge automotive plastic and composite products, processes, and methodologies.In his previous position of manager-Exterior Systems R&D, Plastics Division, Murray applied plastics and composite technologies to achieve commercial success for bumpers, body panels, body structure, and vehicle lighting. It was in this position, starting in 1980, that Murray led the development of the first all-thermoplastic bumpers - from initial concept through production implementation - for Ford's Escort, Aerostar, and Taurus/Sable passenger vehicles. Bumper revenues exceeded USD 300 million annually and the application garnered two Body Exterior awards in SPE's Automotive Innovation Awards Competition. Murray also was instrumental in the development of the award-wining composite front-end structure on the 1996 Taurus sedan. Before holding this position, he was R&D department manager, Ford Vinyl Plant, where he oversaw development and production implementation of numerous new products and processes.Murray began his Ford career in 1970 as a senior research scientist in the Polymer Science Division of Ford Motor Research Staff where he initiated development of thermoplastic stamping with the Metal Stamping Division and Body Engineering. This development was continued by Murray at the newly formed Ford Plastics Development Center in 1972, leading to its implementation at the Ford Maumee Stamping Plant. The first automotive thermoplastic stamping process, it allowed parts such as fender liners to be produced far faster (10-second cycle times) than with compression molding or thermoforming, and to do so in thinner walls and at lower cost (30%) than the injection molded parts it replaced. Processing was done using matched metal dies mounted in metal "crank-type" stamping presses and the process remained in use for more than 20 years. In fact, the process was named the Grand Award winner in the SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Competition in 1976.During his Ford years, Murray was a frequent university recruiter for the automaker and he mentored numerous recent university-graduate employees, helping guide and develop their careers. He served as chairman and president of the non-profit Michigan Materials and Processes Institute (MMPI), which sponsored collaborative university-industry materials research. Under his leadership, MMPI successfully merged with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences.Dr. Murray holds a Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from Carnegie Mellon University, an MBA from Wayne State University, and a B.S. degree in Metallurgical Engineering from University of British Columbia. He is a long-time member of both SAE International and SPE. He holds two U.S. patents and he has written many technical papers for industry publication and chapters for handbooks, as well as given presentations at conferences worldwide.Since retiring from the automaker, Murray has kept busy as a judge for the Premier Automotive Supplier Award for Creative Excellence (PACE), an annual innovation awards competition presented to global automotive suppliers for outstanding innovative developments. He has also participated as a technical expert on several U.S. National Academy of Science (NAS) committees to determine the prospective benefits of advanced vehicle technologies, and also on an NAS committee to rank and select technology proposals for funding.Additionally, Murray has used his technical expertise as a consultant for Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) on commercialization of technologies for industrial applications. He also has consulted with several businesses on the development and marketing of advanced technologies. In fact, on behalf of one client, he coordinated a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) funding grant application with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), obtaining Phase I and Phase II SBIR funding, and ensuring the project was completed successfully.Currently, Murray is chief technology officer for Allied Composite Technologies LLC, a startup company developing and commercializing proprietary thermoplastic composites technologies for the automotive, alternative-energy, and building & construction industries.Allan Murray has a long history of service to SPE. He joined the international engineering society in 1972 and has been a member of the Automotive Division board since the mid-1970s where he has held numerous positions, including member or chair of various subcommittees, division treasurer, division chair, and national councilor. He was elected to the prestigious Director Emeritus position 10 years ago and was also named an Automotive Division Honored Service Member and a Detroit Section Iron Man. In fact, Murray was the first automotive engineer to be elected a Fellow of SPE.

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