SAE Heinz C. Prechter Award for Automotive Excellence

This award was established to encourage young entrepreneurs in the automotive industry by providing seed funds that would enable them to bring their ideas to fruition. Applicants will be judged on the basis of the creativity, ingenuity and practicality of the entrepreneurial idea and how it will positively impact the automotive industry. Evidence of the above will come from the application form and letters of recommendation from faculty advisors and industry contacts. Initially, the award applicants will be limited to graduate and undergraduate engineering students from Kettering University and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor who are participating in university "incubator" programs. An application can be completed by an individual or a group of individuals.

The Heinz C. Prechter Award for Automotive Excellence honors the work, life and memory of Heinz C. Prechter, founder of the American Sunroof Company (now ASC Incorporated). In 1965, Prechter spent $764 on tools, made a workbench from an old door covered in aluminum, and a sewing machine from a junkyard to start the American Sunroof Company. Today, ASC Incorporated is a successful global specialty vehicle and systems company. After Prechter's passing in 2001, General Motors Corporation donated the #2 Chevy SSR to the SAE Foundation to provide the seed funds to establish the award in honor of Heinz Prechter. Prechter's company, ASC Inc., developed the unique convertible roof for the SSR. It was the last vehicle project he worked on before his death. Learn more about Heinz Prechter.

This award, established in 2003, is administered by the Prechter Award Board under the auspices of the SAE Foundation Board of Trustees. The award consists of a framed certificate and an honorarium to be used as seed money toward the launch of the entrepreneurial idea. Recipient(s) will utilize facilities at either Kettering University or the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, if necessary, to further develop their entrepreneurial idea. Award recipients are also required to present their idea and status to the SAE Foundation Board of Trustees at one of their meetings held approximately six months after the award presentation.

Letter of Recommendation Form
Nomination Deadline: October 31

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