SPE® Announces Call for Nominations for Competition & Gala

The Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®) has announced a Call for Nominations for its 50th annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala, the oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries, and due dates for the event’s annual Parts Competition.

This year’s Awards Gala will be held Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, at the Burton Manor in Livonia, Michigan. Winning part nominations in 10 different categories and the teams that developed them will be honored with a Most Innovative Use of Plastics award. A Grand Award will be presented to the winning team from all category award winners.

To further commemorate “50 Years of Plastics Innovation,” the Innovation Awards Gala planning committee is working on special events to celebrate. One of the events will be a special Hall of Fame (HOF) Award honoring the top 5 most innovative HOF winners since the category was established in 1983.

Instead of picking a single Hall of Fame Winner for 2020, the HOF committee will determine the top 10 from the previous 38 winners – from 1983 to 2019. Then, the HOF committee will select the top five to be honored with special recognition at the event. The criteria for a HOF award is that the nomination be in use for at least 15 years and be game changing; very successful worldwide; innovative in materials, process and application, and still being used. The HOF committee consists of engineers, managers, executives, technical experts, SPE Fellows, SPE Honored Service Members and automotive industry technical experts having served at least 30 years in the industry.

Nominations, due by Sept. 15, 2020, must be submitted online via www.speautomotive.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/2020-SPE-Innovation-Awards-Program-Part-Nomination-Form-V1.pdf.

“This year’s event will celebrate a half century of automotive advancements enabled by innovative plastics technologies,” said Jeffrey Helms, global automotive director at Celanese Corp., who returns as the 2020 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards chair. “As this year is our awards program golden anniversary, we selected ‘50 Years of Plastics Innovation’ as our 2020 program theme. In addition to honoring innovation via awards in the different part categories as usual, we will also celebrate our 50th anniversary honoring key innovations in automotive plastics and the many benefits plastics have enabled over the years.”

During the competition phase of the event, dozens of teams made up of OEMs and suppliers work for months to hone submission forms and presentations describing their part, system or complete vehicle module to support claims that it is the year’s “Most Innovative Use of Plastics.” To win, teams must survive a pre-competition review and two rounds of presentations before industry and media judges.

There is no cost to nominate parts; however, nominations that are accepted into the competition need to be presented (in person or via webinar) by their nominating teams during the first round of Automotive Innovation Awards Competition judging, Sept. 24-25, 2020, in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Finalists from that round advance to a second presentation before a panel of judges made up of media, retired chief engineers and other industry experts on Oct. 2, 2020 (also in Auburn Hills, Michigan).

Winners of each part category, the Grand Award, Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement winner will be honored during the Automotive Innovation Awards Gala on Nov. 19, 2020. This annual event currently draws more than 800 OEM engineers, automotive and plastics industry executives, and media. Funds raised from the event are used to support SPE educational programs, including technical seminars and conferences, which help educate and secure the role of plastics in the advancement of the automobile.

Current competition categories include:

  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Aftermarket & Limited Edition/Specialty Vehicles
  • Body Exterior
  • Body Interior
  • Chassis/Hardware
  • Environmental
  • Hall of Fame
  • Materials
  • Process, Assembly & Enabling Technologies
  • Powertrain
  • Safety

For more information about the SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Competition and Gala, visit www.speautomotive.com. For more information on the Society of Plastics Engineers, visit www.4spe.org.