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Presidents Message April 2010

Two more reasons to attend STLE
By David K. Scheetz

Presentations at our 2010 Annual Meeting focus on auto engine development and attracting young people to our industry.

Last month I had the good fortune of spending a pleasant evening with STLE’s Detroit Section for one of its monthly meetings. While Detroit is the site of STLE’s 2013 Annual Meeting, my visit there reminded me of two more excellent reasons to attend the 2010 Annual Meeting next month in Las Vegas. 

First I met Dan Kapp, a Ford Motor Co. executive who is delivering the annual meeting’s keynote address: “Ford’s Blueprint for Sustainability and the Role of EcoBoost Engines.”

If you are interested in the future of automobile manufacturing, this session is designed for you. Dan is director of Ford Powertrain Research & Advanced Engineering and has spent his entire career in the area of engine and powertrain product development. 

From the late 1980s through the mid-90s, Dan was involved in the design and development of the modular V8 and V6 engines as Ford revamped its engine lineup to modern overhead cam designs.  He was the program manager of the Triton V8 truck engines and then spent three years in the Truck Vehicle Center as the powertrain systems manager for full-sized trucks and SUVs. 

In 2001 Dan was named director of Core and Advanced Powertrain Engineering, and a year later he became executive director for Powertrain Operations. In his present assignment, he led the product development for all engines and transmissions in North America during which time Ford transformed its lineup of automatic transmissions and most recently launched the all-new D35 V6 engine.

In late 2006 Dan led a team in the development of advanced powertrain technologies such as EcoBoost.  How this technology was developed and its future is the subject of what promises to be a fascinating talk.
In Detroit we had a chance to catch up with Dr. Ed Becker, a GM technical specialist and STLE past president whose wife, Dr. Jean Becker, also is making a presentation at the 2010 Annual Meeting. While her discussion is intended for local section leaders, all annual meeting attendees are welcome to attend.

Jean’s topic this year, “Passing the Torch,” addresses the important subject of the vocational wants and needs of different generations.  I think all of us would agree that if STLE is to continue prospering, we need to attract young people to our society and get them involved.
Different-aged cohorts work for different reasons, and Jean will explain why getting them to work for or with you is easier if you understand their varying points of view. A growing body of research exists that can help you understand the likes and dislikes of each group—and what each wants from an organization and work. 

Jean’s 2010 program is an update of her successful “What’s Age Got To Do With It?” presentation of a couple of years ago. This edition has an increased emphasis on Generation Yers (sometimes called Millenials), the group born from the late 1970s on who are now entering the workforce in large numbers.  Like every generation, they differ in important ways from Generation Xers, the generation that came before them.

Jean describes the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Generation Yers and provides insights into the influences that shaped each generation with special emphasis on how this impacts STLE local sections.  If you’re active in your local group or looking to add young talent to your organization, this is a session you’ll definitely want to add to your Vegas itinerary.

Looking forward to seeing you there.
Dave Scheetz, CLS, is an equipment builder engineer for ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties.  You can reach him at david.k.scheetz@exxonmobil.com 

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