SAE Foundation Recognizes Longtime Leadership of Roger Penske

For more than 100 years, SAE International has worked to advance the mobility industry, shaping the future of engineers in the automotive, aerospace and commercial vehicle space. This vision can only be achieved with the help of dedicated industry leaders committed to nurturing the next generation of the engineering workforce.

That’s where SAE Foundation comes in—engaging visionary leaders to fulfill the mission of increasing student achievement and participation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to build a STEM-fluent workforce. Through SAE’s education programs, including A World In Motion (AWIM) and the Collegiate Design Series, SAE Foundation engages students from pre-K through 8th grade and at the university level in STEM and STEM-related curricula, activities and competitions, cultivating a lifelong interest in engineering careers.

This year, the SAE Foundation Annual Celebration recognized longtime automotive industry icon Roger Penske with the prestigious Industry Leadership Award. Roger was chosen for his guiding impact in the automotive and transportation industry, as well as for his philanthropic support and key role in the renaissance and revitalization of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan.

As chairman of Penske Corporation, a $30 billion global transportation services company that includes Penske Automotive Group, Penske Truck Leasing and Team Penske, Roger Penske is widely revered throughout the mobility industry. With his personal and professional focus on the values of integrity, ethics and transparency, Penske has spent decades leading the automotive industry through evolutionary transformations—all with a deep appreciation for the 64,000 people who work with him.

But his commitment to the industry extends far beyond his namesake corporation and well into the heart of the Detroit community—a community that needed a strong role model to help ignite, invigorate and inspire the next generation of leaders to rise out of the ashes. His ongoing commitment to STEM education demonstrates his dedication to the continued growth and advancement of the automotive industry—both in Detroit and beyond.

“The young people of the community represent our future,” he says. “The investments we make in STEM education will help to ensure that our city, state and important industries will have the human capital resources they need both now and in the future.”

During the event, in an interview with John McElroy from Penske reiterated the importance of STEM education and emphasized the need for leaders of corporations all across the country to adopt schools, encourage students to pursue STEM-related careers, offer internships and apprenticeships and truly nurture the next generation of technicians and engineers by sharing their expertise and offering opportunities to students from a young age.

It’s this exemplary commitment to the future of the engineering technical and skilled workforce that made Penske a standout selection for SAE Foundation’s most prestigious honor.

“Roger was a natural choice for our Industry Leadership Award,” says Lori Gatmaitan, director of the SAE Foundation. “His passion and commitment for youth and STEM education mirrors our commitment to provide a solution for student engagement, participation and achievement in STEM. SAE’s STEM graduates have the solid foundation to perform tomorrow’s technical jobs for companies like Penske Corporation.”

The SAE Foundation Industry Leadership Award recognizes individuals who have made meaningful contributions to the mobility industry. Nominees must have achieved the following: a significant level of success in their STEM careers; demonstrated innovation and risk taking; established a new direction or developed a position which challenged their industry; and made contributions outside of their industry, exemplified through community education, philanthropic or government activities.

The SAE Foundation Annual Celebration was held on May 14, 2019, at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit, Michigan. In addition to honoring Penske with the Industry Leadership Award, the Foundation also celebrated and paid tribute to the career accomplishments and philanthropic spirit of the men and women who inspire the next generation of innovators. Karen Healy received the Donald W. Ableson Award for Visionary Leadership for her significant contributions to advance the mission of the SAE Foundation; BorgWarner was recognized with the AVL-sponsored Gordon Millar Award for their outstanding global philanthropic support; and Rohit Jigjinni, of Faurecia, and Bredan Chan, of Navistar, received the DENSO-sponsored Young Industry Leadership Award.

For more information visit SAE Foundation.

Watch the Autoline interview with Roger Penske

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