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SPE Research/Engineering Technology Award Nicely Goes To...

Suresh Shah awarded for his contributions to automotive plastics and composites developments.


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Having served on the SPE Automotive Division board of directors in many roles in the last 23 years, Suresh Shah is the 2015 recipient of the prestigious SPE International’s Research/Engineering Technology Award. Shah was honored for his longstanding contributions to automotive plastics and composites developments at companies like General Motors and Delphi Corp. The prize, which included an engraved plaque and a $2500 honorarium, recognizes outstanding achievements in the fields of plastic research and/or engineering technology and is one of the highest honors to an individual bestowed by SPE.


Throughout his distinguished automotive plastics career, Shah has worked in advanced processes such as gas-assist injection molding, co-injection molding, microcellular molding, hybrid plastic/metal molding, and direct inline-compounded long-fiber thermoplastic (D-LFT) composites. His other work has included materials development involving natural fiber composites, nanocomposites, D-LFT composites, and TPOs and TPEs.


Shah has authored over 70 publications, two of which have won SPE Best Paper Awards at the society’s ANTEC conference, and he holds 44 intellectual properties—27 U.S. patents, 10 defensive publications, and seven trade secrets. In addition, he was inducted as a Gold Level Hall of Fame Innovation Award winner at Delphi for his technical contributions and 40+ intellectual properties in December 2014. He led the development of the SuperPlug door hardware module in 1991—introducing gas-assist injection molding to GM.  For this technology, which has been translated to more than 30-million vehicles worldwide since 1993, Shah received SPE’s Automotive Division’s 2011 Hall of Fame award, and a host of international awards.


In 2009, Shah was named Scientist of the Year by the Engineering Society of Detroit and its 77 affiliate councils, and also received tributes from the governor of Michigan and the mayor of Troy, Mich. In 2003, he received the SPE Honored Service Member award for his contributions to the SPE Automotive Div. Two years earlier, he was inducted as a Technical Fellow in SPE and a year before that he was inducted into Delphi Automotive Systems’ Innovation Hall of Fame—again for his technical contributions to the company.


In 2000, his work on TPO skin formulations for GM’s Pontiac Bonneville sedan won the SPE Automotive Div.’s Interior Product innovation award. In both 1996 and 1998, Shah was nominated for the Boss Kettering award at GM for his efforts bringing innovation into production that has significant impact on corporate profit. And in 1997 he was given GM’s Presidential Council Honors Award.


Other technologies he worked on that won awards include the SPE Automotive Div.’s Body Interior category for the NUMMI (New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc.) assist grip handle in 1991, and SPI’s Award of Excellence for a composite window guidance channel in 1990.