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Leader in vehicle lightweighting honored with recent alumni award

A mechanical engineering alumna is recognized for her efforts to integrate emerging technologies into vehicles.| Short Read
EnlargeKatherine Avery Vozar
IMAGE:  Katherine Avery Vozar

Katherine Avery Vozar, the technology integration lead at Ford Motor Company, has received Michigan Engineering’s 2018 Outstanding Recent Alumni Award.

The annual award, among the highest accolades given by the Michigan Engineering Alumni Board, honors alumni who have contributed substantially to their field, and either graduated within the past ten years or are no more than 35 years old.

Vozar earned a master of science in 2011 and PhD in 2016 in mechanical engineering from U-M.

At Ford, she works to integrate emerging technologies into future vehicles. She is honored for technical contributions to fatigue materials research and its applications, as well as her leadership in engineering education and outreach. In the Ford Materials and Manufacturing Research department, Vozar implemented simulation tools for advanced lightweight materials, and developed two pending patents for rivet geometry and 3D printed carbon fiber inserts, resulting in $1 million in savings for the company.

She also developed a two-part workshop to introduce Detroit high school students to engineering concepts involving autonomous vehicles, connected infrastructure and the interaction between the two. The workshop, “Exploring Autonomous Vehicles in a Connected Infrastructure” was designed to inspire and inform students about engineering as a potential career.

“She continually strives to better the lives of those around her, and is highly recommended for this award,” said Cynthia Flanigan, global manager of materials and manufacturing at Ford Motor Company, who nominated Vozar.

She continually strives to better the lives of those around her, and is highly recommended for this award.Cynthia Flanigan, global manager of materials and manufacturing at Ford Motor Company

Vozar co-authored 22 technical publications and received multiple technical awards, including U-M Mechanical Engineering’s Robert M. Caddell Memorial Award for Research. Since 2013, she has held positions of responsibility for key organizations, including: Chair of the Recent Alumni Subcommittee & Member of the Michigan Engineering Alumni Board, Director of the University of Michigan Graduate Society of Women Engineers, and President of the U-M Mechanical Engineering Graduate Council. She is founder of The Trending Up Foundation, working to raise awareness and accessibility of STEM careers for historically-excluded groups.

The Michigan Engineering Alumni Board (MEAB) serves the college and its 80,000 alumni by offering knowledge, hands-on service, network connections, passion and resources in the pursuit of the College of Engineering’s vision and mission.

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