News Releases

SMDI Honors Champions Of Steel At North American International Auto Show
Awards honor champions for their innovative use of advanced high-strength steel for environmental sustainability

DETROIT, Jan. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- During a press briefing at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit today, the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) presented the annual "Men and Women of Steel" awards to two distinguished honorees who are champions of the use of advanced high-strength steel (AHSS). SMDI is a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

The Industry Innovator Award was presented to Mike Sweers, chief engineer for the Toyota Tundra and Tacoma vehicle programs and the vice president of engineering design – interior at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. The award acknowledges automotive designers or engineers who showcase extensive innovation in their use of AHSS. Toyota, through its Environmental Challenge 2050, is committed to reduce vehicle CO₂ emissions by 90 percent in comparison to 2010. This commitment, together with extensive use of AHSS makes Toyota a leader in lowering CO2 emissions.

The Community Hero Award recognizes individuals and organizations whose work using steel impacts the quality of life of the community. The 2016 recipient, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Vehicle Technologies, supports research, development and deployment of efficient and sustainable highway transportation technologies to improve fuel economy and minimize petroleum use. These technologies, which include plug-in electric vehicles, batteries, electric drive technologies, advanced combustion engines, lightweight materials, and alternative fuels, will increase Americans' energy security, lower costs and reduce environmental impacts.

"The work of these organizations proves how critical it is to ensure we are looking at the total environmental footprint of the vehicles we put on the road – from material choice to disposal," said Dr. Jody Hall, vice president -- automotive market for SMDI. "Our award recipients are leaders who recognize the environmental impact during material production and are working to reduce those emissions to ensure a cleaner environment for generations to come."

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. 

SMDI increases and defends the use of steel by developing innovative materials, applications and value-added solutions for customers in the automotive, construction and packaging markets. SMDI automotive investors include: AK Steel Corporation, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, ArcelorMittal USA and Nucor Corporation. For more information on SMDI, visit or follow @DriveUsingSteel on Twitter.

SOURCE Steel Market Development Institute

For further information: DEANNA LORINCZ, 586.634.1766 /, JENNIFER GREENFELDER, 586.823.7145 /