SAE Franz F. Pischinger Powertrain Innovation Award Goes to Tom Stephens
FEV North America, Inc. sponsored award recognizes Stephens for breakthrough powertrain development and analysis, commitment to development of GMs hybrid vehicle development
Detroit, April 24, 2015 – The FEV Group (FEV), a leading developer of advanced powertrain and vehicle technologies, announced today that the seventh annual SAE Franz F. Pischinger Powertrain Innovation Award was presented to Tom Stephens, Vice Chairman and Chief Technical Officer (retired), General Motors Corp. Prof. Stefan Pischinger, president and CEO of the FEV Group, and son of founder and award namesake Prof. Franz F. Pischinger, presented the award, which was established in 2008 and is sponsored by FEV. The award was presented at the annual SAE awards ceremony held in conjunction with the 2015 World Congress at Cobo Center in Detroit.
“It was truly an honor to present this award to Mr. Stephens,” said Prof. Pischinger. “His leadership and technical knowledge helped GM build a global reputation for engine excellence and innovation. His contributions to the development of hybrid powertrains will place him among the founders of this technology.”
During Stephens’ tenure in the auto industry, he worked in a number of engineering jobs with the Cadillac, Buick and Oldsmobile Divisions before taking over the new powertrain unit in 2001. He was the force behind the transformation of GM’s engines beginning with his leadership of the design, development, calibration and production of the first Cadillac Northstar V8 engine. Under his leadership, GM replaced all of their engines and transmissions in North America and replaced or significantly upgraded all of their engines globally.
He was a tireless advocate for improved technologies for fuel economy and performance, introducing many technologies that are commonplace in today’s powertrain. He also championed the use of analysis in product design, and revamped GM's global development operating structure and process.
A strong supporter of hybrid development, under Stephens, GM developed and produced the first two-mode hybrid bus, followed by a two-mode system for large SUV's and Trucks, a co-development project initiated by Stephens with BMW and DaimlerChrysler. He also drove the development of the mild hybrid belt-alternator-starter (BAS) system, which debuted in 2007. In 2010, GM launched the much heralded Chevrolet Volt, a car and powertrain developed under Stephens' leadership.
Stephens retired as Vice Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of General Motors in
2012 after a 43-year career, much of which was spent in the powertrain area. As Vice
Chairman and CTO, Stephens' role was to anticipate and develop advanced technologies
for integration into GM vehicles. He was a member of the executive committee and a direct report to the CEO. Prior to this assignment, Stephens served as vice chairman of Global Product Operations.
Mr. Stephens rose through successive leadership positions within the GM Powertrain
organization and its predecessors. He started as a University of Michigan co-op student at Chevrolet.
About the Award
The Franz F. Pischinger Powertrain Innovation Award was established in 2008 by FEV to recognize exceptional innovation and competence in powertrain design and development through the annual recognition of an engineer who has demonstrated outstanding innovation in the field throughout their career. The nominee must be a degreed engineer, employed or retired, who holds or has applied for a patent(s).
About FEV North America, Inc.
The FEV Group is an internationally recognized powertrain and vehicle engineering company that supplies the global transportation industry. FEV offers a complete range of engineering services, providing support across the globe to customers in the design, analysis, prototyping, powertrain and transmission development, as well as vehicle integration, calibration and homologation for advanced internal combustion gasoline-, diesel-, and alternative-fueled powertrains. FEV also designs, develops and prototypes advanced vehicle / powertrain electronic control systems and hybrid-electric engine concepts that address future emission and fuel economy standards. The FEV Test Systems division is a global supplier of advanced test cell, instrumentation and test equipment. The FEV Group employs a staff of over 3,800 highly skilled specialists at advanced technical centers on three continents. FEV North America, Inc. employs approximately 450 personnel at FEV’s North American Technical Center in Auburn Hills, MI.