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General Motors honored for advanced high-strength steel innovation at 18th annual Great Designs in Steel seminar

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 07:00
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 The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), awarded its “Automotive Excellence Award” to General Motors for their advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) innovations in the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado. The award was presented today by Dr. Jody N. Hall, vice president, automotive market at SMDI during the 18th annual Great Designs in Steel (GDIS) seminar at Laurel Manor Convention Center.

Jeff Sulik, engineering group manager, and Joy Geeraerts, senior design release engineer, both of General Motors Company, received the award for their 2018 GDIS presentation: “Advanced High-Strength Steel Technologies in the 2019 Chevy Silverado.”

The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado’s body structure is composed of nearly 86 percent steel, including increased use of ultra high-strength steel (UHSS), advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) and high strength low alloy (HSLA) materials in the Silverado’s cab, bed and frame, which aided in its mass reduction.

“Automotive Excellence Award winners use advanced high-strength steel in applications to provide the best value for OEMs and consumers while also improving vehicle performance and sustainability,” said Jody Hall, vice president of the automotive market at SMDI. “With automakers shifting their vehicle mix to favor trucks, CUVs and SUVs, new steel grades are leading the way in innovation. The 2019 Silverado is a great example of the capability of these next generation steel grades.”

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The SMDI Automotive Excellence Award is presented each year at Great Designs in Steel. Individuals or teams from automakers, suppliers or the academic community who embrace innovation and make significant contributions to the advancement of steel in the automotive market are awarded for their innovation. Award winners are chosen from presenters at the previous year’s GDIS seminar. Candidates are rated in several categories, including: challenges and benefits associated with cost, mass reduction and performance; overall contribution to the advancement of steel; and implementation in production.
GDIS debuted in 2002 with 545 registrants and has grown in attendance and scope. Today’s edition of GDIS marked the seminar’s 18th year. More than 1,300 representatives of North American vehicle manufacturers, Tier 1 automotive suppliers, equipment suppliers, universities, steel companies and news outlets attended the seminar.  GDIS is produced by SMDI’s automotive investors, which include AK Steel Corporation, Algoma Steel, Inc., ArcelorMittal and Nucor Corporation. The keynote presentation for the 2019 edition of the event was delivered by Antonio Vittorini, director and global BOM leader, body structures at General Motors Company. GDIS 2019 also featured a moderated discussion featuring Kirk Reich, president and chief operating officer of AK Steel Corporation and Andrew Humphrey, host of Tech Time on WDIV in Detroit. Helping to support this year’s event are GDIS Gold Sponsors Gestamp and Shape Technologies Group.

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 120 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.

Steel Market Development Institute, a business unit of AISI, 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, Algoma Steel, Inc., ArcelorMittal and Nucor Corporation. For more information on SMDI, visit or follow @SMDISteel on Twitter.

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