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OU student Stephen Parker earns 2009 SAE award

Friday, July 9, 2010
OU student Stephen Parker earns 2009 SAE award
By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant

OU student Stephen Parker was honored this spring with the 2009 SAE Detroit Section Outstanding Younger Member Award.
Stephen Parker, co-president of Oakland University’s Society of Automotive Engineers was honored this spring with the 2009 SAE Detroit Section Outstanding Younger Member Award.

Established in 1976, the award recognizes younger members who have done an outstanding job in advancing the section’s contributions to the automotive arts and sciences. The SAE Detroit Section consists of students from some of the region’s top schools, including the University of Michigan, Lawrence Technological University and Wayne State University. With an estimated 12,000 members, it is the largest SAE section in the world.

“My selection was mostly based on the growth and change that was brought about over the past year to really improve the OU chapter,” Parker said. “We grew from nine members in 2009, to 27 in 2010, and we will hopefully continue to build on that in the future.”

Parker said the surge in numbers has helped boost the chapter’s diversity, with more students from non-engineering backgrounds joining its ranks.

“One of the keys to our development was bringing in some business-minded people to help keep the engineers in line,” said Parker, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering. “One great addition to our team has been Matt Parks, a finance major who serves as our treasurer.”

Parker was nominated for the award by Brian Sangeorzan, PhD., associate professor of mechanical engineering and faculty advisor for Oakland’s SAE chapter.

“Part of running the SAE chapter here at OU is team management,” Dr. Sangeorzan explained. “That’s not always easy when people are working full time and going to class. Stephen is really good at bringing people together and keeping them motivated and focused.”

Calling him a “great ambassador,” Dr. Sangeorzan said that Parker’s leadership and outreach efforts have helped raise awareness of OU SAE on and around campus.

“In the past, our connections to campus weren’t so strong,” Dr. Sangeorzan said. “Stephen has been very active working with the Center for Student Activities and Student Activities Funding Board establishing those connections.”

Dr. Sangeorzan added that Parker’s activities with the SAE Detroit Section office helped distinguish him as a worthy candidate for the coveted award.

“The people there already knew about him, so when they asked me what I thought of him for the award, it wasn’t a very hard sell.”

In early May, Parker attended a special ceremony, where he was presented with his award by SAE Detroit Section Chair Susan Collet.

“It really means a lot,” Parker said. “I didn’t even know I had been nominated and was completely blown away when I found out I won.”

For more information SAE at Oakland University, visit the website.