About Us

SAE Foundation Trustees

This team develops the relationships and raises the funds to support SAE’s STEM education programs, scholarships and awards.

    • Daniel Basch

      Engineering Supervisor,

      Parker Hannifin Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division

      Daniel Basch X

      Daniel Basch

      Daniel Basch is an Engineering Supervisor for Parker Hannifin in the Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division. Parker Hannifin is a $13 billion, global organization that serves as the world’s leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems and provides precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial, and aerospace markets.

      Mr. Basch has been with Parker Hannifin since 2006, first serving as System Engineer Sr., and assuming positions within the company such as Technology Team Leader, and his current position of Engineering Supervisor. He is responsible for an engineering team that is leading the way in new product development within Parker Hannifin, being immersed in every step of the process, from the launch of the project to detail design, qualification testing, and all the way until the product hits the market.

      Mr. Basch also serves Parker Hannifin by developing and implementing design standards and other internal technical processes.

      Starting in 1997, Mr. Basch joined SAE International as a student member and in 2002 as a professional member. Since that time, he served on the SAE Board of Directors, Technical Standards Board, as an SAE A-5A technical committee member, and was involved with the SAE Membership Board as a member and co-chair. In 2002, he was the recipient of the first SAE International Rumbaugh Outstanding Student Leader Award.

      Mr. Basch graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and continued on to become a Certified Project Management Professional through the Project Management Institute. He was elected to the SAE Foundation Board of Trustees in 2016.

      • Alison Bazil

        Manager of Global Learning and Development
        Ford Motor Company

        Alison Bazil X

        Alison Bazil

        Alison Bazil has been with Ford Motor Company for 25 years.  Currently, Ms. Bazil is the Manager of Global Learning and Development for Product Development and Quality.  In this role, she is responsible for the performance growth of the PD and Quality workforce including strategy, technology, funding and learning solution creation.  In addition to learning and development, Ms. Bazil is also a lead advisor for Ford’s recently established STEM Initiative.  She is working with Ford’s STEM Manager to establish strategy and oversee funding decisions to reinforce the STEM pipeline.

        Before joining the Learning and Development organization in September of 2013, Ms. Bazil spent most of her career in chassis working in brakes, steering and suspension.  In her most recent chassis role she led the redesign of the suspension system for the 2013 Ford Fusion/MXZ/Mondeo.  In addition to chassis, Ms. Bazil has experience in testing, program management and vehicle engineering.

        Ms. Bazil is also very active in the recruitment and retention of women at Ford.  She is the lead recruiter for the Society of Women Engineer (SWE) recruiting team and a leader of the Women in Product Development employee resource group.  She is active in the SWE-Detroit professional section and has been a national officer of the Society.

        Ms. Bazil earned her BSME and an MSME from the University of Michigan.

        • Frederick M. Cartwright


          Prūv Mobility Ecosystem

          Frederick M. Cartwright X

          Frederick M. Cartwright

          Frederick (Fred) Cartwright, Jr., spent 32 years as an executive at General Motors, five years as Executive Director of the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), and is now the President of Prūv Mobility Ecosystem. Prūv is creating connected and autonomous technology testing facilities in Indiana (USA). Prūv Mobility, based in Columbus, Ind., formed an alliance late last year with the Purdue Research Foundation to develop a state-of-the-art research facility and a smart city proving grounds for CAVs and related technologies. The facility will be adjacent to Purdue University’s main campus in West Lafayette, Ind. Prūv is also working on other alliances that include the aviation, construction and agriculture industries.

          Mr. Cartwright is originally from Indiana, having graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, with a degree in mechanical engineering. He also holds an MBA from Butler University in Indianapolis. He was elected to the SAE Foundation Board of Trustees in 2014. He has supported numerous activities to encourage and educate our youth about science, technology, engineering and math.


          • Judy Curran


            Systems and Technology Strategy & Planning

            Ford Motor Company

            Judy Curran X

            Judy Curran

            Judy Curran is Director, Systems and Technology Strategy & Planning. In this role, she has global responsibility for strategy, tactics and cycle plan timing for significant cross-vehicle components and systems related to Connectivity, Infotainment, AV/DAT, and Interior/Exterior/Chassis functions.

             In her previous role as vehicle line director, Curran oversaw production and program management for Ford’s Fusion, Edge, Galaxy, SMax and Taurus. Curran has held a number of senior positions in Product Development, including several years as vice president of engineering for Automotive Components Holdings, a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company.

             Curran joined Ford Motor Company in 1986 as a powertrain engineer after beginning her career as a turbine engine controls engineer at United Technologies in Hartford, Conn.  In 2010, Curran was named one of the 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry by Automotive News. She serves as Ford’s partnership champion for Lawrence Technological University and is a member of the LTU Engineering Board.  

             Curran holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Lawrence Technological University and received her master’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan. In her personal time, she enjoys tennis, golf and downhill skiing. She and her husband Patrick have three children.


            • Lori Gatmaitan

              SAE Foundation

              Lori Gatmaitan X

              Lori Gatmaitan

              • Mark Johnson

                Operational Excellence Champion

                General Motors

                Mark Johnson X

                Mark Johnson

                MARK A. JOHNSON, P.E. is currently the Operational Excellence Champion for General Motors Global Product Integrity organization, where he leads the deployment of structured problem-solving tools, methods and teams to improve product development operations and results. 

                Johnson’s involvement with the SAE Foundation has been both broad and deep, setting fundraising records in support of SAE’s award-winning science, technology, engineering and math education programs through a deep economic crisis. Johnson is a past-chair of the Board of Trustees of the SAE Foundation. Over his years of SAE membership, Johnson has also served as a member of SAE’s Board of Directors as well as the Finance Committee, Bylaws Committee, Education Board, Sections Board, and Motor Vehicle Council.  He is also a past-chair of the Mid-Michigan SAE Section. In 2015, Johnson received SAE Foundation’s Donald W. Ableson Award for Visionary Leadership. He serves as the key executive for GM’s SAE International activities.

                Johnson earned his MBA degree (cum laude) from the University of Michigan and his Bachelor of Science degree (cum laude) in Mechanical Engineering from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University).

                Johnson is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan.

                • David Knight

                  Global Director
                  T & U Engineering
                  John Deere

                  David Knight X

                  David Knight

                  Dave Knight is currently the Global Director, Turf & Utility Platform Engineering for John Deere. He has been in this position since 2011 and is responsible for Worldwide product development engineering activities for utility vehicles, riding lawn equipment, commercial mowing, golf, walk behind mowers and autonomous mowing. Dave began his career at John Deere in 1998 as Product Development Manager where he led engineering and portfolio strategy for Compact Utility tractors. He was assigned additional responsibility for Global Loader Engineering in 2010. His career started at Mack Trucks as a test engineer with subsequent assignments in reliability and design engineering. Dave then moved to Ford New Holland (now CNH) and worked in a variety of positions in engineering, marketing, and product development. Product lines included compact utility tractors, large row crop and 4WD tractors, and combine harvesters. Dave holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo (1983), became a Licensed Professional Engineer (1991), and recently completed The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth Global Leadership 2030 program (2013).

                  Dave is the Deere Functional Director for the relationship with Georgia Tech and has been a board member for Junior Achievement. He has been a member of SAE since 1983 and was elected to the SAE Foundation Board of Trustees in 2014. He has supported numerous activities to encourage and educate our youth about STEM.

                  • Robert Last

                    Principal Consultant

                    Last Consulting Group LLC

                    Robert Last X

                    Robert Last

                    Robert J. Last is a Principal Consultant with the Last Consulting Group LLC, a management consulting firm that provides advisory services customized to address strategy, communications, marketing and corporate culture needs, primarily to SMB clients. LCG LLC provides actionable solutions that can be quickly implemented to improve business performance with affordable fee structures.  Prior to forming LGC, Mr. Last was the Vice President of Communications, Marketing, & Compliance at FEV North America, Inc. with responsibility for FEV’s North American activities in the functional areas of marketing and PR, information technology, and quality.  Over nearly 30-years at FEV, Bob held positions in nearly every functional area of FEV’s organization, including both engineering and overhead functions, and was a significant contributor to the company’s growth from 3 employees in 1985 nearly 400 when he left the company.


                    Bob began his career as a project engineer, developing new alternative fuels concepts for methanol, ethanol, and biofuels and, over his career, received varied assignments, including leading management positions in operations, information technology, business development, marketing, communications, and human resources.  Mr. Last holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University (1985) and completed his MBA in Global Management in 2004.  Bob served for over 5 years in the U.S. Navy and is a Vietnam era veteran.


                    Mr. Last is a long-standing member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and volunteers his time to promote STEM education.  Bob was elected to the SAE Foundation Board of Trustees in 2014.



                    • Jim Lewis

                      Independent Consultant and 

                      Global Account Manager

                      AVL North America

                      Jim Lewis X

                      Jim Lewis

                      Jim Lewis has been an independent consultant and Global Account Manager for AVL North America since 2016.  Jim retired from General Motors as Executive Director, Engine Hardware Engineering in 2014 after a 38-year career there.   He began his GM career in manufacturing, holding various positions of leadership in operations at both engine and transmission plants.  He then moved to Manufacturing Engineering, where he was responsible for the design and build of new engine and transmission plants for GM globally.   He was part of the team that migrated powertrain manufacturing plants from dedicated facilities to lean agile flex CNC operations.  Following those assignments Jim moved to Product Engineering where he was responsible for global engine hardware engineering for General Motors.  Jim led a global team of engineers doing the advanced, execution, and current product support of all engine designs for GM worldwide, gas and diesel. 

                      Jim graduated with a bachelor’s Degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering University (then GMI), a master’s Degree in electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. 

                      Many people and organizations supported Jim early on in his STEM education, and he strives to continue this tradition and help other young people begin their STEM journey.

                      • Dan Nicholson, Chair

                        Vice President of Global Propulsion Systems

                        General Motors

                        Dan Nicholson, Chair X

                        Dan Nicholson, Chair

                        Dan Nicholson was appointed General Motors Vice President Global Propulsion Systems in December 2014.  Prior to that, Dan was the Executive Director for Global Powertrain Embedded Controls at GM. In that role Dan ran the day-to-day operations of the global engineering team responsible for all powertrain controllers and software as well all powertrain calibration.

                        Nicholson began his career with General Motors as a co-op student at Buick Motor Division in 1982. He has an extensive background in Product Engineering and subsequently progressed through a series of leadership positions including engineering group manager, director of controller integration, director of engine calibration, chief engineer for V8 engines, managing director of GM Powertrain-Germany GmbH where he led all powertrain operations for the country unit, and Vice President of Global Quality.

                        Nicholson earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University, and a master of business administration degree from Stanford University.

                        Nicholson is also the President of FISITA, and a director of the Engineering Society of Detroit. 

                        • Kousay Said

                          VP, NA Sales and Marketing, Leggett & Platt Automotive Group

                          Kousay Said X

                          Kousay Said

                          Kousay Said currently serves as the President and CEO of GreenMantra Technologies, a cleantech specialty chemical manufacturer. Prior to being named to this post, Kousay served as the Chief Commercial Officer of Sirrus, Inc., and as the Chief Executive Officer of ZeroBase Energy, LLC, both startups with a business model focusing on resource efficiency and advanced manufacturing.

                          During his 20-year career at The Dow Chemical Company, Kousay held several key positions including Managing Director of Dow Solar Solutions, VP of global Business Development at Dow Building Solutions, and Commercial VP NA at Dow Automotive Systems. Kousay studied mechanical engineering and holds an MBA from Oakland University. He was elected to the Foundation Board of Trustees in February 2016.

                          • Jeff Varick

                            Founder and President

                            Brandmotion, LLC

                            Jeff Varick X

                            Jeff Varick

                            Jeff Varick is founder and president of Brandmotion, LLC, a developer of highly integrated vehicle retrofit safety solutions for distribution through the automotive aftermarket.  Brandmotion distributes emerging OEM-based technology and OEM-quality vehicle accessory solutions through a North American network of over 2,500 distributors, restylers, vehicle fleets and 12-volt installers.

                            Brandmotion has been a leader in developing Connected Vehicle solutions for the aftermarket, to help bring advanced vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology to a greater number of cars and trucks on the roads through aftermarket channels of distribution.  The company is an inaugural member of the University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center (MCity), and is serving the Tampa CV Pilot as Vehicle Integrator, responsible for all sourcing, integration, installation and verification of the Tampa CV Pilot vehicles.

                            Brandmotion was named Manufacturer of the Year in 2015 by the SEMA PRO Council, the aftermarket association.  In 2016, Jeff was honored by the same group within SEMA as Person of the Year for his leadership in taking the aftermarket into the Connected Vehicle age.

                            Prior to forming Brandmotion, Jeff held a wide variety of product development, business development and marketing strategy leadership roles within the global automotive industry, including Director of New Product Strategy for Johnson Controls, new business development manager for GM International Operations in Zurich, Switzerland, and design engineer at GMs Design Studios in Warren Michigan.

                            Jeff received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.   

                            • Tim Whited

                              Director of Business Development for the Corrosion Solutions Group, 


                              Tim Whited X

                              Tim Whited

                              Mr. Tim Whited has spent his 40-year professional career focused in the field of corrosion control for assets owned and operated by the Oil & Gas Industry.  He began his career by developing his own corrosion control company which was ultimately sold. He is presently employed by MESA of Tulsa, OK and is Director of Business Development for the Corrosion Solutions group. His experience includes all-phases of the corrosion control services business, with a specialty of innovating new corrosion solutions and improving existing technologies. Many Oil & Gas operators in the U.S., Canada and the Middle East are valued customers. 

                              Mr. Whited has benefited significantly from a STEM focused education, holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Illinois State University. He has been a member of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) for most of his career. He is an inventor on four patents and has published over (10) NACE technical papers and articles.

                              Approximately 15-years ago, Tim began an exciting journey that continues today as a passionate collector of cars from various eras. His goal has always been to collect interesting cars of all ages, experience them for a period of time, then sell and find others of interest. This passion has enabled Tim to meet a wonderful assortment of car collector enthusiasts and travel the country for many events. A major highlight of this hobby has been the tremendous honor of having two cars accepted to be shown and judged in the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2007 & 2009. Car collecting is also responsible for leading Tim to the SAE Foundation as result of the incredible experience related to the purchase of a car at the Barrett-Jackson auction in 2013 where all proceeds went to the SAE Foundation.

                              Tim resides in the mountains west of Boulder, CO and has a vacation home on Galveston Island, TX.

                              • Kent Wichelt


                                Sears Manufacturing Company

                                Kent Wichelt X

                                Kent Wichelt

                                Kent grew up on a family farm in Nebraska and he graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.   

                                From 1988 to 1993, Kent was with Ford New Holland in Detroit Michigan and New Holland Pennsylvania as a Senior Project Engineer responsible for cab, seats, controls, and interior trim. Since 1993, Kent has been with Sears Manufacturing Company holding positions of Chief Engineer, Director of Off Road Engineering, and Vice President of Off Road Engineering in Davenport, Iowa.   In August of 2000, Kent and his family lived in the United Kingdom for three years serving as Managing Director at Sears Europe in Wales. 

                                Upon his return in 2003, Kent served Sears Manufacturing Company as President - Off Road Division and Managing Director- Sears Europe.  In July, 2008, Kent became President of Sears Manufacturing Company.  Kent serves on the Board of Directors for Sears Europe and for Sears – GSK Asia. Kent is a member of ASAE (American Society of Agricultural Engineers), SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and AEM (Association of Equipment Manufacturers).

                                Kent is happily married and has three children.

                                • Adam Zemke

                                  Michigan State House of Representatives

                                  55th House District

                                  Adam Zemke X

                                  Adam Zemke

                                  Adam Zemke is a member of the Michigan House of Representatives, beginning service to the 55th House District in January 2013, which includes the northern part of the city of Ann Arbor, a portion of the city of Milan, and the townships of Ann Arbor, Augusta, Pittsfield, and York.

                                  Before serving in the Legislature, Zemke worked as an engineer in the aerospace, defense and automotive fields. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of Engineering at Michigan State University. He has served on the Dexter Township Public Safety Advisory Committee, the city of Ann Arbor’s Housing and Human Services Advisory Board and the Washtenaw County Community Action Board. Zemke first became active with the SAE International while in college, where he led the Michigan State Formula SAE team. Following the completion of his degrees, he continued to remain active with the Formula SAE program, serving as a member of the organizing committee and presentation event captain for the Michigan competition to this day.

                                   A fifth-generation Washtenaw County resident, Zemke graduated from Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor and lived in the community his entire life.


                                Subscribe to our newsletter


                                Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube