Alumna To Be Honored With Prestigious SAE Award

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Kettering University alumna Olivia Wanless (’20, EE) will be honored by the Society of Automotobie Engineers (SAE) International with the 2020 Rumbaugh Outstanding Student Leader Award.

Wanless, who works as a manufacturing controls engineer at Nexteer Automotive, will be recognized during SAE International’s World Conference Experience Digital Summit in April.

“I was pretty excited to hear about it,” Wanless said. “I owe a lot of it to Dr. [Diane] Peters. She’s nominated me for a couple of different awards. That was one of the first things I thought about, ‘Wow, Dr. Peters is awesome; I’m so grateful I got to work with her at Kettering.'”

The purpose of the annual award is to identify and recognize an outstanding student leader and encourage a vision within the recipient to become an SAE leader during their adult career. It was established in 2002 by a donation from Max E. Rumbaugh Jr., a past SAE International Executive Vice President. Only one award is given out each year.

Wanless was selected because of her┬ádedication and leadership to the University’s AutoDrive team and commitment to the Society of Women Engineers.

She was a safety driver for the AutoDrive team and also served as a leader of the social responsibility sub-committee. Kettering’s team, Bulldog Bolt, earned second place for its social responsibility report in the 2020 AutoDrive competition.

“I really liked being a part of the team because I made a lot of friends through it and had a lot of opportunities,” Wanless said. “… Also, in about 50 years when [autonomous vehicles] are on the road and that’s all my grandkids know, I can say I helped with that.”