- Automotive Innovation Awards Lifetime Achievement Winner for 2015
- Led development of first unidirectional glass-mat thermoplastic (GMT) composites for bumpers
- Currently principal of Allied Composites Technologies
Frederick (Fred) Deans, P.E., who has more than 45 years’ experience at companies like Continental Structural Plastics, AZDEL, Inc., General Electric Co., and Pittsburgh Plate Glass (PPG) working in the automotive, architectural, and industrial market segments, has been named the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award winner by the Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).
Co-founder and principal of Allied Composites Technologies
Deans is currently chief-marketing officer, and a co-founder and principal of Allied Composites Technologies, LLC (ACT) as well as the owner of F. Deans & Associates, a Michigan-based enterprise. Previously he has held a variety of positions including director-New Business Development at composites molder and tier 1 supplier, Continental Structural Plastics, Inc., market and industry manager at GE Plastics; program manager at the GE Plastics’-PPG Industries’ joint venture, AZDEL, Inc.; application development engineer at PPG Fiberglass AZDEL Products; OEM glass sales representative at PPG; and he started his career as a production engineer at PPG Industries’ Works 1-Automotive Windshield plant and moved on to the roles of technical service engineer-Architectural Glass and Solar Products, and sales representative-OEM Automotive Products.
Among his accomplishments, Deans led development of the first unidirectional glass-mat thermoplastic (GMT) composites for new-generation automotive bumper systems. The first application of this technology was a single 12-million lb/5.4-million kg application program with a Japanese automaker. Within three years, every Japanese OEM was using GMT composite for bumper beams. He managed the commercialization and use of next-generation direct-longfiber thermoplastic (D-LFT) composites for passenger car underbody shields and underhood applications, as well as load floors for off-road vehicles and heating/ventilation/air-conditioning (HVAC) bases. He also helped develop and commercialize an automotive glass-forming process and introduced monolithic tempered privacy glass for sport-utility vehicles (SUVs).
Strong history of volunteering for engineering societies
Deans has a strong history of volunteering for engineering societies. He is a long-time member of the board of directors of the SPE Automotive Division (30+ years) and SPE Composites Division (13 years), as well as an intersociety volunteer on the Formula SAE student design competition organized by SAE International. Additionally, he is a co-founder of and three-time conference chair or co-chair for the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE, in years 2001, 2004, and 2015). Deans’ efforts were recognized by the SPE Honored Service Member award in 2003 and the SPE Composites Division’s Composites Person of the Year in 2006. He is a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and holds a BSME degree from Valparaiso University and an MBA degree in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
What others say about Fred Deans
“Fred Deans has been a pillar of the automotive-composites community for decades, and he’s long been a cornerstone of the SPE Automotive Division as well,” notes David Reed, General Motors Corp.-retired. “He’s someone who truly has dedicated his career to developing innovative automotive composites applications, like the first GMT [glass-mat thermoplastic] composite bumper on the Chevrolet Corvette sports car, an application which, coincidentally, has been named our Hall of Fame award this year for its enduring industry impact.”
“For over 35 years, Fred Deans has been a key resource for me when I had questions about a supplier, needed a contact, or when I wanted information on a material,” adds Nippani Rao, RAO Associates and Chrysler LLC-retired. “Even if he didn’t have an answer right then and there, he followed up and was always helpful. He always had a great network of contacts that he shared freely ― which is definitely not something everyone will do. He’s a great example for the rest of us to aspire to.”
First given in the year 2000, the SPE Automotive Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the technical achievements of individuals whose work, in research, design, and/or engineering, has led to significant integration of polymeric materials on passenger vehicles (list of all previous winners). On November 11, 2015, Deans will be honored for his contributions to automotive composites at the 45th-annual SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Gala at Burton Manor in Livonia, Mich.