Featured Event: 2015 Altair Enlighten Award Winner Announced at CAR’s MBS

The 2015 Altair Enlighten Award was presented at the 50th annual Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminars taking place this week in Traverse City, MI. The Enlighten Award is now in its third year, and has been honoring the greatest achievements in automotive vehicle weight saving each year to inspire interest form industry, engineering, policymakers, educators, students, and the public.

CAR’s Management Briefing Seminars have delivered thought leadership on the most important issues and successes in the automotive industries for the past 50 years. Over one thousand attendees are anticipated at this year’s seminar, and the agenda is packed with presentations and discussions from industry-leaders as well as opportunities for undergraduate students pursuing a career in the automotive industry to network and learn from top industry leaders and speakers.

The 2015 Altair Enlighten Award winner and runner-ups has been announced this afternoon during the “Lightweighting: From Manufacturability to Consumer Acceptance” session!

Congratulations to Ford Motor Company as the winner of the 3rd annual Altair Enlighten Award for its use of various lightweight materials to minimize weight for the 2015 Ford F-150. Ford engineers were tasked with taking weight out of the truck while improving its performance, safety, and efficiency. The total weight reduction of up to 700 pounds (318 kg). The weight savings helps the truck tow more, haul more, accelerate quicker and stop shorter, and it contributes to fuel efficiency.


General Motors is this year’s first runner-up, who developed and used innovative computer-aided engineering (CAE) methods to achieve a 163 pound (74 kg) weight reduction on the Alpha architecture of the 2012 Cadillac ATS/CTS. Immersive lattice topology optimization, strategic structural bulkhead placement, and multi-disciplinary loadcase optimization, were used, along with expert interpretation of the results, to lead the design of the architecture structure.


Second runner-up was awarded to Faurecia together with Automotive Performance Materials (APM). The NAFILean (Natural Fibers for Lean Injection Design) solution brought sustainable design to instrument panels, center consoles and door panels of the 2013 Peugeot 308 by integrating a natural, hemp-based fiber with polypropylene, which allows for complex shapes and architectures along with a weight savings of 20-25 percent.

faurecia apm

Altair received an outstanding 17 nominations for the award this year, each project exhibited prime examples of impressive technology and expertise. The award is open to all original equipment manufacturers, systems/parts supplies and materials suppliers from all automotive segments. Eight judges from various leadership roles in the automotive industry determined the winner and runner-ups.


Read more about each nominee on the Enlighten website. We thank the judges and nominees for sharing their expertise and success in lightweighting, and we look forward to seeing everyone next year!

Dave Mason
Dave Mason

About Dave Mason

David Mason, a veteran Altair executive who joined the company in 1994, is responsible for the automotive vertical in Altair’s Global Markets Team. This team is responsible for business strategy and development along with the sharing of best practices (software and services) both internally and externally in key global markets. Prior to his current position, Mason was the Managing Director of Altair’s United Kingdom office. His experience at Altair includes leadership roles in consulting, software product management, and sales. During his time with Altair he has led project teams in diverse disciplines including the development of vehicle systems, CAE, vehicle build and test projects, test data analysis, and custom software development. A large part of his career has been involved with helping organizations adopt and implement simulation led design processes. Before joining Altair in 1994, Mason worked as a product engineer at General Motors Corporation. He holds master’s degrees from The University of Michigan in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics.