Engineering Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Mitchell J. Clauw, BSME’86

Mitchell Clauw

Mitchell Clauw’s career embodies the quintessential Lawrence Tech “theory and practice” success story. As head of global pre-programs, program management, and planning at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) since 2016, he is responsible for the worldwide application of standard and robust engineering, research, and development estimation, product development, timing, governance, and financial processes.

His rise in the industry began as a co-op student at LTU, participating for four years in programs at General Dynamics and General Motors Corporation. Upon graduation, he joined Chrysler Corporation, starting with component and systems design assignments and evolving into overall vehicle assignments. Clauw moved from chassis packaging to body/seat hardware to active/passive occupant restraints and steering controls engineering. In 1998 he became senior manager of Dodge Truck Quality and Reliability; in 2001 project manager of the Chrysler 300, Charger, and Magnum programs; in 2005 director of Interior and Body engineering of small and medium vehicles and minivans; and in 2008 director of restraints, cooling, climate control, and seating engineering. By 2010 he was chief engineer of the Chrysler 300, Charger, and Challenger programs and a year later became architecture line executive of the C/D automotive platforms of all global FCA programs. In 2014, before assuming his current position, he was promoted to vehicle line executive of the sport utility Wrangler, Durango, and Grand Cherokee-based programs. Clauw is a long-standing member of the A. Leon Linton Department of Mechanical Engineering Industrial Advisory Board. He holds two U.S. patents.

Judith Curran, BSEE’83

Alumni Achievement Award, 2014

Judith Curran

The director of global vehicle components systems and engineering planning and strategy at Ford Motor Company, Judith Curran has global responsibility for strategy, tactics, and cycle plan timing for significant cross-vehicle components and systems related to connectivity, electronics/infotainment, and interior/exterior and chassis functions. In her previous role as vehicle line director, she oversaw worldwide production and program management for Ford’s Fusion, Edge, Galaxy, SMax, and Taurus. Curran joined Ford in 1986 as a powertrain engineer after beginning her career as a turbine engine controls engineer at United Technologies. She worked on the first electronic controls for fuel injection in engines at Ford, and on the first electronic control to manage the shift strategy of automatic transmissions. She has held a number of senior positions in product development. As director of vehicle evaluation and verification, she oversaw vehicle testing facilities throughout North America, including the dynamometer labs, test tracks, safety facilities, and vehicle/component test rigs. She also spent several years as the vice president of engineering at Ford subsidiary Automotive Components Holdings LLC. In 2010 Automotive News named Curran one of the 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry. A dedicated supporter of the University, Curran serves as Ford’s partnership champion for LTU and is a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Board. She is also a member of the inFORUM AutomotiveNEXT Executive Board. Curran earned the MSEE from the University of Michigan, Dearborn, in 1988 and holds eight U.S. patents.

James A. Danahy, BSME’89

James Danahy

As executive director and global functional leader of chassis engineering at General Motors since 2016, James A. Danahy oversees eight directors and nearly 1,200 employees in Mexico, Korea, China, and the United States. He is responsible for the global design, development, and performance for fuel system, suspension/steering, brake system, tire/wheel, driveline system, fastening, and powertrain interface components. A third generation GM employee, Danahy brings an authentic performance mentality to the company’s chassis team with his extensive experience working on the Chevrolet Corvette and Cadillac XLR.

Danahy launched the Cadillac XLR and the Chevrolet Corvette coupe and convertible as the program engineering manager. Prior to that, he worked in engineering roles for the Corvette, including engineering manager at the Bowling Green Assembly Center and in interior, exterior, and body structures.

In previous assignments, he worked on GM’s advanced vehicle development team as a global module leader responsible for front-end modules. Danahy was also the chief engineer for global small SUVs, including the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, and Opel Mokka. The Buick Encore was the first GM vehicle to win the J.D. Powers IQS and APEAL quality awards in its launch year.

Prior to this, Danahy led the development of all Chevrolet Corvette models based on the C6 architecture as chief engineer and was an executive technical assistant to Robert A. Lutz, GM vice chairman, in all aspects of global product development. In 1994 Danahy earned the MSME from Purdue University.

Cheryl L. Gregory, BSCE’88, PE

Cheryl Gregory

Cheryl L. Gregory is vice president and senior transportation project manager at the consulting firm of Spalding DeDecker, Inc., an employee-owned, Michigan-based civil engineering and surveying firm. She is also a member of the company’s board of directors. Gregory joined DeDecker in 2003 and served as the transportation department manager and director of engineering, tripling the company’s revenue in the transportation market. In 2012 after the acquisition of a Texas-based engineering firm, Gregory led the integration effort between the Michigan and Texas offices, helping to lead the company’s expansion into the oil and gas markets in Texas.

Gregory began her career as a civil engineer with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) after graduating from LTU. She spent her first eight years in field services, including construction oversight and geotechnical engineering. Building on a strong understanding of construction methodology, she transitioned into the position of region design engineer for the MDOT Detroit Metro Region, where she managed the development of nearly $32 million in construction projects in a year. In 1998 she was named the first transportation service center manager in the MDOT Metro Region and led the establishment of MDOT’s first Transportation Service Center in the Metro Detroit area serving Michigan’s largest county, Wayne County. She has served on LTU’s Civil Engineering Advisory Board since 2010 and volunteers regularly with local STEM initiatives at K–12 schools, helping students learn about careers in engineering. Gregory holds Professional Engineering licenses in Michigan, Illinois, and Tex

Elizabeth Baker, BSEE’92

Alumni Achievement Award, 2014

Elizabeth Howell

As vice president of operations at ITC Holdings Corp., the nation’s largest independent electric transmission company, Elizabeth Baker was responsible for the operation of the high-voltage electric transmission system of ITC’s operating subsidiaries, including more than 15,000 miles of interstate transmission lines in seven states. She also served as the reliability compliance officer, overseeing ITC’s compliance program for reliability standards.

She began her career as an engineer at DTE Energy, serving in various capacities in the generation, transmission, and operations areas. She left DTE Energy in 2003 to join the start-up team for ITC Transmission, which later became the publicly traded company ITC Holdings Corp. At ITC Baker led the successful operational integration of two acquired companies and oversaw the startup of a new state-of-the-art control center. Since retiring from ITC, Baker practices as an independent consultant. She has served on the boards of ReliabilityFirst Corporation and Midwest Reliability Organization.

Baker grew up in a small, rural town in northern Michigan. She attended Lawrence Tech thanks to a Buell Honor Scholarship, which changed her life. Baker has returned the favor, supporting students with the creation of the Elizabeth A. Howell Endowed Scholarship in Engineering. She also championed the establishment of the ITC Power Engineering Endowed Scholarship.

A member of the LTU Board of Trustees, Baker has served on the College of Engineering Advisory Board, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Industry Advisory Board, and the Capital Campaign Steering Committee. She also holds the MSEE from Michigan State University.