FCA US Engineer Earns 2018 Black Engineer of the Year Edward Welburn Legacy Award

Feb 12, 2018 2:30 PM ET
  • FCA US automatic transmission chief engineer honored during 32nd annual event
  • Award recognizes “high merit, impact on people and value to the community and society”
  • Two additional FCA US engineers recognized as Modern Day Technology Leaders
Press Release

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., February 12, 2018,  /3BL Media/ - U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine awarded its 2018 Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) Edward Welburn Legacy Award to Eric Burnett, Automatic Transmission Chief Engineer, FCA US LLC. Burnett joins a long list of FCA US technical business leaders recognized over the years for their technical achievements, management skill, leadership and community service.

Burnett received his award at the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBU) Engineering Deans Power Breakfast on February 10 in Washington, D.C., attended by distinguished HBCU engineers, deans and other prominent leaders from industry, academia and the military. The awards breakfast was part of the BEYA Global Competitiveness Conference that took place February 8-10.

“Eric has made significant contributions to the research and development of automatic transmissions during his 23-plus year career at our Company,” said Michael Solt, Director, Automatic Transmission Engineering, FCA US LLC. “He is a highly respected technical leader who consistently makes tough decisions. Eric inspires and motivates others to achieve a higher performance of themselves and for our products. He demonstrates the highest character and integrity in everything he does and is a true asset to the Company.”

Burnett was named Chief Engineer, Automatic Transmissions at FCA US in 2017. In this position, he is the single point of contact in the development of 8-speed rear-wheel-drive transmissions used in FCA US vehicles sold in North America. Prior to his current role, Burnett was Chief Engineer, Purchased Light Duty Transmissions, FCA US LLC.

Burnett graduated from Oakland University with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering in 1994 and entered the prestigious Chrysler Institute of Engineering (CIE) program, a two-year technical leadership development program at FCA US. While in the CIE program, Burnett earned his Master of Science in mechanical engineering from Oakland University in 1996.

Burnett is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and a frequent presenter at the organization’s conferences.

“It is a tremendous honor to receive recognition for my accomplishments,” Burnett said. “I truly owe it all to my family and peers that have facilitated my continued growth and shared in my successes. It is my privilege and responsibility to share my life lessons with the community and the next generation of African-American leaders.”

U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine also honored Modern Day Technology Leaders at the conference, “bright, high-performance women and men shaping the future of engineering, science, and technology who demonstrate superior technical skills and leadership capability.”

The following FCA US employees earned recognition from BEYA as Modern Day Technology Leaders for 2018:

  • Ikpemi Sabageh, Release Engineer for Shift Systems in Chassis
  • Kahiree Gans, Assistant Chief Engineer for the Jeep® and Truck Platforms 

FCA US has a longstanding commitment to recruiting diverse talent and supporting STEM education initiatives for minorities, including supporting organizations such as BEYA, the Society of Hispanic Professionals Engineers and others.

The Company also supports various organizations that advance women’s involvement in STEM professions, including Michigan Council of Women in Technology, the Society of Women Engineers and Inforum’s AutomotiveNEXT.

About the Edward Welburn Legacy Award
The award honors Edward Welburn of General Motors who, in 2003, became the first African-American in the automotive industry to achieve the position of chief designer. Welburn was the 2015 recipient of the Black Engineer of the Year award.

About U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology Magazine
U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine provides news and information about black engineers, technologists and entrepreneurs, as well as information on programs such as the Black Engineer of the Year Awards and the Top Supporters of Engineering Programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities program.
FCA US LLC is a North American automaker based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It designs, manufactures, and sells or distributes vehicles under the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram, FIAT and Alfa Romeo brands, as well as the SRT performance designation. The Company also distributes Mopar and Alfa Romeo parts and accessories. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler Corp., established in 1925 by industry visionary Walter P. Chrysler and Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (F.I.A.T.), founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli. FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA).

FCA, the seventh-largest automaker in the world based on total annual vehicle sales, is an international automotive group. FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FCAU” and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol “FCA.”

Mike Palese
+1 (248) 512-2682
Dan Reid
+1 (248) 512-0366