Dr. Suresh Shah, a retired senior technical fellow at Delphi Corp., was named the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award winner by the Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE). Shah will be honored at the 47th annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala on Nov. 8 at Burton Manor in Livonia, Mich.

Shah’s expertise has led to several game-changing innovations, including the single-piece, all-plastic door hardware module known as SuperPlug® and TPO thermoformable skin for instrument panels.

During his 30 years in the industry, Shah has been responsible for more than 45 intellectual properties, including patents and trade secrets with more than 40 percent of those in the production segment, far exceeding the 4 percent industrial average. Among his achievements are the advancement of processes like gas-assist injection molding, co-injection molding, microcellular molding, hybrid plastic/metal molding, direct inline-compounded long-fiber thermoplastic (D-LFT) composites, and thin-wall molding. His material-related developments include those related to natural fiber composites, nanocomposites, thermoplastic polyolefins, and thermoplastic elastomers.

Winner of more than 20 international industry awards, Shah was inducted as an SPE Fellow of the Society in 2001, recognized as an honored service member of the society in 2003, and received the 2011 SPE Hall of Fame Product Award for his door hardware module, which he developed in 1993.

He holds a PhD in polymer chemistry/plastics engineering and a Master of Science in plastics engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He joined General Motors in 1985 and held positions in the company’s Delphi exterior, lighting, interior, safety, and thermal divisions.

“Suresh is one of the most creative and innovative technical people that I have ever known,” says Irvin E. Poston, plastics engineer and Distinguished Member of SPE, who is also retired from GM. “He has so many innovative and first applications that have affected the bottom line of General Motors, it is difficult to list them all on one page.”

The SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Gala at which Shah will be honored starts with a VIP cocktail reception at 4:30 p.m. The awards program will run between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., and a networking opportunity called Afterglow will run from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

“Suresh has proven himself to be one of the best and most prolific inventors I have ever managed,” says Barbara A. Sanders, retired director of the Advanced Development Group at Delphi.