Dean Hoff Honored for Empowering Women in Automotive Industry

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Kettering University’s Dr. Craig Hoff’s career-long commitment to empowering women in the automotive industry and efforts to increase female faculty representation within the College of Engineering recently earned him the 2019 Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation’s (AWAF) Change Champion Award.

At a Dec. 5 ceremony in West Bloomfield, the nationally recognized expert in sustainable energy systems and advanced automotive powertrains received the organization’s inaugural award.

Named Dean of the College of Engineering in 2016, Dr. Hoff joined Kettering University in 1999 as a faculty member. Previously, he served in teaching and administrative roles at Lawrence Technological University. In his current role as dean at Kettering, he has been responsible for hiring 14 new faculty members with 50 percent of them being women. Throughout his nearly three decades at Kettering, he has been an active supporter of the student section of the Society of Women Engineers and mentor to numerous female engineering students.

“He is a leader who demonstrates – through both action and word – his fierce commitment to the success of not only his female students, but his female colleagues as well,” said Kettering University President Robert K. McMahan. “While I am immensely proud of the honor he received, I am not at all surprised – because I see him in action every day.”

Kettering’s Mechanical Engineering program consistently is ranked among the top programs in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report. In the 2020 U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges edition, Kettering University was ranked 13th nationally in non-Ph.D. engineering programs.

“I’m very flattered to receive this award from AWAF. As an educator, I hope to have a positive influence on my students’ lives,” said Dr. Hoff, who in addition to his role as dean, is a professor and Society of Automotive Engineers adviser. “But, there is a lot more work to be done to encourage and support women entering STEM disciplines. I’m thankful that organizations such as AWAF are helping to make that happen.”

Based in Troy, Mich., AWAF is a network of more than 230 members within the automotive industry at all career levels. With a mission to advance and empower women working in the industry and to help create and sustain a diverse automotive industry, the foundation has awarded $434,500 in scholarships to 175 women including female students from Kettering University.

To read the official award release from AWAF, click here.

Photo: Dr. Craig Hoff, a recipient of the 2019 Automotive Women's Alliance Foundation's Change Champion Award is shown at the Dec. 5 award ceremony in West Bloomfield, Mich., with (from left) wife Linda Hoff, Dr. Theresa Atkinson and Dr. Diane Peters (both professors of Mechanical Engineering hired by Dr. Hoff) and Sheryl Janca, a former part-time instructor and research engineer who ran the Crash Safety Center before taking a job in the automotive industry. PHOTO COURTESY OF DR. CRAIG HOFF)