2020 asbe Foundation News and Information


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Winter 2020 asbe Foundation Newsletter

President’s Message - Dave Barran
Our thanks to the many who participated in the asbe Foundation’s Annual Fall Golf Outing. As you know the golf outing is the primary funding source for our work and your support was instrumental in moving us forward. The year 2020 begins a new decade; A time to look forward and also to look back. Looking back, the Foundation made progress in helping industry, educators and students in new and various ways. As the auto industry recovered from the 2008 recession, the demand for designers increased. The asbe Foundation partnered with Talascend, MichiganWorks! and Macomb Community College to refresh the skills of nearly 400 unemployed designers in the latest design software. With support from Talascend and through the Foundation’s industry connections, most of the designers found positions back in industry. The Foundation began hosting a booth at the Detroit Autorama in 2011. Partnering with local universities, a community college and an industry partner, we were able to speak to 2500 to 3000 high school students collectively per year about career opportunities in design and engineering and provided information at the booth on the educational pathways to get there. Industrial plant and engineering center tours for students and teachers were initiated through the Foundation’s efforts. Historical tours were added to the mix, utilizing several local automotive museums.

The High School Design Challenge contest was updated and began to use actual automotive CAD data to give students realistic de-sign and engineering projects to solve.Looking forward into the new decade, asbe is in the process of reviewing its activities and updating its mission statement to better reflect the challenges design and engineering students will face as they enter a rapidly changing transportation industry. With em-phasis on the creative design process, we will continue to inspire students to realize their careers, to be flexible, and to be adaptable to change. We are exploring the creation of video recorded interviews with industry experts on their professional responsibilities to be made available to students and teachers.

Our redesigned website provides us with much more flexibility to link such interviews as well as other resources to better serve students and the educational community. Finally, we continue to look for ways to increase our ability to provide scholarships to deserving students.We enter this new decade with optimism that we will find growing support from industry and additional volunteers to help us better serve students who are our future engineers and designers.

We invite you to become involved with any/all of our upcoming events including; judging the Design Challenge Competition, volunteering at our Autorama booth, serving as a docent at our youth plant/museum tours, or assisting at our annual Awards Dinner. In this Newsletter, we have profiled three directors who have a long association with asbe and asked them to offer their thoughts for the Foundation going forward.

Tours Continue
To keep instructors informed of the direction that industry is taking and to expose students to career opportunities, the Founda-tion in collaboration with the Design and Manufacturing Alliance, is continuing to organize tours for instructors and students. This year tours are available at the Fiat Chrysler Automotive Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, the GM Heritage Center, Interior Envi-ronments (workspace design), the Nissan Technical Center, The Historic Ford Piquette Avenue Plant and the Stahl Automotive Mu-seum. Additional sites are being arranged. Instructor tours are especially useful because they frequently bring together high school and college staff providing an opportunity to share programming information across educational levels. Please contact Jim Varty at, call 248-227-3432, or go to for further details.

Charitable Donations to asbe
If you are 70 ½ or older, have a traditional Individual Retirement Account and do not intend to itemize deductions on your 2020 tax return, you may be able to use your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) to sup-port the work of the asbe Foundation through an IRA Charitable Contribu-tion that is tax free! Your contribution would need to be made directly from your IRA to the Foundation to qualify. For further information contact your financial planner or tax preparer. While the Foundation does not provide tax advice, Steve Ault, our asbeFoundation treasurer, can share more details on this opportunity. Please call Steve at 248-459-3310.Golf OutingJoin us on September 4th, 2020, for another great outing. Same location. Details to follow. Autorama 2020The asbe Foundation will again host a booth at the Autorama Custom Car Show February 28 through March 1 at the TCF Center (formerly Cobo Hall). Stop by and say Hello!

Director Profile and Insights
Art Bryant
Art Bryant first joined the ASBE Association in 1980, served on the High School Design Contest Committee for 20 years, served as Association president in 1997, and was a founding board member of the asbe Foundation. In addition to his career as an engineer for Chrysler Corporation and the Ford Motor Company, Art has a long history of community service. “I have always believed in giving back to the community as much as possible...” A graduate of Wayne State University, he served as president of the WSU Alumni Association, was a member of the WSU Founda-tion Board, the Board of Visitors for the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, and currently serves as co-president with his wife of the Understudies, a support group for the Hilberry Graduate Theater Company.

Art also attended the U.S. Naval Academy and has been the Detroit Chapter President of its Alumni Association for 40 years. Today Art serves on the Grosse Pointe Woods City Council and is presently Mayor Pro-Tem. “I wanted to serve on the asbe Foundation Board to continue the work of the ASBE Association Drafting Contest and scholarship program. I felt they were the most important work that the Association did. Today, the Foundation helps to keep a well-educated supply of interested people available to join in designing and engineering vehicles for our future.” Art Bryant is an example of the selfless people who have contributed to the asbe Foundation in many ways

David Darbyshire
David Darbyshire currently serves as vice president of the asbe Foundation. A graduate of Lawrence Technologi-cal University, he earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering while becoming proficient in computers, robot-ics, and various design software programs. Over the past 30 years, David and his brother have launched several com-panies including DASI Solutions, a Dassault Systems SolidWorks Professional Solutions partner which served over 4,000 organizations across six states. His latest enterprise, Cyb Llings, Inc. 3D Printing Studios keeps him involved with new product development, creative styling, innovative materials and manufacturing applications. “I have a passion for Workforce Development and STEM education which drew me to the Design Challenge Competition of the asbe Foundation. I quickly found that encouraging the next generation to explore career opportunities by partnering with educators and the asbe Foundation was a natural fit for both my time and financial resources.” When thinking about how he sees the future of the asbe Foundation David suggests, “Industry is not fully aware of our efforts to promote design and engineering careers.

To create this awareness and ensure industry support, the asbe Board needs to be more representative of the current workforce. The heavy lifting of the current asbe Foundation Board members needs to be shared by those who are ready, willing and able to take the organization into the next phase of our existence. I believe that students who participated in and were supported by the asbe Foundation through plant tours, scholarships or the High School Design Challenge are key to our long-term viability as a volunteer organization.”

Jim Sawyer
has been a supporter of the asbe Foundation since he came to Macomb Community College from his original career as a mechanical engineer. His engineering career took him to Chrysler Detroit Axle, Dana Form-sprag, Ancor Corp., and New Haven Foundry. Jim joined Macomb as Dean of Engineering and Advanced Technol-ogy in 2002, then served as Provost and became president of the college in 2017. Because of his background in engi-neering, he has had a keen interest in the work of the Foundation and serves today as an Honorary Board Member. He sees the work of education as a way to prepare people for meaningful employment, to support their personal development, to gain the skills necessary for lifelong learners, and to find careers in the workplace. Jim feels that asbe historically has done many good things. He is particularly impressed with the accomplishments because the Foundation is a volunteer organization.

To be able to continue its good work, he feels that the Board needs to renew, maintain, and strengthen its relationships with the design and engineering community. “We must be careful to look forward and not back which will require the Board to constantly evolve and renew itself.” He is particularly impressed with the instructor and student tours that were difficult to develop but critical in keeping instructors cur-rent and students aware of career options. Jim believes that it is particularly important that the Foundation continue to work closely with the Design and Manufacturing Alliance and perhaps begin to work more closely with the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology.

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