Carnegie Mellon Press Release: February 26, 2004
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Press Release

Chriss Swaney

For immediate release:
February 26, 2004

Carnegie Mellon University Alumna Named Top Female in Engineering

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University alumna Barb Samardzich has been named the top female engineer in the country by a leading engineering magazine.

Samardzich, 45, who holds a 1985 master's degree in mechanical engineering, won the prestigious 2004 Women in Engineering Achievement Award from Design Magazine for leading Ford Motor Company's drive to improve transmission quality and for overseeing the launch of the next generation 2005 Ford Mustang.

"I had no idea I was being nominated for this award, and of course, I was pleased and surprised," said Samardzich, Ford's executive director for small front-and-rear-wheel-drive vehicles. "I have the greatest job in the world and that is backed by a great education from Carnegie Mellon where learning the fundamentals helped me become an intuitive engineer," she said. "I not only learned what the engineering equations can tell us, but also how to read behind the numbers."

Paul Teague, national editor of Design Magazine, said Samardzich was the only female among nine engineers honored by the award-winning magazine.

The 21st annual Design News awards presentation included cash donations to the school of the winner's choice. Samardzich will donate the $9,000 prize — sponsored by software developer Autodesk Inc. — to Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering.

"We are pleased and honored that Samardzich was recognized for her outstanding work at Ford Motor Co.," said Adnan Akay, head of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon. "Her achievements serve as a role model and benchmark for our engineering students as they make their way into today's competitive marketplace," he said.

Married with two children, Samardzich has been with Ford since 1990, and is currently responsible for the development of key Ford, Mercury and Lincoln brands, including Ford Focus, Freestar, Mustang, Thunderbird, Escape, Mercury Monterey, Lincoln LS and the upcoming Mercury Mariner and Ford Escape Hybrid.


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