SEMA News—April 2020
SEMA’s John Waraniak Elected SAE Fellow
By SEMA News Editors
John Waraniak has been involved in the aerospace, automotive, racing and performance industries for more than 25 years with wide-ranging systems engineering experience, innovative technology insights and frontline experience.
John Waraniak, SEMA vice president of vehicle technology, has been elected an SAE Fellow for his significant technical achievements and industry contributions in both automotive and aerospace. In his role as SEMA’s chief technology officer since May 2006, Waraniak has assisted performance aftermarket companies to integrate their products with the latest advanced vehicle technologies and capitalize on new business and product-development opportunities. He has also helped them to customize with confidence by connecting SEMA manufacturers with engineering resources, capabilities and tools to manage disruptive vehicle technologies and ensure compliance with the latest industry standards and best practices.
The highest grade of SAE International membership, this distinctive honor recognizes long-term members who have made a significant impact on society’s mobility technology through leadership, research and innovation. Electing Waraniak as an SAE Fellow acknowledges the role the performance aftermarket plays in the auto industry. It also helps drive new opportunities for SEMA members to grow and prosper through automaker collaboration and representation on SAE industry initiatives and task forces developing emerging standards for connected, automated and electrified vehicles.
Waraniak will be inducted into the Class of 2019 at the SAE Awards Ceremony, held at WCX World Congress Experience in Detroit, April 20. His nomination was led by his long-time mentor and good friend Dr. David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research, as well as documented support from SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting and industry colleagues, including Mark Reuss, president, General Motors; Paul Mascarenas, 2019 SAE president; Roy Link, chairman and CEO at Link Engineering; and Mircea Gradu, senior vice president of product and quality at Velodyne Lidar.
“I have known and worked with John for 14 years. His accomplishments and contributions have helped automotive aftermarket companies understand the latest advanced vehicle technologies and develop solutions to capitalize on new product and business opportunities. He is most worthy of recognition as an SAE Fellow,” said Kersting.
Waraniak has been involved in the aerospace, automotive, racing and performance industries for more than 25 years with wide-ranging systems engineering experience, innovative technology insights and frontline experience for competing and winning in today’s Automotive 4.0 transformation. He has held executive management positions at General Motors, Hughes Aircraft, Northrop and No Fear. While at General Motors and Hughes Aircraft, he led the corporate-wide transfer of technology and best practices from Hughes to GM to deliver results for improved safety, performance, electronics and winning motorsports programs.
Born and raised in the Motor City of Detroit, Waraniak is an avid auto industry and motocross enthusiast. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois and Caltech’s executive engineering management program.