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Meet The Team

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Nate Beavers 

Founder & President 

Mr. Beavers began his career in the aluminum industry more than 15 years ago in Government Affairs in Alcoa's Defense business located at the Alcoa Technical Center.  There he held responsibility for trade and with the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense and defense primes to secure government funding and launch advanced lightweight research and development programs.  He then moved into Alcoa's automotive business where he led several aluminum body sheet accounts with U.S., German and Asian OEMs. Beavers later joined Aleris where he advanced to lead and manage North American automotive sales by overseeing several top OEM customers. While at Aleris, he had a central role in helping develop the direction and strategy of the North American automotive business in terms of production capability, product development and qualification, downstream supply chain, commercial strategy, and winning and launching new programs. He participates in several automotive research and supplier trade organizations.

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Dr. J. Daniel Bryant  

Alloys & Advanced Materials 

Dr. Bryant is a highly regarded metallurgist in the aluminum industry.  He is well-known for his contributions to fundamental and applied research and the development of new aluminum alloys and processing technologies, particularly for automotive alloys. Previously, Bryant was a Technical Fellow, division manager and lead metallurgist at the Alcoa Technical Center where he was responsible for product development, including improving the quality, performance and consistency of automotive sheet products. He led multiple problem-solving teams to address customer challenges related to automotive sheet products. Bryant also led the development and introduction of new automotive foundry alloys, billet alloys for automotive extrusions, and products for electrical conductors. In 2015, he was recognized with an Alcoa Impact Award for his contributions to, and acknowledging the successful launch of, the aluminum intensive Ford F-150. Prior to Alcoa, Bryant was the Advanced Technology manager at the Reynolds Metals Company, where has was responsible for the development of high-formability automotive alloys, metal matrix composites, continuous cast alloys and other advanced materials. Prior to Reynolds, he worked at Allied-Signal and Martin Marietta on aerospace, titanium, and titanium aluminide alloys. Bryant is named as an inventor on a significant number of metallurgical patents including many automotive alloy patents. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in materials science from the University of Virginia. 

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James Burg  

Lightweight Product & Process Design 

Mr. Burg is a leading expert in lightweight product and process design having most recently served as Chief Design Engineer at the Alcoa Technical Center where he worked for 29 years. During his time at Alcoa, he designed, developed and qualified a multitude of next generation lightweight products and processes with Alcoa’s many business units and U.S. military and commercial customers. Burg’s expertise includes early stage concept development through detailed design (structural (static, dynamic, high & low cycle fatigue), electrical, heat transfer (steady state & transient), fluid flow and topology optimization), prototyping, testing and certification. In 2013, Burg developed a Mechanical Engineering Masters level applied FEA course, which he taught at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to Alcoa, Burg worked at Contraves Goertz Corporation for seven years, where he was responsible for conceptualizing, designing, analyzing and building advanced tracking systems, motion simulators, low light level surveillance systems and other electro-optical systems. Prior to Contraves, Burg also worked for Gulf Research and Development Company.  He holds 24 U.S. Patents and a similar number of related international patents on various lightweight products and process technologies. He also has a number of innovative patents pending. Burg holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. 

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Israel Stol 

Welding Innovator & Assemblies 

Mr. Stol has more than 35 years of experience as a welding and assembly engineer in applied R&D and the industrialization of advanced joining processes into production.  He has been a major innovator, problem solver and driving force in the advancement of various fusion and solid-state joining technologies. He is an American Welding Society Fellow and the recipient of three national welding awards. Stol worked at Alcoa for nearly 30 years where he held the positions of senior welding engineer, technology transfer manager, and leader of welding technology and assembly. He has worked with companies in aerospace, automotive, defense, marine, nuclear, oil & gas, power-generation and transportation, and has experience with non-ferrous and ferrous materials. Stol has extensive experience working with U.S. and European automotive OEMs to develop weld specifications and qualification acceptance tests to qualify manual and robotic welding procedures for joining assemblies, develop joint designs, implement joining processes into production, lead or assist with vendor selections for robotic welding systems, surface treating and deburring lines, and oversee the set up and qualification of these systems in assembly facilities. He is the primary co-inventor of the Laser Stir Welding (LSW) process, which is being used in production for automotive structures. Prior to Alcoa, Stol worked at the Westinghouse R&D center for seven years. He has authored and co-authored 45 U.S. and international patents. Stol holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Welding Engineering from the Ohio State University.

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Don Strugala 

Applications & Field Engineering 

Mr. Strugala has more than 30 years of experience in aluminum and steel automotive body sheet solutions. 

Most recently, he served as lead application engineer on the Ford account at Arconic, formerly Alcoa, overseeing the launch of the all-aluminum F-150 as part of his focus on assisting automakers with launching aluminum intensive vehicles. In addition to Arconic/Alcoa, Mr. Strugala's extensive automotive experience spans General Motors and National Steel. His prior roles include application engineering, field service, sheet metal forming and formability analysis, failure analysis, 8-D analysis and mechanical testing labs.

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David Williams  

Government Programs 

Mr. Williams is a recognized federal research and development subject matter expert with extensive networks into the Department of Defense and civilian agencies. His experience and networks have enabled specialization in organizing consortiums and teams to secure federal support for advanced R&D initiatives. Williams spent 26 years at Alcoa holding various leadership positions in business development, technology marketing and government contracts at the Alcoa Technical Center, including as director of Government R&D Programs. Later, Williams served as the chief operating officer at the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII). In this capacity, he had responsibility for Finance, Contracting, Human Resources, Intellectual Property and Corporate Compliance. Prior to joining Alcoa, his background includes significant federal experience, beginning with the Department of the Navy and then with the Department of Energy. Williams holds a J.D. from Duquesne University, and he is a Public Contracts Attorney with specialization in data and patent rights. 

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