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Putting the Pedal to the Metal (and More) at LIFT
The new leader of Manufacturing USA’s lightweighting institute, Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT), seeks small manufacturers with big ideas.
When he spoke to IndustryWeek in June, Nigel Francis had spent all of 10 days as CEO of LIFT, the Detroit-based Manufacturing USA institute focused on lightweighting innovation. But Francis already had more than a passing familiarity with the place, having been part of the team that put together the proposal to bring the Institute to Michigan in the first place
Francis’s background is a fertile mix of engineering, R&D, automotive and economic development roles. “My sweet spot is at the intersection between general management, business development and advanced technology,” he says. He’s served as a vice president of advanced engineering and technology development at American Axle, vice president of vehicle engineering at Mercedes-Benz Technology, and senior automotive advisor to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.