Stuart Keeler was one the founder of the modern FLD approach and therewith the IDDRG Community lose one of the founders of Deep Drawing research.He was born in September 1 in 1934. He had Doctor of Science Degree in Mechanical Metallurgy. Stuart’s doctoral research on sheet metal forming limits led to his development of the Forming Limit Diagram, now used throughout the world to predict forming severity and tearing of sheet metal stampings.
After taking his exams becoming Professional Engineer in 1965, he spent the next 24 years at National Steel Corporation – primarily as Manager of Automotive Research in Detroit. During his stay at National Steel, he pioneered bringing science to the press shop, creating circle grid analysis, thinning strain analysis, statistical deformation control (SDC), and many other press shop-troubleshooting procedures. In the early 80’s Stuart conceived, created, and helped equip the National Steel Product Application Center in Livonia, Michigan, which became a benchmark for customer technical assistance by other steel companies. His last major project for National Steel was to research and write a state of the art book for the American Iron and Steel Institute entitled Automotive Sheet Metal Formability.
In March of 1987, Stuart joined the Budd Company Technical Center as Manager of Sheet Metal Technology. As a Tier 1 supplier to the automotive OEM’s, Stuart was responsible for all research, development, and technology transfer for sheet metal stampings and castings. His major accomplishment was the implementation of virtual sheet metal forming (computerized die tryout). On 1 October 1999, he retired from The Budd Company as Manager of Technical Development to continue his sheet metal forming work as Keeler Technologies LLX.
In recognition for his work in bringing science to the press shop, Dr. Keeler was elected a Fellow in both the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the American Society for Metals (ASM). ASM International also presented Stuart with the 1992 William Hunt Eisenman Award for his contributions to the practical application of science and materials engineering. He was elected to two-terms during 1968-1972 and on term during 1988 to 1990 to the Presidency of the International Deep Drawing Research Group. Stuart also served in several positions within SAE – last as Editor for SAE Transactions for Materials and Manufacturing. Dr. Keeler served as a Technical Editor of the globally used Advanced High-Strength Steel Application Guidelines – Versions 1 to 6 (2004 – 2018). Dr. Keeler conducted courses, seminars, and lectures throughout the world. The Society of Automotive Engineers has recognized his speaking capability with their Distinguished Speaker Trophy. All of Stuart’s presentations – for the university or the press shop – were dynamic. Interactive, down to earth, and even entertaining. He also had a 50-year history of writing practical and understandable articles and papers read by persons in both steel mills and press shops.With the death in May 14 2019, Stuart Keeler we lose one the biggest man in the last century in the field of practical sheet metal forming. We will always remember his contribution to the establishment and further development of the theory and practice of modern FLD approach and therewith as one of the founders of Deep Drawing research.