2000 Distinguished Service Award: John Anderson

// Materials Science & Engineering

Tags: alumni, Engineers' Day, John Anderson, MSE E-Day

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John E. Anderson
Executive Vice President (retired)
SSI Technologies, Inc.
BSMetE ’51

John E. Anderson developed an interest in metallurgy at an early age. His immigrant father, without the benefit of a college education, worked with partners to successfully start two metallurgy-related businesses in Wisconsin. Anderson worked for one of those companies as a teen. More than 50 years after his father’s retirement, Anderson Laboratories still bears the family name.

Anderson leveraged the lessons learned from the family business by earning a BS in metallurgical engineering from UW-Madison in 1951. Upon graduation, he went to work for General Electric’s major appliance and jet engine divisions in New Jersey and Ohio. After five years, he returned to Wisconsin to join Parker Pen as a project manager for metal injection molding. While working for Parker Pen, Anderson and others developed a powder metal process for making controlled porosity products related to acoustic, metering and filtering. Anderson led the resulting business as it branched into devices based on controlled porosity components and into corrosion resistant structural products.

In the early 1980s, he and five others purchased assets from Parker Pen and formed SSI Technologies, Inc., a technology-based business focused on developing and producing specialty powder metal, carbon and controls products for niche uses primarily within the automotive market. He served as executive vice president of the company from its formation until his retirement in 1990.

During his career, Anderson was a charter member of the American Powder Metallurgy Institute and was active in trade associations. He received the Distinguished Service to Powder Metallurgy Award in 1995.

He has been and remains active in a variety of civic groups and projects and is in the Rock County Hall of Honor. Three Janesville area organizations in which he served as executive director are the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Gardens (a botanical attraction) and Habitat for Humanity.

Anderson’s wife, Joanne, is a Douglas College (Rutgers) graduate. Their children, Martha, Amy, Eric and Tobin, all graduated from schools in the UW System.