S. David Sanders
Manager, Manufacturing Operations
PhDMetE ’69, MSMetE ’66
Within the metal-casting industry, S. David Sanders is recognized for advancing Caterpillar, Inc.’s foundry-operations technology for producing diesel-engine cylinder blocks and heads. The company’s Mapleton, Illinois, foundry also is known as a leader in cast-iron production technology because Sanders developed and helped implement casting technologies in such areas as compacted graphite iron production, heat transfer and solidification computer simulations, wire inoculation, integral-core blow-molding for large cylinder block production, and the encapsulated-core process for producing cylinder heads, among others.
A native of Alabama, Sanders received a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa in 1964 and master’s and PhD degrees in the same discipline from UW-Madison in 1966 and 1969. He started his career in cast metals as an instructor and research assistant during graduate studies at UW-Madison. Later he became an associate professor of metallurgical engineering at the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa before joining Caterpillar in 1976. Currently on special assignment for the company’s Cast Metal Organization, Sanders also has managed several of Caterpillar’s functional areas, including manufacturing operations, facility and manufacturing engineering, planning and casting technology.
He is a member of the American Society for Metals, the Iron and Steel Society, and the American Foundrymen’s Society (AFS), in which he has participated extensively at both the local and national levels, including a three-year term as its national director. For his service to the society and the industry, AFS honored Sanders with its Joseph S. Seaman Gold Medal Award in 1999. He is national director for the Cast Metals Institute, the educational arm of AFS, and president-elect of the Foundry Education Foundation (FEF). Through his activities in the FEF, Sanders has maintained ties with UW-Madison and is proud to be able to contribute to young engineers’ development and advancement.
Sanders and his wife, Sonja, have been married for 35 years. They have two children: Grant, 32, an attorney in Illinois, and Sara, 29, who is finishing a PhD in social work at the University of Maryland-Baltimore. In his free time, Sanders enjoys golf, cross-country and downhill skiing, reading, and with his wife, traveling to Minnesota, Norway and other locations.