JOE BAKAJ, Vice president of powertrain engineering, Ford Motor Co.
Bakaj, 49, led the team that launched two new direct-injection turbocharged EcoBoost engines globally this year. And the redesigned 2012 Ford Escape features a powertrain lineup with three four-cylinder options, including the new 1.6- and 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines and a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine. Ford holds more than 175 patents on EcoBoost technology, its global approach to improve fuel efficiency. Bakaj has overseen much of the EcoBoost development, including the development and design of Ford's first three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which started production Nov. 9.