Back to Top
Top Nav content Site Footer
University Home

Archive Research Center

University Honors

Retired Vice President & General Manager for Vehicle Operations, North American Operations, Ford Motor Company

Spirit of UDM: Alumni Achievement Award

2016

Bio:

Henry ‘Hank’ Nickol ’55 joined Ford Motor Company in 1953 as a co-op student two years before he graduated from University of Detroit with a degree in mechanical engineering. Forty years later, he retired from the company as vice president and general manager for vehicle operations in North America.

In that remarkable, four-decade career, Nickol served in many positions, and helped shape the future of company products and the auto industry. He led the application of electronic emission controls to Ford engines and transmissions required to meet stringent vehicle emission and fuel economy requirements and also introduced a family of modular engines and automatic transmissions, many in use today. His stamp could be seen on Ford automobiles from chassis to engine. He is the holder of several patents and has written numerous technical papers.

While at Ford, he helped create a program that offered both bachelor’s and master’s degree classes for Ford employees at their workplace so they could work toward their degrees. For many years, he led the Ford-UDM in-house fundraising campaign that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars for the University.

He has also been a generous supporter of the University and its students, creating the College’s alumni board, helping fund College initiatives and the athletics program, and establishing the Nickol Endowed Scholarship.
 

Citation:

Over a remarkable four-decade career, Henry Nickol helped shape the future of the Ford Motor Company and the automotive industry.

He began his career in 1953 as a University of Detroit co-op student — two years before he would graduate with his degree in mechanical engineering. He retired from the company as vice president and general manager for vehicle operations in North America.

He left his mark on Ford automobiles from chassis to engine. He led the addition of electronic emission controls to engines and transmissions and introduced a family of modular engines and automatic transmissions, some of which are still in use today. He holds several patents and is the author of numerous technical papers.

University of Detroit Mercy has also benefitted from his energy and support. He created the College of Engineering & Science’s alumni board, has led funding initiatives, is a strong supporter of the athletics program and established the Nickol Endowed Scholarship to help more students obtain a UDM education.

Distinguished graduate of the College of Engineering & Science, Henry A. Nickol, was honored with the Spirit of UDM: Alumni Achievement Award on April 24, 2016.

University of Detroit Mercy

Back to Top