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George Washington Professor Receives SAE International Transportation Safety Award

WARRENDALE, Pa., Aug. 24, 2009 - Kennerly H. Digges of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is the recipient of SAE International's Arnold W. Siegel International Transportation Safety Award. He was honored during the SAE 2009 World Congress in Detroit.

The Arnold W. Siegel Award, established in 1987, recognizes individuals whose accomplishments include outstanding international research, innovation and contributions to crash injury protection, crash injury biomechanics and crash injury design for all mobility vehicles. Funded through the SAE Foundation, the award honors Siegel, a Fellow of SAE whose pioneering research contributed to the design of modern crashworthy transportation vehicles and the understanding of human tolerance in collisions.

Digges is a Research Professor of Engineering at George Washington University and a consultant to the Miami School of Medicine.  From 1975 until 1989, he served in various senior executive positions at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), where he directed research and rulemaking activities that led to the government’s NCAP safety ratings for vehicles and to the requirements that all passenger vehicles be equipped with two air bags for frontal crash protection and a center high mounted stoplight to prevent rear impacts.

In academia, Digges has published research papers dealing with vehicle compatibility, multiple-impact crashes, far-side crashes, rollovers, fire safety, airbag performance, the safety of rear-seat occupants, the causes of injuries to the liver and aorta, improvements to the government’s NCAP testing, the safety needs of elderly occupants, and the use of data from a vehicle’s crash recorder to predict crashes with occupants that need urgent medical care.

Digges received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech. and master’s and doctorate degrees from Ohio State University. He is also a retired officer of the U.S. Air Force with 20 years of service in aircraft research and development.  He resides in Charlottesville, Va.

For more information on Digges, please contact Kim Roddis at

SAE International is a global association of more than 121,000 engineers and related technical experts in the automotive, aerospace and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International's core competencies are life-long learning and standards development. SAE International's charitable arm is the SAE Foundation, which supports many programs, including A World In Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series.