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GM Technical Fellow David Lancaster Wins SAE International Medal of Honor

WARRENDALE, Pa., March 7, 2011 - Dr. David R. Lancaster, Technical Fellow in Engine Development, General Motors is the recipient of the 2011 SAE International Medal of Honor. The medal will be presented during the SAE 2011 World Congress.

The Medal of Honor, established in 1986, is presented annually and is SAE International’s most prestigious award. The award recognizes an SAE International member for his or her unique and significant contributions to SAE International and is funded through the SAE Foundation.

Dr. Lancaster joined GM Research as a Research Engineer in 1972 where he began his career in engine combustion and emissions research. He progressed through positions of increased responsibility becoming Assistant Department Head of Engine Research and Section Manager of Powertrain Controls and Integration. He transferred to GM Powertrain in 1999 as Engineering Group Manager of Engine Architecture.

Dr. Lancaster has been active in SAE International since 1972, holding numerous positions in the Detroit Section:  Junior Activity in the 1970s and early 1980s; eventually serving as chair of the Section. He started his involvement with SAE International as a member of the Directors’ Younger Member Committee in 1973; and was active as a technical session organizer in the Advanced Powerplant Committee for 30 years serving as chair of that committee, the Powerplant Governing Board, the Land and Sea Group, and the Engineering Meetings Board.  He was technical chair of the SAE World Congress in 1992, and he has served on numerous SAE International committees, including the SAE Publications Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, ABET Accreditation Committee, Awards Board, and SAE Finance Committee. 

Dr. Lancaster served on the SAE Board of Directors from 1997-2000. Following that, he resumed his activities in the Detroit Section, serving in a number of positions including Section Chair in 2006. He has previously received the McFarland Award for session organizing, the SAE Detroit Section Outstanding Younger Member Award in 1982, the SAE Distinguished Younger Member Award in 1983, and the Detroit Section Outstanding Member Award in 2009. Dr. Lancaster has also been involved in the technical standards area, chairing the SAE Engine Power Test Code Committee that has revised the SAE J1349 Engine Net Power standard and written the first SAE J2723 standard for engine power certification. 

Dr. Lancaster has authored and presented numerous technical papers on his combustion and engine research.  He has received both SAE International’s Horning Award in 1976 and Arch T. Colwell Award in 2002 for technical papers, and he was elected an SAE International Fellow in 1998.  He has a number of patents and trade secrets, and was awarded General Motors’ Boss Kettering Award in 2005 for his Rapid Retard Procedure for Engine Torque.

Dr. Lancaster has been involved in the technical standards area, chairing the SAE Engine Power Test Code Committee that revised the SAE J1349 Engine Net Power standard and written the first SAE J2723 standard for engine power certification. As founder and chair of the USCAR Engine Benchmarking Consortium, he received the USCAR Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana, where he earned BS, MSME and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering.

SAE International is a global association of more than 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International's core competencies are life-long learning and voluntary consensus 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.

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