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SAE to Salute 100 Years of Mobility Engineering as Centerpiece of 100th Anniversary Celebrations in 2005

WARRENDALE, PA,, Sept. 15, 2004 - The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) will commemorate a century of mobility engineering as the centerpiece of its 100th anniversary celebration next year. As the world's largest and most well known organization serving mobility professionals, SAE has played a significant role in spearheading and actively supporting the mobility industry's development. From humble beginnings serving a few engineers in 1905, SAE has grown into a sophisticated organization leading the engineering that is behind much of the high-tech modes of transportation we use today. Originally founded as an association for automobile manufacturers, SAE has grown to represent aerospace, off-highway machinery and motorsports engineers as well.

"Throughout its 100-year history, SAE has been the premier venue for showcasing some of the most advanced ideas in mobility engineering," said Ray Morris, executive vice president/chief operating officer, SAE International. "Our culture is based on our commitment to the belief that these advances in mobility can serve both the industry and humanity through safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly technology."

The history of SAE dates back to the early 1900s when automobile design engineers began to feel a need for patent protection and uniform engineering standards, and expressed a desire for a "free exchange of ideas" to expand their technical knowledge base. Around the same time, two editors—Peter Heldt of The Horseless Age and Horace Swetland of The Automobile—used their editorial columns to advocate the need for such a technical society to foster the sharing of ideas and solutions encountered by design engineers. The voice of these two men paved the way for the establishment of the Society of Automobile Engineers in New York City in 1905. Andrew Riker was chosen as president and a young engineer, Henry Ford, was its vice president. The initial membership was 30 engineers and the annual dues were $10. In 1916, with Orville Wright a leading proponent, the Society expanded to include the aerospace industry and changed its name to the Society of Automotive Engineers ("automotive" from Greek "autos" [self] and Latin "motivus" [of motion]) to represent any type of self-powered vehicle.

Initially, SAE's main role was the development of standards for the automobile, aerospace, and commercial/heavy-duty communities. The introduction of the standards went hand-in-hand with major technological advancements during both World Wars. After the Wars, SAE's emphasis shifted from a merely standards-setting organization to a forum for information exchange and, in 1947, led to an annual major educational and exhibit event, now known as the SAE World Congress. Over the years, SAE's presence gradually became stronger and its influence more far-reaching. Membership grew at a fast pace in the next couple of decades and SAE expanded into an international organization with affiliates in the UK, Brazil and India.

Currently, SAE has a growing membership of 85,000 from all corners of the mobility industry and is committed to providing them with the tools to pursue life-long learning, consensus industry standards and membership in a global network of technically informed professionals. To date, the organization has developed more than 7,500 standards of which more than 6,000 are in aerospace. In addition, SAE publishes a host of technical, historical and statistical materials in print and on CD-Rom, and three magazines that support the different divisions (Automotive Engineering International, Aerospace Engineering, Off Highway Engineering). The Society's Collegiate Design Series and "A World in Motion" are two extremely popular programs designed for college and school students to open their minds to the untapped boundaries of motion technology.

"SAE's track record in supporting advances in mobility technology has set the stage for yet another century of invention and innovation," Morris said. "We are grateful for the talent of our members which contributes to SAE's greatest asset - our intellectual property database. The generosity of our corporate sponsors and the tireless efforts of our in-house team have also helped us in coming this far. This synergy is bound to fuel yet another century of ground-breaking transportation technology."

For more information, please call SAE World headquarters at (724) 776-4841 or visit the SAE Web site at

SAE is a non-profit engineering and scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of mobility technology to better serve humanity. Nearly 85,000 engineers and scientists who are SAE members develop technical information on all forms of self-propelled vehicles, including automobiles, aircraft, aerospace craft, trucks, buses, marine, rail and transit machinery. This information is disseminated through SAE meetings, books, electronic products and databases, technical papers, standards, reports, and professional development programs.