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SAE International to Honor Two NASCAR Safety Experts with Isbrandt Award During SAE Government/Industry Meeting

WARRENDALE, Pa., Jan. 24, 2017 - SAE International will honor two NASCAR safety experts with the Ralph H. Isbrandt Automotive Safety Engineering Award.

John Patalak, Senior Director of Safety Engineering, NASCAR Research and Development; and Tom Gideon, recently retired Senior Director of Safety Engineering, NASCAR Research Development and Safety, will be honored for their SAE International technical paper, “Development and Implementation of a Quasi-Static Test for Seat Integrated Seat Belt Restraint System Anchorages” (2015-01-0739). The two will receive their awards during the SAE 2017 Government/Industry Meeting, Jan. 25-27, in Washington, D.C.

Patalak’s work at NASCAR includes researching, developing and approving driver and vehicle safety systems and investigating vehicle crashworthiness and occupant protection issues. Prior to NASCAR, he worked for an engineering consulting firm specializing in vehicle crashworthiness and occupant protection.

A licensed Professional Engineer, Patalak graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and is currently a graduate student concentrating in biomechanics at the Virginia Tech - Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences.

Gideon retired as Senior Director of Safety from NASCAR in 2016. Gideon joined NASCAR in 2009 as Director-Safety R&D; before that, he served as Safety Manager for GM Racing with General Motors.

Gideon is a Professional Engineer with a BSME from The Ohio State University. He is the author/co-author of several SAE International papers on driver’s safety, and is also a Board Member of the International Council of Motorsports Sciences (ICMS).

The SAE 2017 Government/Industry Meeting provides attendees with the opportunity to connect directly with the key players driving advanced automotive, fuels technology and pending legislation.

For the most up-to-date information about sessions, special events, and more, please visit the SAE 2017 Government/Industry Meeting website at

To request media credentials, email or call 1-724-772-8522.

SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting over 127,000 engineers and technical experts, we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our philanthropic SAE Foundation, including programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™.

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