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BMW and Stanford Engineers Receive SAE Award for GPS Research

WARRENDALE, Pa., Aug. 21, 2008 - A team of engineers from BMW Group and Stanford University is the recipient of SAE International's Colwell Merit Award. They were honored during the SAE 2008 World Congress in Detroit .

The Colwell Merit Award, established in 1965, annually recognizes the authors of outstanding papers presented at an SAE conference or SAE section meeting. The late Arch T. Colwell, who first funded this award, served SAE International in many capacities for nearly 50 years, including a term as President in 1941.

This award is funded through the SAE Foundation. In addition to supporting the awards, recognition and scholarship programs of SAE International, the SAE Foundation develops and funds programs and incentives that foster student interest in engineering, scientific and technical education.

The following authors are recognized for co-authoring, "GPS Augmented Vehicle Dynamics Control" (SAE paper #2006-01-1275).  The paper summarizes the testing and evaluation of the potential benefits of an INS/GPS system in automotive applications.

Sven A. Beiker
Beiker is a project manager at the BMW Hybrid Technology Corporation in Troy, Mich. He is an expert in the fields of vehicle dynamics, hybrid technologies and innovation management. His responsibilities include strategic planning, technical simulation and research. He has five technical papers to his credit.

Beiker holds and undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and a doctorate in vehicle dynamics control systems from the Technical University of Braunschweig in .  He resides in Birmingham, Mich.

Karl H. Gaubatz
Gaubatz is a general manager at BMW in Munich, , where he is responsible for the electric and electronic design and development for all motorbikes.  His career at BMW spans more than 20 years.

Gaubatz studied electronics at the Technical University of Munich.  He resides in Parsdorf, .

J. Christian Gerdes
Gerdes is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University .  He is also the director of the university's CarLab.  Prior to joining Stanford, Gerdes was the project leader for virtual proving grounds development at the Vehicle Systems Technology Center of Daimler-Benz Research and Technology, North America . 

Gerdes is a past recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in recognition for his work with driver assistance systems; the Ralph R. Teetor award from SAE International; the Rudolf Kalman Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME); and the Samuel M. Burka award from the Institute of Navigation .

Gerdes is a member of SAE International, ASME and the International Federation of Automatic Control’s Technical Committee on Automotive Control.

Gerdes holds a dual bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania , one in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics, and one in economics.  He also holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from University of California at Berkley .  He resides in Los Altos, Calif.

Kirstin Talvala
Talvala is a graduate research assistant and doctoral candidate for the Dynamic Design Lab in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stanford University .  Her research interests include controls and driver assistance systems.

Talvala is a past recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.  She received her bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her master’s degree from Stanford University .  She resides in Menlo Park, Calif.

For more information on Gerdes and Talvala, please contact David Orenstein at Stanford,

For more information about SAE International’s Arch T. Colwell Award, please contact