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William T. Birge Receives 2002 SAE Delco Electronics Intelligent Transportation Systems Award

Warrendale, PA, May 20, 2003 - William T. Birge, a retired automotive engineer, was awarded the 2002 SAE Delco Electronics Intelligent Transportation Systems Award. The award recognizes the profound impact that Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) will have on mobility in the 21st century.

This award, established in 1996, is funded from an endowment contributed by Delco Electronics. It distinguishes an individual or team whose outstanding technical accomplishment is judged to have significantly advanced state-of-the-art ITS. It may also recognize the author or authors of the best paper relating to the invention, design, construction, or operation of vehicle-related equipment or systems operating within an ITS context. Consideration is given to the value of the author's contribution to advancing the state-of-the-art transportation systems and infrastructure. This year's recipient is William T. Birge.

An engineering graduate of Wayne State University, Birge began his career in 1952 at Chrysler Corporation working as a chassis engineer. While with Chrysler, he earned an MS in Automotive Engineering at Chrysler Institute of Engineering. Birge later worked at Kelsey Hayes Corporation from 1959-1975 and was responsible for the design and development of a wide range of chassis components for passenger car, heavy trucks, and off-road equipment.

In 1975, Birge joined Bendix Corporation as the Vice President of Engineering of Bendix Automotive Control Systems, where he was responsible for all brake and steering systems engineering and the Bendix Automotive Providing Grounds. Since his retirement from Bendix in 1988, Birge has served as a consultant to the automotive industry and to several technical software companies.

Birge recognized the coming importance of intelligent vehicle technologies and convinced the SAE Board of Directors in 1990 that a high level function - reporting directly to the SAE Board - was necessary for the Society to assume a leadership role in the field of ITS. His perseverance led to the establishment of the SAE ITS Program Office, which he served as its first Chairman.

During his nearly 9 year tenure in the ITS Program Office, SAE became influential in the progress of ITS with special emphasis on ITS standards. Birge is a Fellow of SAE.