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Norway- and Germany-Based Researchers Receive SAE Award for Vehicle Velocity Research

WARRENDALE, Pa., Nov. 6, 2008 - Five vehicle dynamics researchers from and are recipients 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 recipients are recognized for authoring the paper, “Nonlinear Observer for Vehicle Velocity Estimation” (SAE paper #2006-01-1282).  The paper proposes a nonlinear observer for the estimation of the lateral and longitudinal velocity of automotive vehicles.

Lars Imsland
Imsland is a research scientist at SINTEF Applied Cybernetics in Trondheim, . His work focuses on the state estimation process for active safety systems in cars. Previously, he worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Gas Technology Center NTNU-SINTEF.

Imsland is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Control Systems Society. He holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from the Department of Engineering Cybernetics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

For more information on Imsland, please contact Svein Tønsethat of SINTEF at

Tor A. Johansen
Johansen is a professor in engineering cybernetics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Previously, he was a research engineer with SINTEF Electronics and Cybernetics. He was also a visiting researcher at the University of Southern California , the University of California at San Diego and the Delft University of Technology in the the Netherlands.

Johansen has published more than 60 technical papers, and is the former associate editor of Automatica and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Transactions on Fuzzy Systems. Johansen holds a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Thor Fossen
Fossen is a professor of guidance and control at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).  Fossen is also a founder of Marine Cybernetics in Trondheim, , where he serves as a senior scientific advisor for hardware-in-the-loop testing of marine control systems and development of real-time vessel simulators. Fossen has also been involved in the design of nonlinear dynamic positioning (DP) systems for free-floating and moored ships, nonlinear and passive state estimators for marine vessels and automotive systems, autopilots, trajectory tracking and maneuvering control, and identification and strapdown DGPS/INS navigation systems.

Fossen has authored more than 200 technical papers and three textbooks, which are used internationally. He holds a patent for weather optimal positioning control of marine vessels. He has also been involved in the design of the SeaLaunch trim and heel correction systems.  

Fossen was awarded the Automatica Paper Prize in 2002. He is a member of IEEE and holds a master’s degree in naval architecture and a doctorate in control systems, both from NTNU.

Jens Kalkkuhl
Jens Kalkkuhl is a research scientist and project leader with the Vehicle Dynamics Systems team of Daimler Group Research and Advanced Engineering in Sindelfingen, . He is also an adjunct professor at the Hamilton Institute, National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

He holds his master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Dresden.

Avshalom Suissa
Suissa is a research scientist with the Vehicle Dynamics Control team of Daimler Group Research and Advanced Engineering in Sindelfingen, Germany.

Suissa holds more than 100 patents in automotive engineering.  He was honored with the Daimler Research Award in 1998, 2005 and 2006. He has a degree in aerospace engineering from the Technion in Haifa, .

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