Five Distinguished Engineers to Receive the 2003 Ralph H. Isbrandt Automotive Safety Engineering Award

Warrendale, PA (March 4, 2005) - Tony R. Laituri (lead author), Priya Prasad, Brian Kachnowski, Kaye Sullivan and Phillip Przybylo have been selected to receive the 2003 Ralph H. Isbrandt Automotive Safety Engineering Award. The award will be presented during the 2005 SAE Government/Industry Meeting, May 9-11, in Washington , DC .

This award, established in 1972, recognizes individuals for their outstanding contribution to SAE literature which advances the field of automotive safety engineering. The award honors the late Ralph Isbrandt, 1967 SAE President, who contributed significantly to automotive safety engineering and inspired young engineers to seek a career in mobility engineering. The recipients are being recognized for SAE paper #2003-01-1355 "Predictions of AIS3+ Thoracic Risks for Belted Occupants in Full-Engagement, Real-World Frontal Impacts: Sensitivity to Various Theoretical Risk Curves".

Tony R. Laituri Tony R. Laituri
Tony Laituri is a technical specialist in biomechanics and occupant simulation with Ford Motor Company, an organization which has employed him for 15 years. In his position, he provides theoretical assessments of proposed safety systems and proposed safety regulations. He is the past winner of two Henry Ford Technology Awards for airbag depowering research and advanced restraint system design (1998 and 1999, respectively). He has also won an SAE Oral Presentation Award regarding advanced airbag rulemaking in the United States (2001). He has fourteen published technical papers in the area of passenger car and aircraft safety to his credit. Laituri received his bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University .

Dr. Priya Prasad Dr. Priya Prasad
A world-renowned biomechanics expert, Dr. Prasad has spent the past 30 years at Ford studying the human body and its response to physical forces in vehicle crashes. His understanding of what happens to occupants in a side-impact crash led to his development of computer simulation models that have been key in the development of Ford's side-impact air bags. Dr. Prasad is also a part of a team of research and safety experts who have developed a deploying door-trim system that improves protection in side-impact accidents. Dr. Prasad has received many accolades for his work in safety research. He is an author or co-author of over sixty technical papers, a Fellow member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the chairman or member of various ISO / SAE committees. Dr. Prasad holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Bihar College of Engineering, a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Wayne State University , and a doctorate in biomechanics, also from Wayne State .

Brian P. Kachnowski
Brian Kachnowski is a CAE Technical Specialist at Ford Motor Company. In addition to risk analysis, his other current topics of interest are multidimensional surface fitting for prediction and robust optimization using Kriging, MARS, neural networks, and other methods; response surface validation via data splitting and other cross validation techniques; data mining and prediction from sparse data; sparse matrix processing; genetic algorithms; fast numeric methods; prediction from incomplete, noisy, or otherwise uncertain data sets; and adapting methods from other nonlinear fields to vehicle safety problems. He has authored or co-authored six technical papers on vehicle restraint systems and airbags. Kachnowski holds a bachelor's degree in electrical & computer engineering from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and has completed graduate coursework in mathematics and cognitive science at the University of Michigan .

Kaye Sullivan Kaye Sullivan
Kaye Sullivan is a safety data analyst in Ford's Automotive Safety Office. She has been with the company for over 15 years, working primarily as a researcher in the field of accident data analysis. Her research has focused on U.S. motor vehicle accident data, with an emphasis on the analysis of complex survey data to support related research. Sullivan received the Henry Ford Technology Award for airbag depowering research in 1998, and has co-authored technical publications on a variety of topics that include child restraint use and the development of theoretical injury risk curves. She holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in applied statistics from Oakland University .

Phillip Przybylo
Phillip Przybylo is product engineering manager at Britax Child Safety, Inc. where he is responsible for the design and development of child restraints for automobiles and aircraft use. Prior to his current position, he was employed by Ford Motor Company, working on various assignments, most of which were in occupant protection and crashworthiness. He has been a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers since 1985. Przybylo holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from GMI Engineering & Management Institute. He also holds a master's degree and doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan .