MIT Graduate to Receive SAE 2004 Myers Award for Outstanding Student Paper
Warrendale, PA (April 20, 2005) - Jennifer A. Topinka, a recent graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a current member of the engineering staff at the General Electric (GE) Global Research, has been selected to receive the 2004 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Myers Award for Outstanding Student Paper. Topinka wrote her award-winning piece with the help of co-authors Michael D. Gerty, Dr. John B. Heywood and Dr. James C. Keck. The award was presented to her on April 12 during the Honors Convocation at the annual SAE World Congress in Detroit, Michigan.
This award, established in 1998, is given annually for the best technical paper written by a student and presented at a major SAE meeting. The award honors Phil Myers, former SAE President and retired professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Myers and his wife Jean have set a high standard for excellence, concern for students, and involvement with SAE. Topinka, along with her co-authors, is being honored for SAE paper #2004-01-0975, "Knock Behavior of a Lean-Burn, H2 and CO Enhanced, SI Gasoline Engine Concept."
At GE's Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y., Topinka works on combustion optimization for the company's locomotive diesel engines. She is currently investigating technologies on a single-cylinder locomotive engine, with a goal of improving efficiency while meeting emission regulations.
The spark that ignited Topinka's interest in automotive and transportation technology was an undergraduate extra-curricular activity, the Future Car Challenge. This competition, which was sponsored by the Department of Energy and US CAR, organized engineering students from various universities to design and build the best-performing hybrid-electric vehicle. Topinka worked on the University of Wisconsin-Madison hybrid vehicle team throughout her undergraduate career. While an undergraduate, she also interned at Ford Motor Company. As a graduate student at MIT, she worked on a single-cylinder research engine to help characterize the performance potential of a novel engine concept involving a plasmatron fuel reformer.
Topinka is a member of SAE International and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and has several published papers to her credit. She holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's from MIT.