The SAE Teetor Program stimulates contacts between younger engineering educators and practicing engineers in industry and government.
Reflecting the firm belief of its donor that engineering educators are the most effective link between engineering students and their future careers, the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Fund's major program is focused on younger engineering educators. Its objective is to provide an engineering atmosphere in which these teachers can meet and exchange views with practicing engineers.
The current decade places greater expectations upon the colleges and universities of the world to educate individuals who must successfully meet the challenges that face society. The purpose of the Teetor Award is to recognize and honor those younger educators who are successfully preparing engineers for this task.
Established in 1963, this award is administered by the Teetor Educational Award Committee and consists of a framed certificate, a trip to a major SAE meeting, and two years of SAE membership. The award is presented at either WCX: World Congress Experience or at a major SAE aerospace event.
Reflecting the firm belief of its donor that early career engineering educators are the most effective link between engineering students and their future careers, the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Fund's major program is focused on these engineering educators. Its objective is to provide an engineering atmosphere that these teachers can meet and exchange views with practicing engineers.
The program accomplishes this by underwriting the costs of annually bringing engineering educators to the SAE World Congress & Exposition in Detroit, Michigan, or the SAE AeroTech meeting held every other year. These events attract more than 45,000 engineers who share common interests in research, design, development, production, and utilization of land, sea, air, and space vehicles.
Besides having the freedom to attend their choice of technical sessions, the SAE Teetor Award participants are invited to attend SAE technical committee meetings, take part in visits to industrial and research facilities, and an awards ceremony. Special functions allow the group to meet with officers of SAE, as well as to get to know each other better. The participants are encouraged to tour the Exposition and to talk with as many practicing engineers as possible.
As a feature of the Award program, one of the major automobile manufacturers and one of the leading aerospace corporations are hosts-for-a-day to the participants. The host's engineering and research department customarily arrange specialized tours and sessions where new techniques are demonstrated and discussed. At other forums, views are exchanged on subjects of mutual interest to the engineering educators and the host engineers.
The Teetor Program has been an important part of the SAE service and educational story since 1963. It has provided an unparalleled opportunity for more than 800 engineering educators to develop a better understanding and closer relationship with practicing engineers. Since its inception, Teetor Award recipients have represented over 200 universities and colleges.
SAE Teetor Award Alumni continue to develop new concepts in teaching, engage in research programs, participate in local industrial-college efforts, and assist SAE Sections, thanks to their exposure to industry via this unique program. They have continued to interface with industry and government bodies by serving on the SAE Board of Directors, on administrative , executive & technical committees, and by actively supporting other educational programs administered by SAE.
The unique program has been enthusiastically welcomed by Deans of Engineering and has generated comments such as these from the participants:
"A constructor of miniature dynamos and other machinery at 10 and thoroughly versed in all that pertains to their operation, and at 12 the builder of an automobile that carries him about the streets of his native town and far out upon the country roads at a speed of from 18 to 25 miles an hour, is the remarkable record of Ralph Teetor of Hagerstown, Indiana.” The foregoing is quoted from a feature article that appeared in the New York Herald of December, 21, 1902.
Ten years later Ralph R. Teetor graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He immediately started work as a mechanical engineer for the Light Inspection Car Company, an organization founded by his family that grew through several name changes to become the Perfect Circle Company in 1928 and later the Perfect Circle Corporation. Teetor soon was named Vice President of Engineering for Perfect Circle and was the corporation’s President from 1946 to 1957. Following his Presidency he continued to be active as an Engineering Consultant and Director until his retirement.
But retirement did not mean full retirement for Teetor. He established his own workshop where he worked on new ideas for the improvement of existing products in automotive and other fields.
His SAE activities were numerous since he first affiliated in 1912. He held practically every office in the SAE Indiana Section and became its Chairman in 1926. Nationally, he participated actively in SAE’s technical and administrative committee work and, in 1936, was elected SAE President. After his successful term as President, Teetor contributed to a number of SAE research and technical committees and served on the SAE Technical Board and as Chairman of the SAE Meetings Committee, predecessor to the SAE Engineering Activity Board.
Education was one of Teetor’s important interests. In 1949 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Earlham College and continued until his death in 1982. He received honorary degrees from Earlham College and the Indiana Institute of Technology.
Teetor believed that “the success of our future society depends on the emphasis we place on teaching to our youth the basic principles that have been proven by experience to be sound.” In making the gift that made possible the establishment of the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Fund, Teetor designated that the money was to be used to further SAE’s educational program. he suggested that consideration be given to “the possibilities of projects that will encourage extension of acquaintanceships and interchange of needed information between practicing engineers in industry with faculty, students, and junior engineers.” The Ralph R. Teetor Educational Awards Committee has taken this suggestion as its objective.
A board of judges comprised of both academic and industry personnel will review the material and select the participants in November. Outstanding educators will be chosen from the ground vehicle category and from the aerospace category. The judges will base their selection on the following criteria: