SAE John Melvin Motorsport Safety Award

Established in 2016, this award honors individuals, organizations or teams (both SAE members and nonmembers) whose research and/or practical application represents unique, original concepts that, when applied to motorsports, cause significant positive change and elevate safety to new levels of innovation, in the memory of Dr. John Melvin. Dr. Melvin was a pioneer in the field of driver safety, particularly in the area of driver restraint systems. He persuaded drivers to adopt the HANS (head and neck restraint) device, and was a key developer of "black box" data recording for racecars that helped sanctioning bodies learn from accidents. His contributions as a safety consultant to NASCAR for more than 13 years will leave a lasting mark on the sport. Nominees should be those persons who have demonstrated a commitment to reducing the injuries in auto racing incidents. This award is funded by the generous support of NASCAR and will consist of a wall plaque and a $1000 Honorarium.





Arnie Kuhns

SFI Foundation


Jochen Braunwarth & Team

Geobrugg AG


Steve Peterson (Posthumously)



Dean Sicking



Robert W. Bielenberg

University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Ronald K. Faller

University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Anton George

Vision Investments LLC


James C. Holloway

University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Karla A. Lechtenberg

University of Nebraska-Lincoln


John D. Reid

University of Nebraska-Lincoln


John R. Rohde

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, retired


James R. Downing

Downing/Atlanta Inc.


Hubert Gramling

Motorsport Safety Consultant


Robert Hubbard, Ph.D. 

Michigan State University, retired

Nomination Deadline: Oct. 1

Download Nomination Form