Four Ford Motors engineers were named Distinguished Inventors in the 25th Inventor of the Year competition held by Intellectual Property Owners headquartered in Washington, DC. Jeff Hepburn, Bob McCabe, Bela Povinger, and Ray Willey were honored for developing an ultra-efficient catalyst system and engine control strategy. Their creation enables the production of natural gas versions of Ford's F-250 pickup and Econoline van. These trucks are the world's first vehicles to be certified to California's Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) standards. The engineers placed a small conditioning catalyst before the oxygen sensor so that it reacts with the hydrogen before it reaches the sensor, allowing optimum performance of the sensor and the catalytic converter.