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Engineer of the Year

Article-Engineer of the Year

Engineer of the Year

Engineering's Celebrities Each year Design News recognizes engineering's brightest stars through our Annual Engineering Awards Program and an Academy Awards-like event held in conjunction with the National Design Engineering Show in Chicago. You can help us recognize the engineering profession by voting for the person profiled below that you think should be named our 2003 Engineer of the Year Award. Simply download a pdf of the official ballot from our website at It could be a tough choice. The winner you select will be the subject of the cover story in our Annual Awards issue in February 2004 and will be feted at our awards banquet on February 24, 2004 in Chicago. Thanks to the generous support of the Timken Company, the winner will designate an engineering school to receive a $25,000 grant.


David Szczupak

Imagine an automotive powertrain that not only improves emissions and fuel economy but also produces greater power and torque. Thanks to David Szczupak and his engineering team, Ford is now rolling out such paradoxical engines and transmissions, as well as hybrid designs. Involved with powerplants since he was 8 years old in his father's repair shop, he now leads development and production of Ford's new modular engines. Modularity also lowers cost and time to market. These engines include: PZEV (Partial Zero Emission Vehicle) 4-cylinder types for world-wide production and first in Focus cars; Duratec V6 engines with 4 valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, and electronic throttle control; and 3-valves-per-cylinder V8s for larger vehicles. New transmissions for these engines include continuously variable and 6-speed types.


Anthony Digioia III

To the hundreds of thousands who suffer from hip problems, Tony DiGioia is a medical angel. An engineer and surgeon, he is one of the world's leading pioneers in computer-assisted orthopaedic (CAOS) surgical technology. He and his team invented and patented a computer-navigation system for hip-replacement surgery that enables physicians to create models of a patient's bones and implants prior to surgery in order to reduce the size of incisions and improve hip function. He is director of the Institute for Computer-Assisted Orthopaedic Surgery at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital and senior research scientist and co-director of the Center for Medical Robotics and Computer-Assisted Surgery at Carnegie Mellon, where he is developing ways to use ultrasound to visualize, track, and register bones for navigation, and a new class of miniature robotic tools for minimally invasive surgery.


Albert Wurz

Those labels with the zebra stripes on everything from a can of beans to your UPS package hardly get a notice anymore. Yet, without that label and bar code scanners to read them, packages, mail, inventory, groceries, and just about any product you can buy couldn't be tracked with the precision we've come to expect. Engineer Albert Wurz, chairman of the board and founder of Accu-Sort Systems-a maker of bar code scanners, vision systems, and RFID technology-is a pioneer in the field of automatic bar code reading. He holds several patents in optical scanning and-through his engineering skills, vision, and imagination-led the charge to bring laser-based scanners into every warehouse changing the logistics landscape forever. Wurz is a founding member of Automatic Identification Manufacturers.


Larry Hornbeck

How many engineers can lay claim to an Emmy award? Larry Hornbeck, a TI Fellow in Digital Imaging at Texas Instruments, may be one of the rare few. He is the inventor of the Digital Micromirror Display (DMD), a MEMS array of fast digital switches that forms the basis for digital light projection. To date, over a million projectors incorporating DLP technology have shipped and over 40 movies have been produced in DLP Cinema format, which is said to significantly enhance image quality. Hornbeck holds 29 patents in DMD and CCD technologies, and has received numerous awards for his engineering work-including that Emmy in 1998 for outstanding achievement in the engineering development of large-screen projection display technology.


Tom Myrick

Tom Myrick spent a long time preparing for his current job as Chief Engineer at Honeybee Robotics, a maker of advanced automation equipment that has plied harsh environments from space to the steam pipes under New York City. He built his first robotic arm in ninth grade. And since earning a degree in mechanical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, he has chalked up seventeen years of experience and three patents in the design and implementation of advanced robotic systems, proprietary fasteners, and high-precision actuators. Most recently, he designed and served as systems engineer for the rock abrasion tool currently en route to Mars on NASA's 2003 Exploration Rover. Mounted on the end of the rover's robotic arm, it will excavate Martian rocks through a robotic grinding process. Right now, he's at work on a challenging system for collecting even deeper samples during future missions-a 10-meter drill that could be integrated on a Rover.


Paul Bevilaqua

A new propulsion system concept is an extremely rare occurrence in the field of aeronautics. But Skunk Works engineer Paul Bevilaqua's dream of a revolutionary, dual cycle turbofan/turboshaft engine became a reality for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), short take-off, vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft. This propulsion approach, patented in 1993, circumvents the hover problems associated with high-temperature and high-velocity jets by providing much of the downward thrust with cool air from the lift fan. His design was credited for the huge Lockheed Martin JSF win in 2002-the largest aircraft contract ever awarded. Bevilaqua continues working at Lockheed Martin, focusing on ways to apply the propulsion system to commercial aircraft.

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