2009 Engineer of the Year Nominees

July 30, 2009

4 Min Read
2009 Engineer of the Year Nominees


JB Straubel oversaw the technical effort that took Tesla's electric Roadster to a battery-only range of a stunning 244 miles. Tesla's achievement is considered significant, even by traditional automotive competitors, because most production-level EVs have struggled to crack the 150-mile mark. Under Straubel, Tesla linked 6,800 lithium-ion cells together in a battery pack weighing 990 pounds, developed a patented cooling system to enhance the battery's safety, engineered a lightweight single-speed powertrain and tweaked the vehicle's aerodynamics and rolling resistance. The result: an electric car that races from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and still gets more range than any electric production car in automotive history. Straubel is now spearheading the design of Tesla's Model S, an electric seven-seat sedan that's targeted for a 300-mile range.  Read more about JB Straubel

Read up on this year's Engineer of the Year runners up, below:

Gus KyriakosVP - Engineering, Aspen AvionicsGlass Cockpit TechnologyIn a career spanning 36 years, Gus Kyriakos led the team that created a system to help aircraft avoid collisions at Allied Signal and established Rockwell Collins' Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) Center for Engineering Excellence. He brought Avidyne Avionics' design center online in Melbourne, Florida, and when he finished that project, he accepted another one that also fits in with his quest for excellence: He's now leading the Aspen Avionics' engineering group as they bring affordable Glass Cockpit technology to small aircraft. The technology is based on MEMs (micro-machined electro-mechanical systems) to mimic the operation of mechanical gyroscopes. His engineering philosophy is summed up in a single quote: "Tell me something is impossible and I'll take that as a challenge." Read more about Gus Kyriakos

Tom LangeSenior Director of Modeling and Simulation - P&GVirtual Product Design Initiatives at P&G

Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley made this stunning comment in the company's 2008 annual report: "Computer modeling and simulation saved P&G about 17 years of design time last year alone." P&G has made a deep dive into virtual simulation in recent years, speeding products to market, improving their fitness for use, reducing waste and dramatically reducing costs of physical prototypes. Heading the corporate modeling and simulation effort is career P&G engineer Tom Lange, who wears two other hats: head of computer-aided engineering and chief technologist for reliability engineering. One big success story was the development of the first-ever plastic coffee canister. P&G's market share went from 15 to 25 percent in three years after the design change. The simulation group annually returns five-fold profits that are verified by corporate financial officers.Read more about Tom Lange

Tim WojcikResearch Program Leader for Radiographic Image Capture, Carestream Health, Inc.DRX-1 Cassette-sized, Wireless Digital Radiography Detector

In his 30-plus year career as an engineer in the digital imaging space, Tim Wojcik is known for spearheading the development of first-of-its-kind technologies -- including the first computer radiography clinical system at Kodak nearly 20 years ago. Leveraging both his engineering and management experience, Wojcik most recently led a team at Carestream Health to develop the first wireless, cassette-size digital radiography detector, which promises to accelerate the stalled X-ray-to-DR conversion because it allows health care organizations to upgrade without having to retrofit existing facilities and buy new equipment. Though the product was said to pose next-to-impossible design goals, Wojcik's dogged determination to stick to key requirements, despite a host of engineering challenges, coupled with his pragmatic approach that led to the development of this breakthrough technology.Read more about Tim Wojcik

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