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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Paul S. Fancher, Jr.


NHTSANational Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
May 5, 1997

Monday, May 5, 1997
NHTSA 27-97
Contact:  Tim Hurd
Tel. No. (202) 366-9550

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today recognized Paul S. Fancher Jr., a research scientist at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), for his outstanding career in traffic safety research.

"Paul Fancher's research has helped establish many of the fundamental principles and methods upon which modern active safety research is based. His 28-year career in traffic safety research has served to improve the design of body, steering, chassis, brake and tire systems on vehicles sold in the United States and globally. He has made an enormous contribution to he base of knowledge underlying the crash avoidance performance of modern cars and trucks," said Ricardo Martinez, M.D., NHTSA administrator.

Fancher received the award today at the Society of Automotive Engineers International/Government/Industry meeting in the Omni-Shoreham Hotel in Washington.

Dr. Martinez said that the award recognizes the great talent that makes American automotive design and manufacturing the best, and that America can be proud of its people who are responsible for the outstanding progress in producing cleaner, safer and more efficient vehicles.

The award was established by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. It is open to domestic motor vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and personnel of federal laboratories for work in the fields of motor vehicle safety, energy savings or environmental impact.

To evaluate the nominations, NHTSA assembled a panel of experts from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Research and Special Programs Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and NHTSA's Office of Crashworthiness Research and Crash Avoidance Research.

The evaluation criteria included an assessment of the quality of work cited, the contribution of the cited work to improved safety, energy savings, or environmental quality, and the nominee's involvement with the cited work.

This was the fourth time the award has been presented since it was established by Congress. The first was presented in March 1994 to Dr. Priyaranjan Prasad of Ford Motor Company for his work in applied crash simulation and biomechanical research, including the effects of crashes on the human spine.

The second was presented in April 1995 to the team of Larry Orr, Tim Kangas, Wayne Simons, Dick Drollinger, Roy Merryman and Don Richardson of PACCAR for their work in the research and development of aerodynamic heavy trucks. The third was presented in April 1996 to Dr. John B. Heywood for his engine-related research at a fundamental level leading to engine design and emission control concepts used throughout the automotive industry.

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