State of Wisconsin and has won departmental, engineering society, and university awards for his classroom teaching. He received a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Larry J. Howell is a consultant to industry and government, specializing in the management of research for business innovation, automotive technology, and vehicle structures and materials. He retired from General Motors (GM) in 2001 as Executive Director, Science, of the General Motors R&D Center’s six science labs (Thermal and Energy Systems’ Electrical and Controls Integration; Manufacturing Systems; Materials and Processes; Chemical and Environmental Sciences; and Vehicle Analysis and Dynamics). Dr. Howell had global responsibility for joint research with universities, government agencies, and GM’s alliance partners. He also served as secretary to GM’s Science Advisory Committee, which reports to GM’s Board of Directors on technology matters.
Prior to his promotion to executive director, he served as department head of the Engineering Mechanics Department at GM R&D. In this position, he had responsibility for research in vehicle structures and materials, vehicle noise and vibration, vehicle aerodynamics, and vehicle safety including vehicle crashworthiness and occupant protection. For many years, he was a member of GM’s safety subcommittee. Later, as executive director, he had responsibility for all of GM’s safety research including stability and control technology (e.g. GM’s StabiliTrak system for reducing the potential for spin-out and roll-over) and accident avoidance systems such as adaptive cruise control. He was also a member of GM’s manufacturing manager council. He received GM’s john M. Campbell Award in 2000 for outstanding contributions to: “Advancements in the Engineering Capability of General Motors and Leadership Excellence in all Phases of GM R&D Activities.” Prior to joining GM, Dr. Howell worked for General Dynamics Corporation as senior dynamics engineer and was a principal investigator on NASA contracts focused on the structural dynamics of the Space Shuttle. He has served on the College on Engineering advisory board of the University of Illinois and Western Michigan University. He represented GM as a member of the Industrial Research Institute (IRI), has served on the Board of Directors, and is an emeritus member of the IRI. Dr. Howell has served on several National Research Council panels, including: Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks; Benefits of DOE’s Light-Duty Hybrid Vehicle R&D Program; and Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership. He has also served as a reviewer of several NRC reports. Dr. Howell received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois. He also completed the Executive program at Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business Administration. He has published 27 journal articles and 25 internal company reports at General Motors and General Dynamics. His more recent publications are “Globalization Within the Auto Industry” and “Adapting GM Research to a New Corporate Strategy,” both published in IRI’s Research Technology Management.
John G. Kassakian (NAE) is professor of electrical engineering and former director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Laboratory for Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems. His expertise is in the use of electronics for the control and conversion of electrical energy, industrial and utility applications of power electronics, electronic manufacturing technologies, and automotive electrical and electronic systems. Before joining the MIT faculty, he served in the U.S. Navy. Dr. Kassakian is on the boards of directors of a number of companies and has held numerous positions with the IEEE, including founding president of the IEEE Power Electronics Society. He is a member of the NAE, a fellow of the IEEE, and a recipient of the IEEE’s William E. Newell Award for Outstanding Achievements in Power Electronics (1987), the IEEE Centennial Medal (1984), and the IEEE Power Electronics Society’s Distinguished Service Award (1998). He is a co-author of the textbook Principles of Power Electronics and has served on a number of NRC committees, including the Committee on Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles and the Review of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Research Program. He has an Sc.D. in electrical engineering from MIT.
David F. Merrion is chairman of David F. Merrion LLC; and chairman of Truck Emission Control Technologies, Inc. He is the retired executive vice president of engineering for Detroit Diesel Corporation (DDC). His positions at DDC included staff engineer, Emissions and Combustion; staff engineer, Research and Development; chief engineer, Applications; director, diesel engineering; general director, Engineering (Engines and Transmissions); and senior vice president, Engineering. Mr. Merrion has extensive expertise in the research, development, and manufacturing of advanced diesel engines, including alternative-fueled engines. He is a Society of Automotive Engineers fellow and a member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He served as president of the Engine Manufacturers Association, a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Mobile Sources Technical Advisory Committee, a member of the Coordinating Research Council, and a member of the U.S. Alternate Fuels Council. He has served on a number of National Research Council committees, including the Standing Committee to Review the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles; the Committee on Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership, Phase 1; and the Committee to Assess Fuel Economy Technologies for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles. He has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from General Motors Institute (Kettering University) and an M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.