Powertrain Engineer Wins Walter P. Chrysler Technology Award for Second Time


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AUBURN HILLS, MI--Feb. 27, 2013: Powertrain Synthesis Manager Mark J. Duty was today named winner of the Walter P. Chrysler Technology Award, given to holders of Chrysler Group's most outstanding patents.

Duty, a 47-year-old engineer who joined the company in 1996, earned the prize -- his second -- for work on the Powertrain Matching Analysis Toolset. Known within Chrysler Group as PMAT, it helps identify engine-transmission pairings that afford the most bang for the customer's buck.

Today's presentation also marked the first time since 2008 that the Walter P. Chrysler Technology Award has been bestowed. It now resumes its place on Chrysler Group's annual calendar of events.

"Excellence is the foundation of this house," said Chrysler Group CEO and Chairman Sergio Marchionne. "To maintain our momentum, we will need more examples of the vision reflected in the innovations we honor today. Accordingly, the leadership team renews with enthusiasm its support of the Walter P. Chrysler Technology Award."

Duty, a graduate of Lake Superior State University, already has his name etched on the Walter P. Chrysler Technology Award's distinctive trophy. He shared the prize in 2007 for his work on Chrysler Group's Fuel-Saver cylinder-deactivation technology.

His latest work, PMAT, reduces the need for physical testing by employing a reverse tractive, multi-state dynamic optimization process to deliver objective performance assessments. The simulation tool also automatically optimizes powertrain and vehicle combinations.

Benefits include critical time- and cost-savings, key criteria considered by judges. Other criteria range from a patent's uniqueness, to its impact on the customer.

PMAT helped prove Chrysler Group's ground-breaking 8-speed automatic transmission was a natural mate for the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6. The celebrated combination helps Chrysler Group deliver best-in-class fuel economy in key segments such as full-size pickups (Ram 1500) and full-size sedans (Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger).

Judging for the Walter P. Chrysler Technology Award -- first bestowed in 1994 -- is performed by a panel of more than 80 Chrysler Group subject experts, along with previous award winners. The panel reviews every Chrysler Group patent approved during the previous year and identifies a group of finalists, from which senior management selects a winner.

This year, the judges reached back more than three years to pick four finalists from among 244 U.S. patents approved between 2007 and 2012. Finalists included:

  • Stephen J. Buckley and Michael Bassier for their work on collision-avoidance technology that led to the introduction of Chrysler Group's breakthrough Rear Cross Path detection system; it warns drivers of laterally approaching vehicles -- a common scenario in parking lots¬†
  • Liam J. McGuirk, Paul D. Lopez and Arif Abbasi for their work a cargo-management system that led to the development of the popular RamBox feature ‚€“ weatherproof, lockable, drainable, illuminated storage bins located inside the walls of a pickup bed¬†
  • Zhijian J. Wu, Michel Trumbo, Yijun Tu and Min Han their work on a process that predicts battery temperature, while reducing system cost and complexity.†

Chrysler Group gives an honorarium to all employees whose patents are approved by the U.S. Patent Office. They also receive a commemorative plaque from the company.

Winners of the Walter P. Chrysler Technology Award receive a commemorative medallion and have ribbons affixed to their plaques. Their names also are etched on a trophy displayed at Chrysler Group headquarters.

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