AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- When it comes
to the movie-industry's biggest award night, the scientific and technical
prizes are relegated to a separate, untelevised event that lacks the ritz
and thrill of the main attraction. But it's just the opposite when it comes
to awarding technical innovation within the Chrysler Group. Believing
genius doesn't fall far from the tree, each year the Chrysler Group
recognizes employee inventions patented during the year in the form of the
Walter P. Chrysler Technology Award.
Finalists for the Walter P. Chrysler Technology Award are selected by
the Chrysler Group Patent Review Committee, which evaluates each patent
issued during the year. Then each voting member ranks the finalists. The
Corporate Intellectual Property Office counts the votes and makes the final
The Chrysler Group has presented patent awards since the early 1980s
and the Walter P. Chrysler Technology Award has at its core the search for
products and ideas that continue to give the Chrysler Group its competitive
edge in all aspects of technology and business. Inventions that will
improve quality, eliminate waste, reduce costs and speed up development are
key to the selection process. Past Chrysler Group innovations have included
four-wheel hydraulic brakes, electric window controls and electronic fuel
injection. And a little something called the HEMI(R), now with
Multi-Displacement System (MDS). Last year's winner was a patent for the
Evaporative Emissions System Integrity Module (ESIM), a simple design but
with big cost-savings.
First place for the 2005 Walter P. Chrysler Technology Award was given
to Louis A. Rhodes, Douglas J. Quigley, Joseph L. Salani, Carl Mather, John
V. Keane, David J. Ewers and Robert W. Feldmaier for U.S. Patent No.
6,955,386, issued October 18, 2005 and titled "Underfloor Stowage of a
Folding Seat in a Vehicle" -- better known as a Stow 'n Go(R) system --
which allows a seat to be folded and put away, creating a completely flat
Second place was awarded to Zhijian James Wu, Jyh-Laing Lin, Dean
Marshall, Brad Schoeff, Mike Trumbo, John G. Hatfield, James Karlet and
Yijun Tu for U.S. Patent No. 6,902,319, issued June 7, 2005, titled
"Vehicular Battery Temperature Estimation." It focuses on software within
the engine controller that already measures coolant and ambient
temperatures, as well as vehicle and engine speeds, to estimate the
internal temperature of the battery at any given time, eliminating sensing
U.S. Patent No. 6,898,929, issued May 31, 2005 and titled "Method and
Apparatus for Supplying a Reductant to an Engine Exhaust Treatment System"
by Thomas W. Asmus nabbed third place. The goal behind this is for
complying with the stricter emissions standards coming in 2007. Focus is on
regeneration of an NOx absorber or trap via a mixture of diesel fuel and
methanol or ethanol, resulting in vaporization of some of the alcohol in
the fuel. Using the diesel fuel alone for the process can cause higher
exhaust temperatures and extra fuel in the exhaust.
Sean A. Bannon, inventor of U.S. Patent No. 6,916,044 issued July 12,
2005 for the "Steering Column/Airbag Tunable Impact Absorption System" was
awarded fourth place. This functions as an active steering column that
allows for real-time tuning of the column's energy absorption based on
sensed factors, such as driver size and position or the type of impact.
Honorable mentions were given to David J. Pietras, Nabil M. Issa and
Majeed Kadi for their "Route Storage and Retrieval for a Vehicle Navigation
System," U.S. Patent No. 6,847,891, issued January 25, 2005 (the ability to
record a route not in the system, such as a newly constructed street or
off- road trail) and Mark S. Hannon and James R. Klotz for their "Internal
Combustion Engine Having Three Valves per Cylinder," U.S. Patent No.
6,895,925, issued May 24, 2005 (three-valve setup for pushrod-style
SOURCE Chrysler Group