Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC honored its engineers for their contributions to the company’s development and manufacture of leading-edge active safety and braking system technologies in celebration of Engineers Week 2015, observed February 22 to 28.
The company recognized 46 engineers who contributed – individually or in groups – to the 27 worldwide patents granted to Bendix last year. The engineers and their spouses, along with Bendix senior business leaders, will take part in the company’s annual patent recognition dinner on April 28. Honorees will include three first-time recipients.
“Bendix engineers have perpetuated the innovation and improvement of Bendix safety products and technologies throughout our 85-year history,” says Richard Beyer, Bendix Vice President of Engineering and R&D. “We deeply value their pursuit of engineering excellence, and Engineers Week gives us added occasion each year to recognize that dedication. To help strengthen their development, we nurture a culture of innovation through ongoing training and education of Bendix engineers at all levels.”
Bendix’s progressive approach to keeping its engineers on the forefront of technology development is best demonstrated through its Engineering Development Program (EDP), established in 2011.
Designed to hone engineers’ skills in the early stages of their careers, the Engineering Development Program guides college recruits through a three-year, full-time rotational employment within the Knorr-Bremse Group, Bendix’s parent company. Based in Munich, Germany, Knorr-Bremse is the world’s preeminent manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles.
EDP rotational assignments expose engineers to a range of dynamic engineering challenges at a variety of Knorr-Bremse global locations and Bendix North American facilities, as well as the New York Air Brake headquarters in Watertown, NY, and the Train Dynamic Systems (TDS) division in Irving, TX. New York Air Brake – a Bendix sister company in the Knorr-Bremse Group – focuses on braking systems and technologies for the rail industry.
Housed within the Engineering Development Program is the Technical Skills Enhancement (TSE) program, a robust engineering curriculum that offers diverse technical skills training and features the mechatronics educational curriculum at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), in Rochester, NY. The 18-month certification program, hosted primarily online, is open to practicing engineers at Bendix and New York Air Brake.
Bendix and NYAB enjoy a long-standing relationship with RIT and recently helped develop the Knorr-Bremse North America Mechatronics Laboratory at RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Mechatronics is considered the intersection of electrical and mechanical engineering and is a critical component in advancing many commercial vehicle and rail safety technologies. The laboratory serves both RIT students and engineers from New York Air Brake and Bendix.
“Cross-competence and collaboration are crucial for developing future products at Bendix and growing our engineers,” Beyer says. “The development opportunities available through these programs help ensure that all of our engineers are equipped with the industry-leading tools and knowledge to keep them on the forefront of active safety and braking system technology development.”
In addition to helping its engineers grow, Bendix is also committed to inspiring the next generation of engineers and helping students unleash their creativity and innovative spirit through engineering. On February 16, the company hosted Discover Engineering, an annual event that introduces middle and high school students to engineering through an overview of various engineering fields, brake board and truck demonstrations, site tours, hands-on activities, and more. The program was open to children and grandchildren of Bendix employees.
“We have found that for the younger generation, consideration of engineering as a college or career choice often begins with learning firsthand what engineering is and enjoying hands-on exposure to the role engineers play in creating sustainable solutions that make a difference in all of our lives,” Beyer says.
Engineers Week, a national program marked annually during the week of George Washington’s birthday (February 22), celebrates the contributions engineers make to society and serves as a catalyst for educational outreach. Washington is considered by many to be the United States’ first engineer, as he steered the nation toward technical advancements, invention and education.