NHTSA Honors Safety Engineering Leaders
Myra Blanco, a researcher at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, is among the winners of this year's U.S. Government Awards for Safety Engineering Excellence. Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech.
Safety engineers from Volvo, automotive supplier Autoliv and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute were among those honored at the 2017 U.S. Government Awards for Safety Engineering Excellence ceremony.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration handed out the awards June 5 during the International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, held in Detroit.
Myra Blanco, director of the Center for Public Policy, Partnership and Outreach and an advanced vehicle researcher at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, was among the award winners.
Blanco’s areas of expertise include automation, in-vehicle devices, driver distraction, driver fatigue and active safety systems. She was the principal investigator of a 2016 project that compared the Waymo (Google) self-driving car crash rate to the national crash rate. She is the principal investigator of four current NHTSA projects, which involve semi-automated vehicle functions, heavy vehicle crash-warning interfaces, vehicle electronic systems safety, and vehicle-to-vehicle and driver-vehicle interface characteristics.
Per Lenhoff and Magdalena Lindman from the Volvo Cars Safety Center were also winners. Over the years, they have worked on developing a range of systems including run-off road occupant protection and both physical and computer-aided engineering test methods that capture and replicate real-life crashes.
Lenhoff is senior manager, and Lindman is a technical expert in traffic safety data analysis. In their roles at the Volvo Cars Safety Center, they have contributed substantially to the safety performance levels of Volvo’s latest products, including the new XC60.
Additionally, Ola Boström, Autoliv’s vice president of research, was honored with the award for his research on vehicle safety technology including advanced seat belt and air bag systems. He is also a pioneer in neck injury research and has studied complex accident situations such as side-impact and rollover crashes.