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PFC win the 2017 Louis Schwitzer Award

24 May 2017

The late visionary veteran Don Burgoon has won the 51st annual Louis Schwitzer Award posthumously, along with fellow engineers from PFC brakes for their carbon disc brake system.

The award, which recognises individuals for innovation and engineering excellence in racing technology associated with the annual Indianapolis 500, was also handed to PFC engineers James Borner, Darin Cate, Paul Rankin and Mark Wagner at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The team, which included founder Don Burgoon before his death in 2015, were recognised for their carbon disc brake system featuring a patented mounting mechanism. The carbon disc and pad assembly provide a uniform matrix which reduces vibration and tire wear.

“The spirit of innovation drives progress. If you glance in the rear view mirror, you’ll see that past award winners have improved performance, efficiency and safety for generations of racecar drivers. The engineers we acknowledge today will take their place in history, inspiring new innovations in the future,” said James R. Verrier, President and Chief Executive Officer, BorgWarner. “We are proud to sponsor the Louis Schwitzer Award and congratulate the engineers who worked tirelessly to bring this technology to the race track.”

The PFC carbon disc brake system consists of a carbon disc and pad assembly made from single continuously wound strands along with a patented mounting mechanism. The material and manufacturing process of the disc and pads provide a uniform matrix which reduces unwanted vibration and tire wear by improving the overall balance of the assembly. The disc is mounted to the hat with a novel, yet simple, retaining mechanism consisting of a double rolled ring and locating bobbins. The patented hat assembly greatly reduces stress, bending moments and distortion while the friction behaviour exhibits excellent modulation, cold bite and uniform heat distribution.

The award memorialises Louis Schwitzer, who won the first auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) in 1909 and designed the “Marmon Yellow Jacket” engine that powered the Marmon Wasp to victory at the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911. After working in the automotive industry for many years, Louis founded Schwitzer Corporation, which produced innovative cooling fans, water pumps and turbochargers. Schwitzer Corporation joined BorgWarner in 1999. Throughout his career, Louis achieved numerous technological accomplishments, supported higher education, led the IMS technical committee and maintained a strong association with SAE.

A $10,000 award is sponsored by BorgWarner and presented to the winning engineers by the Indiana Section of SAE International.

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