Troy, Michigan – On the 35th anniversary of the creation of the world’s first road-ready catalytic converter emission control system for cars, a team of engineering, research and development professionals at General Motors has been honoured with the 2008 GlobalSpec Great Moments in Engineering Award. It is the first public recognition for this little-known engineering team.
Although catalytic converters had been invented prior to 1973, getting them to work and survive in harsh environments such as in vehicles proved to be a significant challenge. The team’s engineering breakthrough helped to overcome the effects of severe thermal, chemical and mechanical punishment of catalysts in harsh automotive exhaust gas environments. The team’s efforts between 1973 and 1975 resulted in the adoption of the system for GM’s 1975 model year, and ensured the commercial availability of unleaded gasoline.
“GlobalSpec is honoured to recognize these engineers and scientists from General Motors and from its AC Spark Plug Division, whose seemingly everyday work ultimately resulted in significant health and economic benefits to hundreds of millions of people throughout the United States and around the globe,” said GlobalSpec chairman and CEO Jeffrey Killeen. “As a team, this group conceived, designed, led the assembly, created and tested the world’s first production-ready automotive catalytic converter emission control system. Their pioneering work paved the way for unleaded fuels becoming viable, and for improved driveability and greatly reduced emissions. We thank and salute them for their efforts.”