Bendix pays homage to its engineers past and present

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC marks Engineers Week 2014 by recognizing its engineers for their contributions to the company’s development and manufacture of leading-edge active safety and braking system technologies. Engineers Week 2014 is February 16-22.

Among those honored are the company’s 2013 patent recipients, 51 engineers who contributed – individually or in groups – to the 50 worldwide patents granted to Bendix last year. The engineers and their spouses, along with senior business leaders, will take part in the annual Bendix patent recognition dinner in April. Honorees will include 18 first-time recipients.

“Bendix is built on engineering innovation. Engineers stand tall behind every one of Bendix’s commercial vehicle technologies throughout our nearly 85-year history – including the long list of groundbreaking designs that represent technological firsts in the industry,” said Richard Beyer, Bendix vice president of engineering and R&D. “Engineers Week gives us added occasion to recognize their service while underscoring our long-standing commitment to support their growth. We nurture our culture of innovation through training and education of Bendix engineers at all levels, from co-ops to professionals in the early stages of their careers to engineers with years of experience.”

Illustrating Bendix’s progressive approach to keeping its engineers on the forefront of technology development is its Engineering Development Program, established in 2011.

Designed to sharpen the skills of engineers in the early stages of their careers, the 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 pre-eminent manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles.

The Engineering Development Program’s rotational assignments expose the engineers to a range of dynamic engineering challenges at a variety of Bendix North American facilities, select Knorr-Bremse global locations, and opportunities at the New York Air Brake headquarters in Watertown, N.Y., and its Train Dynamic Systems (TDS) division in Irving, Texas. New York Air Brake – a Bendix sister company in the Knorr-Bremse Group – focuses on braking systems and technologies for the rail industry.

The Engineering Development Program includes a robust Technical Skills Enhancement (TSE) program, a contemporary engineering curriculum featuring the mechatronics curriculum at Rochester Institute of Technology. The TSE offers a wide selection of technical skills training and education. The comprehensive programming is aimed at supporting Bendix’s business needs and the advancement of its engineering corps. The 18-month certification program – incorporating a majority of the electrical and mechanical course elements online – is open to practicing engineers at Bendix and New York Air Brake. Beyer endorses the robust program, stating that cross-functional expertise is crucial for developing future products at Bendix.

Equipped with industry-leading tools and knowledge, Bendix engineers have established a long tradition of developing technological firsts that improve fleet performance and highway safety. They include:

·         The first compressor, installed on an International Harvester in 1922; Bendix remains the industry leader today

·         The first commercial application of air brakes

·         The first desiccant air dryer, which remains the industry standard

·         The first dual air brake system in North America

·         The first to demonstrate the antilock system for air brake vehicles in North America

·         The first to make a full-stability solution for the commercial vehicle market widely available in North America

·         The first forward-looking radar available on commercial vehicles in North America

·         The first lane departure warning camera used in commercial vehicles in North America


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 17, the company hosted Discover Engineering, a program introducing middle and high school students to engineering through demonstrations, site tours, hands-on activities, and more. The program was open to children and grandchildren of Bendix employees.

“Engineers Week is a fitting opportunity to raise public awareness and highlight the role engineers play in creating sustainable solutions that make a difference in all of our lives,” Beyer said. “For the younger generation, we help them learn firsthand what engineering is and encourage them to consider engineering as a college or career choice.”

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. For directing the nation toward technical advancements, invention, and education, Washington is considered by many to be the United States’ first engineer.