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Noted Physician Trammell Wins Louis Schwitzer Award for INDYCAR Driver Safety

The 55th annual Louis Schwitzer Award was presented Friday, May 21 to Terry Trammell, M.D., for his work on biomedical engineering for INDYCAR driver safety.

Trammell’s numerous contributions have advanced motorsports safety and prevented driver injuries. Utilizing a data-driven approach, engineering principles and medical expertise, his efforts have been recognized across multiple motorsports safety organizations throughout the world.

“We are proud to once again sponsor the Louis Schwitzer Award – a program that goes beyond honoring the racers behind the wheels and instead highlights the innovation and engineering excellence behind the scenes of this world-class motorsport event,” said Frédéric Lissalde, president and CEO, BorgWarner Inc. “Just like INDYCAR, BorgWarner is committed to maintaining and continuously improving our safety culture, and Dr. Trammell has made some impressive strides in optimizing the vehicle safety for these drivers.”

In addition to Trammell’s renowned orthopedic abilities, his undergraduate degree is in chemical engineering with a specialization in biomedical engineering. From the early 1990s he has worked to develop definitive data from racing crashes using the latest technology. From the earliest accident data recorders to later units like the new ADR4, Trammell has been integral to their development. The resulting G-force database has been used to continuously develop improved race car materials and design.

“I'm very honored to have received this,” Trammell said. “I want to express my appreciation to the Louis Schwitzer Award committee for awarding me this honor. It was unexpected, to say the least. I want to thank Borg-Warner for sponsoring.

“The beginnings of my engineering education and what I intended to do to pursue a path in biomechanical engineering, actually was doing a senior research project for industry when my adviser suggested if I was going to pursue this I should go to medical school.

"I took his advice; I went to medical school. The closest thing I could find to biomechanical engineering in medical school was orthopedic surgery. When you really think about it, a large number of orthopedic surgeons have an engineering background. One of the core principles throughout an orthopedic residency is regular education in biomechanics. When you're putting hardware in people, it's a good idea to know how heavy the hardware has to be, how many screws, how long a plate, what kind of material, so on and so forth. Without really knowing that's we're doing, that's what we do every day.”

Presented by engineers to engineers, this annual award memorializes the innovative spirit of Louis Schwitzer, an automotive engineer and pioneer who won the first automobile race at IMS in 1909. Each year the award is presented to innovative engineers who have developed cutting-edge concepts that improve competitive potential and focus on advancements that increase the safety, performance or efficiency of Indy 500 race cars. Award recipients receive $10,000 and their names are added to the Louis Schwitzer Award trophy, which sits at the IMS Museum.

Beyond sponsoring this engineer-focused award, BorgWarner contributes to the excitement of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge in a variety of other ways. Every year, the Indy 500 winner receives the honor of being presented with the iconic Borg-Warner Trophy and having the likeness of their face sculpted and permanently affixed to the trophy. Similarly, the victor will receive a BorgWarner Championship Driver’s Trophy or “Baby Borg” – a miniature version of the Borg-Warner Trophy – as their personal keepsake.

The global product leader in delivering innovative and sustainable mobility solutions for the vehicle market also is the Official Turbocharger Partner of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, supplying its EFR™ (Engineered for Racing) turbochargers to boost the engines of race cars participating in the Indianapolis 500. BorgWarner also adds $20,000 each year to a rolling jackpot intended for the next back-to-back winner of the Indy 500. This year, Takuma Sato has his chance at the prize money, which sits at $380,000.

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