The new inductees are Jaques Bajer, president of Tire Systems Engineering Inc. and Armando Tornel Murillo, executive president at Empresas Tornel.
Jacques Bajer, president of Tire Systems Engineering Inc. (Grosse Pointe, Mich.), specializes in the design of advanced manufacturing systems for the economical mass production of tires, power transmission belts, lathe-cut seals and air springs. The French-born engineer was an active participant in the evolution of the automotive and tire industry. His work at Ford Motor Co. from 1955 to 1970 led to the development of the tire uniformity grading machine (1962) and the low-profile tire (1964). Bajer also was a key figure in the radialization of America and holds many patents on tire production and design.
Bajer developed the idea of powertrain presence, the acoustical tuning machine technique and the virtues of suspension compliance. His development and insistence upon true uniformity standards for tires, wheels, and manufacturing consistency have resulted in OE specifications that have been unchanged for nearly 40 years.
He continues to advise others in the automobile and tire industry worldwide for the problems they encounter, and he is currently developing a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) for motorcycles.
Armando Tornel Murillo, executive president of Empresas Tornel in Mexico, has had a long and successful career in the tire industry. It all began in 1930 when he was sent by his father to the U.S. to study tire engineering at the former Smithers laboratory in Akron, Ohio, and rubber technology at the Vanderbuilt laboratory. In 1933, Tornel and his father founded “Hulera El Centernario,” and produced the first America and All State tires. In 1951, Hulera Tornel started making retreading materials.
In 1970, the company started manufacturing passenger car inner tubes, and in 1972, it started manufacturing truck, light truck, and bus tires. In 1982, it launched a line of passenger radial tires. Over the years, several of the Tornel factories were taken over by U.S. Rubber, Firestone, and Bridgestone, but after each takeover, Tornel opened another factory. Currently, Hulera Tornel has five production plants and has grown from 36 workers in 1933 to a workforce of 2,080 employees. And, at the age of 97, Tornel is still involved in the family business.
Armando Tornel Murillo has received awards and commendations from various officials and organizations, including: Gold Medal “Angel Urraza” from the National Chamber of the Rubber Industry; Distinction Award from ANDELLAC (National Association of the Tire Manufacturers, Retreaders, and Retailers, A.C.); medal from the Mexican Red Cross; recognition from the Mexican Rubber Group; recognition from Mark Emkes, Chairman and CEO of Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc., and the International Diamond Star for Quality in 2004.
Four additional individuals were selected as Historical Contributors, a category that TIA added last year. Historical Contributors are selected for their “significant industry contributions” but have been out of the industry for at least 20 years. The four individuals chosen as Historical Contributors include: Giovanni Pirelli, founder of Pirelli Tire; Jerry Shaw, editor of Tires (now MTD); Charles and John Gates, International Rubber (Gates Rubber), manufacturers of the Half-Sole, a type of rubber tread cemented over worn tires that paved the way for modern day retreading; and Phil Lansdale and Don Carr, founders of 4dayTire Stores.
TIA’s 2006 Friend of the Industry Award recipient is Ira Feldman, manager of the Vehicles Category Management Center with the U.S. Postal Service in Philadelphia. This award recognizes allies and supporters of the tire industry. Feldman has been a strong supporter of the Postal Service’s use of retreaded tires, TIA said.
Hall of Fame Inductions will take place on Oct. 31 in Las Vegas prior to the opening of the SEMA Show/TIA’s Performance Tires & Wheels. The presentation will be held during TIA’s Breakfast with the President, scheduled from 6:45 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the Caesars Palace Hotel Roman Ballroom. Tickets for the event are $35 and are available online at www.tireindustry.org.