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Ford engineer wins '06 engineer of the year

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Old 04-06-2006, 12:00 PM
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Default Ford engineer wins '06 engineer of the year

Tom Watson, a Ford engineer, wins Design News' Engineer of the Year for its work on the hybrid powertrain.

It is good that a respected trade journal recognizes the efforts of the behind-the-scenes people who actually make things to happen....

http://www.designnews.com/article/CA6313681.html#_self
 
  #2  
Old 04-06-2006, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Ford engineer wins '06 engineer of the year

Originally Posted by fernando_g
Tom Watson, a Ford engineer, wins Design News' Engineer of the Year for its work on the hybrid powertrain.

It is good that a respected trade journal recognizes the efforts of the behind-the-scenes people who actually make things to happen....

http://www.designnews.com/article/CA6313681.html#_self
First off, "CONGRATULATIONS!!!"

Next question, is the Ford transaxle (aka. transmission) significantly different from the Toyota design? Granted there is room for improvement but I really haven't seen much details about the Ford Escape transmission. Wikipedia is ambigous:
"Both Ford and Toyota state that Ford received no Toyota technical assistance in developing the hybrid powertrain. Aisin AW, a Japanese automatic transmission manufacturer (belonging to the Toyota group), supplies the hybrid transaxle used in the Escape Hybrid. Sanyo of Japan builds the battery pack. The frequently stated story that Ford simply bought the Hybrid technology from Toyota may be left at each one's criteria."
Mostly, I'm curious if 'lock-up' was put in the Ford transmission.

Bob Wilson
 
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Old 04-06-2006, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: Ford engineer wins '06 engineer of the year

Being an engineer myself, I know first hand that adapting (versus outright copying) a technology concept involves quite a lot of work. Since the FEH is such a different vehicle from the Prius, this amount of work must have been anything but trivial.

Having said that, of course the Toyota team does deserve more credit. But the point that I'm attempting to drive across, is that in Ford, GM and Chrysler, there are very dedicated and talented engineers, who are passionate about doing the right thing.

That their leadership does not have the vision to recognize their efforts, that is a different story. Fortunately for Mr. Watson, Ford did have the vision to be the first non-japanese manufacturer to commit to a hybrid.
 
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Old 04-06-2006, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Ford engineer wins '06 engineer of the year

I went back and re-read the article and Tom Watson basicly "carried the water" for fuel efficient vehicles in Ford. That alone, even if he did nothing else, merits congratulations and a "Thank You" note. The FEH was the primary competition when we had to replace our Camry.

I did test drive the FEH and compared to the Prius NHW11, it was and is a well integrated car. Unlike the NHW11 which has a 'transition' point I still feel in the brakes, the FEH was seamless. That is a very hard problem to solve and Watson's team did it.

I'm still interested in the Ford transaxle for reasons beyond just a 'lock up'. It has a towing capability and I'm really interested in the thermal loads and effects. There is a DoE study that claims the Prius transaxle has a cooling problem that limits sustained EV mode . . . but now I'm starting to techno-babble.

Tom Watson does deserve this award for I know how hard it is to bring 'new technology' to those who are still generations behind. His combined skill teams, researchers and engineers, is also an excellent idea although I prefer 1/3 scientists and 2/3 engineering.

Bob Wilson
 
  #5  
Old 04-07-2006, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: Ford engineer wins '06 engineer of the year

Excuse my ignorance, but what is a "lockup transaxle"?
 
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Old 04-07-2006, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: Ford engineer wins '06 engineer of the year

Originally Posted by fernando_g
Excuse my ignorance, but what is a "lockup transaxle"?
It is something not rolling on the streets, yet. It would put a 'brake' or 'lock' on the first motor generator at high speeds so the engine provides all of the cruise power and the traction electrical system goes into a low power mode. This reduces energy losses when cruising.

My data on the Prius suggests this could improve Prius highway performance at speeds above 50 mph:

http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/prius

Bob Wilson
 
  #7  
Old 04-07-2006, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: Ford engineer wins '06 engineer of the year

Interesting!

What I don't understand from your graph, is what you mean by "after draining extra quart of oi from engine"

???
 
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Old 04-07-2006, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Ford engineer wins '06 engineer of the year

Originally Posted by fernando_g
Interesting!
What I don't understand from your graph, is what you mean by "after draining extra quart of oi from engine"
That data point was measured using the same protocol as the other data points but after having drained an extra quart of oil from the pan. This is consistent with other reports that the optimum oil level in the 1500 CC Prius engine is 3/4 between the marks. BTW, on Wednesday, I confirmed that there is oil in the manifold, which was reported as another side effect of an over filled oil pan.

Bob Wilson
 
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