Brelin-Fornari receives Teetor Award

Feb 8, 2008

Dr. Janet Brelin-Fornari is recognized for excellence in engineering education by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Dr. Janet Brelin-Fornari, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering, was selected one of 14 recipients of the 2008 SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, recognizing top engineering educators.

Brelin-Fornari was chosen as a recipient based on her credentials and standards of excellence in education, with her academic contributions distinguishing her as one of the top engineering educators of the year.

Established in 1953, the award is administered by the Teetor Educational Award Committee of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Reflecting the firm belief of its donor that young engineering educators are the most effective link between engineering students and their future careers, the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Fund's major program is focused on younger engineering educators. Its objective is to provide an engineering atmosphere in which teachers can meet and exchange views with practicing engineers.

Brelin-Fornari joined KetteringUniversityin 1999. She currently oversees Crash Safety Center operations and research in addition to teaching undergraduate courses in the areas of Dynamic Systems and Bioengineering. 

Her research efforts are targeted to pediatric crash safety issues and are groundbreaking in their collection and analyses of research data on children under 18 years of age. On behalf of the Crash Safety Center, Brelin-Fornari has worked extensively on building partnerships with industry by establishing a Crash Safety Industrial Advisory Board involving companies such as Delphi, AAA, and General Motors.

Prior to joining Kettering in 1999, Brelin-Fornari worked for General Motors Corporation for 16 years in the areas of vehicle collision analysis and side impact airbag design.   

A native of the Metro Detroit area, Brelin-Fornari earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1985), a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (1989), a professional engineering license in the State of Michigan (1989), and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Arizona (1998).  Her graduate research work was in the area of computational analysis of the human body, specifically of the head and neck.

In addition to teaching and directing the Crash Safety Center at Kettering, Brelin-Fornari instructs in a Kettering University bioengineering-focused, residential summer program for high school women, Lives Improve Through Engineering (LITE) and serves as the SAE Baja Competition Team adviser.

Brelin-Fornari holds professional memberships in: the American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE), the University of Nebraska Cather Circle (mentoring group for University women), and the State of Michigan Science Fair Judges, the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Board of Advisors for McGraw Hill in the area of Engineering Mechanics.

Her extensive publications include, but are not limited to, topics such as “Analysis of a Frontal Impact of a Formula SAE Vehicle,” for the SAE Motorsports Congress; “Cervical Range of Motion Data of Children,” for the SAE World Congress; “Physically Correlated Muscle Activation for a Human Head and Neck Model,” for the Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering Journal; and “Sensitivity Analysis of Hill Muscle Parameters,” for the 6th International Symposium on Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering in Madrid, Spain.

As a Teetor Award recipient, Brelin-Fornari will attend the 2009 AeroTech Congress & Exhibition and receive two years of free SAE membership.

Written by Dawn Hibbard