Brothers win Eaton's top innovation awards for advanced technologies

  • 14-Aug-2014 12:54 EDT
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Brothers, fellow employees, and SAE members Dave (left) and Tom Genise were both awarded the Gamechanger Award for their work at Eaton.

A pair of brothers, who are both employees at Eaton and SAE International members, have each won Eaton’s “Gamechanger” Award—the company’s highest recognition for employees who drive breakthrough results—for their work on different advanced technologies that enable significant fuel savings benefits.

Dave Genise (SAE Member, 1985), Eaton’s Director of Valvetrain Engineering, won the 2013 Gamechanger award for his work on Eaton’s Variable Valve Lift (VVL) system that improves the fuel efficiency of passenger cars. The technology enables both cylinder deactivation and variable valve lift across a wide range of engines. The technology is on production vehicles today.

“When optimized within an engine, the VVL system enables the OEM to calibrate the engine to switch between two valve lift profiles, either for fuel economy or to realize maximum power when acceleration capability is needed,” Dave Genise said. “Systems to provide this function have been available in various vehicles for some time. What sets apart the Eaton VVL system is that the components can be readily integrated into existing engine architectures, since the Eaton VVL rocker arm (SRFF) replaces the existing rocker arm already present in many modern engines with roller finger follower valvetrains with overhead camshafts. This new ease of implementation, combined with a proven theory of operation, creates an engine technology that can readily improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles globally.”

Older brother Tom Genise (SAE Member, 1982), a Senior Technical Advisor for Vehicle Technologies and Innovation, won the 2003 award for the development of the DM clutch. The system is the enabling technology for Eaton’s breakthrough UltraShift automated transmission family, which helps improve the fuel efficiency and ease of operation of commercial vehicles.

“The DM clutch is different from other automatic starting clutches for commercial vehicles in that it actuates and is controlled strictly by the rotational speed of the engine—the faster the engine spins, the more it engages the clutch,” Tom Genise said. “Also, it is strictly a mechanical device in that it has no wires or sensors or other actuating or sensing signals going to it. That is why it is called DM, which stands for ‘Datalink Mechanical.’ It is a mechanically actuated clutch that is controlled by a datalink going from the transmission controller to the engine controller to request speed control of the engine during vehicle launch.”

The brothers tout the emphasis and value Eaton places on technical innovation in its products and were pleasantly surprised to both receive this honor.

“I was very proud of my brother’s award and had no expectations to achieve the same recognition,” said Dave Genise in an interview with SAE Magazines. “I was certainly surprised and honored to receive this award. Eaton is a company that highly values engineering and innovation, and I am proud to be part of that tradition. To share this award with my brother makes it that much more special.”

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