From his early days as a mechanical engineering student at the University of Evansville to today serving as a vice president at PACCAR, SAE International involvement has been a constant throughout the career of Landon Sproull.
His SAE participation began with the Mini Baja collegiate design competition, then transitioned to the Mid-South and Texas sections as a professional, taking on leadership roles of increasing responsibility and being recognized for his involvement. He was presented the 1995 SAE/AEM Outstanding Young Engineer Award and served as Chair of the Texas Section (1997-98) and Chair of the Sections Board (2000-02), before joining the SAE Board of Directors (2002-04). Sproull now will build onto his SAE leadership resume with the role of 2017-20 Commercial Vehicle Sector Vice President.
“[My SAE involvement] has provided me with lots of benefits—leadership opportunities, and networking opportunities, nationally and globally, there’s just lots of value—so when approached about taking the Commercial Vehicle Vice President role, it was a pretty easy decision for me,” Sproull said. “Because I’ve served on the Board, I understand how the Board operates and it gives me a little bit of an advantage. I know SAE is broader than just membership and standards; it has lots of parts.”
Sproull will take over the role from industry colleague Tom Stover, Vice President, Technology-Vehicle Group, Eaton Corp., who will stay on for a fourth transition year.
“I’ve known Tom for many years, and he and I have had a professional relationship,” Sproull said. “He had a couple key initiatives that he was working on that I plan to carry forward, and one was COMVEC 2.0, where we experimented with a different format that was more of a symposium focusing on the key topics of greenhouse gas and connectivity.”
In his current position with PACCAR, Sproull is responsible for powertrain strategic planning including global development, validation and compliance, and the PACCAR Technical Center. Prior to that, he was Chief Engineer at Peterbilt for 10 years.
“I worked for Peterbilt for 26 years, which is a division of PACCAR, but I’ve had extensive vehicle design experience,” Sproull said. “As Chief Engineer, we had a new model introduction that we introduced in 2012, [the 579], so that was my legacy on the vehicle side. Two years ago, in April, I moved to our corporate office to lead up the engine division.”
With a rich technical background to draw from as Vice President, Sproull intends to bolster SAE International’s involvement from an industry regulation standpoint during his term.
“Whether it be greenhouse gas, CO2, NOx, automatic emergency braking, driver logs, cybersecurity, automated vehicles, all of that has quite a bit of legislative pressure on our industry,” Sproull said. “So it’s important that we work with industry as well as associations and governments to make sure that we have workable regulations and standards.”
Another key focus for Sproull will be developing cross-sector alliances to help develop products and technologies and address regulatory challenges.
“It’s important that all of us are sharing our experiences whether we’re in the aerospace, automotive, or commercial vehicle segments,” he said. “We all have our own experiences, and I think participating in meetings is an important area that members can help contribute over the next decade.”