This year’s Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence, held at Deutsche Messe during the 20th edition of Tire Technology Expo, were a celebration of recent advancements in tire technology, progress towards a greener industry and the personal achievements of some remarkable individuals.
The awards, which were coordinated by Tire Technology International magazine, were split into seven dedicated categories and officiated by a panel of international journalists and industry experts.
The highly anticipated Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year award was won by VMI, with the company’s pioneering Synchro Crown Drum seeing off stiff competition from the likes of Inmess and Continental.
In the first of its two victories on the night, Michelin won the Tire Technology of the Year award for its airless mobility solution for passenger vehicles, Uptis. Michelin impressed the judges to such an extent it was also awarded Tire Manufacturer of the Year, overcoming fierce competition from Goodyear and Continental, and securing an historic double.
In the Tire Industry Supplier of the Year Award category, it was US-based Eastman, one of the world’s largest producers of chemicals for the industry, that triumphed over the four other nominated suppliers in a hotly contested competition.
The Environmental Achievement of the Year award grows in significance every year as the industry looks to become greener and more sustainable. 2020’s winner was RubberJet Valley, commended for its environmentally friendly High-Pressure Water Jet Technology.
As well as recognising the impressive achievements of manufacturers and suppliers, the awards celebrate the achievements of remarkable individuals within the industry. One such individual is Andrew Tinker, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Andrew’s illustrious career spans over forty years, during which time he authored over eighty technical papers, co-edited a book and was the co-inventor on four patents for commercial products.
Dr Tinker has become a renowned expert in the study and development of rubber blends and thermoplastic elastomers based on natural rubber, and, although he retired as Director of Research of TARRC in 2009, he remains on a number of influential committees associated with the rubber industry.
Dr Tinker was also one of the judges who helped choose the winner of the Young Scientist Award for 2020. The recipient of that prize was the inspirational Alex O’Neil a Jaguar Land Rover Research Engineer from the University of Surrey. Alex was commended for his research into the measurement of friction to predict tire behaviour on different road surfaces.