At this year’s SAE Brake Colloquium, Michael Schorn is being awarded the Forest R. McFarland Award for his contributions to the SAE Engineering Board.
Michael has been participating in the SAE Brake Colloquium for about 20 years and has contributed as a session organizer for about 10 years, with a recent focus on high-performance braking. He has also helped bring the European perspective to the Colloquium, gathering European manufacturers and suppliers to the conference and, in his words, “getting input from the European side.”
Michael’s career in brakes almost didn’t happen. He wrote his thesis on injection systems and planned to work on engines. However, the German economy was struggling when he graduated and he fell into brakes, working as a brake test engineer.
From there on, his career and expertise has branched into all sections of the brake industry. He’s worked on brake systems, brake components, testing, and overall engineering. He’s been a Technical Director at Brembo, the Chief Engineer of Foundation Brakes at Continental Teves, and the Director of Engineering and Product Development of High Performance and Racing for TMD Performance.
“Brake development and brake engineering is very interesting work,” Michael says. He notes that young engineers who are looking for jobs should know it is “very highly sophisticated, and high technology work.”
One highlight of his career was playing a part in the initial development of ABS systems. The technology has saved a lot of lives, Michael notes. The overall development of the brake industry, he says, “has always been in the right direction, making brakes and driving cars a lot safer.”
Another highlight: An international resume. Although most of his career has been spent in Germany, he spent three years in Michigan, nine years in Italy, and also worked in the U.K. “It was very useful to work in different countries,” he says. The experience allowed him “to understand the mentality of different countries and different customers” and to understand how the engineering community works in different places.
Michael is excited about this year’s Brake Colloquium and is looking forward to networking and connecting with his many friends in the industry.
There are going to be many “interesting discussions,” at the Colloquium, he says. Brake engineering is more complex than ever, he adds, noting that the integration of the brake system into other vehicle systems opens up new issues
Michael is also going to be busy at the Colloquium representing Link Engineering Company as the Managing Director of LINK Europe. The new generation of brakes requires a new generation of tests, and at LINK, Michael is helping to develop and implement them.
One of his goals is to continue to discover answers to the questions, “Where are we headed and where are we going?” This will help Michael answer another question: “What sort of test equipment will be needed in the future?”
Michael will be recognized at the opening ceremony of the event, which takes place Monday, October 15, at 8:30.
From the official award nomination:
Michael Schorn has been actively involved as a session organizer for the Brake Colloquium since 2008. He has been organizing sessions and growing the technical content in the high-performance brake systems. The session has been growing in popularity at the event and now attracts over 100 attendees. Michael has been part of the committee to review the overall technical content for the event to ensure there are the least amount of conflicts possible.
Michael has also been instrumental in securing speakers from Europe for other technical sessions at the event and continues to be a valuable member of the organizing team.
Earlier in The Brake Report: Leadership spotlight with Matthew Link