AKRON—The 2018 International Tire Exhibition & Conference will recognize Michelin North America research engineer Stephen Cron with the Harold Herzlich Distinguished Technology Medal.
Cron is senior principal product research engineer at Michelin's Technology Center in Greenville, S.C., and co-inventor of the Michelin Tweel—a non-pneumatic tire/wheel combination. He will receive the award Sept. 12 at a special ceremony during the three-day 2018 ITEC, to be held Sept. 11-13 at Akron's John S. Knight Center. ITEC is North America's largest conference and trade show for tire manufacturing.
The Tweel comprises a rigid hub connected to a shear band by means of flexible, deformable polyurethane spokes and a tread band, all functioning as a single unit.
In 1997, Cron and colleague Tim Rhyne began to work informally, on various structural concepts for non-pneumatic tires. Those lunchtime conversations blossomed into working prototypes that proved the viability of the concepts.
In 2000, Rhyne and Cron safely completed "One Lap Flat," driving from South Carolina to California and back on early prototype non-pneumatic tires. They continued to develop that early non-pneumatic technology into what would later come to be known as the Tweel non-pneumatic tire technology.
Today, Michelin produces and markets Tweel tires for a variety of off-road applications, including ZTR mowers, skid steer loaders, golf carts and all-terrain utility vehicles.
"We are honored that Steve Cron of Michelin will join us to accept the Harold Herzlich Distinguished Technology Achievement Award during ITEC 2018," said ITEC Co-Chairman Walter Waddell. "Steve is not only a primary creator of the concept of the airless tire, but also a lead development engineer leading to its commercialization, known as the Tweel. We are pleased to add Steve Cron's name to the list of our previous awardees."
Prior to joining Michelin, Cron was a project engineer at the Air Force Ballistic Missile Office and instructor of engineering mechanics at the Air Force Academy.
Recently, Cron has been responsible for the conception, design, analysis and testing of non-pneumatic tire technologies for automotive applications. He and his Michelin colleagues have filed more than 100 patents for various elements of non-pneumatic tire technology.
Cron will receive the Harold Herzlich Distinguished Technology Achievement Medal at a breakfast ceremony starting at 8 a.m. Sept. 12. To register for the breakfast, contact Lori DiFrancesco at [email protected] The cost is $30.
For more information about the award breakfast ceremony as well as ITEC registration, booth and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.ITEC-tireshow.com.