Mechanical engineering professor appointed to National Academies committee

Published: Aug 20, 2010 10:00:00 AM
Media Contact: Sally Credille,, 334-844-3447


Pradeep Lall

Pradeep Lall, Thomas Walter Professor in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and director of Auburn University’s National Science Foundation Center for Advanced Vehicle and Extreme Environment Electronics (NSF-CAVE3), has been appointed to the National Academies Committee on Electronic Vehicle Controls and Unintended Acceleration. Lall, an expert in automotive electronics reliability and prognostics, will serve the committee by examining state-of-industry efforts to ensure safety of electronic throttle control, as well as causes and possible remedies for unintended acceleration.

The committee will also examine and publish best practices for assuring safety in related sectors, such as avionics, and explore applications to vehicle safety design and assurance. The study could provide information used to update the 1989 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-commissioned study known as the “Silver Book.”

“Modern automobiles may include complex computer systems for performance of functions, like fuel injection and emission control, anti-skid braking, active suspension, collision avoidance and electronic transmission control,” says Lall. “Other customer preference features, such as climate control, entertainment and navigation systems also require sophisticated electronics”.

Lall is internationally recognized for his research in reliability, failure mechanisms, prognostics, life prediction models and dynamics. He is the author of two books, 11 chapters and more than 250 journal and conference papers on electronics packaging, with emphasis on design, modeling and predictive techniques. Prior to joining the Auburn faculty, Lall worked on the development of two-way radios and cellular handsets for Motorola. He is the recipient of three Motorola outstanding innovation awards and five Motorola engineering awards. Lall is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, recipient of the college’s senior faculty research award and holds a Six-Sigma black belt in statistics. He also holds a joint appointment with Auburn’s Department of Finance.

Researchers at Auburn’s NSF-CAVE3 center study the latest innovations in electronics for cost-effective, damage tolerant electronic systems. The center was established to develop technology for automotive, military, defense and aerospace applications. Center members represent a broad spectrum of industry and government agencies with a general focus on harsh environment electronics. NSF-CAVE3 has a comprehensive set of test and fabrication facilities, including assembly, analysis of transient dynamics, surface science, electronic packaging, accelerated testing, material and thermal characterization.

The National Academies is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to furthering scientific disciplines and their use for the general welfare. The organization was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that calls on the academies to act as an official adviser to the federal government upon request in any matter of science or technology.