CO-INVENTOR OF MICHELIN’S AIRLESS TIRE NAMED A TOP 25 NEWSMAKERS BY ENGINEERING NEWS-RECORD
Michelin engineer Dr. Tim Rhyne recognized for his contribution to revolutionary tire technology
Greenville, SC, April 7, 2014
For half a century, the editors at Engineering News-Record (ENR) have selected 25 individuals "with the passion, drive and courage to tackle the most difficult challenges and make our world a better place." This year, Dr. Tim Rhyne, a senior research fellow with Michelin Americas Research and Development Corporation, was selected as a 2014 recipient, receiving the award at a ceremony held at the Marriott Marquis in New York City on April 3.
Dr. Rhyne was recognized for his work on the MICHELIN® X® TWEEL® airless radial tire technology. Dr. Rhyne started his career at Michelin in the machine design group in 1978 and has served in several research and development positions with the French tire maker’s North American company. In 1986, he began work in tire development and by 1996, he was working exclusively in the tire research area. Ever since, he has been working with a team devoted to conceiving and developing new mobility concepts.
It was over lunch in the late 1990s with fellow Michelin engineer and co-inventor of the MICHELIN® X® TWEEL® airless radial tire, Steve Cron, that the idea of challenging pneumatic tire technology and exploring new and revolutionary concepts for this essential component of mobility was born. The two inventors ultimately sketched out a viable radial tire that didn't require any air. "It was a eureka moment," said Dr. Rhyne.
"We are honored to have ENR recognize one of our engineers who helped create the Tweel concept,” said Tim Fulton, head of Michelin Tweel Technologies. “He and Steve Cron have made an important contribution to Michelin and to mobility."
Originally introduced by Michelin in 2005, the Tweel airless radial tire concept is a tire and wheel combination that replaces the current tire, wheel and valve assembly. It is comprised of 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. The MICHELIN® X® TWEEL® SSL was commercially launched for skid steers in October 2012.
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelin-us.com) employs more than 22,000 and operates 18 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Mary Ann Kotlarich
Michelin North America