Thursday, March 30, 2023
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IMMI Engineers Take Possession of Excellence Award

An engineering team that developed the Premier seat for motorcoaches that offers school bus compartmentalization and three-point, lap/shoulder restraints along with ride comfort were awarded with the 2009 SAE Henry Ford II Distinguished Award for Excellence in Automotive Engineering at the SAE 2010 World Congress last month.


From left: SAE President Andrew Brown, Jr.; Doug Bittner; Chris Foye; Jeff King; Dave Merrick; Tom Rumler; and Jon Szalai.

As reported in this month’s issue of School Transportation News magazine and in March online, the team at IMMI in Westfield, Ind., incorporated the company’s existing Safeguard SmartFrame technology used in school bus bench seats since 2002.

The Premier seat is designed to protect both belted and unbelted passengers in Greyhound buses while giving customers the level of comfort they have grown to expect during inter-city travel.

The six engineers received their awards on April 13.

“This is the first time that a company serving the bus industry has received this award,” said James Johnson, director of sales for IMMI.  “We share this honor with FirstGroup America and Chief Engineer Alex Cook, who had the original vision to develop this seat. Our work together in developing Premier has resulted in a product that makes a real and lasting impact on the safety of motorcoach passengers traveling America’s roadways.”

The Premier seat will soon be available for school bus activity trips, the company said in March.


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