DR. SAEED BARBAT: SAFETY MANAGER DEVELOPS TECHNOLOGIES, TOOLS AND TESTS WHILE TRACKING TRENDS
Dr. Saeed Barbat,
manager of Passive Safety Research and Advanced Engineering
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- Ford Motor Company’s Saeed Barbat helps lead the development of crash protection features, including the new rear inflatable seat belt and the blocker beam used on large vehicles which is designed to reduce or inhibit potential over-ride in collisions between trucks and cars
- Barbat also monitors accident data and societal trends, including vehicle mix, technology and injury rates, as well as infrastructure and regulatory changes and new fuel economy and emissions requirements – all of which influence safety technology development
- Barbat and his wife of 25 years have three children – all of driving age
The development of innovative crash protection features such as Ford Motor Company’s new rear inflatable seat belts is anything but routine for Saeed Barbat, manager of Passive Safety Research and Advanced Engineering and father of three. Knowing that his work will help protect people – including those near and dear to him – drives Barbat to new levels of innovation and excellence day after day.
“I love that we’re developing safety technologies that help protect against serious injuries and reduce fatalities. Ultimately, what we do helps improve people’s quality of life,” Barbat said. “It’s very dynamic work, never routine, and every day there are new challenges to address.”
Since 1991, Barbat has helped pioneer a number of Ford’s safety technologies and the predictive, analytical and experimental tools applied to vehicle safety development. Shortly after joining Ford, he led the effort to improve head protection, for which he was recognized with a Henry Ford Technology Award and Ford’s Customer Driven Quality Award.
Barbat also steered Ford’s vehicle compatibility research, and represented Ford in working groups and meetings on this topic with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The work led to the use of the industry’s first “blocker beam” in large vehicle bumper design, starting with the 1999 Ford Excursion and 2001 F-250 and F-350, which is designed to reduce or inhibit potential over-ride in collisions between trucks and cars. He also developed test procedures to evaluate vehicle compatibility that were adapted by various organizations and regulatory agencies in their research, domestically and internationally.
With 13 U.S. patents and more than 45 technical papers to his credit, Barbat also serves and represents Ford on various Ford and industry committees including the Crash Safety Working Group of the United States Council of Automotive Research that has overseen the execution of safety research associated with alternative fuel vehicles, and the Human Body Modeling Consortium that has overseen development of a computer-modeled human body that will help engineers better understand what happens to regions of the human body during a crash.
Barbat and his colleagues have developed Ford’s full human body model that includes highly detailed internal organs, especially the comprehensive human brain model that has been used to better understand the extent of injuries that can occur during a crash.
“The Human Body Model will help reduce physical testing on component and full-scale levels during vehicle development,” Barbat said. “It will also be used to develop more sophisticated instrumentation that could lead to more human-like crash dummies.”
The data gathered using both actual and virtual crash test dummies help engineers develop and bring to market innovative safety technologies faster than ever and in advance of possible future government regulations.
Barbat also monitors real-world accident data, including vehicle mix, technology and injury trends, as well as infrastructure and regulatory changes and new fuel economy and emissions requirements.
“All of the information we collect from around the world helps determine Ford’s short- and long-term safety projects,” Barbat explained. “We want to save lives and be the world leader in automotive safety.”
Personal Insights and Fun Facts
- Saeed has been married to Nehdal Barbat for 25 years. They have three children, Sally, 24; Selwan, 22; and Justin, 17.
- Saeed earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from The University of Baghdad (Iraq) in 1976, and his master’s degree in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in England in 1980. He also obtained his Ph.D in applied mechanics from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1990.
- On the weekends, Saeed enjoys social gatherings with friends and trying cuisine from around the world.
- Among Saeed’s most memorable vacations was a trip to Jasper National Park and the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada, in August 2008
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 200,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
Nov. 5, 2009