While award trophies and plaques are prized possessions and public honors, medals are worn close to the heart, designating a very personal commitment to the task at hand. Such is the case with the recipient of the Harold Herzlich Distinguished Technology Achievement Medal which is only awarded every other year to recognize a tire industry pioneer whose career and accomplishments have changed the industry for the better, leaving a lasting impact on tire design, development, and manufacturing. William V. Mars, Ph.D., P.E. received the Herzlich Medal on September 14, 2022, at the International Tire Exhibit and Conference (ITEC), the largest tire manufacturing trade show and conference in North America. Receiving this medal is a pinnacle point in Dr. Mars’ lifetime quest to improve how rubber products are designed and brought to market.
Dr. Will Mars is an international leader in the failure mechanics of rubber and his career has focused on applying experimental and computational mechanics in pursuit of better-performing rubber products. He is the author of the Endurica fatigue life solver – the world’s first commercially available and most highly-validated simulation for fatigue analysis of rubber. He is founder and president of Endurica LLC, a firm whose solutions are being used by 13 of the top 20 global rubber product producers. Dr. Mars has over 30 years of experience developing testing and simulation methods in the rubber industry, including 16 years at Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. He earned his Honors BSME with Polymer Specialization at the University of Akron, and his MS and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Toledo. Dr. Mars served as the chief editor of both Rubber Chemistry and Technology and Tire Science and Technology. He has over 60 peer-reviewed scientific publications and four patents in the area of elastomer durability.
Medal presenter Bruce Meyer, editor of Rubber News, noted his relationship with Harold Herzlich whose career spanned decades in the tire industry, decades more as an expert in tire forensic cases and more than a couple additional decades as technical editor of Rubber & Plastics News. Mr. Herzlich served as the founding conference chairman for ITEC and for 10 subsequent ITEC conferences. “I worked with Harold for many years,” explained Mr. Meyer. “He truly was one of the good guys of the tire industry. And that’s appropriate, because today we are honoring Will Mars, founder and president of Endurica L.L.C. And I can say definitively that Will also is one of the good guys in our industry.”
“Harold Herzlich himself is retired (but) he did serve on the committee tasked with choosing a winner from among the highly qualified nominees. I asked him to send along a message for me to share, and this is what he had to say: ‘Even though I had very limited contact with Will, I, like many technical people in the industry, was aware of, and depended upon, his very capable and generous contributions as Editor to the Rubber Division’s highly regarded Rubber Chemistry and Technology.’ Will went beyond his publication activities and contributed actual hardware and software capabilities that are already accelerating the industry’s innovation process worldwide.”
Key Impacts of William V. Mars, Ph.D., P.E. career to the tire industry:
• Pioneered Critical Plane Analysis which enables accurate prediction of tire life under complex loads.
• Explained the phenomenon of improvement in fatigue life of the sidewall compounds in inflated tires (strain crystallization).
• Expanded Futamura’s deformation index, to predict tradeoffs between stiffness, mode of control and durability.
• Developed incremental calculation method for elastomer fatigue analysis, enabling simulation of multi-step durability tests including FMVSS and highspeed protocols for tires.
• Developed rapid test method to determine the long-term durability of rubber. The method reduces testing time from weeks (or months) to under one hour and is based on intrinsic strength/fatigue limit physics.
• Introduced fatigue crack growth testing protocols that produce more reliable data relative to prior methods.
• Current market adoption: 13 of top 20 of global rubber product producers are using Endurica methods today.
About Endurica LLC
Endurica provides the world’s most comprehensive tools and workflows for fatigue analysis of elastomers. Clients include 13 of the top 20 global rubber product producers. Endurica solutions include simulation software, material characterization services, testing instruments, and training to answer your key question: “How Long Will It Last?” The company was founded in 2008 and received the 2020 Tibbetts Award for cutting-edge technology from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
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