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Larry J. Howell

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For his technical contributions and exceptional leadership abilities in Automotive Research & Development and his steadfast commitment to the University of Illinois and the Department of Aerospace Engineering.

Former Executive Director of Science at General Motors Research and Development Center
BS, 1966, Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
MS, 1968, Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
PhD, 1971, Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Larry Howell is a consultant to industry and government, specializing in the management of research for business innovation, automotive technology, and vehicle structures and materials. He retired from General Motors (GM) in 2001 as Executive Director of Science for the General Motors Research and Development Center. Howell had global responsibility for joint research with universities, government agencies, and General Motors alliance partners.

Prior to his promotion to Executive Director, Howell had served as Department Head of the Engineering Mechanics Department at General Motors Research and Development, where he was responsible for research in vehicle structures and materials, noise and vibration, aerodynamics, and safety, including vehicle crashworthiness and occupant protection. Later as Executive Director, he had responsibility for all of GM’s safety research, including stability and control technology.  Examples of the technology developed by GM Research were the StabiliTrak system for reducing the potential for spinout and roll-over and accident avoidance systems, such as adaptive cruise control. He was also a member of GM’s manufacturing managers council. He received GM’s John M. Campbell Award in 2000.

Earlier in his career, he worked for General Dynamics Corporation as senior dynamics engineer, and was a principal investigator on NASA contracts focused on the structural dynamics of the Space Shuttle.

He has served on both the University of Illinois and Western Michigan University, College of Engineering advisory boards. He was also a technology management consultant to industry, advising on vehicle telematics and electrification for John Deere, and he served on several studies of fuel economy for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Engineering.