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Updated 10:30 AM October 8, 2004




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New UMTRI director named

Peter Sweatman, an expert on the impact of commercial vehicle operations on highway systems, has been appointed director of the U-M Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), effective Sept. 1.

Sweatman is a strong advocate for performance-based standards (PBS) as an improved method for regulating heavy vehicles. His work has been influential in developing truck size and weight evaluation tools for the Federal Highway Administration and the world's first comprehensive PBS regulatory regime for Australia.

Before joining UMTRI, Sweatman was founder and owner of Roaduser Systems in Melbourne, Australia, which specializes in research and development of the operations, productivity and safety of heavy vehicles.

Sweatman also served as chief scientist of the Australian Road Research Board from 1984-89, and he founded and developed its heavy vehicle research program from 1976-89. During the 1990s, he led a major international scientific investigation of the economic benefits of "road-friendly" and "bridge-friendly" trucks. He also served as chairman of the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association, which works to increase the technical capabilities of the transportation industry and improve understanding between industry and regulators.

Sweatman first visited UMTRI nearly 30 years ago to meet with staff from the Engineering Research Division and has been associated with several UMTRI researchers ever since.

"It's fantastic to have the opportunity to work directly with great people," Sweatman says. "I have a long-term interest in vehicle dynamics, but also feel that research should focus on the driver, so I'm excited about UMTRI's forward-thinking research, like the science of driving program."

Sweatman has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a doctorate in vehicle dynamics from the University of Melbourne.

UMTRI's previous director, Barry Kantowitz, is on sabbatical writing a book. He will remain at UMTRI as a researcher.

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