MwRSF Director Ron Faller Wins 2021 Innovator Award

Among the award winners at the 2021 NUtech Ventures Innovator Awards event were (clockwise from top left), Ron Faller, the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, Jackson Stansell and Eric Markvicka.

As part of Nebraska Research Days, NUtech Ventures hosted the 2021 Innovator Celebration November 1 this year. The Awards recognize university personnel and companies who are developing commercializing cutting-edge research.

The award ceremony opened with NUtech executive director Brad Roth, followed by UNL chancellor Ronnie Green, sharing their pride for these faculty. Green described the awards as reflecting “our university’s commitment to advancing innovation and making it available for broader impact.”

Ron Faller earned the Prem S. Paul Innovator of the Year Award. This award, also the namesake of the building housing Faller and the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility (MwRSF) where he conducts research, recognizes an individual who exemplifies innovation and entrepreneurship by advancing novel research into significant commercial use.

As director of MwRSF and faculty in the Department of Civil Engineering, Ron Faller’s area of interest align with transportation safety, specifically roadside safety design. He has worked on projects in the motor sports safety field, such as the SAFER barrier first installed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and he has worked on projects with the Department of Defense for facility security. Currently, Faller is the Co-Principal Investigator for a project developing a roadside barrier designed to stop the crash of a 40 ton tanker-trailer vehicle that has recently led up to a full-scale crash test.

In his award video, Dr. Faller describes his research breakthroughs while working at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for more than 35 years. He says the collaborative effort with his partners at MwRSF and TrafFix Devices while developing the crash cushion and other systems that actively save lives and are already being implemented on roadsides are very important to him. “We impact motorists, allow them to go home at night with their families and loved ones, and we reduce serious injuries and prevent fatalities.” Ron thanks current faculty members and staff support at Midwest for their help and support over his career.

NUtech Ventures is the university’s technology commercialization affiliate and protects, markets, and licenses the university’s intellectual property. They promote entrepreneurship like Faller’s and MwRSF projects through programming and sponsored events.

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