Dr. John F. Carney III, chancellor of the University of Missouri-Rolla, has received the 2007 Kenneth A. Stonex National Roadside Safety Award from the Transportation Research Board, a part of the National Academy of Sciences.
Carney was selected for the award based on his contributions to the field of roadside safety. The award was presented to Carney by the Roadside Safety Features Committee at the Transportation Research Board’s 86th Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.
An international expert on impact attenuation devices, Carney holds 10 patents in this area of research and has authored more than 140 technical publications in the structural mechanics area. He designed one of the first truck-mounted attenuators.
Carney also developed reusable, maintenance-free crash cushions that can collapse, dissipate kinetic energy and then regain their original shape. Many of these patented devices can be found lining highways all around the country, including in St. Louis.
“Everyone who travels America’s highways owes a debt of thanks to Jack Carney and other safety researchers who have helped save countless lives by developing safer guardrails and other roadside safety devices,” says Dr. Michael Meyer, Transportation Research Board chair and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. “The Stonex Award, which is named after one of the pioneers in the field, recognizes Jack’s 30 years of research and leadership on roadside safety issues."
The Kenneth A. Stonex Award takes its name from a General Motors engineer who was active in the 1940s and 1950s. Many of the concepts developed by Stonex and GM to eliminate hazardous terrain and obstacles have been incorporated in the U.S. Interstate Highway System and urban freeway networks.
Carney earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and graduated first in his class from Merrimack College in 1963. He then received a National Defense Education Act Fellowship and enrolled at Northwestern University, where he earned a master’s and doctoral degrees in civil engineering in 1964 and 1966, respectively.
His first academic appointment took him to the University of Connecticut, where he stayed for 15 years before joining Auburn University as professor and head of civil engineering. He stayed at Auburn for two years before accepting a position as professor of civil engineering at Vanderbilt University, where he led the school’s structures area of civil engineering before moving into the administrative ranks in 1989. Carney first served as associate dean for graduate affairs before becoming associate dean for research and graduate affairs in 1993.
Carney’s next stop took him to Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he served as provost and vice president of academic affairs until accepting his current position in 2005.
Carney has been a leader in academic research field as well. He served as the Transportation Research Board Committee chair for six years and served as a longtime member of the executive committee of the Highway Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers, of which he is a fellow. In addition, he was been involved with a number of National Research Council committees.