Hall Of Fame 2006

Jaques Bajer
Tire Systems Engineering, Inc.

Jacques Bajer is the president of Tire Systems Engineering, Inc. in Grosse Pointe, Michigan where he specializes in the design of advanced manufacturing systems for the economical mass production of tires, power transmission belts, lathe-cut seals and air springs.

The French-born engineer was an active participant in the evolution of the automotive and tire industry. His work at Ford Motor Company from 1955 to 1970 led to the development of the tire uniformity grading machine (1962) and the low-profile tire (1964). Bajer also was a key figure in the radialization of America.

Mr. Bajer has many patents on tire production and design. He realized that American automobiles would have to have both dramatic and subtle modifications to chassis, suspension, drive train, and body panels to fully utilize and appreciate all of the advantages of radial construction. To this end, he developed the idea of power train presence, the acoustical tuning machine technique, and the virtues of suspension compliance. His development and insistence upon true uniformity standards for tires, wheels, and manufacturing consistency have resulted in original equipment (OE) specifications that have been unchanged for nearly forty years.

Not content to rest upon his laurels, he is still advising many in the automobile and tire industry worldwide for the problems they encounter. Even now, he is at work on the development for a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) for motorcycles.

Armando Tornel Murillo
Empresas Tornel

Armando Tornel Murillo is the Executive President of Empresas Tornel in Mexico. He has had a long and very successful career in the tire industry. It all began in 1930 when he was sent by his father to the United States to study tire engineering at the former Smithers laboratory in Akron, Ohio and rubber technology at the Vanderbuilt laboratory. In 1933 Tornel and his father founded "Hulera El Centernario" where the first AMERICA and ALL STATE tires were produced. In 1951 Hulera Tornel started making retreading materials.

In 1970 the company started manufacturing passenger car inner tubes and in 1972 they started manufacturing truck, light truck, and bus tires. In 1982, after a comprehensive research and development process, it launched its line of passenger radial tires. Over the years, several of the Tornel factories were taken over by U.S. Rubber, Firestone, and Bridgestone, but after each takeover, Tornel opened another factory. At present, Hulera Tornel has five production plants and has grown from 36 workers in 1933 to a workforce of 2080 employees.

Armando Tornel Murillo has received countless awards and commendations from various officials and organizations, including: Gold Medal "Angel Urraza" from the National Chamber of the Rubber Industry; Distinction Award from ANDELLAC (National Associaiton of the Tire Manufacturers, Retreaders, and Retailers, A.C.) for his more than 40 years of contributions to the rubber industry; medal from the Mexican Red Cross; recognition from the Mexican Rubber Group for his sixty years of uninterrupted labor into the Mexican rubber industry; recognition from Mark Emkes, Chairman and CEO of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. for being the founder of that company in Mexico and for his outstanding work in the tire industry, to name a few, as well as the International Diamond Star for Quality in 2004.

At the age of 97, Tornel still remains involved in the family business and is focused on the welfare of his workers and their families. He has been an example to his employees and his country throughout his life.