The Elmer A. Sperry Award


By Laws



1.0  Rules of Award


1.1 - The Elmer A. Sperry Award shall be awarded in recognition of "a distinguished engineering contribution which, through application, proved in actual service, has advanced the art of transportation whether by land, sea, air, or space." The term contribution as here used includes, but is not limited to, such contributions as devices or procedures in the fields of safety, precision, comfort, dependability, reliability, economics in production or use of vehicles, or a combination of several such elements.


1.2 - The award may be made to an individual or group as qualified candidates are presented annually but not more often.


1.3 - The award to an individual consists of a bronze medal, a certificate, and a copy of the biography of Elmer A. Sperry. The award to a contributing group consists of a citation certificate and a copy of the biography. The distribution of the evidences of any award to a group shall be determined by the Board at the time the award is voted.


1.4 - Recipients of the award shall be selected by a Board representing the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Society of Automotive Engineers, the Society of Naval

Architects and Marine Engineers, and the American Society of Civil Engineers.


2.0  Board of Award Members


2.1 - The Board of Award shall consist of twelve members, two each to be appointed by the six societies.


2.2 - Each society shall have the privilege of appointing one alternate member.


2.3 - The term of each member shall be four years. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers shall appoint representatives to take office in odd years. The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the American Society of Civil Engineers shall appoint one representative to take office every even year. The term of office shall commence on January 1 and will expire on December 31 of the fourth year. Interim appointments will be made by the societies to fill the unexpired terms of membership. Members of the Board may serve for no more than two consecutive full terms. Interim service for an unexpired term shall not affect the limitation on full term service. A society may reappoint the former Board member who has served two consecutive full terms of membership after a lapse of two years.


2.4 - The term of each alternate member shall be four years, with the alternate member being appointed the same year as one of the societies' representatives. The alternate member shall be advanced to Board member to complete a member's term if for any reason a member is no longer able to serve.


2.5 - An alternate member may act for a member representing the same society at a Board meeting in the absence of one of the members.


2.5a In the event one of the six Societies has been requested to provide representatives, but has not, resulting in that Society not having a designated representative and causing the Board to be unable to do business as it would be lacking a quorum, the Chair may appoint an Honorary Member to be a voting member for that Society until such time as the Society provides at least one member. It is recommended, but not necessary, that the appointed Honorary Member be of the Society lacking a representative.


2.6 - A member who is unable to attend three consecutive meetings of the Board shall be replaced by an alternate member to complete the member's term. Extenuating circumstances that prevent a member from attendance will be considered by the Board as an exception.




2.7 - Past members of the Board of Award shall be carried on the roster of the Board of Award as honorary members. They shall receive upon notification to the secretary, calls for meetings, minutes of the Board and documentation of Award nominations. Honorary members shall be privileged to attend Board meetings and partake in Board discussions, but they shall not participate in balloting to determine the officers of the Board or the recipients of the Award. At the discretion of the chairman, honorary members may be assigned investigational projects, reports of which shall be given orally or distributed to the Board as aids in determining qualifications of nominees for the Award.




2.8 - Officers of the Board of Award shall be a chairman and a vice-chairman, who shall be members of the Board, and a secretary, who need not be a member. Officers shall be selected at each fall meeting for a term of one year, with service to commence on January 1 of the following year. There shall be no restriction on reelection of incumbent officers.


3.0  Meetings


3.1 - The Board shall meet at least twice annually in such a place as the Board may select. When practical, meetings should be scheduled in the spring and in the fall.


3.2 - The main function to be performed at the fall meeting will be screening of all nominations and selection of a limited list for careful study by all Board Members prior to the spring meeting.


3.3 - A secondary purpose of the fall meeting is to select the award recipient for the forthcoming year.


3.4 - The purpose of the spring meeting will be to select the Award recipient for that year.


4.0  Projects


4.1 - At the discretion of the Board, investigation projects may be assigned to members of the Board or honorary Board members. Remuneration, if any, for expense of such investigations shall be determined prior to assignment of the project and subject to approval by a two-thirds majority of the Board.


5.0  Nominations


5.1 - At least annually, the secretary shall submit requests for nominations to the members of the Board and to the executive secretaries or general managers of the participating societies.


5.2 - The requests will:

(a) Clearly state the intent of the Elmer A. Sperry Award

(b) Provide a list of the past Award recipients with brief citation of the reasons for the Award; and

(c) Include a nomination form containing questions pertinent to qualifications of the nominee.


5.3 - Each member is required to respond to the request for nominations even though negative and to encourage his society's officer to respond. The secretary shall follow up when no response is received within 60 days.


5.4 - The secretary will determine the number of copies of requests for nominations which are required for further distribution within participating societies and will furnish these to the societies.


5.5 - All nominations are to be returned to the secretary at least 30 days before the fall meeting of the Board.


5.6 - At least ten days before the fall meeting, the secretary shall transmit to members and honorary members of the Board a summary of the information received on all nominations.


5.7 - Nominations made in any given year may, at the discretion of the Board, be carried over for consideration in succeeding years.


6.0  Selection of Recipient


6.1 - The selection shall be chosen without regard to society membership or nationality.


6.2 - The members in attendance at the selection meeting shall consider the names presented, and an individual or group shall, if possible, be selected by the Board of Award.


6.3 - The selection shall be confidential and will be considered final provided a majority of the members of the Board have participated and voted in favor of the selection and also provided that each of the participating societies is represented by one duly appointed Board member

during the selection. Failing a quorum, approval of the selection shall be accomplished by a prompt letter ballot of all Board members with the letter ballot to close two weeks after the date of mailing of the ballot. The chairman of the Board shall canvass the letter ballot.


6.4 - The chairman of the Board, on selection of a recipient, shall immediately inform the recipient of the Board's action. Upon receipt of acceptance, the chairman may make a public announcement.


7.0  Award Presentation


7.1 - Presentation of the Award shall be made at a meeting determined by the Board and approved by the recipient. If a change in the time or method of presentation is desirable, the decision may be made by the chairman, vice-chairman and secretary.


7.2 - The chairman of the Board shall be responsible for the arrangements of the presentation ceremonies.


8.0  Amendments


8.1 - These rules of award may be amended by a two-thirds approval of the members of the Board.


8.2 - The secretary will present to the Board at five year intervals the provisions of the letter of gift of January 18, 1955 to ascertain that the procedures being followed by the Board subscribe to the intent of the letter of gift funding the award. If amendments to the Rules of Award are required, they shall be considered by the Board.


*The forgoing Rules were reviewed and approved by the members of the 1978 Elmer A. Sperry Board of Award, May 1978, and revised in 1980, May 1990, March 2003, and November 2005.