Tribute to Mr. Donald Friedman
June 15, 1927 to June 16, 2015
Professionally, Don is respected internationally for his accomplishments. Don identified his life's most significant contributions to technology. He, as principal or with a team, designed, developed and produced: the periscope system for the Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine; a high-performance electric drive; the infrared seeker and guidance control for the Sidewinder missile, which was the first airplane-mounted missile able to track a target and shoot it down and instrumental weapontry in the Korean war; the 3 Lunar Rovers that landed on the moon, unfolded their wheels and traversed the lunar surface; the Minicars Transit and Car Rental System; experimental, research, large and electronic research safety vehicles; a dynamic dummy-occupied full-scale vehicle rollover crash test fixture (JRS) and quasistatic full-scale vehicle roof strength test fixture (M216); the HALOTM, rollover protective systems for light truck vehicles used in, for example, the mining industry; and proofs of electronic drive-by-wire system algorithm defects.
Don was a pioneer of vehicle crashworthiness and occupant safety research and testing, saving thousands of lives. He authored more than 150 technical papers and 7 patents, and testified before Congress on numerous occasions. He is responsible in part for more strict government vehicle safety standards. In his last 30 years, Don testified in more than 1,000 personal injury and product liability cases; he helped win landmark cases against major vehicle manufacturers that forced recalls and safety improvements.