George Joy, a researcher who has spent his career working on catalysts and advanced technologies for autos, is the federal government's new full-time chief for the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles.
Joy, 49, takes over as chairman of PNGV's Technical Task Force from Rob Chapman, who has retired from government service. He had been commuting between Washington and his home and North Carolina, where his wife is about to undergo surgery on both knees. Chapman had held the post since 1994.
Joy takes responsibility for PNGV-related research spread among seven federal agencies and 20 national laboratories. He reports to Mary Good, undersecretary for technology administration at the Commerce Department.
PNGV is an auto industry-government effort to develop technology. The goal is for the Big 3 to create mid-sized sedans that get 80 mpg by 2005 with costs on a par with today's vehicles.
Last week Joy said he thinks the partnership is working well. 'We've seen a can-do spirit. The industry is working hard to make progress,' he said.
His biggest challenges, Joy said, are to keep the project on target and to see if the government can provide more help without needing additional funds.
'There are still a lot of technological hurdles. We're far from having the problems solved,' Joy said. 'The challenge is to select the right projects and make sure they're getting the right resources.'
With Congress and the White House working for a balanced budget, Joy said his job will be to 'see if we are getting all we can get out of the options we have. Are there good sources of technology that haven't been brought into the partnership? I want to make sure we're doing a better job of tapping our resources all the way down to the working level. We have to find every little option.'
Joy had been director of strategic technology development with AlliedSignal Inc.
He is familiar with the PNGV's partnership concept. During his AlliedSignal career, Joy was director of research and technology for Europe, where he helped start a research alliance to develop gas turbine engines for automobiles.
Joy started his career at UOP Inc., working on catalytic converters for auto exhaust. He holds six patents, and earned his doctor's degree in inorganic chemistry at Northwestern University.