In 1967, began his career at Ford Motor Company as a research engineer. Throughout his 43-year tenure, he held a number of research engineering and staff scientist positions – leaving a lasting imprint on the company.
Last May 4, Gandhi was recognized for his incredible achievements at Ford as he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) at The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation event the same day. The annual black tie event, hosted in conjunction with the US Patent and Trademark Office, honors and celebrates some of the world’s foremost inventors and their contributions to society.
“Each year, we induct a new class of industry pioneers into the NIHF who have conceived or patented innovations to further our nation,” said Mike Oister, chief executive officer of NIHF. “Haren Gandhi meets this criterion perfectly. His work led to the reduction of harmful pollutants and continues to have a positive global impact today.”
Gandhi held 167 global patents, including 61 in the US. Many were related to automotive exhaust catalysis. It was under his direction that Ford became the first company to employ non-platinum and non-rhodium three-way catalyst technology in the US, a discovery that revolutionized the way the automotive industry approaches emissions control.
The winner of numerous technical awards, including five prestigious Henry Ford Technological Awards in 1985, 1988, 1989 and two in 1994, Gandhi stands out as a true innovator. In 2002, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation – the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement by America’s leading innovators – by President George H. W. Bush.
After his passing in 2010, Ford went on to establish the Dr. Haren Gandhi Research and Innovation Award to recognize individuals who have achievements in innovation. The award is presented annually during the Henry Ford Technology Awards ceremony.
He serves as a role model for many, including Jeffrey Hepburn, Chemical Engineering and Fuel Department manager at Ford. Hepburn worked with Gandhi for several years at the Research and Innovation Center (RIC).
“Haren was a mentor to me in my career at Ford. He had a very big impact on our industry and society overall,” he said. “I’m very happy to see his contributions being recognized.”
Ford Senior Technical Leader Venkatesh Prasad also had an opportunity to work with Gandhi and remembers him as a person with “great clarity of vision.”
“He had one hand in the here and now that included the down-to-earth details of implementation and all the hard work behind the scenes that comes with it,” Prasad said. “The other hand was in what we might call today a ‘saving the planet’ call, for us to engage in dialogue and address the problems of our collective future.”