* Image: I’m standing in front of a Kawasaki Mule that the Quantum Signal team modified so it can be remotely operated like an R/C car! Lots of electronics on-board!
h5. How did you get into electronics/ engineering and when did you start?
Actually I started getting into electronics at a very young age (back then!). I must have been about 10-11 and got involved with radios & TVs as well as various “science fair” type projects such as 1kw Tesla coils and flying spot scanners. All of these were vacuum tube devices!
During college I worked part time in the basement of a pawn shop in Newark, NJ repairing radios & TVs as they came out of pawn. An interesting slice of the world!
h5. Will you tell us about some of your work at GM over the course of the 32 years that you worked there?
I hired into GM Research Laboratories in 1970 right after I got my PhD. It was a wonderful place to work & I got involved in a variety of projects involving mechanical & electrical systems as well as their integration. We even talked about mechatronics in the early eighties!
In terms of memorable projects, we actually built and designed flywheel hybrid vehicles in the late 70’s and early 80’s! (Please see "this article":http://history.gmheritagecenter.com/wiki/index.php/GM's_Flywheel_Hybrid_Vehicles that I wrote a few years ago.)
Another very memorable project was Project Trilby, a project aimed at better integrating electronics, controls and computers into automotive vehicles that started ~1985. This project led to GM’s adopting the systems engineering approach, a whole spectrum of “by wire” concepts, etc.. (Please see "this link":http://history.gmheritagecenter.com/wiki/index.php/Project_TRILBY and "video":http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkaaU9AEyX0&list=UUS7k17VZBkYF8B-nGOJg-iQ&index=6&feature=plcp that I put together for our 25 year reunion in 2010. It describes the project & what it led to.)
Another effort that I was a part of was the creation of GM’s Systems Engineering Organization in the late 80’s. We developed processes and computer-based tools to create vehicles. This was right after GM acquired Hughes and we worked as a team.
I spent my last eight years at GM managing the development, training, and deployment of new computer-based tools (CAE) to better design vehicles. (Please click "here":http://history.gmheritagecenter.com/wiki/index.php/GM%27s_Road_to_Virtual_Product_Development --I’m in here too!)
h5. What have been some of your influences that have helped you get to where you are today?
My dad was a chemist & my parents always stressed the importance of education.
h5. What are your favorite hardware tools that you use?
I’m a hands on hardware guy too (a car guy!) so I use many electronic tools like oscilloscopes, DVMs, etc… as well as both power and hand tools to prototype designs.
h5. What are your favorite software tools that you use?
Although I’ve used & developed many CAE tools, I currently use Adobe products for my activities.
h5. What is the hardest/trickiest bug you have ever fixed?
h5. I saw that you have authored 100+ papers, edited nine books and hold several patents, will you tell us about them?
The papers that I wrote dealt with everything from how to design a journal bearing in a car engine to tire hydroplaning to hybrid vehicles to systems engineering to virtual product development….. (I can get you a list if you want.)
The books were mainly symposium compilations published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
h5. Do you have any tricks up your sleeve?
I looked but could not find any at this point!
h5. Do you have any note-worthy engineering experiences?
Here’s a partial list:
* ASME Distinguished Lecturer (2003-6)
* DH Brown Best Presentation Citation (2001)
* Daratech Best Presentation Citation (2001)
* General Motors Special Achievement Awards (1996, 97, 98)
* ASME Fellow (1989)
* Institution of Mechanical Engineers' Clifford Steadman Prize (1984)
* ASME Burt L. Newkirk Tribology Award (1977)
* ASTM Harry Kummer Memorial Award (1976)
* ASME Henry Hess Award (1973)
* Society of Actuaries Mathematics Prize (1964)
h5. Do you have an experiential stories you would like to share?
Too many so it’s a blur!
h5. What are you currently working on?
I’m actively involved at Quantum in a variety of projects that deal with robotics, semi-autonomous vehicles, and image processing. It’s great to work with such a group of creative, talented young people (engineers, computer scientists, digital artists….).
h5. Can you tell us more about QuantumSignal LLC ?
Quantum has grown from 2 people in 2002 to about 40 now! The scope of its projects has also increased dramatically. Please take a look at www.quantumsignal.com .
h5. How does Quantum Signal continue to develop groundbreaking solutions to challenging real-world problems?
It’s really a matter of talent: getting good people and pointing them in the right direction!
h5. What direction do you see your business heading in the next few years?
More high tech solutions to challenging problems in the commercial and defense sectors.
h5. What are some of your hobbies outside of work and design?
I work on antique cars and hotrods and am very much involved in various car clubs. I’ve won an Old Cars Weekly Golden Quill Award four years in a row for a newsletter I edited. I also love to make videos! Please see stevehotrod on YouTube! I also spend a lot of time with my granddaughters!
I also organize and work with classes of students in Ann Arbor as part of the "SAE AWIM Program":http://www.awim.org/.
h5. Is there anything that you have not accomplished yet, that you have your sights on accomplishing in the near future?
I need to finish three old cars that I am currently working on!
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