Written by Carole Gieseke – Chief Communications Officer, Iowa State University Alumni Association
Photography by Jim Heemstra
“It was a great-looking car,” he recalls wistfully. “It was like dating a supermodel.”
Cars have always been Matt’s passion.
“I was one of those kids whose bedroom was filled with car magazines,” he says. “I’ve lived and breathed cars since I was 14 or 15.”
So it’s no surprise that Matt (’00 mechanical engineering) went to work for Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Mich.
He likens his job as a vehicle designer to an architect or contractor of a house. “From a mechanical standpoint, I make sure parts fit in the vehicle and that anything mechanical meets its functional requirements.”
Matt works on select new car models, specifically focusing on turbo-charged engines for fuel economy and performance. Vehicle safety is also a big part of the design process, so he interfaces regularly with Ford’s safety team.
His passion for cars has never diminished. His best-loved car was a 1988 Ford Thunderbird turbo coup (“the car that got me into turbo chargers”). He now drives a sporty little Mazda RX8.
“I have a great job,” he says. “I design cars.”
The story was written as part of the ISU Alumni Association’s 3-year VISIONS Across America project and first appeared here.