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Value to Your Organization

Engineering executive with a proven track record of creating high performance teams, innovative new products, and dramatic cost reductions with a focus on manufacturability in a dynamic global environment.

  • Initiated and directed creation of unique designs that resulted in $75,000,000 per year in unplanned sales.
  • Led the design of an innovative solution to conflicting suspension requirements. Backwards compatibility to an existing platform offered savings of up to $10,0000,000 per year.
  • Redesigned 70% of an electric vehicle, reducing variable cost by $1000 (12%), and tooling by $2,000,000. The vehicle was redesigned, prototyped, developed and launched in under eight months.
  • Ran simultaneous development in three continents across seven time zones.

Program manager with a record of on-time delivery.

  • Successfully delivered a $22,000,000 capital project 3 months early, and $3,000,000 under budget.
  • Certified trainer at Benteler Automotive on their program management system. Trained over 75 departmental, plant and support function personnel in program management methods.
  • Created the program management system at Avera Motors.
  • Launched the Think Neighbor electric vehicle in only 8 months after redesigning 70% of the vehicle.

Conscientious manager working within and leading cross-functional teams.

  • Ran cross-functional teams comprised of supervisors, CAD, CAE, Product Engineering, Testing and Document Control on a local, regional and global basis.
  • Have had as many as 28 direct reports.
  • Provided sales support at customer locations in the US, UK, Japan and Russia; giving commercial and technical presentations on company capabilities.

Strong public speaker, delivering presentations to senior management and global customers.

  • Created and presented Lightweight Chassis Cradles for the 2008 AISI Great Designs in Steel Conference.
  • Created and delivered technical and sales presentations in the US, UK, Japan and Russia.
  • Provided monthly project status to the CEO.

Work History

2010Present

President

Weise Engineering Management LLC

Providing engineering management consulting to the automotive industry. (weise.wemllc at gmail.com) Specialties include:

  • Creating Process and Product Development Systems (Stage Gate).
  • Training on Gated Product development Systems
  • Development of Product Timing Plans and Road Maps.
  • Systems Engineering
  • New Product Ideation
  • Design for Manufacturing, Assembly & Service
20092010

Chief Vehicle Engineer

Avera Motors
  • Establish, recruit and hire a complete engineering staff for a start-up company.
  • Create and deploy CAE, CAD, PLM and project management systems.
  • Create and deploy engineering specifications and standards.
  • Create and deliver technical presentations to potential investors.
  • Develop potential sources for components and systems.
20082009

Director of Engineering

ArvinMeritor

Created a new department focusing on design and development of modular suspension assemblies.

  • Established budget structure in a short time frame for operations in the US and China.
  • Established the division's reputation as specialists by recruiting a highly skilled team of experts in Vehicle Dynamics and suspension design.
  • Achieved greater than a 40% return-on-sales for engineering services to non-traditional OEMs.
  • Established the relationship with a Russian OEM for chassis business.
  • Developed strategy proposals Indian and Russian market entry.
  • Technical lead for a Joint Venture proposal in India.
20022008

Technical Director

Benteler Automotive

Led the new product development team consisting of 28 direct reports from CAD, CAE, Product Engineering and Testing.

  • Created and managed $10,000,000 annual expense budget.
  • Created and presented detailed technical reviews to customers in the US, UK and Japan.
  • Created and chaired an executive level team to develop and exploit operational synergies. Successes included consolidation of three departmental test labs delivering personnel cost savings of 50%, certification costs savings of 75% and adding the ability to operate 24/7.
  • Led design and development of over 20 new products ranging from stamped control arms to complete suspension assemblies. 
  • Directed new business acquisition activities. Won unplanned sales of $75,000,000 / yr from GM; Benteler's first GM chassis contract in 5 years.
  • Successfully intervened to assist a Tier 2 supplier in overcoming launch threatening manufacturing difficulties.
  • Trained over 75 department and plant personnel in product development practices and use of gated product development systems.
  • Authored and presented Lightweight Chassis Cradles, at the 2008 Great Designs in Steel Conference.
  • Patented the use of ultra-high strength steel for suspension control arms.
  • Patent pending for the use of ultra-high strength steel for vehicle axles.
  • Member of global PLM steering committee.
20002002

Vehicle Engineering Manager

MSX International

Directed all engineering design and validation activities for the Th!nk Neighbor (neighborhood electric vehicle). Developed and actioned a rescue plan for the program. Balanced attributes and functional trade-offs to optimize the vehicle.

  • Successfully managed the transfer of the failing project from a competitor.
  • Led a four-week redesign that changed 70% of the vehicle resulting in a $1,000 variable cost reduction and greater than $2,000,000 tooling reduction.
  • Led a team of 39 supervisors and engineers that redesigned, tested, and successfully launched the vehicle in under eight months.
19992000

Chassis Supervisor - Ford Programs

MSX International

Re-established, realigned and re-focused the Chassis Engineering department. Provided leadership to six engineers enabling them to meet their deliverables on time, with high quality. Drove adherence to system level cost and functional targets.

  • Brainstormed and implemented design changes resulting in over $170 average vehicle variable cost ($8,500,000 lifetime) reduction without functional loss.
  • Led development of an innovative suspension system to save over 7 kilogram per vehicle and $10,000,000 per year in variable cost. Received MSXi World Class Performer Award.
  • Successfully packaged an all-wheel-drive system into a vehicle described as "impossible".
19951999

Chassis Engineer

Ford Motor Company

Front suspension architect for the 2001 Ford Transit Medium Commercial Van. Devised and developed a first in the world suspension and steering configuration and package that allowed front and rear wheel drive vehicles to be built on a common platform. Resulted in the team winning a Ford Truck Significant Achievement Award.

19871995

Chassis Process Engineer

Ford Motor Company

Provided wheel alignment and chassis processing and tooling support for Ford assembly plants.

  • Invented and patented a tool that reduced wheel alignment warranty by 50%. Received Ford’s highest award for technical achievement, the Henry Ford Technology Award.
  • Project manager on $22 million program to upgrade wheel alignment equipment at fourteen North American Light Truck assembly plants. Project was completed ahead of schedule and $3 million under budget.

Education

BS

Patents & Awards

Work Examples

Skills

Personnel Management
I have led teams of up to 40, with as many as 28 direct reports in a matrixed, global environment.
Public Speaking / Presentations
I am very comfortable giving presentations to large (>200) and small groups of people ranging from customers and colleagues to CEOs of large corporations.
Cost Reductions, VA/VE
Product Engineering / Development
I instill in my team my fundamentals of product development:   Consistency All people performing similar functions should use similar processes and methodology to achieve their goals. A person designing a suspension must go through the same generic steps as someone designing a fuel tank. The details behind the steps will be unique, but the overall process will be the same. Data Based Decisions "Data will set you free". Decisions should be data based. However, this does not mean that 100% of data must be available. Anybody can make a decision with all the facts. People are employed because they are the experts. They need to be able to act on parts of the data. The 80/20 rule should be used as much as possible.   Panic Early It does no good to hold your problems close to your chest until it is too late to resolve them. All problems come to the surface eventually. Getting them there early instead of late will allow for better resolutions.   Discipline Proper engineering disciplines must be followed. Engineers must understand and know how to use FMEA's, DVP's, etc. Core engineering disciplines are not optional. Do what you say, say what you do, and document it.   Deliverables Know what you are meant to deliver and when. Then deliver it.   Planning Comprehensive workplans, long and short term, are a must. They tie together all the elements that will make or break a program. They also provide the proof that progress is being made. You must always know the effect of failing to meet timing of particular tasks. What is the downstream ripple? Who will be affected?   Work Ethics I expect people to be proactive. Don't wait to be told to do something. Engineers shouldn't need constant nudging to keep moving.  Take Risks. Anybody can achieve with 100% of the info. Real performers achieve with 20%. Speak Up. I want to know what you think. Speak Confidently. If you sound confident, your point will be taken.  Be ready for change. It is a fact of life. Use it as an opportunity, not a difficulty.   Design for Manufacturing and Assembly Engineers don't make money, manufacturing does. Get manufacturing involved early in the design. A great design is one that meets all the customer needs and can be manufactured simply and reliably with known manufacturing techniques. Designs should minimize the number of parts and part numbers.  
Personnel Development
Budget Development & Control
I created annual budgets up to $10M in expense, and $100M capital.   I controlled annual budgets of up to $5M expense and $650K capital.
Project / Program Management
Former trainer in stage gate project management systems.