Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Meet the Students - Part I

Leo lives near Allentown PA and is a research scientist and inventor. He has a degree in chemistry and a background in the energy business, working with jet engines and gas turbines. Leo came to the workshop to learn "the automotive aspect of things" and has handled a lot of the van's wiring.

Matt, our "battery guy," works in Easton PA with commercial battery chargers for electrical utilities and has a vision of utilizing electric power plants on trailers to support gasoline-powered vehicles. With his background in high-voltage electricity applications, Matt has become the class safety guru.

Judy, from Media PA, is a LEED- accredited professional who's always wanted a sports car. She'd love to acquire one with a shot engine and convert it to electric, and came to the workshop to find out if her dream is feasible. Judy used to work as a CAD designer in a machine shop and she knows her way around a punch press!

Brett has a background in electronics, construction and machining, making him an all-around go-to guy in the class. He's wanted an electric vehicle since the 1973 oil embargo; his dream is to someday drive his EV from Cape May to Seattle. (No, not on a single charge!)

Rudy works from home in Washington DC as a graphic designer. A VW and Audi fan, he'd like to convert a Jetta. Rudy just missed the 2007 workshop (he emailed me a week after it was over) so he has been waiting a long time for this opportunity and in the meantime, talked two friends into joining him at the workshop.

John is an automotive technology instructor in Oley, PA. An ASE certified master technician, he's been extensively trained on hybrids and now wants to explore full EV's, a technology his students will be working on. John raced modified dirt cars for thirteen years and jokes that he's now doing penance for having burned so much fossil fuel!

Rob joins us from Virginia, where he works in finance and real estate. He says that while he came to the workshop hoping to acquire the skills to convert a tame Honda Civic or Jetta, after listening to some of the other participants' ideas, he too wants an electric muscle car!

That's only half the class ... you'll meet the remainder later. Now on to the events of Day 3!

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