The “Most Interesting Man at Penn State” Visits the PSU AVT

Recently, the Penn State Advanced Vehicle Team had the pleasure of hosting Paul Ruskin for an informational presentation, followed by a question and answer session in the team’s senior capstone design class. Mr. Ruskin was formerly the OPP-Communications Coordinator for Penn State University and has been involved in the University for 28 years- not including his undergraduate time at the University. He is known around campus as being quite a character, having been featured on dozens of news stories- there’s even a parody of him on YouTube, declaring him “The Most Interesting Man in the World”- but for now, we’ll say Penn State.

PSU_TheMostInterestingManAtPSUVistsThePSUAVT_Image2    Mr. Ruskin began his presentation by providing the team with a history of his involvement at Penn State, including his various experiences with Advanced Vehicle Technologies. He continued to talk about his various worldwide travels, discoveries, and futuristic engineering suggestions that the PSU AVT could consider a few years down the line. Additionally, Mr. Ruskin advised students on how to get the best edge on our competition.

“If you all have the same mindset and are doing similar things, look in diversity to find your success,” he said, “Don’t be in the line everyone else is- step out, go for the strange point of view to succeed.”

All 42 attendees were engaged during the presentation, asking Mr. Ruskin several questions about his beliefs surrounding the future of hybrid-electric vehicles, research, and how Penn State can play an important role in the automotive industry moving forward.

“I believe the AVT is going to make a mark,” he said, “there’s a possibility if you’re able to make the right discoveries and do the right things, Pennsylvania could become the new Silicon Valley of transportation.”


Mr. Ruskin continued to emphasize the components that Pennsylvania has to create incredible success in the automotive industry, stressing that within the next 50 years, it’s reasonable to believe that Pennsylvania could be the new Detroit because of the type of work and research performed in the state.

“Some of the things you’re doing now will be the technology on Mars in 50 years. What you’re doing now can reach other planets,” he said, “no one will remember the score of a football game on February 22, 1957, but they may remember what you developed.”

While Mr. Ruskin has personally witnessed the advancements of HEVs on the Penn State campus, his enthusiasm and interest in our project was truly contagious. We are so appreciative of Mr. Ruskin taking the time to visit us and learn more about our project, and remind us how important our hard work really is. Thank you for visiting, Mr. Ruskin!