Where Are They Now: Cal State LA’s Chris Romo

Earlier this month, the CSULA EcoCAR 2 team got to catch up with EcoCAR 2 alumnus Chris Romo about his experience with CSULA’s team and how it prepared him for his current position.

Mechanical Engineer Chris Romo joined the EcoCAR 2 team as part of his undergraduate graduation requirement, and felt that it was a project where he would gain “real world” engineering experience that he could take with him throughout the rest of his career. As the thermal/fluids department lead, Chris recalls one of his favorite memories of the project. “One of my favorite moments was sending in the final report for the year. It was a real challenge working on the EcoCAR 2 project and going to school at the same time. It took a ton of time and effort to analyze, manage my time, and write up the reports for the project. All in all, it was a great experience – one that I wouldn’t ever change.”

CSULA's Chris Romo

CSULA’s Chris Romo

Today, Chris works for a company called Collision and Injury Dynamics based out of El Segundo, CA. His official title with the company is Junior Forensic Engineer.  The company provides vehicular accident reconstruction and biomechanical analysis for anyone seeking independent litigation consulting services.  For him, EcoCAR 2 was valuable because it developed his critical thinking skills, forced him to learn a lot more about cars, and made him think in a global manner.

“What I mean by global manner instead of local is that I started to think of the consequences of various designs instead of simply solving design problems.  For example, weight and space is a huge issue in a project.  Instead of purely designing for the thermal/fluids aspect of a problem, I had to realize that the weight and space of a design would play a huge role in whether or not it was feasible.”

Chris’ advice for anyone joining or thinking of joining the team is to just make the commitment.  He emphasizes how much of a great project EcoCAR 2 is and how much more academically challenging and “real” it is compared to other projects out there.  He truly believes that if students commit to EcoCAR they will be rewarded educationally, personally, and professionally.