Cornell University alumnus Matt Dorson began his journey with AVTC programs in 1993 after stumbling upon a recruiting event for the university’s team. He participated in the Ford HEV Challenge, serving as a member of the ergonomics group where he helped with frame welding, power-train design and installation and system writing. The team finished in first place.
After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell, Matt worked at a variety of companies – the US Environmental Protection Agency, Transportation Design and Manufacturing, Ford Motor Company, Arthur D. Little, Nuvera Fuel Cells, Inc. and GreenMountain Engineering – focusing on fuel cells and the development and design of a number of different vehicles including electric, hybrid-electric and hydraulic. He is currently the Principal Engineer at Mystic River Engineering, Inc., where he consults on a wide range of technologies to keep the planet clean.
Matt said that he felt well prepared for his first job at the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “I got to build another prototype car during my first year,” he said. “The [HEV] team training was perfect for that.”
Matt often found it difficult to pull himself away from the team’s work. “I think I pulled four all-nighters during the build,” he said. He recalls his favorite moment on the team was when someone was testing the group’s car and thought there weren’t any brakes in the vehicle.
“It turned out that he was used to the power assisted brakes in his Lincoln, and didn’t realize that you have to push pretty hard with simple unassisted hydraulic brakes,” he said.
Matt recommends that students engage in projects like AVTCs to get introduced to the real world of engineering.
“Getting your hands dirty and building something that works is the sort of experience that all engineers should have during their school years,” he said.
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