Where Are They Now: Michigan Tech’s Rich Nesbitt

Michigan Technological University (MTU) alumnus, Rich Nesbitt, has been a devoted Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) participant since the FutureTruck competitions. His first AVTC role was as a design lead during the Chevrolet Suburban FutureTruck competition. He was also a team leader during the Ford Explorer FutureTruck competition, developing the team’s structure.

While completing his Bachelor and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree with a concentration on controls, Rich joined MTU’s AVTC team because he liked the focus it had on advanced technology.

“It really gave me an opportunity to explore and develop some skills relative to new technologies and apply them to real world situations,” he said. “I learned a lot. How often do you get to design a hybrid electric transmission from the ground up, build it and put it in a vehicle?”

Rich recalls the two weeks before the big event as the highlight of the competition: “the bonding on the team and also building the vehicle to get it working was an amazing experience,” he said.

Rich is currently a technical program manager for the regenerative braking systems at BOSCH. He manages the technical aspects of the components in regenerative braking systems. He said that his time in the AVTCs as a student prepared him for the job that he has today.

“I got a lot of hands-on experience and exposure to the industry,” he said. “AVTCs helped me succeed by giving me the opportunity to see a project through from conception to execution.”

In addition to his professional career, Rich is volunteering at the AVTCs as an electrical judge. He said it’s a very rewarding experience to give back to the competition that helped him define his career path.

He also thanks the people that have dedicated their time in the past and helped him succeed. “It’s nice to see and meet other alumni. Hopefully people continue to give back to the students and the competitions,” he said.

Watch this video on Rich’s automotive career through AVTCs and BOSCH!