Where Are They Now: NC State University’s Kyle Lunsford

The North Carolina State University (NCSU) EcoCAR 2 Team had very few members when Kyle Lunsford first joined. Kyle stood out early on the small team due to his double major in both mechanical and electrical engineering. This is unique because mechanical engineering and electrical engineering are not usually pursued together; mechanical engineering is very visually oriented and electrical engineering has little to no visualization involved. But Kyle has his reasons for this unlikely duo: “with all of the new technology being added to them, cars are have a lot of electrical components now,” Kyle said. “They’re not even close to being purely mechanical anymore.”

Kyle Lunsford grew up around cars, and working on them was a hobby for him long before he came to NC State to study engineering. “I have always been fascinated with how things work,” said Kyle. He even rebuilds engines for fun!

Kyle at the EcoCAR 2 kickoff in Michigan

Kyle at the EcoCAR 2 kickoff in Michigan

During his time in EcoCAR and EcoCAR 2, Kyle learned leadership skills by training new team members. Kyle also gained great experience working on computer-aided design (CAD) for technical reports. One of Kyle’s main jobs was developing NCSU’s vehicle design and component selection. “EcoCAR offers the type of project experience that you can’t get in a classroom, period. None of the classes I took in college gave me that kind of hands-on automotive experience,” he said.

Today, Kyle is a Machine Design and Automation Engineer at TE Connectivity. His work involves processing new and existing products, collaboration, and team meetings. He also serves as a local aid to the NCSU EcoCAR 2 team.

Kyle loved EcoCAR 2 because it allowed him to travel many places and experience different things. During the Year 3 Finals of EcoCAR: The Next Challenge, he had the chance to visit a Corvette factory in Wixom, MI. Kyle was fascinated by the factory’s unique process: one person building one engine, beginning to end, without using an assembly line.

Travel and experience are great, but probably the most memorable thing from Kyle’s time with EcoCAR was when he met Jay Leno! “While I was at the EcoCAR 2 Year One Finals, some teammates and I went on a bus tour in Hollywood. While we were observing the many local celebrity houses, we saw a classic 30’s car sitting at intersection – and Jay Leno was driving!”