Where Are They Now: HEV Challenge’s Kerry Grand

Kerry Grand’s experience with Advanced Vehicles Technology Competitions (AVTCs) began while he was pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at Lawrence Technological University (LTU). Kerry knew he wanted to become involved with the program when he learned about the Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) Challenge. Kerry had begun working on the program by the time he began his senior project.

Kerry says AVTCs were instrumental in preparing him for his first job. “You acquire a lot of knowledge about different tools at school. But, working on the HEV Challenge requiredthe application of that knowledge. I think that’s what helped me transition into my first job out of college,” said Kerry.

Kerry’s first job after graduation was with General Motors. He worked in several divisions, including body control modules and powertrain controls. He later went on to work for Ford Motor Company, where he focused on the vehicle control interface, motor controls development and permanent magnet motor control conversion. In Kerry’s current position as principle technical consultant at MathWorks, he assists customers who are migrating into model-based design.

Throughout Kerry’s career, he has demonstrated a strong work ethic and passion for innovation. He currently has 14 patents – an accomplishment that few people in the world can match. “The starting point for any invention disclosure is a problem that hasn’t been solved,” said Kerry. “Having the idea for something that can be successfully implemented and used in a vehicle feels very rewarding.”

AVTCs have changed significantly in the time since Kerry was in the competition. He recalls a lot of pencil and paper design and calculations, which have changed with the development of new technology. “I think it’s vastly different in the way we implement technology, the software tools that were available and just the methodologies to get that idea or concept into some sort of functioning hardware,” Kerry said.

Kerry said the hands-on experience and exposure to model-based design are invaluable for students involved with AVTCs. He believes the real-world experience from AVTCs sets these students apart from those who have only an educational knowledge of the industry.

Learn more about how AVTCs helped Kerry achieve success: