Elio Motors Fills Three Key Engineering and Supplier Management Positions with Industry Veterans
In every successful company, just like in Academy-Award-winning movies, great performances in key roles make the finished products truly exceptional. While they haven’t yet won any Oscars, Elio Motors has hired three key employees who will help us move from the Engineering phase of our product lifecycle through testing and into commercial production, all with the goal of minimal hiccups, glitches, or bottlenecks.
Phil Kosarek Leslie Madden Heather Wilson
Phil Kosarek, Director of Safety Engineering and Occupant Restraints, is responsible for the overall safety performance and crashworthiness of the Elio vehicle. There is no role more important in the development of any vehicle than ensuring that the occupants remain safe and unharmed, in an event that an accident occurs. Phil has been charged with directing a team that is performing a series of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) simulations that evaluate the Elio’s safety performance, in terms of its ability to absorb impacts and protect occupants in a broad range of scenarios.
Phil’s team also uses CAE to predict vehicle durability, aerodynamic performance, and general vehicle stiffness, all variables that contribute to how long your Eliowill last and how happy you’ll be with your vehicle while you own it. These tests impact the expected life of the vehicle, how aerodynamic drag will affect the vehicle’s fuel economy, and how well the chassis will perform in delivering a pleasantly drivable, great-handling vehicle that exhibits nary a hint of excess cabin noise, steering control vibration, or ride harshness.
Phil is an industry veteran with more than 18 years of experience leading global product development and engineering teams, which has helped prepare him for his role with Elio Motors.
Leslie Madden, Program Manager for Engineering, will have responsibility for managing the cost and delivery of engineering services provided by suppliers to Elio Motors’ eight Product Development Teams. The engineering and design of your Elio vehicle is critical to ensuring its proper function, not only when it’s new but many years down the road. Performance, durability, and appearance have to be engineered into it from the beginning and Leslie helps ensure that Elio Motors suppliers are engaged at just the right times, providing their expertise as it’s required in the engineering and development process. This includes not only during the development of the Elio’s original design, but also as any changes might be needed during the engineering testing phase of development, which the Elio is preparing to go through, as well as for model-year changes. Leslie will keep this process humming smoothly.
Leslie is no stranger to the auto industry, having worked with General Motors as a project engineer and an advanced manufacturing engineer at the company’s Saturn Corporation, then in product planning and consumer marketing roles. She holds Bachelor of Science in engineering and Master of Business Administration degrees – both from the University of Michigan.
Heather Wilson, Manager of Logistics, will have responsibility for overall management of the company’s supply chain. This includes directing and optimizing the transportation, timely delivery, stock levels, and warehousing of components for the company’s Shreveport, La., manufacturing facility. While this may sound like a very profoundly difficult juggling act, she assures us that this isn’t her first circus and that she’s up for the task.
Heather also is quite familiar with the auto industry, having worked with Allied, Inc., an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based supplier of rotary and hydraulic lifts to the original equipment and service industries, where she managed the company’s service function. She also worked with Jmarc Engineering & Sales in Wixom, Mich.
Speaking of the importance of great performances in supporting roles, Jeff Johnston, Vice President, Engineering for Elio Motors said: “As we move from our development phase through testing and validation into commercial production, we need a strong, experienced team that can further blaze a pathway to quality and consistent manufacturability. Phil, Leslie, and Heather, who will play key roles, all excel in entrepreneurial environments and will help insure the success of our developing Production and Supply-Management systems.”