|Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company|
|Hands-free liftgate technology|
automatically opens after detecting kicking
motion under the bumper.
Applying SDM learnings:
• Leadership: “In SDM’s monthlong January session, we worked in teams specially chosen to represent diversity of thought, expertise, and culture. Members of my SDM group included high-achieving professionals from NASA, Boeing, Ford, and others. We learned that in order to build a strong team, it’s important for all members to slow down and take time to express their feelings openly so that we could all understand each other and work together more effectively. We also learned how to share leadership, follow others, and follow in order to lead.” Mahé applied these techniques when leading his global design team.
• Innovation: The liftgate’s innovative design consists of two sensors and a control module. The sensors detect the presence of a foot and a shin—as well as the presence of the key—and as soon as the user comes within a meter of the car, it sends a signal to the power liftgate, which opens automatically.
• Systems thinking: “Coursework in system architecture, systems engineering, and systems design gave me a set of methodologies for dealing with the technical and managerial complexities of requirements analysis, prioritization, design specs, concurrent engineering, testing, safety, and other important elements needed to produce the ‘wow.’ This, in turn, enabled us to troubleshoot any potential problems.”
The results: The Ford Escape was named No. 1 in the affordable compact and affordable crossover SUV categories by US News on its Best Cars website and received numerous other accolades. As lead design engineer, Mahé starred in several commercials for the Ford Escape.
|Video frame courtesy of Ford Motor Company|
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