DAVID COLE:
 
DAVID COLE




 
 
 
 
 
Chairman of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor. Cole has worked extensively on internal combustion engines, vehicle design, and overall automotive industry trends. His recent research focuses on strategic issues related to restructuring the North American industry and trends in globalization, technology, market factors, and human resource requirements. He was formerly director of the Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. He is also a director of six automotive suppliers and the Original Equipment Suppliers Association. Cole serves on the executive committee of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and was recently appointed by Governor Jennifer Granholm to the Strategic Economic Investment and Commercialization Board and the Michigan Renewable Fuels Commission. He was co-chair of Detroit Renaissanceís ďRoad to RenaissanceĒ Project in 2006. He is also a member of the Denso Foundation board. A former director of the Automotive Hall of Fame and a former trustee of Hope College, Cole is a fellow of the SAE, the Engineering Society of Detroit, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Other honors include awards from the National Automobile Dealers Association Foundation and Design News and being named to Swedenís Order of the Polar Star and Chevalier of the National Order of Merit from France. He is a member of the editorial advisory board of Popular Mechanics. In addition, Cole has been actively involved in the start-up of five different Ann Arbor-based companies. His technical and policy consulting experience includes assignments for industry, labor, and government, and he has spoken to more than 1,000 groups on automotive issues. Cole received the 2008 Distinguished Mechanical Engineering Alumni Award from the University of Michigan, where he earned his bachelorís, masterís, and PhD, and where he serves on the Energy Research Council, mechanical engineering external advisory board, and the biological station advisory committee.


WHERE BORN: “Detroit.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “Itís hard to say because so many family members and colleagues have been influential. For my career, my dad and two uncles whom I was very close to, and in terms of my life in general, it would be my wife.”

LAST BOOK READ:Analytics at Work: Smarter Decisions, Better Results by Thomas H. Davenport. A friend gave it to me. Itís about the power of analytical tools that are available today that most people donít really know about.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Big picture, not focused on detail, tend to be more strategic, high energy, not as disciplined as Iíd like, but I try to follow the Christian faith in what I do with strong morals.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “Continuing change. Speed is a characteristic of it. Also, lean and very profitable Ė surprisingly profitable. It will continue to really provide the value that consumers expect. Also, obviously, technology will continue to accelerate in the industry. One challenge to doing this Ė for example with fuel economy Ė is that it will occur without a significant increase in cost.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “I wish there were one favorite. Itís probably my basic computer. The PC has just opened a tremendous amount of doors to productivity. Itís critical in my life and what I do.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “Burt Lake in northern Michigan.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Fishing, golf, running, and I like to hunt grouse.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “My wifeís strawberry shortcake.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I donít know about hidden talent, but basically Iím an introvert. I donít act like one but I am.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As someone who wasnít afraid to work hard; was committed to what he was doing; was a visionary and thought ahead of where we are today; was a entrepreneur trying to build, create, and do new things; and walked in his personal faith in everything he did.”