Three recent graduates of Lawrence Technological University were among the speakers at the automotive design symposium that was part of the MAIN Event held at LTU on June 11.
Ford color and material designer Lindsey Grant, who earned a degree in industrial design just last year, discussed the Lincoln Continental concept car. The luxury car, which was discontinued in 2002, is expected to go back into production in 2016.
“We worked really hard as a team to resurrect an icon like the Continental with both our heritage and the future of our company in mind,” Grant said.
The concept car was part of the array of stunning cars on display during the MAIN Event reception that followed the design symposium program.
Ford exterior designer Colin Bonathan, who graduated from the LTU transportation design program in 2013, spoke about the new Ford GT, which was unveiled in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. He is the youngest member of the design team and came up with the design concept, which features flying buttresses in the rear.
Emilio Feliciano, a 2015 transportation design graduate, is now a user experience designer for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). He was part of the panel that discussed the future of user experience in automobiles. The other panelists were leaders in this field from Nissan, Hyundai, GM, and Faurecia.
While the automotive industry has been using technology to assist drivers for many years, this is an emerging field, according to Feliciano. Relatively new consumer technologies such as cloud-based applications open up many possibilities that are still being explored.
“It’s not just an individual product. User experience is on the way to evolving into something much larger, which is why I find it so exciting,” he said.
Keith Nagara, the director of the transportation design and industrial design program at LTU, was chair for the event. He said recent LTU graduates are quickly making their mark in automotive design.
“Lawrence Tech works hard to prepare its graduates to ‘hit the ground running,’ and these three graduates have clearly done that,” Nagara said.