Presentation and Abstract:
The Business of Motorsports, The Politics of Alternative Fuels, Notes for Aspiring Engineers : 30 Years of Lessons Learned
Graduating engineers today have more technical skills than ever before, but many have minimal comprehension of what life in the real world is like. Dean shares lessons learned that were not included in his BSME education. He will cover how to leverage active SAE participation into career opportunities, the good, bad, and ugly aspects of modern professional motorsports, and the ever changing politics of alternative fuels. Dean has given this presentation to over two-dozen times to schools from across the country. His presentation is designed to motivate first and second year students to become more involved with SAE. He welcomes a lively Q&A session.
*Preview Dean’s presentation, where he presented a shortened version of his lecture at WCX 2019.
Dean Case has been an active SAE member since his freshman year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1981. He grew up in a motorsports family and progressed from race fan as a kid, to automotive engineer as an adult. He has devoted the past 15 years of his professional career to automotive communications with an emphasis on motorsports and technology PR, and an interesting inclusion of non-profit partnerships.
Within SAE, Case was a student leader, including being an SAE-sponsored WISE intern. He served as a board member with both the SoCal and Detroit Sections. He has been a Distinguished Younger Member, awarded a FISITA Young Engineer Fellowship, sponsored over 50 new SAE members, served on multiple SAE International committees, published two SAE papers, and spoken at dozens of universities over 30 years, 14 of them in the most recent 2016-17 school year.
After graduation from Cal Poly, Case started his professional career with Mazda R&D in Irvine, CA. While at Mazda he worked on the original Miata, second-generation MX-6, first-gen MPV, and third-gen RX-7.
After seven years with Mazda he joined Ford in Michigan as a layout engineer in the electric vehicle department before transferring to Ford Motorsports. While the Ford experience was professionally rewarding, Case wished to return home to Southern California. That move came in 1998 when he joined Nissan as a Product Investigation Engineer where he fell back into the EV world, being one of the lead American engineers on the Nissan Altra EV, and Nissan Hypermini EV programs, the predecessors to the Nissan Leaf.
Case was acting as the EV technical expert on a Nissan media event in 2000, which led to his career change from engineering to communications. Case became the Nissan Product PR Manager in 2001 and retained that position until 2006. In 2006, when Nissan relocated its U.S. headquarters to Nashville, TN, Case began a freelance consulting career.
His first client in 2006 was SAE International, managing the first two Formula SAE West competitions.
Case was then reunited with Mazda, becoming the Communications Officer for Mazda Motorsports in 2006. He spent the next 11 years on the road promoting the Zoom-Zoom nation from the SCCA Runoffs to Le Mans.
He is currently a consultant to Motivo Engineering and Grassroots Motorsports Magazine. Motivo is a product engineering company noted for efficiently turning complex ideas into clever products. Dean met the Motivo engineers via Formula SAE, so it was a great fit.
Case has been an active volunteer with SAE, the Motor Press Guild, Friends of Torrance Animals, PAWS/LA, and the Motorsports Hall of Fame over the years.
No set restrictions - however, certain obligations might arise between now and when a lecture is requested, so some scheduling flexibility may be necessary. Ideally one-month lead is requested. Working with the local SAE section is encouraged such that a second nearby school might also be scheduled.