STEVE DALEIDEN: AEROSPACE ENGINEER BRINGS ‘LOFTY’ VISION TO FORD BATTERY ELECTRIC VEHICLE TEAM

STEVE DALEIDEN: AEROSPACE ENGINEER BRINGS ‘LOFTY’ VISION TO FORD BATTERY ELECTRIC VEHICLE TEAM

  • Steve Daleiden is program module team leader for Ford’s Battery Electric Powertrain Program, currently working on the future Focus battery electric vehicle (BEV), which will launch in the fall of 2011
  • He acts as a liaison between the Focus BEV program team and the powertrain engineers
  • A Michigan native, Daleiden resides in York Township, Mich.

Steve Daleiden has a very elaborate title – program module team leader for Ford’s Battery Electric Powertrain Program. But in simpler terms, he is a liaison – a link between the engineers and the program team on matters related to the battery electric powertrain for the future Focus battery electric vehicle (BEV), which Ford plans to launch in the fall of 2011.

"I work with the powertrain engineers to keep them aligned with the expectations of the program, and I manage the timing, quality and cost of their work," explained Daleiden.

"If, for example, the weight experts on the Focus program say we need to shave 10 pounds off our parts, it’s my job to go to the engineering team, get a plan put together and come back with solutions of what we can do, how fast we can do it and how much it’s going to cost," he said.

Daleiden says one of the biggest challenges currently facing the team is fitting the new BEV technology to the already existing Focus platform.

"Our Focus platform is pretty flexible, but we want to get this vehicle on the road quickly, by the fall of 2011," he said.

According to Daleiden, that means making sure all of the components fit into the existing vehicle design, all the while keeping a close eye on safety, quality, weight, timing and cost.

"We also have performance parameters," he said. "We want to produce a vehicle that can travel a range of 100 miles at 85 mph – something people can use in the real world, not a golf cart."

Personal Insights and Fun Facts

  • Daleiden grew up with a love of technology, and he holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, as well as a master’s degree Systems Engineering. In the early 80s, he spent time as an engineer trainee at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama working on the space shuttle program. "I worked there while earning my degrees, and by the time I was finished with school the first shuttle accident happened, and they shut down the program for several years," he said. "So I worked on ballistic missiles California for seven years."
  • Though his engineering passion originated in aeronautics, Daleiden says he enjoys the satisfaction of working on vehicles that are more "down to earth." He said, "It’s really satisfying to work on something that you know people are going to use every single day."
  • When he’s not working, Daleiden enjoys being with his family, running, writing, driving and playing the guitar. He is married with 7-year-old twins – a girl and a boy.
  • A Michigan native, Daleiden currently resides in York Township, which just south of Ann Arbor.

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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 201,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.

Oct. 5, 2009

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