MARY SMITH AND SUE CURRY: ENGINEERS SHARE CAREER AND LOVE OF TECHNOLOGY
- Mary Smith and Sue Curry are engineers who share the same job at Ford, working as supervisor of the company’s Electrified Vehicle Technology Integration Task Force
- They are developing new features that will go into the company’s next-generation full hybrid vehicle and Ford’s first plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles
- Smith resides in Canton, Mich., and Curry lives in Allen Park, Mich.
Mary Smith and Sue Curry share a lot in common. Both are Ford engineers. Both attended the same university. Both are married with teen-aged children. And both share the same job… literally.
Curry works at Ford on Mondays and Tuesdays. Smith and Curry meet in the office to share notes on Wednesdays. And Smith picks up where Curry left off on Thursdays and Fridays. If the schedule sounds complicated, consider their job title: supervisor of Ford’s Electrified Vehicle Technology Integration Task Force.
"We work closely with the electrical group developing new state-of-the-art features for the next generation of alternative fuel vehicles," said Smith. "We want to be better than the competition when we bring these vehicles to market." "A big part of what we do is integrating and ensuring that the Human Machine Interface (HMI) – the way the vehicle interacts with the driver – is relevant," added Curry. "Electrified vehicles are very unique, and they have distinct messages that need to be conveyed to the customers. For example, how far can the vehicle go before it runs out of power?"
Smith and Curry say they have their work cut out for them, especially in light of the overwhelming success of Ford’s new SmartGauge™ technology, which was introduced on the 2010 Fusion Hybrid. SmartGauge gives hybrid owners a more connected fuel-efficient driving experience by coaching them on how to optimize vehicle performance.
"We set a precedent with SmartGauge, and our challenge now is to continue to come out with HMI that totally wows the customer," said Smith. "We want to be better than the competition when we bring our vehicles to market."
Personal Insights and Fun Facts
- The nature of their job is very complex, but Smith and Curry are making it work. "It really forces us to have exceptional communication skills," said Smith. "The notes we write to each other typically are six to nine pages long. But it’s something we both benefit from, and we’ve been told by multiple people in our department that the transition from one person to another is seamless."
- Both women benefit from extra time spent at home. "I usually can fit in exercising on my days off," said Smith. "And my daughter plays softball, so I can attend a lot of her games." "We have a cottage in Northern Michigan," said Curry. "And I enjoy cycling and photography when I have the chance."
- Probably the most striking quality the two women share in common is a strong passion for their work. "I love gadgets," said Curry. "It’s very satisfying to me because the technology is really exciting." "The vehicle we’re working on now will be Ford’s first plug-in hybrid," said Smith. It’s really thrilling to see a vehicle like this come together from the beginning stages."
- Smith is a resident of Canton, Mich., and Curry lives in Allen Park, Mich.
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