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  • As an NVH engineer, Shawn Carney helps give Ford’s Mustang its legendary roar
  • Carney knew he wanted to work on Mustang after spending his childhood watching racing at Daytona, and the local short tracks and drag strips near the Florida town where he grew up
  • Away from the job, Carney works on an old Mustang and enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons

For Shawn Carney, lead development engineer for NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) on Ford’s V-8 Mustang, it’s been a long road.  But he couldn’t be happier about it, as making sure Mustang GT lives up to how it should sound and feel is the dream job Carney has wanted since childhood.

“As a kid, my brother and I were knee-deep in Mustangs and racing, and our garage turned into the place where our friends would bring their cars to work on,” said Carney.  “We would watch races at Daytona, the local Florida short tracks, and hang out at the drag strip.  That’s when I knew I wanted to work on the Mustang.”

After graduating from Kettering University with a degree in mechanical engineering, Carney took a job with Roush, where he’d held a co-op throughout college in NVH.  He started with Ford in 2000, joined the Mustang team in 2003, and has been on the program ever since.

After his team developed the 2005 Mustang, Carney led NVH development of the 2008.5 Bullitt, 2009 glass-roof model and 2010 Mustang GT, which culminated in development and incorporation of the well-received induction sound tube.  “Everyone has a slightly different view of what Mustang means, but there is always a common thread, and I make sure we don’t lose that,” said Carney.  “It has to be recognizable, but still new and exciting, with unique character.”

The NVH team ensures all parts come together to create a refined, quality car, bringing out the sounds that give the car its character and getting rid of those customers don’t want to hear.  They also work with the vehicle dynamics team to tune the car’s response to road inputs and tire noise. 

“It’s really just integration – taking all the parts in the car and bringing them together for a total package to give the customer a fun, high-quality vehicle,” said Carney.  “It includes the big things like how the engine and exhaust sounds, to small things like how the door sounds when it’s slammed shut, or how solid the car feels after hitting a bump in the road.” 

Carney believes it’s useful to convey in musical language how something should sound.  “In music, if you’re playing the wrong notes, it’s obvious and sounds horrible,” he explained.  “You need to make each element sound like you’re playing a solid chord instead of it sounding like my children banging on random piano keys.”

Personal Insights and Fun Facts

  • Carney is married with two children
  • Carney has an old Fox-body Mustang he works on at home that is used as a part-time commuter and drag racer.

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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

Nov. 2, 2009

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