Mentor, Registered Mechanical Engineer, Peterson Manufacturing
Walt attended high school at De LaSalle then went to college at Longview Community College to receive an associate’s degree in mechanics and attended Kansas University to receive an engineering degree and he has a master’s in business. During the weekdays Walt works as a mechanical engineer at a manufacturing company making automotive lights and engineering machines to make other parts. A typical day in Walt’s work life is going to meetings, getting new projects, making new machines and products, and fixing problems.
Walt says that he “cannot not come every Saturday, it’s a passion something I can’t do without’.” His favorite thing about the minddrive class is the interactions with different people of different backgrounds with creative young energetic minds. Some features of this years car that Walt described were that the car was dynamic, sleek, contoured, and it has its own personality.
Walt’s dream car would be a ZR1 Corvette or an Ariel Atom. He has hobbies in cycling with two wheels, exercising, cooking, and working with cars. Walt says that his most challenging accomplishment was trying to figure out why the machines at the ammo plant he worked at kept blowing up and then having to fix the problem. Once every two weeks there was an explosion at the plant. It took two years to fix the problem. The first year was bad every explosion had a different cause so it was hard to figure out why they kept exploding, that one year put his credibility in question at his job. The second year was much better he increased the safety record and went over one and a half years without any explosions. Being that Walt is a huge jokester when he was first asked this question he gave the answer of making it past twenty-one as his most interesting accomplishment.
Mentor, Manufacturing/Electric Vehicle Experience
Bruce grew up in Kansas City and attended the University of Missouri School of Business. After school he became evolved in his families manufacturing business. He successfully has led the last 20 years of his family’s 50 year old molded plastic and metal fabrication manufacturing concern located in Odessa, Missouri. The firm was a leader in the development of injected molded products. Their facility occupied 400,000 square feet of office and manufacturing and the firm had 200 employees.
Bruce’s background in business led him to lead his company’s efforts to develop new products and concepts. Bruce led the company’s development of a new ground up electrical vehicle and sold over 100 units. The vehicle was marketed as a low speed model for use in retirement villages and cities that allowed slower vehicles on the roadway. The unit was capable of 40 miles under typical driving conditions and 100 miles under perfect testing conditions. The propulsion system was based on a 72 volt system comprised of four 12 volt batteries and three 8 volt batteries. It had regenerative braking.
Bruce brings real world business viability to the project so that the students will understand the elements of and importance of practical solutions.
Mentor, automotive, machinist, electric vehicle experience
Mike graduated from Van Horn High School in 1976 and immediately entered the United States Marine Corps. Following his Honorable Discharge in 1978 he began his career in metal fabrication. He attended welding school and graduated in 1984. He became a welding instructor at the Sullivan Educational Center. He, in addition to his metal fabrication teaching, also studied automotive body repair and began to also teach automotive body repair school. Mike taught welding and blueprint reading at the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers National Apprenticeship Training Center for ten years and for the past eleven years has been a with ICF Industries where he is now a part owner. The firm as a metal fabricator makes metal prototypes and fabricates metal components. Mike does welding and has extensive experience with all fabrication machinery.
Mike has always had an interest in racing and has built bicycles, motorcycles and cars. He has been on pit crews, functioned as a racing team mechanic and has been a racing driver. In his many years of involvement with the automobile Mike developed an interest in the efficiency of energy systems. He designed and constructed an electrically powered dragster and patented his unique process for energy efficiency that he hopes to apply to the DeLaSalle project. His background in teaching and his long relationship working with children make his experience important to the project.
Mentor, Marketing Strategist, Cause Branding, PR Consultant
Linda has worked in the advertising community in Kansas City as photographer’s rep, an art buyer at one of the largest independently owned ad agencies, and the director of marketing at the premiere film and video production company before starting her own marketing strategy company, Linda Buchner Creative Management.
As a mentor to the Contemporary Communications class at MINDDRIVE, Linda shares her knowledge of photography, videography, web site content development and social media.
Carolyn Fredrick, M.S., LPC
Mentor, Social Service Coordinator
Carolyn Fredrick has a Bachelor’s Degree in music therapy and a Master’s Degree in Science Psychology (study of human behavior). Carolyn joined MINDDRIVE because of her interest in electric cars and wanted to help bring out the best in students. Just working along side students is what she really enjoys about MINDDRIVE. Carolyn has always wanted to help younger children get over their fears and build confidence within themselves. A typical day for Carolyn away from MINDRIVE and WORK would be taking phone calls or making appointments, gardening, watching the royals, and being an Intensive in-Home Crisis Therapist. Her hobbies include just riding her electric bike. Her goal in life was to “never to exercise”.
Mentor, Engineering Management
Phil has a bachelor of science from DeVry University and has a background in aerospace design and management. He also has a background in teaching science and in computer CAD software. He brings specific experience in the aerodynamic design of the vehicle envelope. His teaching experience and technical expertise make him the perfect mentor that understands how to bring complicated technical information down to the level of the high school students in our class.
Mentor, expert in automotive photography
David Hutson has spent a lifetime with cars and sports and photography. He’s been a racer, mechanic, graphics designer and photojournalist. His clients have included Audi Cars, AG ; Marlboro Motor Racing ; Emerson Fittipaldi ; Seven-Eleven, and numerous worldwide publications, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Time Magazine, and others.
A southern California native, he has made Kansas City his home since graduation from the University of Missouri in photojournalism. He earned a Masters’ degree in Fine Art from UMKC in 1994. David started his company H CREATIVE STUDIO, in 1984 and continues to work in design, photography, education. He occasionally teaches college classes in photography, design, typography, and mixed media at UMKC, Park University, and area community colleges.Noah Graham Hutson is his 15 y.o. son, a champion swimmer, kart racer and avid snowboarder, is thinking about engineering and racing formula cars.
Mentor, Ferrari Master Technician
Jeff grew up in Kansas City and went to Shawnee Mission North high school and then attended Johnson County Junior College. His first job was at the Hollywood Ferrari dealership in Los Angles. While there for ten years he led the dealership IMSA racing team that ran a Ferrari powered Spice prototype race car. He then spent two years on an Indy car team and moved on to work at the Chicago Ferrari dealer, Lake Forest Ferrari. While there he oversaw the dealership work for customers participating in the Ferrari Challenge series. Between the years of 1995 to 2000 he worked with Motor Cars International in Springfield, Missouri primarily working on Lamborghini. The dealership was connected by ownership to the Lambo dealers in Dallas and Houston and he did work for those two dealers also. After two years came back to Kansas City to work at Aristocrat and then started his own business 2002 which he still operates.
He is the SCCA regional champion in the GT3 class, a class for production cars. He is restoring his own vintage Porsche CanAm car and he owns the very first Auto Research Formula Super V/Formula Atlantic. It was the first car designed by David Bruns who later became Swift, a manufacturer of formula and sports racing cars.
Jeff has a 9 year old son named Jake that may know as much as his father about automobiles.
Mentor, Owner of RC Toys
Previously Brian was involved in retail fixture manufacturing as an evolution from his experience in retail store construction. Prior to that he has a 20 year history in automotive audio design and installation.
As a mentor, Brian plays a key role in the decisions we make on battery design and configuration.
Richard Stephen Rees
DeLaSalle Automotive Studio Instructor
Experience in automobile racing, architecture
Steve was raised in Kansas City and studied architecture at Kansas State University. He practiced architecture in Kansas City for 30 years prior to selling his architectural business in 2003. His architectural work included buildings, interior design and retail design. Some of his work includes a hospital in Bethlehem, on the West Bank, the Harry S. Truman State Office Building in Jefferson City, Missouri and the design and roll out of over 2,500 retail stores for Sprint, Nextel, Beauty Brands and Starbucks. After selling his practice he spent two years as a captain on a charter sailing vessel in the British Virgin Islands. His other interests include a longtime passion for automobiles. He has restored cars including a 1956 AC Bristol which he restored with his son. He raced cars for 20 years including a variety of types. He drove in the 1997 24 hour race at Daytona and drove in the 1986 and 1987 Mille Miglia, a 1,000 mile race in Italy.
Steve’s relationship with DeLaSalle started 8 years ago when he worked with the Pathways program to develop a mentoring connection for the students. In 2007 he began teaching a specialized class called Creative Studio and Entrepreneurial Studies, linking creativity and business. This “DeLaSalle Automotive Studio” is a continuation of the past two years of teaching. He is driven by the primary desire to inspire students to dream and want to learn so that they can achieve their dreams. He continues to develop mentoring connections to the school. The current project will pair an adult with each student, a continued mentoring emphasis.
Instructor, Contemporary Communications Class
David is a High School Teacher. A typical day at work for David is half of the school day he teaches a speech class and helps students improve their speech. The other half of the day he does multiple things, for example he helps students write reports for their newspaper, he helps students in debate, and he also helps students in theater class.
David participates in MINDDRIVE mostly for fun and because he was recommended to become a mentor by his high school principal because he is involved in communications classes. David’s favorite thing about MINDDRIVE is all the diversity of all the mentors and students. He states, “I like the purpose of the class and helping students learn without giving them lectures and textbooks.”
Outside of MINDDRIVE and work Dave likes to ride motorcycles, garden, and fix up old houses.His greatest accomplishment so far has been raising his two daughters. They are now both teachers
Mentor, automotive journalist
Tom was born in Decatur, Illinois and at an early age with the help of his brother his life in the world of automobiles began, with their construction of a unique custom hot rod. It was based on the frame of a Crosley station wagon with a model T body. Tom went on to study and graduate from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
With Tom’s degree in journalism and his passion for cars he turned his skill to becoming an automotive journalist. Based in Kansas City Tom has become “the word” to thousands of people when it comes to cars. Tom has a weekly syndicated review of current models and he also often writes about vintage and historic street and racing cars. Tom has attended most national and even international car shows and manufacturers showings of new models, including models from the pedestrian to the exotic, including models by BMW, Audi, Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin and Jaguar as examples. He has rubbed shoulders with the who’s who of the industry. His syndicated articles include the Kansas City area thru the Kansas City Star and the area around St. Louis and southern Illinois. Tom also has a television program that airs twice weekly on KCPT.
Tom has been involved in the past two projects at DeLaSalle as a drive by mentor. He is well known by the students and often shows up at the students working sessions. Tom has written primary articles about the work of the students of DeLaSalle for the past two years.
Mentor, expert in automotive metal fabrication
Greg grew up in Kansas City and attended DeLaSalle High School in 1972 under the guidance of the school’s first principal, Brother Theodore Berni. Greg went on to graduate from Southwest High School in Kansas City and then studied at Penn Valley Community College. After school he opened his own business, an automotive trim shop, at 31st and Main Street, which he operated for 17 years. While in school Greg worked at the St. Regis Paper Company, in the maintenance department, where he gained valuable experience in repair and fabrication, a skill that would serve him well later in life.
Greg worked for Farley Engines in Platte City, Missouri between 1989 and 1995, one of the nation’s premier racing engine builders. His work there was as a machinist and a metal fabricator. He left Farley in 1995 to start his own fabrication business that specialized in racing car components. Greg’s specialty is custom exhaust and intake components. He also worked on the racing team of Jim Tarp who ran a Swift Formula 2000 in the Sports Car Club of America.
Greg has a long time relationship with the Kansas University Formula SAE project. This automotive performance project is run out the KU Engineering Department. The Formula SAE group will be interfacing with DeLaSalle’s efforts on their project. He fabricated many of their specialty metal pieces including their exhaust and intake
Mentor, Registered Professional Architect with HNTB Architecture,
a company that specializes in stadium design and construction. Joseph is a graduate of the State of Kansas University. He has a sideline business and interest in carbon fiber, after-market automotive components. As a younger mentor, he brings a perspective and more contemporary, high-end, automotive systems, specifically high horse-power, small displacement, Japanese vehicles. He is also an accomplished photographer and his hobby is in racing.
Marty Yurjevich, left, and Jon Stuckey
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations
Marty Yurjevich and Jon Stuckey of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations have been valuable members of our team. They did theoretical and laboratory testing of various Firestone and Bridgestone tires to determine which offered the least amount of rolling resistance. Their research debunked the original plan to use motorcycle tires, which they also tested. The proper automobile tires roll with much less resistance than the smaller motorcycle tires, and the car is currently shod with Firestone Firehawk tires that were donated by company. Marty and Jon spent the better part of a day touring DeLaSalle and meeting with students. They presented their detailed research to the students in an after-school meeting and visited the shop where the car is being constructed. Marty and Jon also hosted the students and mentors at the IndyCar race at the Kansas Speedway.