Ford Gives Back > Tech Like Me

Tech-Like-Me
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The advancement of technology continues at the speed of light, accelerating time and the creation of social and mobile solutions beyond our wildest dreams. As fast as technology evolves, however, it is imperative that it includes the thought and brilliant solutions of those traditionally underrepresented in the industry.

With Tech Like Me, Ford Fund celebrates African American's who have blazed trails in the tech industry with fearlessness and flair; and provided insight and information about careers in the tech industries.

Earl Lucas

Earl Lucas

Who Am I

Earl Lucas
Chief Designer
Lincoln Motor Company

My name is Earl Lucas and I am a Chief Designer for the Lincoln Motor Company. The father of three children and a husband to a beautiful and considerate wife - Jackie. I am a strong believer of a higher power and believe in the golden rule.

What I do

My job responsibilities within Lincoln, include being part of the team that designs the exterior and interior sanctuaries of all Lincoln products, assisting in the brand definition and fostering a creative environment for all design staff. I believe that it is my job to create compelling products, giving our customers a compelling experience and products that enrich our customers lives. Having a vision of the future as it relates to the overall Lincoln brand is essential in my day to day work task. I interface with all of Product Development departments to ensure that the Studio design intent is delivered to our customers and that the final product captures the ethos of the brand.

What Tech means to me

Tech by my understanding in new technology that will advance our brand into the unknown future. However the future means nothing without the people advancing with it. Giving and helping others, sharing our life journey/experiences with different generations and cultivating tomorrows minds is more important than any progression of man-made objects. I believe that those who know bear the responsibility to teach and what the future needs the most is humanity.

What Skills are needed to succeed in my field

The skill mostly needed in my career is the ability to image a different tomorrow but with the help of the entire enterprise. The creative skills set of being able to draw, define shapes and communicate the brand are fundamental to the job but always with an understanding that we have to create products as a team. To be a successful designer with the Lincoln brand is to know the brand but be willing to share and receive content to advance the brand forward.

What advice do I have for someone who is interested in my career field

The advice that I would give anyone who would like to peruse a career as an automotive designer is consistently and constantly feed their creativity, dream of what the future could be / should be and develop a thick skin regarding the greater team accepting your initial ideas. The greatest asset a designer has to the corporation is his or her ability to look at the a issue with a creative eye and not allowing the current solution stand in the way of the next possibility. I would also add for someone considering this career The ability to convey the next idea is not just with the two dimensional drawing or three dimensional models - but with verbal skills and the ability to get others to concur with your way of thinking.

Ken Washington

Ken Washington

Who Am I

Dr. Ken Washington
Vice President, Research & Advanced Engineering and Chief Technology Officer
Ford Motor Company

What I do

Lead global team of scientists and engineers responsible for developing and delivering new capabilities and differentiating technologies for our products and services. I also serve as the company’s Chief Technology Officer with the responsibility to lead and oversee the development and implementation of our global technology strategy. This includes tracking and proactively responding to emerging technology trends, forging strategic relationships with the broad technology community, and nurturing our company’s talent base to keep pace with game-changing technologies.

What Tech means to me

I have been doing technology research and development my entire adult life, so technology means a lot to me personally and professionally. On the personal front I aggressively seek and embrace the introduction of technology to enhance the quality of my life. This includes trying new things as an early adopter and being willing to fail and learn from those failures. Technology has a prominent role in my life to enable efficient, entertaining, safe, and high quality experiences. On the professional front I am energized when I see technology make a difference to the success of our business. This drives me every day to bring my best self to work, to challenge my team to take smart risks, and to lean into the development and advancement of technology required to delivery our business goals in now, near, and far time frames.

What Skills are needed to succeed in my field

The most important thing one needs to be successful in my field are the traits of curiosity and passion. You definitely need to have a strong core of mathematical reasoning, logic, and a fundamental understanding of the laws of physics. A college degree in engineering, computer science, mathematics, or physics will provide the core necessary skills required, but to truly thrive a person will need to layer on top of these core skills a healthy dose of curiosity, a desire to never stop learning, and a passion to understand how things work or how you can make things better.

What advice do I have for someone who is interested in my career field

Start by taking courses in school in science and math. Go beyond what is in the textbooks and the classrooms by reading about new technologies. Try them out and learn how they work – at least conceptually. Commit to being a lifelong learner, starting with teaching yourself a new skill at least every year. This can be anything – such as how to program a computer in a new language or how to knit a sweater. The act of learning will build curiosity muscles that need to be strong to be successful in the field and advanced research and technology development.

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    Earl Lucas

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    Dr Ken Washington

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    Melissa Bradley

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    Laura Weidman Powers

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