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Alumnus Matthew Wolfe Makes Strides At Ford

Matthew Wolfe, an alumnus who graduated in 2016 from The Ohio State University, is using his electrical engineering degree to excel at Ford amid a rapidly changing auto industry.

Wolfe entered Ford’s College Graduate Program after receiving his diploma, where he rotated positions for two years. Recently, he joined the company’s tech strategy and planning team, scoping out new or upcoming technology needs for future Ford models.

“It’s a really neat job because our whole purpose is to make sure we are up to date on everything that’s happening,” Wolfe said. “We are talking to universities, we are looking at different industries and speaking with our suppliers and seeing what is the latest and greatest that’s coming out and what is going to come out down the line.”

Watch an interview with Wolfe via Ford

Wolfe credits Ohio State for helping him smoothly transition into industry, saying Buckeye resources and connections are like those at a large company such as Ford.

His experience with the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), a technical professional society with a chapter at Ohio State, also helped him prepare for a real-world setting. He said the work he did analyzing data in IEEE mirrors what he currently does at Ford. 

Wolfe also credits Ohio State professors who mentored him on knowledge outside of the classroom setting, which he now applies to his current work. Professors Paul Berger and Steven Bibyk, he said, are among those who served as major inspirations to him.

“[Berger] was just a great guy, easy person to talk to. Always kind of encouraged us to not let walls thrown in front of us be obstacles. There’s always a way through,” Wolfe said. “… [Bibyk] was a fantastic professor because he was one of those folks who encouraged us to go out and learn and explore more.”

The rise of autonomous and electrical vehicles created a lot of change in the auto industry, Wolfe said. He knew he wanted in on that.

“The whole reason I came into the auto industry is because of the immense amount of change that’s happening here,” Wolfe said. “This is a space where I see so many different things happening.”

Wolfe, who also helps with Ford’s recruiting efforts at Ohio State, said these changes created a high demand for electrical engineers in the auto industry, contrasting the traditional need for mechanical engineers.

“If you’re an electrical engineer, think about the auto industry because it’s a place that needs you and it’s a really exciting place to be right now,” Wolfe said.

Story by Isabel Hall, ECE Student Public Relations Writer