For the second Alumni Career Speaker Series event in as many weeks and the 10th overall, more than 25 students from Notre Dame's upper division assembled today in the school's media center to hear from four alumni who are working as engineers.
Today's session, which is sponsored by the Notre Dame Alumni Association, was kicked off by NDAA board member Mike Kastler '75 (ND), who introduced Paul Nahra '93 (ND), director of testing, validation and reliability at BorgWarner; Ken Lenz '99 (ND), product lead designer at Eberspächer; Amy Ryczko '01 (NDP), an HR manager at Spalding DeDecker; and Dave Jaworski '83 (ND), manager of product development at Fiat Chrysler.
Brief bios of each of the participant alums working in the engineering field are below.
Paul Nahra '93 (ND), director of testing, validation and reliability at BorgWarner:
Nahra is currently the global director of testing, validation and reliability for Pow-erDrive Systems at BorgWarner. In this role, he is responsible for the prototype build and validation of all PowerDrive Systems products engineered at tech centers located in Auburn Hills, Noblesville, Ind., and Landskrona, Sweden. Prior to joining PowerDrive Systems, Nahra was the director of advanced engine engineering and future trends for BorgWarner corporate advanced engineering. Before BorgWarner, he held several management positions at General Motors, including gasoline engine controls manager and enterprise resource and planning manager. During his five years at GM, Nahra also led the development of several combustion systems. Earlier in his career, he spent nine years at DaimlerChrysler working in combustion engineering, systems engineering, advanced engine engineering and advanced powertrain engineering. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Wayne State University as well as an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
Ken Lenz '99 (ND), product lead designer at Eberspächer:
Lenz started off his career at Nissan in Farmington Hills four days after he turned 21. He worked on various areas of the vehicle, including chassis, underbody, upperbody, doors and fuel systems. After five years, Lenz left Nissan and went to work for Oshkosh Defense in Warren where he helped start up a small engineering office so that they could be close to the customer. Oshkosh Defense makes tactical wheeled vehicles used mainly for the U.S. Army but also for the Marines. He worked there for eight years on a variety of projects, most of which were on improvements to the vehicles to make it easier on the soldiers. Currently, he works for Eberspaecher, which is an exhaust supplier and works mainly on Ford programs, including the Diesel F-150, the Focus ST, the Edge, Escape and an Econoline chassis.
Amy Ryczko '01 (NDP), an HR manager at Spalding DeDecker:
Ryczko attended Grand Valley State University to study physical therapy, but eventually graduated with a degree in business with a human resource concentration. She worked 10 years in a nonprofit focused on building the program, raising money and general human resources activities. Ryczko then moved to Connecticut where she began working in civil engineering as an HR generalist and recruiter and built an internship program recognized by the University of Connecticut as an employer of the year. She then moved back to Michigan to work at Spalding DeDecker, a civil engineering and land survey firm in Rochester Hills, as an HR manager. In this position, Ryczko recruits new hires, and works on leadership development and staff professional development for junior staff. As an aside, she says she was raised by two engineers, then married one. And she still loves to work in the industry!
Dave Jaworski '83 (ND), manager of product development at Fiat Chrysler
Jaworski is a manager of product development engineering at Fiat Chrysler Automo-
biles, where he is globally responsible for infotainment and high-line headunits (radios), displays and mobile devices. He has 30 years of engineering experience at FCA, Ford and GM, and is accountable for over $1 billion in product development management. In addition, Jaworski has led over 50 working partnerships with suppliers, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Sirius XM and Samsung. Most recently, he has led engineering launches that included the 12” display infotainment system on the Dodge Ram; Apple CarPlay; Google Android Auto; wireless charging; and UConnect Theater on the Chrysler Pacifica. Jaworski's designs have achieved recognition in Popular Science, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, JD-Power and Consumer Reports. He also was voted as a top-25 performer for engineering excellence and has appeared in TV commercials and annual reports for Ford Motor Company. He is certified in design for Six-Sigma, reactive problem-solving, holds six patents and holds a master's degree in electrical engineering the University of Michigan. In his spare time, he enjoys working out, running and racquet sports.
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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org