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Owen Thunes: my path into the auto industry…and surviving it.

photo of a Nissan Infinity

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

The Automotive industry is undergoing a massive transformation as it contends with the challenge of designing vehicles that meet ever-tightening emissions and fuel economy standards while simultaneously delivering enhanced safety, connectivity and dynamic performance.  Engineers create and develop solutions that address these divergent technical problems, but in so doing, are also changing the way we think about mobility in society. So what moves you? 

In this info session, we will discuss some of these challenges, but also some potential pathways into the industry, how to prepare for it, and what it is actually like to ‘play with cars’ for a living.  

About the presenter

Owen Thunes

Owen Thunes is Senior Manager of Powertrain Performance Group, based at Nissan’s US Proving Ground in Arizona. Thunes joined Nissan in 2004, where he was part of Nissan’s first US market Hybrid-electric development team. In 2007, he transferred to Nissan’s California Fuel Cell Partnership office where he mainly worked in advanced R&D and testing of e-Powertrain centric vehicles. In 2018, he returned to the same AZ-based group where he started, but now has responsibility for Acceleration and Drivability Performance of all North American development models. Thunes is also a veteran of the US Navy, having served in technical fields for over 20 years between Active and Reserve duty. He holds undergraduate degrees in Computer Science from University of Maryland (1997) and Mechanical Engineering from Boise State University (2002), and Master’s degrees from UC Davis in Mechanical Engineering (2004), and an MBA (2010).

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