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Director of Research and Development
Society of Automotive Engineers , Inc.
Member of the Formula SAE Team
St. Xavier High School
B.E. degree with Honors
University of Virginia
Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia
Engineering Career | Brad Jaeger
A graduate of Vanderbilt University with honors in Mechanical Engineering, Brad served as the technical liaison between Edison2 and the X Prize Foundation during the competition ensuring technical deliverables were submitted and deadlines were met. After winning the Automotive X Prize Brad took responsibility for creating project timelines and budgets, overseeing Edison2?s patent portfolio, and ensuring the technical direction was aligned with their business strategy. He also oversaw the design and building of Edison2's Consumer Prototype VLC, also known as the VLC4.0. The combination of Brad?s mechanical engineering background, business/marketing experience, and career driving race cars has allowed him to excel during his time at Edison2. Before joining Edison2, Brad raced full time in the Indy Pro Series and the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car series where he drove the #77 Dallara Daytona Prototype. Brad continued to pursue his racing career while at Vanderbilt University, balancing school work, traveling and training. In addition to his experience at Edison2 and Vanderbilt, Brad brings 15 years of testing vehicles as a racecar driver and working alongside race and design engineers.
Innovations and lessons learned with the concept car led to greater fuel efficiency in the production car. â€œSynchronous technology is helping us develop the Very Light Car in a very short timeframe,â€� said Brad Jaeger, director of research and development at Edison2.
"Synchronous technology is helping us develop the Very Light Car in a very short timeframe," said Brad Jaeger, director of research and development at Edison2.
The original Solid Edge designs that are now being modified were created using an order-based modelling approach. There is no problem importing these into Solid Edge with synchronous technology, according to Jaeger. "Solid Edge is designed to work with both ordered or synchronous features and allows the designer to use either as needed. As an added bonus synchronous technology can also edit imported models not matter what CAD system was used to create them," he explains. "We entered the competition expecting to build an electric or electric-hybrid vehicle," says Brad Jaeger, director of R&D (research and development) at Edison2.
The weekend before beginning his second year at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, Brad Jaeger was behind the wheel of his Nissan 370Z and leading the field at the Virginia International Raceway near Danville, riding high after setting a new track record the day before.
That day, Jaeger and his teammate, B.J. Zacharias, both drivers for Doran Racing, saw their luck turn on a dime as the car ran out of fuel with a lap to go. That combination of highs and lows - the constant balance of strategy, risk and adversity - is characteristic of racing as a sport and of Jaeger as a driver and an MBA student. It is a tough balance, but one that he feels privileged to experience. "My racing career and my time at Darden are both very important to me," he said. "I instantly took to terrorizing the grass," Jaeger said. "It took me about six years to finally convince my dad to let me race competitively." At 12, Jaeger was racing go-karts in a competitive league. By 16, he was racing in the Sports Car Club of America, behind the wheel of his dad's old car, newly outfitted by father and son. By 19, he had won the championship in his first professional F2000 series and matriculated at Vanderbilt University, where he studied engineering. The championship convinced him to keep racing, even as the demands of his coursework grew. He kept in close contact with his professors, committed to finishing his work on or ahead of time and spent his free time far differently than many undergraduates. Fittingly, that period of challenge was followed by one of celebration: Jaeger graduated from Vanderbilt in May 2007 and, two weeks later, raced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Indy Pro Series. "That was an amazing month, achieving two very big dreams of mine," he said. After graduation, Jaeger signed on with Doran Racing, building his career as a driver while delving into the mechanics and strategy of the sport he loves, often joining engineers and mechanics in the shop to work on the car he was about to drive. "Having an understanding of what is going on underneath the hood and being able to talk to our team engineers has definitely been an asset throughout my career," he said. "A lot of people think of racing as a driver's sport, but so much of it is strategy and teamwork, involving everyone from the team owner, to the strategists, to the engineers and mechanics." It was during one of those shop afternoons that Jaeger met Charlottesville entrepreneur Oliver Kuttner, a chance encounter that eventually brought him from the plains of Ohio to the mountains of Virginia, where he joined Kuttner's startup automotive company, Edison2. At Edison2, Jaeger started as an engineer and development driver for the company's entry in the 2010 Progressive Automotive X Prize for fuel-efficient vehicles. Edison2's entry, which clocked in at over 100 MPGe, won the competition - a win that he values just as much as any in his career, especially since it drove him toward Darden. After the competition, Jaeger became Edison2's vice president of engineering and operations and oversaw the design and building of a consumer prototype based on the prize-winning model. "As I was progressing through Edison2 and helping them commercialize the technology, I learned a lot on the go, but realized there was a lot I was missing," he said. "My engineering background gave me the quantitative understanding I needed, but I needed to know more about structuring investments and bringing in investors, and I felt that a formal business education would really help." He didn't have to look far for a top business school. Jaeger had already worked with faculty at Darden, designing a case study of Edison2 and speaking to students about innovation. Applying to Darden was, as he put it, "a no-brainer." So far, the school has answered his expectations and facilitated new opportunities, including a summer internship in Ford Motor Company's marketing leadership program. After graduation, Jaeger is weighing a number of opportunities, including pursuing racing full-time while starting his own venture. "The auto industry has been my passion for my whole life, and I ultimately want to end up there," Jaeger said. "Darden has given me plenty of options. It is just a question of what makes the most sense for me to focus on." For now, though, he is focused on this weekend's race, hoping for a final high point to end a season that is already among the highlights of his career.
According to Brad Jaeger, Engineer at Edison2, "With careful design, a low-mass car can be safe even in this era of heavy, feature-laden cars.