1. Name and role at Wrightspeed?
Trudy Curley, Battery Design Engineer
2. What were you doing before joining Wrightspeed?
Before joining Wrightspeed, I was an engineer at Advanced Green Innovations in Arizona where I was primarily working on their fuel injector. Previously, I was at Boeing, where I tested and performed evaluations on the composite main rotor blades for the Apache Block III helicopter.
3. What was your original role at Wrightspeed?
My focus when I first joined was on engineering change control and product data management. Parts are always changing in a complex product like a powertrain, and those changes have to be coordinated to keep them consistent and compatible. Good change control can make the difference between chaos and progress.
4. How has your role changed?
In addition to change control, I’ve become extensively involved in the design for our battery packs, so everything from prototype leading in to commercial-scale production. This role encompasses designing the actual systems, including the cooling system, and how these systems integrate into the powertrain and the whole vehicle. I’m also working on the power electronics that are tied in with the battery pack.
5. What have you been able to put your hands on?
I’ve worked on every part of the battery, from cells to bus bars, polycarbonate cases, high-power connectors and coolant plumbing. Originally, my role focused mainly on CAD models of the battery’s internal components, but now I’ve had the chance to put my hands on the packs installed in a trolleybus in New Zealand. I’m looking even beyond the pack to work on the cooling system and other mechanisms.
6. What have you enjoyed most since joining Wrightspeed?
Since joining Wrightspeed, I’ve been involved with significant growth projects. Recently, I went down to Wellington with the team to work on the vehicles for NZ Bus. I’ve been able to create a battery system for the largest bus provider in New Zealand. I’ve enjoyed working with the team to work on deploying the vehicles.