At first glance, the Ford EcoBoost® and laser weapons systems may not seem like they’d have anything in common. But look closer and things like consistent performance, mechanics and engineering rise to the surface. Look even closer and you’ll see Mike Kluzner. He’s an in-house software engineer with Ford, who says that he got his start designing laser weapon systems for the former Soviet Union, capable of disabling the navigation systems of enemy satellites.
Mike was born Mikhail Igor Kluzner and has lived in the United States since 1990. He’s been working for Ford since 1996; these days, he designs software for onboard fuel system diagnostics on Ford vehicles sold nationwide. One more cool thing: Mike holds more than 20 patents for onboard diagnostics.
And the resumes of the other in-house powertrain control software engineers are also impressive. There are backgrounds in designing software to detect damage to heat tiles on the international Space Shuttle, and even experience in particle physics.
Why does all that matter when it comes to an engine like the EcoBoost? Well, the software must manage and optimize increasingly sophisticated hardware to make Ford vehicles more powerful, cleaner and fuel efficient. And when the engine launched, there were actually some challenges with the new technology, like consumers being hesitant to believe a notably smaller engine with fewer cylinders could be powerful. So, that team of engineers came up with some software tricks resulting in power, torque, driveability and efficiency; Ford even has patents, or ones pending, for many of its software control technologies.
The cutting-edge software – and the brains behind it – has resulted in a new generation of smaller, more power-dense engines delivering the fuel economy of smaller engines without any decrease in performance.
That might just make the EcoBoost the most interesting weapon Mike has ever designed.