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Behind every vehicle we build is a team of amazing engineers who not only think different, but are humble about their work. There isn’t a Haynes manual for what we do because we’re truly redefining what’s possible with vehicles every day.
That sentiment couldn’t be any more true than with Parinita Singh, a mechanical engineer who has excelled at pioneering the development of our newest vehicles.
She has been deeply involved in the engineering and assembly of Olli, a self-driving shuttle that we debuted in June. She is an automotive technology expert and a natural fit on the Local Motors team.
I was able to borrow a few minutes from Parinita while she was assembling a test vehicle so you can get to know her more.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in New Delhi, India. However, I moved to the states when I was 10, and I lived in New York until I came to Local Motors in Phoenix early this year.
I’m a mechanical engineer, which includes designing vehicles and exploring new methodologies of creating vehicle structures. This also includes working with manufacturing to ensure efficient, buildable designs. Simply put, I help Local Motors achieve its goals to deliver next-generation vehicles to the market.
What did you do before Local Motors?
Before Local Motors, I was a student at Stony Brook University working on my Bachelors and eventually my Masters in Mechanical Engineering. As an undergrad, I was greatly involved with the Baja SAE team. The goal of this team was to create an off-road vehicle that competes with over 100 universities from all over the world. Students were tasked with designing, fabricating, manufacturing, and competing the vehicle. I worked on optimizing the steering and suspension of the vehicle. As you can imagine, I gained an incredible amount of insight into vehicle dynamics.
As a grad student, I worked in the machine shop on campus. I started as an apprentice during my junior year of undergrad and became the TA during my grad year. This helped me gain valuable experience designing parts and working on projects.
What projects are you working on now?
One of the first major projects I worked on was Olli. I was heavily involved in the build process of the first Olli. It was a great experience to be so closely involved and see it on display at National Harbor. As someone who’s familiar with Olli and has been leading efforts to optimize it further, it has been very rewarding.
My latest project is working on the beta construction mule. Our beta construction mule is a prototype of the highway-ready 3D-printed car, and the mule will be used for research purposes. Through this project, we are exploring the different methods of direct digital manufacturing (DDM). It’s a critical project so we can create a cradle-to-cradle vehicle that is sustainable, affordable and innovative.
What do you love about Local Motors?
I know it seems pretty repetitive, but I absolutely love that this company is so innovative. Local Motors isn’t afraid to think outside the box. We created the first 3D-printed car, the Strati, and we just launched the Olli, the first autonomous electric bus. One of my dreams has been to create a car of tomorrow and Local Motors can make that happen. Local Motors includes both my passions – automotive and innovation.
In addition, Local Motors isn’t a traditional company. We don’t have cubicles, there’s no dress code, and the CEO knows everyone by their first name. And the people I work with are amazing. I’ve met some really great people who make me laugh, inspire me, and motivate me. The team here is so knowledgeable that I’m always learning something every day. I love working with this team!
What advice do you have for future employees?
Be a dreamer! Local Motors can make dreams a reality. Who would’ve thought that someday we would build 3D-printed cars? And we’re here actually doing it. To work at Local Motors, you should maintain an open mind and be hungry for a challenge. Since the innovations we do here are so different, you have to think differently to succeed.