Get To Know Our Engineers – no they’re not just robots…

You’ve seen what goes into the making of our products, but do you know who is making them? At Mishimoto, we’re proud to say that our products are made for automotive enthusiasts by automotive enthusiasts and engineered in New Castle, DE. We took it upon ourselves to ask each of our engineers a series of questions so you can get to know them better and see their enthusiasm for automobiles shine. If you’ve been following along with our blog, we’re sure you’ll recognize each of our team members.



Ye Liu: Product Engineer

What do you drive?

A 2012 Trail Teams (TRD special edition) FJ Cruiser. It’s my daily and off-road toy.

Do you have a favorite trail you off-road?

The Windrock Off-Road park in Tennessee. It’s located north of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and has incredible trails and views to offer.

What’s the ultimate Off-roading location you want to go to?

The Alpine Loop in Colorado and Moab in Utah.

Any mods you want to make to your FJ Cruiser?

It already has most of the mods I want – lift, UCAs, bigger tires, front bumper, winch, aftermarket skid plates/belly armor, roof rack. The next thing on the list would be some very bright off-road lights.

What’s your favorite piece of equipment in the Mishimoto Engineering building and why?

The Faro 3D scanner. It’s a game-changer for our design process. It allows us to create products of high quality and reduces R&D lead time significantly.

Do you have a specific type of product that you usually work on?

I work on all types of products we offer at Mishimoto, with a focus on our air intake product line. I designed all the air intake products here since I joined Mishimoto in 2015.

Do you get to take the R&D cars out for a drive?

All the engineers do, but we don’t do it for leisure. Road tests are sometimes essential to gather required R&D data.

Describe your dream car:

What I’m driving now. I grew up right across the street from a bunch of dealerships, and my bedroom window looked over the parking lot of the Toyota dealership. Around 2007 when the FJ first came out and was selling hot, my everyday view while doing homework was an entire fleet of brand-new FJs. After staring at them every day for 3 years in high school, the weird yet classic aesthetics and the 3rd windshield wiper (yeah it’s got 3x wipers) grew on me, and at 17-years-old I decided this was my dream car.

Real story.

But I also wouldn’t mind an Australia spec Toyota LC79 Land Cruiser with an overlanding trailer, down the road.


Dan Tafe: Product Engineer

What do you drive?

2009 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x

Any mods you want to make to your Frontier?

Current modifications are a 2” suspension lift, front locking differential, 33” tires and, custom-made rock sliders (my design). Future modifications will be custom front and rear bumpers (my design), winch, and an on-board air compressor.

What’s your favorite piece of equipment in the Mishimoto Engineering building and why?

The CNC water jet – it allows us to cut prototype sheet metal parts quickly and accurately.

Do you have a specific type of product that you usually work on?

Not really, I work on every type of product that we make except for air intakes.

Do you get to take the R&D cars out for a drive?

I do.

Describe your dream car:

Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205


Kevin McCardle: Product Engineering Manager

Kevin (left) works with Dan (right), on this project, to ensure we can achieve the maximum potential from your CTR.

What do you drive? (daily/non-daily).

Non-daily: DA9 Integra. Ls/Vtec. Garrett GT3076R .82 A/R Tial turbine Daily: Acura TSX

Any Mishi mods currently?

Mishimoto Civic EG radiator and fan shroud and a J-line Intercooler.  

What’s your favorite piece of equipment in the Mishimoto Engineering building and why?

Hmm… this is a hard one. CAD software is by far the most powerful tool for the money, but I am going to go with our CNC waterjet. With a little creativity, you can create a lot of prototypes, jigs, or equipment for testing purposes.  

Are there any products we’ve developed that stand out to you as the most difficult to engineer, most innovative, or show-stopping?

Our most difficult engineering challenges are usually requirements we put on ourselves. By this I mean we require there be no modifications to the vehicle, but performance must be better than the original parts. German vehicles in general can make what sounds like a simple task difficult. A handful of innovative products come to mind, but our most innovative projects have never been seen publicly.

Where do you fit into the timeline of product development and describe what you do?

I provide engineering time, product cost, and tooling estimates to the product manager for evaluation before a project is actually worked on. Once approved, I work with engineers on design concepts of what we think we can achieve once the vehicle has been evaluated in our shop. As long as things go as planned, I am not involved until the engineer has finished testing and is ready to present in front of a panel their design and final results (we call them design reviews). If we run into issues with fitment, sourcing, tooling, DFM, costs, quality control, or testing I try to work with the engineers on solutions. In short, I work on the very front end of product development and I am onto the next project before pre-sales go live.   

What’s your Mishi Pup’s name?

Franklin Roosevelt Savage is his full name. Frank, Frankie, Franks for short.

Franklin conducts a product engineering meeting at Mishimoto Headquarters

Do you get to take the R&D cars out for a drive?

I usually do when we first buy them and after we install our parts. Engineers and product managers drive them more often as they work closely on the details of the projects. Almost all the mileage we put on our vehicles is solely for testing parts.   

Describe your dream car:

It changes all the time, but recently a Ferrari F355 Berlinetta. Would update to air-ride suspension, wheels/tires, and custom headers.


Jason Wettig: Product Engineer

What do you drive? (daily/non-daily)

Daily: Hyundai Veloster N

Non-Daily: I have a 1973 MGB that is a fun weekend car and I also have a 1989 Jeep YJ Wrangler 4.2.

Any mods you want to make? Any Mishi mods currently?

The Jeep currently has our YJ/TJ radiator in it with an electric fan conversion.

You used to have a Mishi-fied FRS….What was installed on that?

It had a Mishimoto Intake, Catch can, Radiator, Fan Shroud, Expansion tank, and Radiator hoses. Other products installed were Tomei UEL Headers, custom made exhaust, and an Open Flash Tablet running Stage 2 tune.

What’s your favorite piece of equipment in the Mishimoto Engineering building and why?

The Water Jet. The amount of time this saves in fabrication is insane. You can fabricate a bracket in a fraction of the time when compared to cutting one out on a band saw and it is more accurate. I wish I had one in my home shop.

Do you have a specific type of product that you usually work on?

No, one day I may be designing an Air to Water Intercooler, the next a Radiator, and the following a shift knob.

Do you get to take the R&D cars out for a drive?

Yes, by far the most rewarding part of working here. I get to test-drive nearly every car that comes through our doors. Also, by working on the cars you get to see how different makes of vehicles manage maintenance and general accessibility of the cars. It has given me greater insight into which car manufacturers I like and do not like.

Describe your dream car:

Moderately powerful 250-350 HP/TQ

It needs to be practical (large trunk or hatch, easy to see out of and drive on long distances) and handle nicely, good responsive steering with plenty of feedback. Not overly heavy.

Sedan, Hatch, or Coupe (as long as it meets the above requirements)

Manual, but I’m coming around to some of the DCT’s on the market


Mike Snyder: P&D Facility Foreman/Lead Fabricator

What do you drive? (daily/non-daily)

My daily is a Colorado ZR2 and I have a 240sx sitting in pieces at home. Want to buy it?

Any mods you want to make? Any Mishi mods currently?

I mounted one of our catch cans on my truck.

What’s your favorite piece of equipment in the Mishimoto Engineering building and why?

My favorite machine is the waterjet. It saves me a lot of time and is more accurate than cutting out parts manually. I went with our Product Engineering Manager, Kevin, to the factory and hand-assembled our waterjet machine.

Where do you fit into the timeline of product development and what do you do?

One of my main roles is producing prototypes during the development phase. Occasionally I provide support for released products as well.

Have you ever welded anything out of the ordinary?

One time I welded some wheelie bars on the back of a riding mower. That was a fun day… This isn’t welding related, but I carved a pumpkin with the waterjet, that was definitely out of the ordinary.

What’s your Mishi Pup’s name?

Lucy

Lucy makes sure that you are wearing your safety glasses and following safety protocol

Do you get to take the R&D cars out for a drive?

Occasionally, I recently completed some mileage testing on our Supra catch can and intake.

Describe your dream car:

Something I built myself.


We hope you enjoyed reading our engineer’s responses to these questions and if there are more questions you’d like us to ask, post them in the comments below! For a look at our full line of Mishimoto performance cooling products, check out www.mishimoto.com.

2 thoughts on “Get To Know Our Engineers – no they’re not just robots…”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *