Are you sitting at home after having worked 30 joyful years for a major automaker or supplier, looking for a new hobby/job? Have you given up trying to get your children and grandchildren to give a damn about your endlessly nerdy car thoughts, leaving you on the hunt for someone — anyone — to impart your car-wisdom upon? Are you tired of reading erroneous technical stuff on car websites? Are you a decent writer? If so, you should write for The Autopian. It will be awesome.
It makes no sense to me how few engineers there are in the automotive media space, but it’s something I’m actively working to change. Cars are inherently technical, so shouldn’t the people who teach you about them also be technically adept?
I’m going to sound a bit mean here, but I’m just having some fun: Just look at this sentence I edited from Jason Torchinsky. He’s easily one of the best car journalists on this planet, and generally a fairly technically-smart man. But he is no engineer, as you can tell by the fact that he thought the motor in question was named “Switched Reluctance,” not that this was a type of motor. Every time I have to edit a mistake like this a part of my soul dies, and I find myself rushing to my nearest textbook to solve as many Laplace Transform-related problem sets as possible.
(Again, for the record, I love JT. He told me I could make fun of him).
[Editor’s Note: I still think “reluctance” is a hilarious descriptor for a motor, real term or not. – JT]
So of course, we need more technical folks in automotive media. You can see why when you read Huibert Mees’s stories. He’s a retired Ford/Tesla engineer (he technically still consults) who impressed me with a comment he wrote on one of my articles, describing in detail how solid axles’ geometry helps them articulate so well. Naturally, I reached out to see if he’d like to write for The Autopian, and now — like a solid axle — he’s doing a great job articulating — specifically, articulating thoughts on how suspension design differs on electric vehicles versus ICE ones; the factors that play into a car’s turning radius; how he screwed up the lower control arms on the Ford GT; why the Double Ball-Joint suspension allows for bigger brakes and better steering feel; how bolts work; why the spring and damper on a MacPherson strut are just barely out of alignment, and so much more. It’s true insight from a true expert.
The world needs more of this. LOTS more.
Normally, I’d be writing technical stories myself, calling up engineers, reading SAE papers, and putting it all together into some serious geekery, but I no longer have time to write as much because I’m now a sad, sad manager. (Many of you engineers know how this goes). The good news is that my brain keeps coming up with article ideas by the hundred; the bad news is that I don’t have enough engineers to write them. And it’s genuinely driving me crazy. There’s so much cool stuff we need to talk about!
So, my TI-89-wielding friends, let’s work together and get paid to nerd out.
The great thing about retirees is that they’ve got enough perspective and enough contacts to really describe how things work in a comprehensive way. An engineer with a year or two of experience isn’t necessarily going to be able to quickly tell stories about how things work, because they just haven’t learned from enough vehicle programs to build the knowledge base yet. But to veterans, questions about how certain aspects of the car world work tend to be trivial, and easily answered. And if not, usually just a phone call away.
Plus, the industry-insider-y stories veteran engineers can tell are usually awesome.
So if you’ve worked in the car industry a while, and would like to be paid to write about how cars work and hang out with car geeks like Torch and me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Less Experienced Engineers
We’re also always keeping an eye out for an engineer who can write in higher volumes than a retiree might be willing to. Someone who can join the full time staff, and write news and reviews through the lens of someone who’s actually been there. And someone who can write deep-dives like a boss.
So if you’re an intellectually curious engineer (even if not in the auto industry, really) who enjoys writing, and you have experience working in the automotive industry, please email me at email@example.com. I want readers here at The Autopian to get the highest-quality car geekery pumped into their veins. I will work with you to develop your writing skills, I’ll get you press cars, and we’ll just fill the website with equations and labeled underbody photos. Because that’s all anyone wants in a car blog, right?