GM prodigy recounts his rise to the top of auto industry

Stacy M. Brown, Senior Correspondent | 2/4/2020, 10:01 p.m.
At 28-years-old, Charles Muse is already a significant player at General Motors. Muse, who serves on GM's Program Engineering Management ...

“At the end of the day, all decisions, whether it be from a design aspect or an aerodynamics aspect, it all goes to the chief engineer and they are responsible for the success of that vehicle, and that really intrigued me.

“As the aerodynamicist, when I wanted to make changes to the surface against the theme given from the design studio, I end up in meetings with the chief engineer to hash out what direction we want to take.

“The chief was assuming the risk and helping us make that decision. But I was really just intrigued with how articulate and intelligent chief engineers were when it comes to speaking about the entire vehicle.

“Every performance aspect, zero to 60 times, energy, design, manufacturing costs, they know everything about the car, and I just really wanted to know how they got to that level?

“And they took me under their wing and showed me that they needed to hold different positions within the company to understand how it all works.

“So, from aerodynamicist, I got selected to do a special assignment which sourcing a temporary wind tunnel facility during the upgrade of the GM facility, so they asked me to lead the project of identifying, sourcing, and creating the framework of a temporary offsite facility.

“So, we ended up at Lockheed Martin’s low speed wind tunnel in Atlanta, Georgia, and struck a deal where we upgraded their wind tunnel facility enabling them to charge more per hour and in exchange, we were awarded dedicated use of their facility for about a year and a half at a lower rate, a good business decision and I got to hire team of technicians, engineers, and sculptors, and we got all the arrow testing down there.

“I returned from this assignment as a senior design engineer in chassis working on air induction systems for full size trucks. Taking my background in chassis and engineering and exposing me to the system management team side of the business. Now I am in the total vehicle business working on the program engineering management team for autonomous vehicles.”

Stacy Brown is NNPA Senior Correspondent @StacyBrownMedia