MENTORS



Bruce.jpgBruce Bellington
Mentor, manufacturing/electric vehicle experience

Bruce grew up in Kansas City and attended the University of Missouri School of Business. After school he became evolved in his families manufacturing business. He successfully has led the last 20 years of his family’s 50 year old molded plastic and metal fabrication manufacturing concern located in Odessa, Missouri. The firm was a leader in the development of injected molded products. Their facility occupied 400,000 square feet of office and manufacturing and the firm had 200 employees.

Bruce’s background in business led him to lead his company’s efforts to develop new products and concepts. Bruce led the company’s development of a new ground up electrical vehicle and sold over 100 units. The vehicle was marketed as a low speed model for use in retirement villages and cities that allowed slower vehicles on the roadway. The unit was capable of 40 miles under typical driving conditions and 100 miles under perfect testing conditions. The propulsion system was based on a 72 volt system comprised of four 12 volt batteries and three 8 volt batteries. It had regenerative braking.

Bruce brings real world business viability to the project so that the students will understand the elements of and importance of practical solutions.


Mike.jpgMike Blood
Mentor, automotive, machinist, electric vehicle experience

Mike graduated from Van Horn High School in 1976 and immediately entered the United States Marine Corps. Following his Honorable Discharge in 1978 he began his career in metal fabrication. He attended welding school and graduated in 1984. He became a welding instructor at the Sullivan Educational Center. He, in addition to his metal fabrication teaching, also studied automotive body repair and began to also teach automotive body repair school. Mike taught welding and blueprint reading at the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers National Apprenticeship Training Center for ten years and for the past eleven years has been a with ICF Industries where he is now a part owner. The firm as a metal fabricator makes metal prototypes and fabricates metal components. Mike does welding and has extensive experience with all fabrication machinery.

Mike has always had an interest in racing and has built bicycles, motorcycles and cars. He has been on pit crews, functioned as a racing team mechanic and has been a racing driver. In his many years of involvement with the automobile Mike developed an interest in the efficiency of energy systems. He designed and constructed an electrically powered dragster and patented his unique process for energy efficiency that he hopes to apply to the DeLaSalle project. His background in teaching and his long relationship working with children make his experience important to the project.



Don.jpgDon Caffee
Mentor, Mechanical Engineer and automotive enthusiast

Don grew up in Overland Park, Kansas and attended Shawnee Mission North High School. He played football and ran track. Don went to Kansas University and obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Upon graduating from the University he moved to Kansas City and worked as a mechanical engineer for the past 35 years. His primary focus was product development, project management and setting up manufacturing facilities for producing products. Don currently works for Comet Communications and Signal, Inc.

Don has a long history in working with youth having coached basketball and football developing high school age children for over 40 years and coaching high school boys varsity basketball and at the University level in Hawaii for two years.

Don has always been involved in special interest sports cars having owned several over the years. He brings a strong scientific approach to the engineering boundaries for the DeLaSalle project relative to aerodynamics, rolling resistance and propulsion system sizing. He will work closely with the evaluation and hopefully execution of special energy efficiency concepts to be applied to the propulsion system for the vehicle of the project. He will assist the students in their learning 3D modeling software on the computers of the DeLaSalle computer laboratory.



ChrisCrouch.jpgChris Crouch
Mentor, plastics engineer

Chris has a masters degree from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas in Plastics Engineering in the Engineering Technology School. Pittsburg State also offers an Automotive Technology Degree within the Engineering Technology School. He has over five years of experience in the use of Solidworks, a 3D modeling program. He currently works at Bio-microbics an engineering and fabrication firm in Kansas City that works heavily in plastics for work related to water treatment. His work covers new conceptual projects in research and development, new tooling, mold maintenance and revisions to existing components. He works with other custom molders, primarily in injection molding and rotational molding processes. He also has experience in thermoforming and composites such as fiberglass, Kevlar and carbon fiber.

Chris has done extensive research and design in electric vehicles in an effort to develop a vehicle for his personal use. He will bring experience as an engineer in plastics to the possible solutions for the lightweight body for the DeLaSalle vehicle and in the engineering of components for the electric propulsion system for the vehicle. He is a member of the Age and Treachery Racing Team of Kansas City, a group of racing enthusiasts from the Kansas City area. His extensive experience using Solidworks 3D modeling software will be a significant value to the students computer training.


DDavis2.jpgDavid Davis
Mentor, designer and fabricator

Dave grew up in Okmulgee, Oklahoma and after high school played in a band. He then joined the Navy and become a CB which is the military’s construction and engineering function. Dave was stationed in Port Hueneme, California. It was there that Dave became interested in how things went together. After the Navy he attended Oklahoma State University and obtained a degree in architecture.

He practiced architecture in Springfield Missouri for a few years with Butler and Rosenbery Architects. His background in building took him to a position with a developer that built high end heavy timber homes. He then came to Kansas City and worked for Gould Evans Architects and Rees Masilionis Turley Architecture. His work included the Condominiums at 46th and Washington and the Carnegie Library in San Jose, California.

In 2000 Dave opened his own architectural practice, Icon-Architecture that expanded to not only doing architecture but also construction, construction oversight and fabrication of custom wood products such as cabinetry.

Hutson.jpgDavid Hutson
Mentor, expert in automotive photography

David Hutson has spent a lifetime with cars and sports and photography. He's been a racer, mechanic, graphics designer and photojournalist. His clients have included Audi Cars, AG ; Marlboro Motor Racing ; Emerson Fittipaldi ; Seven-Eleven, and numerous worldwide publications, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Time Magazine, and others.
A southern California native, he has made Kansas City his home since graduation from the University of Missouri in photojournalism. He earned a Masters' degree in Fine Art from UMKC in 1994. David started his company H CREATIVE STUDIO, in 1984 and continues to work in design, photography, education. He occasionally teaches college classes in photography, design, typography, and mixed media at UMKC, Park University, and area community colleges. Noah Graham Hutson is his 15 y.o. son, a champion swimmer, kart racer and avid snowboarder, is thinking about engineering and racing formula cars.


Jeff.jpgJeff McCormick
Mentor, expert in automotive restoration

Jeff grew up in Kansas City and went to Shawnee Mission North high school and then attended Johnson County Junior College. His first job was at the Hollywood Ferrari dealership in Los Angles. While there for ten years he led the dealership IMSA racing team that ran a Ferrari powered Spice prototype race car. He then spent two years on an Indy car team and moved on to work at the Chicago Ferrari dealer, Lake Forest Ferrari. While there he oversaw the dealership work for customers participating in the Ferrari Challenge series. Between the years of 1995 to 2000 he worked with Motor Cars International in Springfield, Missouri primarily working on Lamborghini. The dealership was connected by ownership to the Lambo dealers in Dallas and Houston and he did work for those two dealers also. After two years came back to Kansas City to work at Aristocrat and then started his own business 2002 which he still operates.

He is the SCCA regional champion in the GT3 class, a class for production cars. He is restoring his own vintage Porsche CanAm car and he owns the very first Auto Research Formula Super V/Formula Atlantic. It was the first car designed by David Bruns who later became Swift, a manufacturer of formula and sports racing cars.

Jeff has a 9 year old son named Jake that may know as much as his father about automobiles.



Melvin.jpgMelvin Price

Mentor, aviation project manager

Melvin grew up in Houston, Texas and attended Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering with a minor in mathematics. While attending school, Melvin worked at the NASA/PVAMU Center for Applied Radiation Research as a Student Researcher. He conducted research in the NASA clean room to develop and build circuits that would test LED’s. One of his job duties was to perform tests on selected electronic components before and after irradiation. Melvin also worked on radiation development programs to determine the functional abilities of these irradiated components.

Upon graduating, Melvin worked briefly at the Exxon plant in Baytown, TX before moving to Kansas City. Currently, he works as a Project Manager for The Kansas City Aviation Department, dealing with Infrastructure Development projects. In the past ten years he has handled various projects at both the Kansas City International and Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airports that deal with security, information technology, and electrical distribution.

For the last four years, Melvin has been designing and distributing different products for select Mercedes Benz vehicles. He also sits on the Board of the Mercedes Benz Club of America’s local chapter.





Steve.jpgRichard Stephen Rees
DeLaSalle Automotive Studio Instructor
Experience in automobile racing, architecture

Steve was raised in Kansas City and studied architecture at Kansas State University. He practiced architecture in Kansas City for 30 years prior to selling his architectural business in 2003. His architectural work included buildings, interior design and retail design. Some of his work includes a hospital in Bethlehem, on the West Bank, the Harry S. Truman State Office Building in Jefferson City, Missouri and the design and roll out of over 2,500 retail stores for Sprint, Nextel, Beauty Brands and Starbucks. After selling his practice he spent two years as a captain on a charter sailing vessel in the British Virgin Islands. His other interests include a longtime passion for automobiles. He has restored cars including a 1956 AC Bristol which he restored with his son. He raced cars for 20 years including a variety of types. He drove in the 1997 24 hour race at Daytona and drove in the 1986 and 1987 Mille Miglia, a 1,000 mile race in Italy.

Steve’s relationship with DeLaSalle started 8 years ago when he worked with the Pathways program to develop a mentoring connection for the students. In 2007 he began teaching a specialized class called Creative Studio and Entrepreneurial Studies, linking creativity and business. This “DeLaSalle Automotive Studio” is a continuation of the past two years of teaching. He is driven by the primary desire to inspire students to dream and want to learn so that they can achieve their dreams. He continues to develop mentoring connections to the school. The current project will pair an adult with each student, a continued mentoring emphasis.


Bob.jpgBob Storck
Mentor, automotive engineering and journalism expertise

Bob has flown with the US Navy and competed in international automotive endurance races. He has worked as an engineer with aerospace and advanced technology firms, constructed race cars, and shaped information policies for major government and private organizations. As a result Mr. Storck’s varied written features appear in more than 80 newspapers and magazines, appearing in print on every continent, reaching more than 6 million readers. His education and degrees cover engineering, data systems, and business operations, with a rich personal knowledge of the history and technology of aviation, motoring, telecommunications and manufacturing.

His lifelong interest in flying and his stint in Navy aviation has helped him cover the aerospace and defense fields, and melded quiet naturally into his automotive pursuits. Mr. Storck is an advisor to many transportation museums and is on two Smithsonian Institution committees. Although an early military life had them traveling the world, his family hails from the Midwest, and they still own the cabin that they built in 1932 in Crosslake, Minnesota.


Column.jpgTom Strongman
Mentor, automotive journalist

Tom was born in Decatur, Illinois and at an early age with the help of his brother his life in the world of automobiles began, with their construction of a unique custom hot rod. It was based on the frame of a Crosley station wagon with a model T body. Tom went on to study and graduate from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

With Tom’s degree in journalism and his passion for cars he turned his skill to becoming an automotive journalist. Based in Kansas City Tom has become “the word” to thousands of people when it comes to cars. Tom has a weekly syndicated review of current models and he also often writes about vintage and historic street and racing cars. Tom has attended most national and even international car shows and manufacturers showings of new models, including models from the pedestrian to the exotic, including models by BMW, Audi, Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin and Jaguar as examples. He has rubbed shoulders with the who’s who of the industry. His syndicated articles include the Kansas City area thru the Kansas City Star and the area around St. Louis and southern Illinois. Tom also has a television program that airs twice weekly on KCPT.

Tom has been involved in the past two projects at DeLaSalle as a drive by mentor. He is well known by the students and often shows up at the students working sessions. Tom has written primary articles about the work of the students of DeLaSalle for the past two years.


Greg.jpgGreg Welch
Mentor, expert in automotive metal fabrication

Greg grew up in Kansas City and attended DeLaSalle High School in 1972 under the guidance of the school’s first principal, Brother Theodore Berni. Greg went on to graduate from Southwest High School in Kansas City and then studied at Penn Valley Community College. After school he opened his own business, an automotive trim shop, at 31st and Main Street, which he operated for 17 years. While in school Greg worked at the St. Regis Paper Company, in the maintenance department, where he gained valuable experience in repair and fabrication, a skill that would serve him well later in life.

Greg worked for Farley Engines in Platte City, Missouri between 1989 and 1995, one of the nation’s premier racing engine builders. His work there was as a machinist and a metal fabricator. He left Farley in 1995 to start his own fabrication business that specialized in racing car components. Greg’s specialty is custom exhaust and intake components. He also worked on the racing team of Jim Tarp who ran a Swift Formula 2000 in the Sports Car Club of America.

Greg has a long time relationship with the Kansas University Formula SAE project. This automotive performance project is run out the KU Engineering Department. The Formula SAE group will be interfacing with DeLaSalle’s efforts on their project. He fabricated many of their specialty metal pieces including their exhaust and intake
manifolds.

HONORARY MENTORS


MartyJon.jpg Marty Yurjevich, left, and Jon Stuckey

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations

Marty Yurjevich and Jon Stuckey of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations have been valuable members of our team. They did theoretical and laboratory testing of various Firestone and Bridgestone tires to determine which offered the least amount of rolling resistance. Their research debunked the original plan to use motorcycle tires, which they also tested. The proper automobile tires roll with much less resistance than the smaller motorcycle tires, and the car is currently shod with Firestone Firehawk tires that were donated by company. Marty and Jon spent the better part of a day touring DeLaSalle and meeting with students. They presented their detailed research to the students in an after-school meeting and visited the shop where the car is being constructed. Marty and Jon also hosted the students and mentors at the IndyCar race at the Kansas Speedway.