Mike Kluzner’s experience is considered only somewhat unusual among the ranks of Ford’s in-house software engineers. Kluzner got his start designing laser weapon systems capable of disabling the navigation systems of enemy satellites.
His employer? The former Soviet Union.
Today, Kluzner designs software for onboard fuel system diagnostics on Ford vehicles sold worldwide. Kluzner holds more than 20 patents on onboard diagnostics.
“During my work for the military, I was trained very early on how to establish and maintain consistent product performance,” said Kluzner, who was born Mikhail Igor Kluzner and has lived in the United States since 1990. “This became part of my engineering DNA.
“The same process for analyzing key physical relationships works for what we do today in engine combustion, catalyst chemistry and mechanics,” he added. “These are all part of Ford’s software engineering expertise.”
Kluzner, who began his career with the company in 1996, is one of dozens of in-house powertrain control software engineers at Ford. A large part of these engineers’ jobs is to continually improve and reinvent the control strategies on Ford’s award-winning EcoBoost® engines.
Other engineers in the group have backgrounds that include designing software to detect damage to heat tiles on the international Space Shuttle, as well as work in particle physics.
The importance of these software engineers to the global expansion of the EcoBoost franchise is hard to overestimate. The software they are working on must manage and optimize increasingly sophisticated hardware in the EcoBoost engines to make Ford vehicles more powerful, cleaner and fuel efficient.
“No doubt, turbocharging, direct injection and cam timing hardware are key ingredients of Ford’s EcoBoost recipe, but the secret sauce is the software,” said David Bell, Ford global boost system controls engineer. “The hardware existed, but without our unique software and engine tuning, EcoBoost wouldn’t have been as successful with consumers.”
Without the software engineers’ work, EcoBoost could not have succeeded in the marketplace. But by offering increased fuel economy with no zap to performance, EcoBoost has been an unqualified success. Customers are snapping up EcoBoost-equipped vehicles as fast as Ford can make them. Sales of vehicles with EcoBoost are approaching 70,000 units per month worldwide.
Stop by Beach Ford in Virginia Beach or Suffolk to take one of our EcoBoost-powered vehicles for a test drive.