Gegesky embraces environmentalism in engineering through Ford’s F150 Lightning
Megan Gegesky, BSME ’14, knew she needed to challenge herself to continue her family’s tradition of working at the Ford Motor Company.
She had to earn her place at the company, though, developing her skills as an engineer and leader to work toward her own goals, focused chiefly on making the world a greener place.
Gegesky hails from Grosse Ile, Michigan. Where she grew up was largely due to her family’s history of working for one of Michigan’s largest employers, the Ford Motor Company (Ford). In fact, after Gegesky’s great great grandfather immigrated to the United States in 1906, he began working for Ford. This was the beginning of a generations-long tradition of her family working at Ford.
“I am a fifth generation Ford employee, which isn’t unique to the company. This is because there is variety in the types of jobs; we work in the software space, the hardware space, finance and skilled labor,” Gegesky said.
While Gegesky’s future was destined for Ford, she had the opportunity to choose her own adventure along the way. She knew she wanted to pursue engineering, so she had to find the right university for her. Ohio University appealed to her because it felt like home and she liked the feel of the people at OHIO — plus, Gegesky was a collegiate swimmer, so she wanted to swim for a good Division I program.
As Gegesky progressed through her studies, she began to build a network of support through her friends and professors, as well as embrace challenges, particularly connected to her passion for environmentalism.
“As an engineer coming out of Russ College, the professors in that program helped develop my view of the world. They taught me that we could do cool things with renewable materials and not damage the world so much,” Gegesky said.
For her senior design course, a capstone course for mechanical engineering students, Gegesky helped to develop concrete blocks for infrastructure and development after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. The catch was that her team had to use sustainable materials to develop the project.
“Haiti does not have a lot of raw materials, so we were using materials that could have been found in a scrap yard. We needed to reverse engineer the blocks using the limited resources they would have on the island,” Gegesky said.
Today, Gegesky is a program management supervisor on the Product Development line at Ford. Her day-to-day is focused on the launch and development of the F150 Lightning, which is the all-electric version of Ford’s flagship pickup truck. As the market for electric vehicles expands and environmental consciousness becomes a consumer priority, Gegesky has found the perfect intersection between her passion for the environment and engineering.
“A big reason I came to Ford was that they are sustainably minded, using recycled materials and creating a commodity where not everything is new. They practice zero waste to landfill, and are working toward zero emissions on the new vehicles they produce,” Gegesky said.
Environmental sustainability has been a value that Gegesky has prioritized throughout her time at OHIO and in her career thus far. From the boots she wears on her feet, made of 100% recycled materials, to her personal vehicle, the F150 Lightning, Gegesky strives to create a greener world both personally and professionally.