Rowland School of Business

80edays Electric Vehicle Global Team Co-Pilot Speaks to M.B.A. Business of Energy Class

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pictured is Don Christian, Silicon Valley innovator and engineer speaking to the Business of Energy M.B.A. class at Point Park University. | Photo by Sydney Patton

Silicon Valley technical innovator and engineer Don Christian spoke to Point Park University M.B.A. students April 12 about his recent experience traveling around the world in an electric car as co-pilot of one of the international 80edays teams.

Pictured is Randy Baird, Point Park part-time professor and regional outage manager for NRG Energy speaking to the Business of Energy M.B.A. class at Point Park University. | Photo by Sydney Patton
Randy Baird, energy industry professional and part-time professor

When asked why he chose Christian as a guest speaker for his class, Randy Baird, M.B.A., Point Park part-time professor, said: “I felt Mr. Christian’s insight and experiences would be extremely beneficial to the students and could illustrate to them how a person can achieve extraordinary goals through dedication and having an entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to stretch the boundaries people place upon themselves."

In addition to teaching at Point Park, Baird is a regional outage manager for NRG Energy’s Gulf Coast and West Regions.

Baird added: “Even the leading EV automakers felt the 80edays endeavor was unrealistic. Yet, Mr. Christian and his international cohorts showed the nay-sayers just what can achieved by taking the first step on the journey.”

Christian has 24 products patented in the United States and many more internationally. He has designed a variety of manufactured products including electric and autonomous vehicles, factory and semiconductor fab automation, automotive service equipment, agricultural harvesters and military ground vehicles for large companies as well as startups.

Pictured is Don Christian, Silicon Valley innovator and engineer speaking to the Business of Energy M.B.A. class at Point Park University. | Photo by Sydney Patton
Silicon Valley technical innovator and engineer Don Christian

“The shear inventiveness Mr. Christian’s team went through to charge the cars really impressed upon me how feasible an electric car can be. It showed that the infrastructure is already there for the electric car and most of the worries we have over the technology has been addressed,” said M.B.A. student Colleen Madore, from Liberty High School in Bethlehem, Pa.

M.B.A. student Matthew Majersky from East High School in Erie, Pa., wrote a paper for Baird’s class on the 80edays race so he particularly enjoyed the guest presentation.

“It was interesting to learn about all of the engineering challenges they faced and the various solutions they came up with. Before I started this M.B.A. program, I had no idea how much green energy is being used and developed in this country and abroad. I was not aware of the advances in battery technology and how much conversation there has been toward sustainable solutions in nearly every aspect of our lives,” Majersky explained.

Majersky added: “Professor Baird is like having a guest speaker every class. He’s employed in the energy industry and always has the latest information about the field."

Learn More

Explore the M.B.A. program at Point Park University, offered on campus or fully online. Read M.B.A. alumni success profiles, request information and apply online.

Photos by Sydney Patton, sophomore sports, arts and entertainment management major

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