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Finding the Limit

Getting up close makes safer products

Finding the Limit

Nader Hammoud, Senior Application Engineer for Bosch Two-Wheeler & Powersports

It seems to be a universal truth: Solving a problem requires experiencing the problem intimately. A big cleaning project means getting dirty. Developing a better raincoat inevitably calls for getting wet.

This is something Nader Hammoud understands well. He's a senior application engineer on Bosch's Two-Wheeler & Powersports team, focused on active safety systems. This requires a lot of what Nader calls the "calibrator mindset".

Finding the Limit

"With the calibrator mindset, taking the raincoat example, you want to take it to the point where it's so waterproof that you start sweating inside there. No air. Now, let's look at how to dial it back just a bit so that it's waterproof but there's enough exposure to wind that you're comfortable.

"It's the same with bikes. We're not always riding on the limit, but we're confident enough to know where the limit is, flirt with it a bit, and dial it back as necessary."

Born in Lebanon and raised in Saudi Arabia, Nader attended a French school growing up in Saudi Arabia before going back to Lebanon to study mechanical engineering at the American University of Beirut. Then he went to Georgia Tech to further his mechanical engineering studies at the graduate level.

As with so many Bosch associates, an international background fits well at a global company. Nader and his coworkers, based in Michigan, begin their days early, in meetings with teams in India, Japan, China and other distant time zones. Much of the rest of the morning and afternoon is spent "on the surfaces": trying out different maneuvers on vehicles, looking at the data those maneuvers yield, and calibrating systems according to the customer's needs. They often are taking technology originally developed for cars and applying it to two-wheeled vehicles. One example: Modifying power steering systems originally developed for cars so these systems can be used on off-road vehicles such as Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs).

Team members tend to be avid riders. They take trips for training at Rawhyde Adventures in California under the guidance of Jim Hyde, a well-known figure in the world of two-wheeled off-road motorsports. And they train regularly throughout the year, working with professional racers to up their game.

Finding the Limit
Finding the Limit

"We do these trainings all year to feel where the limit is and dial it back down. We try to feel things on the bike that most riders might not look out for. The training at Rawhyde teaches you to get comfortable at sliding the rear of the bike around, for example."

Coming up through Bosch's two-year junior management program, Nader knew he'd found his home when he joined the Two-Wheeler team. His trainer had Nader perform a test on a surface made deliberately slippery. The surface is covered in basalt tiles that when sprayed with water mimic oily or icy roads. "You're supposed to know how to recover from a spin. I was too aggressive with the brakes and did one or two 360s on the tiles. I just started spinning." Though his trainer wasn't impressed, Nader was hooked. "I said, 'This is awesome!'". But he also understood one thing right away: "I knew that if I wanted to do this as a career, I'd have to be as safe as possible."

His enthusiasm for safety is a genuine interest — safety for safety's sake, not just as a forced byproduct of the job.

"At first, I was seeking adrenaline. Now, it's about the community I build. When I ride, I try to be respectful and friendly to other drivers on the road to give a good image to motorcycles."

He extends his passion for safety to his other big interest in life: skydiving. He's an instructor and has won awards for safety.

Finding the Limit

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