Jim Buczkowski is a Henry Ford Technical Fellow and Director, Electrical and Electronics Systems Research and Advanced Engineering. He is responsible for the research and design of electrical and electronic systems including in-car information and entertainment, telematics, driver information, and active safety systems for Ford vehicles globally.
An in-demand speaker with a knack for engaging his audience, Buczkowski spoke at the Intel Labs Summit in March and gave a keynote address at this year’s Microsoft Global High-Tech Summit on Ford’s SYNC system. These forums bring together leaders in their field to speak about how technology trends will impact future experiences as well as how successful strategies resonate with customer needs.
To say Jim Buczkowski is an early adopter is an understatement. He’s always anxious to experience how technology can change our lives and his home is filled with gadgets ranging from “Nest” thermostats, a 3D home theater, to a web app to control the family swimming pool from a phone or tablet. He is a subscriber to various Beta test programs including Slingbox and TIVO and he is currently getting familiar with Windows 8 loaded on an old Mac Book. He says the best way to evaluate technology is hands on. “It’s easy to envision what technology can do, but I’ve learned that you really don’t understand it until it’s in your hands and you are using it.” He believes a quick prototype, even if it’s not elegant, demoing the experience is extremely powerful and necessary before one can really decide whether the technology can deliver a valuable consumer experience.
Buczkowski is also passionate about the future of innovation and is dedicated to ensuring students and young professionals are prepared to solve the next generation of transportation dilemmas. He is active in Ford’s sponsorship of research projects at the University of Michigan, his alma mater, MIT and with the opening of Ford’s Silicon Valley Research lab, hopes to engage with Stanford as well. Recognizing the need to influence young people to get interested in careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) he provides active support for the SquareOne education network which helps high school and grade school students learn and fosters their interest in Science and Engineering.
Buczkowski also leads the Electrical System Group within SAE International’s Motor Vehicle Council, helping to develop standards for current and emerging technologies. Also with SAE he serves on the Convergence Mobility Council and both leads and supports a couple technical sessions at the Convergence Automotive Electronics event held bi-annually.
Buczkowski has been with Ford for 33 years and has experience in electronics design, electronics manufacturing (including manufacturing assignments in Spain as well as the United States), Product Development quality, and manufacturing and supply chain information technology. He’s been involved or led key projects including Ford’s SYNC and MyFord Touch infotainment systems, Ford’s Common Global Electrical architecture and early in his career, Ford’s first 16 and 32 bit powertrain controls electronic designs.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and a master’s degree in electrical engineering, both from the University of Michigan.
Buczkowski lives in Troy with his wife and their two daughters. He enjoys playing basketball, bicycling and volleyball with his daughters, home automation, and home video.