David Twohig – Chief Vehicle Engineer, Byton Cars
David Twohig is Vice President and Chief Vehicle Engineer at Byton, the Chinese-US automobile manufacturer specialising in electric cars. His career in the motor industry has seen him lead the development of the Nissan Qashqai, Renault Zoe and the Alpine A110, Renault’s high-performance car marque. With a father who worked for Ford in Cork, a degree in Electronic Engineering was a natural progression for David as a car-mad youngster. Now he is pursuing his dream career, designing cutting-edge concept cars for Byton in Silicon Valley. David talks to us about his college days and meeting his wife on the steps of the Kane Building!
Course/subjects studied in UCC and year of graduation
Elec Eng, 1992
Best memory of University College Cork
Meeting my wife Cooleen there (on the steps of the Science Building, if you want to be precise)!
How has your time at UCC helped you to get to where you are now?
A degree from UCC was a passport for me into a world that seemed almost impossible to access for a young lad growing up in Cork – that of car design. I was lucky enough to get a job immediately on graduation with Nissan in the UK, and have since travelled the world in my dream job.
What is your advice to current UCC students?
With retrospect, I probably worried a bit too much about grades and getting the tiny details right. These things are not as important as they seem at the time (you still need to pass, mind!). Oh – and learn languages. I struggled mightily, later on, to master French and get by in other languages like Japanese – I probably learned too much about Maxwell’s Equations and not enough about the past participle of the verb boire.
What person/people at UCC had the most positive influence on you?
See above, my wife Cooleen. Otherwise, my lab partner Alan Morrison, now Dean of Engineering at UCC. God that makes me feel old!
Were you involved in any Clubs or Societies?
Not enough, to be honest! Played a bit of basketball but that’s all.