Lincoln Tech Student Meets With Nissan Motors Executives
In this age of instant communication, many argue that letter-writing is a lost art. But in the case of Daniel Otero, a 16-year-old automotive technology student with a love of Nissan engines, a simple letter resulted in a high-powered meeting with a top engine builder, known as a Takumi, from Nissan Motors Corporation.
“As a part of a school project, I wrote to Nissan Motors international headquarters in Japan and expressed an interest in their hand-built GTR engine - the engine they use in their advanced automobiles designed for the race track,” explains Daniel, who is taking part in the “high school share” program at Lincoln Tech in Mahwah, NJ. “I was surprised by how receptive they were to my interest in their racing engines.”
Meeting with Takumi Kurosawa from Nissan Motors
Daniel attends class part time at Lincoln Tech while also attending high school. He received a very positive reply from Nissan master engine builder Takumi Kurosawa. Kurosawa hand-crafts Nissan’s most advanced engines, including the Renault R.S.1 and Nismo G3 engines – performance assemblies built to represent Nissan’s cutting edge innovations in automobiles and racing technology. The cars powered by these engines represent the Nissan Motors brand on performance test tracks, such as the Nürburgring in Germany. In 2013, the Nissan GTR engine clocked in a lap record in its class of seven minutes and eight seconds for completing the course.
“I was surprised when Mr. Takumi contacted me back,” Daniel says. “Kurosawa said that he would be coming to New York City this year. I was excited at the opportunity to meet such an important executive for the Nissan Motors Corporation.”
Daniel quickly learned that hand-crafting performance engines is a personal business. Takumi Kurosawa and colleague Tsunemi Oyama met with Daniel earlier this year in New York. Kurosawa explained that he was born in New Jersey, but moved to Japan at a young age. The three discussed what it takes to hand-craft Nissan’s finest machines.
Nissan engines are a labor of love for master builders
According to Kurosawa, it takes one technician nine hours to complete one assembly. The research and development, however, takes much longer. The Nissan team takes a hands-on approach to design: Takumis build the engines from the ground up. The Nismo GT-R engine, for instance, takes over a year from conception to completion. In its most recent build, with its new name the VR-38, the engine measured a 20-horsepower improvement to 565 hp from the prior year’s model.
For a high school student studying automotive technology, meeting with Nissan executives was truly inspiring. Takumi provided Daniel Otero with his time and experience. Daniel plans to continue studying automotive technology, with the goal of working to build hand-crafted engines such as the Nissan GT-R. Ultimately he hopes to one day engineer and design his own high-performance engines and to design his own car. He cites his experiences with Nissan Motors and Lincoln Tech as important influences in his decision to take his automotive career as far as he can.
“I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Joe Bellucci, the Educational Director of Lincoln Tech in Mahwah,” Daniel says, adding that Mr. Bellucci has been “undyingly supportive” of Daniel’s enthusiasm for the automobile industry. Daniel also thanks his father, Jose Otero, for suggesting Daniel contact Nissan for the letter-writing assignment and for encouraging Daniel “to succeed and study hard.”
Turning passions into professions
All of us at Lincoln Tech are extremely proud of Daniel and excited to see what the future holds for him. If you, like Daniel, have got a passion for cars, why not get paid to do what you love? Start training for a career doing what you love – explore Lincoln Tech’s Automotive programs near you!