Meet the Makers #1: Matt Hanlon, Project Engineer and Tire Designer at BFGoodrich® in the USA
Matt Hanlon is a project engineer/tire designer for BFGoodrich® off-road. He works as part of a design team on a variety of off-road racing projects including Baja, Red Bull Global Rallycross, short course and of course Dakar. We met him.
How long have you been working with BFGoodrich®?
I have been with BFGoodrich® for just over 10 years. I started as a tire designer on Toyota/Lexus OE (Original Equipment) projects while working part-time in endurance racing (Le Mans, etc). I moved into motorsport full time in early 2011 where I transitioned over to the dirt side.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The thing I enjoy most about my job is the interaction with customers and the ability to be involved with the entire life cycle of a design. Race tire design is unique in that tire designers are usually involved with a product for its entire life rather than just creating a design and shipping it off to production. This includes working directly with racers to maximize the performance of the tire/vehicle, troubleshooting problems, and then taking all this information back to incorporate into the next generation of products.
What’s the best project you’ve worked on?
Almost everything I’ve done in racing has been really enjoyable but the Peugeot Dakar project is probably one of the highlights. Working with their engineering staff, world class drivers, and cutting edge technology was truly an experience. We all learned a great deal about tire/vehicle interaction and made some fantastic performance steps over a very short period of time.