Kettering University graduate takes executive role at Delphi Technologies

No matter whether vehicles have an internal combustion engine or a battery, they need to move. That’s where Delphi Technologies comes in.

Mary Gustanski ‘85 has taken on the role of Chief Technology Officer for the new company when Delphi Automotive became two separate entities: Aptiv PLC and Delphi Technologies PLC. The companies went public in December.

“As long as vehicles need to move, there’s a need for Delphi Technologies,” Gustanski said.

The split means the Powertrain Systems has to stand on its own as a public company, she said. Gustanski’s role is to ensure the flawless execution of global engineering and to share Delphi Technologies work product value propositions for propulsion systems. Delphi is more than a company that builds parts for internal combustion engines, she said. The industry is moving toward hybrid, fully-electric, connected and autonomous vehicles, a transition that will take years because of infrastructure and customer expectations.

Projections show by 2025, 95 percent of vehicles sold will have an internal combustion engine, Gustanski said. Many of those vehicles will be hybrids. Delphi Technologies is known for system integration abilities, or mixing and matching options to give customers what they want.

The transition period includes cost of electric vehicles, the availability of charging stations at stores and businesses and customers getting comfortable with electric vehicles. Regulatory standards also are changing, and original equipment manufacturers need to add more electrification options to meet the targets.

“Regardless of how fast and if we end up with autonomous vehicles, we still need to move them. We still need advanced propulsion technology,” Gustanski said.

Gustanski was ranked 42nd MotorTrend Magazine’s 2018 Power List. “An engineer by education and trade, Gustanski oversees the mammoth supplier’s 20,000-strong team working on active-safety, autonomous, and self-driving technology,” MotorTrend noted.

Mary Gustanski

“That’s wonderful,” she said of the ranking. “More importantly, it really says there’s a recognition for how important the needs for future propulsion are.”

It’s also an acceptance of female leaders in the industry, she said.

Gustanski came to Kettering because it’s a hands-on institute with on-the-job training through the co-op.

“For me, it was an opportunity to figure out what I was going to do with my degree,” she said. “The curriculum was well-suited to teach students how to apply facts with labs and hands-on techniques during school.”

She earned a Mechanical Engineering degree with an Electrical Engineering minor. The degree enabled her to grow in the ever-changing auto industry. Kettering also introduced Gustanski to Greek Life, where she learned about leadership as the president of her sorority and balancing school work with extracurriculars.

Gustanski encourages students to take extra classes to augment their degree.

“You can never get too much education,” she said. “You will reach into that tool chest for your entire career.”

She also advises them to take every opportunity presented to them. If someone asks students to join a project, take it. The effect is cumulative.
“Every one of those ends up being one more step in pyramid of who you will become,” Gustanski said.