Chairman Chat: Meet Matt
Matt is a senior Mechanical Engineering major who has acted as SRS Chairman in the 2017-18 school year after having previously been a buggy mechanic.
GIVE YOUR BUGGY HISTORY IN 10 WORDS
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Josie and Lanre.
Josie LaCoe: BS 2017 and MS 2019 / Mechanic 2014-19
Lanre Adetola: BA 2018 / Head Mechanic 2014-15 ]
THOUGHTS ON HOW LAST YEAR WENT? WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ARE THE TEAMS BARRIERS TO SUCCESS?
Last year was very interesting for me. There was an extreme emptiness that I felt after a disappointing (in my perception, at least) Raceday. When the culmination of a lot of people’s hard work in the midst of a lot of other CMU/life trials doesn’t go as expected, it can make the entire year feel worthless. In the performance/racing aspect of buggy, the year did not go well. Besides one other big [financial] mi$take and a few hiccups, the year was great.
The team learned a lot about our technology and how to better use our resources, had a lot of great times together, and grew in different ways and towards a better future. Some of the team's biggest barriers to success are:
a lack of interest from general SPIRIT members due to a slight- but existent- separation between SPIRIT and SPIRIT Racing Systems [aka SPIRIT Buggy]
a lack of organization and documentation
a lack of true direction, precision, and focus
WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT FOR THE NEW YEAR?
I’m excited for all the big things that we have on our plate. It’s time for an update to the fleet, fostering a more effective relationship between students and alumni, and a new year always brings a new team. I’m also excited to get another shot at this chairman thing. It’s beautiful, stressful, annoying, and fun to watch every aspect of our team operate separately but together, while seeing the behind the scenes of all of buggy.
WHICH BUGGY IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY?
Easy, Inviscid. I was assigned to her the entire second semester of my freshman year. In that time I developed a bond not only with Inviscid, but her driver, Shaleena and my fellow mechanic, Joel. Some of my best and favorite buggy work/memories so far has been with Inviscid. She’s also so light it’s crazy…
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST BUGGY SITUATION THAT YOU’VE HAD TO DEAL WITH SO FAR?
[I] can’t choose one so I’ll go with two from this past Carnival [Spring 2018]:
I would say the hardest buggy situations that I’ve had to deal with so far were not being able to negotiate with Sweepstakes for our Men’s A to move to the second day after the tiniest possible DQ on the drop test; and trying to find what to say to the team around the truck at the end Raceday. In the first situation, I knew we were asking for a leniency that the Sweepstakes judges would not want to give us. In the second situation, I felt lost trying to motivate and congratulate a family that I felt I had just let down as a leader.