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Getting to know: Zachary Bolton '07

October 08, 2015

From running in the Boston Marathon to developing patent-worthy automotive inventions to visiting art museums, Zack Bolton '07 is a young man of diverse interests, skills and talents.

Raised in Belding, Mich., a town of 5,000 near Grand Rapids, Bolton chose to attend University of Detroit Mercy for several specific reasons – its athletic program, the reputation of its College of Engineering & Science, the size of the student body and its strong Catholic tradition.

Zachary Bolton

 "I ran track and cross country in high school and was looking for a university where I could compete in Division I athletics," he said. "At UDM, I continued racing as a 4-year letterman for track and field and cross country teams."

Bolton credits UDM with providing him an outstanding engineering education, but even more important, giving him the opportunity for a co-op assignment with Continental Automotive Systems, which led to his permanent position.  Continental is an international company known for its research, development, production and sales of automotive components ranging from door locks to tires to radar and camera sensors.  

"As a co-op student with Continental for three years, I gained a wide variety of valuable experience and was fortunate enough to be one of the first co-op students to be sent on an international assignment at the firm’s facility in Berlin," he said.  "It was a huge benefit to me, working in a foreign language and problem-solving with multi-national teams."

"Upon graduation with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Continental hired Bolton as a mechanical designer for electric vehicle components.  He then moved to software engineering for automated driving systems. Now, he works on advanced engineering focusing on autonomous driving and connectivity between the car and the cloud. He is the proud recipient of a patent for his invention, REACT (Rear End Advanced Collision Technology), which is designed to increase safety and help prepare a driver for the impact of a rear-end collision.

When he’s not on the job, Bolton enjoys woodworking, basketball, visiting art museums and spending time with his family and friends. He recently completed the Boston Marathon in under three hours. Bolton remains strongly committed to UDM, racing as an alumnus in steeple chase, serving on the Titan Athletic Club Board and the Alumni Board for the College of Engineering & Science, as well as attending numerous University events and providing financial support.

"You’ve got to be true to your school," Bolton explained. In his speech to the Class of 2015 at this year’s commencement ceremony, he encouraged graduates to "mentor the youth, reach out on LinkedIn, give back to your respective colleges. Doing this will ensure the sustainable value of the product you and I all now have — a University of Detroit Mercy degree."

— By Rackeline Hoff

The article is published in the Spiritus Magazine, Fall, 2015

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