At A Glance
Trained as a Mechanical Engineering and with an MBA as a Sloan Fellow at MIT, I applied my expertise in leadership and vehicle dynamics as Corvette Engineering Director to bring the Corvette back to center stage as a World Class Sports Car. This culminated in the 180 mph ZR-1 and the architectural design of the next generation Corvette, the C5. Since GM I have used my skills to lead several major projects and have consulted as a legal and intellectual property expert in automotive related cases. This is all outlined here in my resume.
By training and temperament, I find that I can capture the big picture and lead the team to get the job done and done well. And, no task has been too daunting for me, not even writing an award winning book on the Corvette. “Corvette From the Inside.”
I continue to pursue my passion for doing creative work with a central focus on transportation vehicles be they advanced sports cars, electric and hybrid cars or off road vehicles including military trucks. No matter what their propulsion system or where they run, they all obey the same laws of physics and can be treated as such.
Education, Major Awards
B.S. Mechanical Engineering. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI; 1959
Honored with induction into the WSU Engineering Hall of Fame in 2014.
M.S. in Management as a Sloan Fellow, MIT, Cambridge, MA, 1974
Recipient of the SAE’s Edward N. Cole Award for Automotive Engineering Innovation, 1990 This award was given in recognition of “work and achievements (that) exemplify in an outstanding manner innovation in the engineering development of automobiles, their components, systems and accessories.” Recipients of the Cole Award included Dr Paul B MacCready, AeroVironment who invented the human-powered aircraft, the Gossamer Condor, and its successor, the Gossamer Albatross,
2007 Elected to Fellow grade membership in the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers). This is their elected grade of membership. Among some 80,000 SAE members there are only about 200 active Fellows.
- Member of the SAE’s Edward N. Cole Award Board; 1996-1998
- General Chairman of the SAE Race Car Engineering Conference; December, 1996.
- Member of the SAE Race Car Engineering Conference Committee; 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006.
- Keynote speaker at numerous SAE meetings.
“Here with, a look at the 100 cars, people, technologies, events, and milestones that have marked Chevrolet’s 100 years:”
At #70. “Dave McLellan succeeded Zora Arkus-Duntov as the Corvette’s chief engineer in 1975 — a difficult time for the sports car. Its performance had weakened, and many within GM questioned whether it should continue. McLellan was able to put the Corvette on the road to recovery, developing the C4 (1984), reintroducing the convertible (1986), and bringing out the ZR-1 for 1990. . . “
“Chevrolet Legacy 10 Men Who Mattered in this century of Chevrolet:”
At #6. “[Dave McLellan] was the second Corvette chief engineer, picking up the baton after Zora Arkus-Duntov retired. Nearly 20 years after his 1992 retirement, Dave McLellan remains a fixture of the enthusiast community, attending Corvette events across the country with his wife, Glenda. McLellan began working on the Corvette platform in the late 1960s, under Zora Arkus-Duntov’s direction, and became chief engineer for it in 1975, upon Zora’s retirement. The technologies that debuted on the Corvette during his reign trickled down to other Chevrolets, bringing advanced technology to affordable cars often before more expensive competitors. Those technologies include Tuned-Port Injection (port fuel injection), anti- lock brakes and Anti-Slip Regulation (Corvette-speak for traction control). He also oversaw the creation of the C4 ZR-1, which put the Corvette on the world stage as a high-tech sports car. McLellan was an engineer’s engineer – and so recognized by the Society of Automotive Engineers – and retains a strong passion for the Corvette. No one could fill Zora’s shoes, but McLellan was the right replacement at the right time.”
Author of a major book on the history and technology of the Corvette. “Corvette From The Inside” Published in 2002.
(Legal cases are in bold)
2018 – Expert in a product class action litigation. Kessler Topaz Meltzer. Check, LLP
2017 – Expert in a truck airbag non-deployment case. Jackson & Foster, LLC 2017 Expert in a Diesel emissions product liability case. Foley & Lardner
2017 – Expert in Coda v. Goodyear a patent infringement case, Steptoe & Johnson
2016 – IQMRI Program Manager for an advanced material development with DARPA. IQM Research Institute
2016 – Expert in Patent 189 Case, Jim Glass
2015 – Expert in a Ferrari 458 brake failure accident, Haldanes Solicitors, Hong Kong, China
2015 – Expert in a Van death case, Peter Parzygnat
2015 – Expert in a Corvette fire case, Lewis Thomason
2014 – Expert in an automotive death case. Eric Kjorlie
2014 – Expert in an automotive aftermarket floor mat patent case. Wood Herron & Evans
2014 – Expert in an auto injury case. Poses and Poses
2014 – Expert in an auto injury case involving handicap equipped controls. Goldberg Segalla
2014 – Expert in a personal injury case. Rocky Haire
2014 – Expert in a rear brake failure case. Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C.
2014 – Expert in a vehicle refrigeration system reliability case. Williams Walsh and O’Connor LLC
2014 – Expert in a seat sensor patent infringement case. AZA Law
2014 – Expert in a Corvette VIN tag replacement suit. Shostak
2013 – Expert in a tonneau cover patent infringement case. Kirkland & Ellis
2013 – Expert in an engine failure Class Action. Barron & Budd
2013 – Expert in a Viper loss of control case. Greg Rohl
2012 – Expert in a Corvette damage case. Christopher Fry
2012 – Consultant to Soar Tech: Artificial Intelligence software applied to cars That Don’t Crash.
2011 – Consultant to Badenoch LLC on their proposal for an armored personnel carrier for the US Army.
2011 – Expert in a seat belt injury case. Eric Kjorlie
2011 – Expert in a HID headlamp theft case. Eaton and Wolk
2010 – Technical expert in a tire failure, personal injury case. Viles and Beckman
2009 – Expert in a dump truck durability case and a seat belt failure, personal injury case. Walker-Head
Consultant to Pratt and Miller Engineering, Wixom, MI. P&M designs, builds and races the C6R Corvette for GM. They also do contract engineering.
2008-11 – Consultant to CODA Automotive an electric car maker in Los Angeles, CA, Tianjin and Harbin, China.
2007 – Expert in a fascia failure case. Murray and Murray
2006– Consultant to Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Owego on specialty 9 Ton GVW trucks for the US military (JLTV).
Consultant to Intermap Technologies Inc. Producer of large area, side scan radar based, precision 3D surface and road maps.
2005 – Consultant to IAM Insight, specialists in technology transfer and intellectual asset management; on hydraulic hybrid technology.
2004 – Consultant to Pinnacle Associates, consultants for the plaintiff on the Ford/Firestone tire failure case.
2002-05 – Expert in an inside rear view mirror patent infringement case, Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue
2002 – Consultant to, and member of the Technology Board of Mosler Automotive and its MT900, ultralight composite race/road car.
2002-06 – Consultant to Georgia Tech Research Institute for Ultra 3T, a 1.1 Megawatt, armored hybrid vehicle for the US Marines.
Consultant to Technologies M4, developers of an automotive electric wheel propulsion motor.
1998-2003 – Consultant to Intermag Technologies Inc., developers of magnesium automotive components.
1998 – Consultant to IVM an international automotive design and development company.
1998-1999 – ERIM-Engineering Director for COMBATT a cost share program sponsored by TACOM, to develop commercially based trucks that approach the mobility payload and functionality of the Army’s HMMWV.
Consultant to the Eaton Corporation.
1997 – Campbell & Company. Leadoff speaker in Heidelberg, Germany in conjunction with the birth of Visteon at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
Consultant to the Bose Corporation on development and marketing of its electromagnetic active suspension.
1996-1999 – ERIM Program Manager for a Variable Dynamic Testbed Vehicle (VDTV). An onboard computer managed, front and rear steer-by-wire, brake-by-wire and throttle-by-wire, in this passenger automobile designed for human factors research into active safety. This was a Federal Government, Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Office of Crash Avoidance (OCA) project, managed for the OCA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
1994 – Automotive Engineering Analyst to Teltech Resource Network Corp.
Member of the Board of Directors, Porsche Engineering Services-Troy (MI), Porsche’s US engineering services company, a subsidiary of Porsche Engineering Services-Weissach, Germany.
1993-1998 – Consultant to Rosen Motors Ltd., developers of a hybrid gas turbine, battery-flywheel, hybrid electric power train.
1993-2002 – Author. Under contract to author a major book on the history of the Corvette. Published in 2002 as “Corvette From The Inside.”
1975-1992 – Engineering Director, Corvette. As Engineering Director, I was responsible for all aspects of engineering on the Corvette: design engineering and manufacturing engineering. The team of men and women power train, chassis, electrical, and body engineers and specialists I led and motivated became world class in their fields. They designed and validated the car, its components and the processes for its manufacture. They also were responsible for the application of engineering processes, such as failure mode analysis, design for manufacture and assembly, and CAD/CAM. Each part of the process led to high quality, easily manufactured, cost effective designs. The team I led also supported the marketing division in product conception, in sales, and in service. Empowered to make the many decisions that lead to a successful product, this capable and dedicated team consistently led the industry in the introduction of market-focused technical innovation.
1959-1992 – General Motors Corporation. (33 years with GM.)
Major Corvette Engineering milestones under my direction:
- 1981 – Led the world in the development of the first composite (fiberglass) suspension-leaf spring, for a 600% weight savings. (Today, similar composite springs are used in millions of cars and trucks.)
- 1984 – Engineered the all new current Corvette as an aluminum intensive sports car.
- 1985 – Developed the Corvette as a production race car to compete in the SCCA Showroom Stock Series. (Corvette won every race in the three year series, including all of the 24-hour races.)
- 1986 – Introduced the first 4-wheel anti-lock brakes on a sports car. (In one of the SCCA races, this system turned a sure loss into a victory)
- 1993 – Introduced the first Pass Key (an electronic anti-theft, ignition-key system)
- 1989 – Introduced the first 6-speed manual transmission (in preparation for the ZR-1)
- 1989 – Began in earnest, to plan the next (5th) generation Corvette–the C5.
- 1990 – Introduced the ZR-1 Corvette super car (375 bhp, 0-60 mph in 4.3 sec.)
- 1990 – Introduced the first of driver-side air bags in GM.
- Established 3 FIA World Records for speed and endurance with the production ZR-1, including the 24-hour record @ 175.885 mph (4,221 miles).
- 1992 – Re-engineered of the standard Corvette engine to produce 300 bhp.
- 1992 – Introduced Acceleration Slip Regulation (traction control).
- 1993 – Introduced the first Passive Keyless Entry System
- 1994 – Developed a passenger-side air bag for the Corvette
- 1994 – Introduced the first run flat tire system (damaged tires that run without air!)
- 1974 – Staff Engineer–Corvette
- 1973-1974 – Sloan Fellow–Alfred P. Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- 1970-1973 – Assistant Staff Engineer, Chassis: Led the team of chassis design engineers responsible for the Camaro and Nova chassis.
- 1967-1970 – Development Engineer Led the team of ride, handling, and NVH engineers responsible for Camaro and Nova development.
- 1965-1967 – Manager, Vehicle Dynamics Test Area (Black Lake), GM Proving Grounds. The first manager of this new facility, responsible for test and instrumentation development and the facility’s daily management and safety.
- 1959-1965 – Senior Project Engineer, Noise and Vibration Laboratory, GMPG. Led various projects in vibration control on components, cars, trucks and military track laying vehicles.