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The Foundations of Engineering II class recently took a break between major projects to hear from a local inventor, Mr. Alain Clenet. A friend of Dr. Scott Lisea, Mr. Clenet came in to share with the students some highlights of his life’s work, and also some sage advice.

Mr. Alain Clenet showing one of his first projects, a car body he
designed at age 20 during his university years

Mr. Clenet’s charge to the students, in looking back over a lifetime of designing mechanical systems, was simple and to the point: “Be kind, be honorable, and take risks.” He went on to describe some of the many inventions he had produced: cars, a speedboat, tent systems, sheet metal beams, fabric houses, and his production line of luxury cars made right here in Santa Barbara County. He alluded to many difficulties as well as successes, and shared also of his strong faith in Jesus Christ.

A 1979 Series I neo-classic model from Clenet Coachworks
(Wikipedia, Creative Commons license)

Students eagerly listening to his tales of business and engineering

At the end of our time together, Todd went up to show Mr. Clenet the remote-controlled car that he had programmed. Mr. Clenet affirmed the students in their vehicle designs, and handed out his personal card, encouraging them to contact him if they had great ideas for inventions that they might want his help with.

We hope that Mr. Clenet can come again soon, and offer his wisdom to the students for their final major project. Many thanks!