Devin Pauley, a native of Forest Park, Oklahoma, began his time at the University of Oklahoma in 1998 pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. The reason he chose to study mechanical engineering was due to his love for cars.
When Devin was five years old, he visited his dad, a mechanic of 15 years, at work. Like many children, Devin asked his father how he could be just like him one day. His dad told him that he shouldn’t be the one repairing cars, but rather he should be the one designing them. In the third grade, Devin’s school was hosting a show and tell. This show and tell was special in that students had to identify an occupation they wanted to be when they grew up. Still with the automotive industry in mind, he asked his mom what profession was responsible for designing cars. His mom then took him to the library to research the subject. They concluded the majority of automotive designers were mechanical engineers. Devin was sold on the idea of automotive design, so he decided right then he wanted to become a mechanical engineer.
“Imagine my surprise when I’m a freshmen at OU in 1998, and I am standing outside of Felgar Hall,” Devin said. “I saw a sign that said, ‘Want to design cars? Free pizza!’ After that, I was hooked.”
Devin (pictured right) and teammate working on the Sooner Racing Team car in 2001.
Devin joined the Sooner Racing Team (SRT), OU’s Formula SAE international competition team. He held various positions on the team including managing its engine systems, driveline integration and brake system leader and president. Under his leadership, SRT won multiple awards, including first place in the Continental Teves Brake Systems category.
Sooner Racing Team at competition in 2001.
Throughout college, Devin interned in the vehicle industry, but with graduation quickly approaching in May 2004, he was unable to break into the automotive design or racing industry like he had hoped. Devin attended a career fair in Dallas where he spoke with Motorola representatives about designing cell phones.
“I thought to myself, working in technology could be temporary. I will do this for a few years and then transition into automotive, but I ended up really loving it,” said Devin.
Devin quickly made his mark in the technology industry. While working for Motorola, Sony Ericsson, BlackBerry and Amazon, he has issued four patents, developed and shipped the BlackBerry Storm 2, and developed and shipped the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. In February 2014, Devin began working at the motherland of all technology companies, Apple. As an Engineering Program Manager, he was behind the development and launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus silicone cases. Devin’s latest project at Apple was the release of the iPhone 6S charge battery case.
“The charge battery case has deep iOS integration, so it will show customers real time how much battery is left in the case,” said Devin. “This is the only charge case in the world that can do this.”
Devin is now working on embedded keyboards for future Mac products.
“The thing I love about technology is the progress of innovation, as well as the pace. Every year, you strive to raise the bar and shift the paradigm,” said Devin. “The customer expects a certain level of standard, so we want to shatter it, rebuild it and exceed expectations. At Apple, it’s not magical how we do it. It is a very organic process starting with the customer and a problem we are trying to solve.”
Because of his successful career, Devin is a two-time recipient of the BRAVO! Award from Motorola, received the University of Oklahoma Regents Alumni Award and was an honoree of the 40 Under 40: Tech Diversity in Silicon Valley Award. He has given Technology Talks at the University of California at Berkley, the University of California and his alma mater, the University of Oklahoma.
Devin said he had a wonderful experience that he wouldn’t trade for the world during his education at AME, leaving current students with some valuable advice: “Practical design and practical experience are everything. Whether that is achieved through SRT, other student teams or other exercises that allow you to make the transition from theory to practical, it’s critical,” said Devin. “It is not always just about the GPA. It’s about the combination of not only knowing the theory but executing it, as well. When an employer looks at your credentials and realizes they do not have to start from scratch, it’s like gold on a résumé.”