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Matt Newsome Connects Cubic Transportation to Campus

Matt Newsome
Matt Newsome, Vice President and Regional Director at Cubic Transportation Systems

When Matt Newsome was a mechanical engineering undergraduate, he took a structural engineering course from professor Gil Hegemier. It was 1989. That October, the Loma Prieta earthquake hit, and Hegemier and other faculty members were called to San Francisco to assess the damage. Hegemier returned to campus with vivid illustrations of how structural engineering relates to real life.

Fast-forward two decades, and Newsome, now a vice president and regional director at Cubic Transportation Systems, has forged connections between the reallife challenges related to the next generation of intelligent travel technologies for cities and some of the research strengths of the Jacobs School.

“We have excellent teams that build some of the best system solutions in the world,” he said. “But you can only take R&D so far. What UC San Diego brings is the ability to think way outside the box and way into the future.”

The fast-paced evolution of technology requires that Cubic teams have access to researchers with a wide range of skills, Newsome said. They can work together to evaluate, propose and in some cases develop solutions using these emerging technologies. Working with UC San Diego will provide insights in areas Cubic sees as challenging. It also will help apply theories and methods for technology concepts the company predicts will dominate the future.

In addition to the Cubic and Jacobs School connection, Newsome will serve as president of the Board of Directors of UC San Diego Alumni as of July 1, 2012.

The university taught him a precious lesson, he said: “I learned how to learn here.”

There were more lessons, outside the classroom: “I learned how to grow,” Newsome said. “I learned how to work. I learned how to make friends. I learned true relationships.” During Newsome's five years on campus, Earnie Mort, then the dean of Revelle College, became a mentor. “He's just one of the most giving, fantastic men I've ever met,” Newsome said. “He's been a real inspiration for me to come back to the campus and give back.”

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