Tesla hires Nike's self-lacing shoe engineer

Tiffany Beers was a Nike engineering director responsible for flagship projects such as the MAG and HyperAdapt.

Tesla has hired Nike engineering director Tiffany Beers to serve as a technical program manager.

The world of automobiles and sneakers may seem far divided, however Beers is credited with leading an innovative Nike project that shares fundamental technology with electric vehicles. She is credited with bringing Back to the Future's self-lacing shoe technology to market in the new HyperAdapt 1.0, equipped with small electric motors and batteries to tighten the shoe around the wearer's foot.

Speaking to her alma mater, Penn State, Beers recently described how she approached the HyperAdapt project "kind of like a concept car" to squeeze the necessary electronics in a pair of shoes that weighs less than a pound.

"My standards tend to be higher than are achievable. And maybe that's the point: Nothing amazing ever happens without a challenge," she said. "If you don't have that frustration, and that doubt, and that failure, maybe you aren't thinking big enough. Maybe it isn't the right challenge."

Tesla has not specified what projects Beers will be working on, though her skills with electronics, plastics engineering, and ergonomics are likely relevant to a number of automotive engineering projects. As an added bonus, her LinkedIn profile includes a three-year stint as crew chief of an amateur race team in Portland, Oregon.

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