Automotive X PRIZE competitor Illuminati Motor Works Q & A

2. Who are your team members and what are their backgrounds?

Kevin Smith is 37 years of age, married, and no children. He is Illuminati Motor Works LLC Founder, team leader and spokesman for the X PRIZE project. He earned a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from The University of Illinois at Chicago. Mr. Smith has an extensive history with organizing and building alternatively fueled vehicles for competitions similar to the Progressive Automotive X Prize including: assisting in the construction of Illinois first all solar powered vehicle, the UIC Solar Flame (1991), co-authored and applied for a patent for an internally illuminated artificial Christmas tree ( 1992), designed and constructed a series hybrid mini Baja car (1994), co-authored a proposal winning a vehicle and entry into the 1995 Hybrid Electric Vehicle Challenge converting a 1995 Neon to a natural gas fuel injected parallel hybrid, co-authored a winning proposal for the 1996 Future Car Challenge and converted a 1996 Ford Taurus into a 60MPG stored air supercharged natural gas fuel injected vehicle. Mr. Smith has worked for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, bureau of air as a permit engineer for the past twelve years. Among his other duties Mr. Smith has represented the agency on several occasions for events involving alternatively fueled vehicles.

Thomas Pasko is 47 years of age, married with three teenage children. Thomas is a Master certified, L1, advanced level diagnostics, certified automotive technician and auto repair shop owner. In 1985, Thomas opened his automotive repair business, “Thomas Automotive Precision”, and has gained invaluable experience with all manner of automotive technology and the repair thereof, including rebuilding engines, suspensions, transmissions (manual and automatic); repairing electrical, hydraulic and fuel systems. Thomas specializes in the diagnosis of complex drivability system problems.

His Professional Certifications include:

National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)

Certified Master Automobile Technician

L1 ASE Certified (advanced level diagnosis)

Thomas is responsible for integration of existing automotive technology into the final vehicle.

Joshua Spradlin is 31 years old, married with one child. Currently employed by the State of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency as a Microfilm Operator at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. He is IMW’s Graphic Artist, Model Builder, Fabricator and parts hound. Josh has eighteen years experience in art, and art training in his personal and professional life. Including design and fabrication on multiple transportation projects. Custom graphics design for automotive and motorcycle paint application. Functional and artistic modifications to various cars and motorcycles. His primary role for IMW: Apply artistic and technical abilities to engineering and design of “Seven”. Set and modify engineering and aerodynamic specifications to provide a pleasing aesthetic to our vehicle that will conform to the goals of the competition. Preliminary design of vehicle involved conceptual drawings, followed by construction of different conceptual models, modifying body shape and dimensions to achieve aerodynamic, and stylistic specifications. Oversee, and aid in construction of vehicle structural elements that will have a direct impact on the lines and flow of the finished body components. Research and locate various elements from existing vehicles to incorporate into our design. Design, engineer, and aid in construction of various body components to keep with the overall feel of the vehicle’s shape and aerodynamic properties.


Josh Spradlin. Graphic Design, Fabrication, Parts Hound.

Husband and Father. Wife Dustie, Son Wyatt age 7

Jack of all Trades, Master of None….well, maybe a couple..

Born in Jacksonville, raised in Springfield, now reside in New Berlin

Been drawing since I could hold a pencil, taken various art classes, but mostly self taught. Draw a lot of my inspiration from eras long past. Form follows function and all that jazz. I’m willing to dive head first into nearly any project I can be a part of. I thrive on learning new skills, and no better way to learn than by rolling up your sleeves and getting right down to the nitty gritty of it. I’ve built a reputation within IMW as a “parts hound”. I’m usually able to track down parts or supplies that others haven’t had any luck in finding. Obtaining the Unobtainium. I don’t pretend to know all the technical aspects of what we are doing. I do what I can, even if it means doing something I’ve never done before. Learn as you go. It’s amazing what you can actually do when you just cut to the chase and try something.