A Special Where Are They Now: EcoCAR Alumni Sign On As Competition Organizers

Former Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) participants always go on to do great things. We are happy to welcome two former graduates of the EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge program onto the EcoCAR 2 organizing team – Beth Bezaire and Mike Kearney. Beth will be managing General Motors’ mentors, while Mike will be acting as technical coordinator for GM.

Beth began her EcoCAR journey in 2008 while attending graduate school at the Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research. She assumed the role of Co-Team Leader. “I was involved in much of the team planning and logistics, and was also involved in the business and outreach efforts,” she said. “I think AVTCs do a great job in keeping up with industry developments and integrating changes into the program to reflect current standards and state-of-the-art technology.”

Beth noted that being involved with an AVTC played a significant role in preparing her for her job as a GM mentor. “I’ve found this experience to be valuable because as I am doing my current work, I can draw upon past experiences to help me. I had already had some familiarity with tools that I now use in my current job on a daily basis.”

Kearney (left) accepting an award in 2010

Mike joined Virginia Tech’s EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge program during its second year as part of his senior design project. He was a member of the Controls subteam. His favorite moments on the team were victories – large and small.

Mike has been with GM for two and a half years. Prior to his new position, he was a Controls Test Engineer and Controls Design Engineer. “I already knew how to use the tools to do the job,” he said. “My experience on EcoCAR not only put me in a place to get the job I wanted, it helped me be successful at it.”

“The program today is an amazing opportunity for students,” said Mike. “It is very interesting to see the progression of technology through the competitions, from alternative fueled vehicles to hybrid electric vehicles to fleets of plug-in hybrid vehicles.”

Congratulations, Beth and Mike, and welcome to the EcoTeam!