EcoCAR Excellence in Leadership

During the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge Year One Finals, 51 awards and over $100K in prize money were awarded to teams.

All teams, sponsors, and organizers came together at the Year One Awards Ceremony to recognize teams and individuals for their outstanding accomplishments throughout the year. The Excellence in Leadership Award is a unique award that allows EcoCAR students to be nominated by their fellow peers and their faculty advisors through testimonials. This award recognizes those with leadership skills that are critical for engineers, project managers and communicators to be successful within the EcoCAR project and throughout their careers. These skills can be the major differentiator between the success or failure of a team to achieve each teams’ individual goals.

The Excellence in Leadership Awards go to those who best exemplify model leadership capabilities on their EcoCAR team. This includes characteristics such as motivating team members to do their best, taking time to teach and mentor fellow students, and creating a supportive team culture. Effective leaders are able to exercise power appropriately, think critically and creatively, articulate a positive sense of direction and evoke optimism in their peers.

Project Manager Gabe Di Domenico from Colorado State University, received Runner Up for the Excellence in Leadership Award. Gabe is a leader who has a unique ability to find the perfect balance between being a leader and friend. This year, he played a key role in supporting interim faculty advisors as they learned about EcoCAR, and taught their teammates the intricacies of the competition while maintaining a fun environment for the team to operate in.

On a team with a high turnover rate each year, this leader focused heavily on recruiting and training their successors so that the team would be in good hands when they depart. Throughout Year One, Gabe demonstrated sound technical knowledge and has always been willing to lend the team a helping hand, regardless of the time commitment.

The Excellence in Leadership Award was awarded to Priyash Misra, from West Virginia University. Priyash is a leader who motivated a group of college students on the verge of graduation to go above and beyond for the team. He did this by fostering a collaborative team culture, efficiently delegating tasks to individual students, facilitating communication between sub-teams, empowering students to solve their own problems and giving students the freedom to make their own creative decisions. Additionally, Priyash never shied away from giving students honest feedback about their work, both good and bad.

Priyash seamlessly stepped in to lead the CAVs side of the team this past spring semester. As one team member put it, “Priyash understands that leadership is more than just a position, but how you treat those you lead and help them grow.”

The judges were truly impressed with all of the candidates nominated this year, especially the testimonials from their fellow peers and their faculty advisors. We would like to congratulate and recognize all of those nominated by their fellow peers for their extraordinary efforts in leadership:

  • Gabe Di Domenico, Colorado State University
  • Nishan Sakaran, Georgia Tech
  • Megan Wood, McMaster University
  • Simon Trask, Ohio State University
  • Ramin Nabati, University of Tennessee Knoxville
  • Aman Kalia, University of Washington
  • Urban Pistek, University of Waterloo
  • Priyash Misra, West Virginia University