Each year General Motors sponsors the EcoCAR Women in STEM Award, which was presented at this year’s first ever Virtual Awards Ceremony. This award honors women across many STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines who demonstrate outstanding technical excellence both within their university academic programs and most notably, through the EcoCAR program. This year, judges heard from 10 outstanding candidates whose accomplishments demonstrated highly developed technical skills and commitment to encouraging other women to pursue and succeed in engineering and other STEM fields.
The General Motors Women in STEM Rookie award is named in honor of Lyn St. James, 1998 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, who partnered with AVTCs to create the Women in Engineering awards in Challenge X. The General Motors Women in STEM Rookie Award recognizes an outstanding female EcoCAR team member who is already contributing to the team yet has the potential to do even more to harness her passion, hone her skills, and become an even stronger leader.
Congratulations to General Motors Women in STEM Rookie Award recipient Grace Liang from the University of Waterloo! Grace developed a strong childhood interest in engineering. In high school, she was on her school’s Robotics team. Her love for STEM drove her to join EcoCAR when she was a freshman at Waterloo. Currently, she is the thermal systems component expert and responsible for designing her team’s Custom EV thermal system. She is passionate about sustainable transportation and renewable energy and EcoCAR is giving her the hands-on experience now that will help her succeed in the future.
This year’s General Motors Women in STEM Award recipient is Kristina Kuwabara from Ohio State University! Throughout her time in EcoCAR, Kristina has shown her passion for STEM both in and outside of EcoCAR. She is a strong leader for her EcoCAR team, operating as the Co-Engineering Manager and PCM Lead. In these roles, she was responsible for the team’s technical deliverables and fostered a positive and conducive culture for many hardworking engineers. Kristina leads by example, works hard to execute her ideas, and inspires others on her team. Kristina cited GM CEO Mary Barra as her role model and is dedicated to make a difference in the STEM field, and strives to leave a positive impact on both her team and AVTCs.
Congratulations to our Women in STEM recipients and to the following candidates who have demonstrated their passion for EcoCAR in both technical and outreach programs:
- Brianna Thornton from Georgia Tech
- Lauren Zhou from Georgia Tech
- Colleen Jenkins from McMaster University
- Shiva Dehkordi from McMaster University
- Morgan Cox from Mississippi State University
- Kamryn Russell from the Ohio State University
- Kristina Kuwabara from the Ohio State University
- Madeline Gilmer from University of Alabama
- Livia Anderson from University of Washington
- Grace Liang from University of Waterloo.