Introducing the EcoCAR Student Leadership Council

In order to incorporate valuable student feedback into the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTCs) and the EcoCAR development processes, the EcoCAR organizers have established the Student Leadership Council (SLC).

The SLC will consist of students from current EcoCAR universities who will serve for a single academic year. Students who serve on the SLC will be given the unique opportunity to interface directly with EcoCAR organizers and provide student feedback on competition deliverables, yearly expectations, overall competition structure, and provide input on future AVTCs. During the Fall 2020 semester, students had the opportunity to apply to be part of the SLC and members were chosen by the EcoCAR organizers.

The first ever SLC members are as follows: Morgan Cox, Mississippi State University; Vance Hudson, Mississippi State University; Rob Consolo, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; and Caleb Matthiesen, Georgia Tech. These individuals each bring a unique point of view to the SLC and will play a pivotal role in the EcoCAR development process.

GET TO KNOW THE SLC MEMBERS:

Name: Morgan Cox

My name is Morgan Cox and I am a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering at Mississippi State University. I received my Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alabama in 2019. EcoCAR has played a big role in my college career since I joined Alabama’s team in 2017 during the EcoCAR 3 competition. I finished out EcoCAR 3 on the mechanical sub-team and started the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge as the System Safety Lead Engineer with Alabama’s team before starting my Master’s at MSU in Year 2 of the Mobility Challenge. At MSU, I have served as a PSI lead and now in my current role as one of our team’s Engineering Managers. In my free time, I really enjoy listening to music and loved attending live shows prior to COVID-19.

I am a big believer in having a supportive network of friends and peers, and that what excites me the most about working with work the SLC as we work to expand the sense of community between teams, organizers, and sponsors in the competition.

Fun Fact: Vance and I are from the same hometown in Collierville, TN and started our high school robotics team together back in 2013-2014. We went to Worlds that year with a wooden robot and now have come full circle with EcoCAR!

 

Name: Vance Hudson

I have just finished my BS in Mechanical Engineering at Mississippi State University and will be continuing into my Master of Engineering in the spring. I have been a member of MSU’s EcoCAR team since my freshman year, working on Years 3 and 4 of EcoCAR 3’s Camaro and then the duration of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge. During EcoCAR 3, I was a member of the Mechanical and Innovation teams before transitioning into my current role as an Engineering Manager for the EMC. I have been a motorsports enthusiast since my visits to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix as a child and as a tech nerd, I have enjoyed experiencing the rapid pace of technology change within the automotive industry in recent years.

EcoCAR has provided me with a wealth of opportunities to advance my career and automotive knowledge and I’m looking forward to working with my fellow members of the Student Leadership Council to ensure AVTC participants can most effectively take advantage of the competition experiences.

 

Name: Rob Consolo

Hello! My name is Robert Consolo and I am the Project Manager for the Embry-Riddle EcoEagles! I am currently pursuing my M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with completion expected in December 2021 (but we all know how that goes). I am originally from New York City and coming from the “airplane school”, you can probably imagine that cars were not my first interest. Instead, I was all about rocket science and putting the next man and woman on Mars (hopefully me!). But if I’ve learned one thing working on this project, it’s that an engineering problem is the same regardless of the platform it is on, and this project as given me numerous opportunities to become a better engineer and a better leader.

I have been on the EcoCAR project since Year 3 of EcoCAR 3 and am now extremely excited about the opportunity to work beyond my own team and provide any assistance in making this competition a better experience for all of the students participating through the Student Leadership Council. I look forward to interacting with as many of you as I can, collecting your inputs and bringing them directly to the table, and directly improve each of your experiences in this amazing competition. College is supposed to be some of the best years of your life and the SLC looks forward to making sure that is the case anyway we can!

Name: Caleb Matthiesen

I’m a first year Computer Science master’s student at Georgia Tech with a focus on robotics. Originally from the Northeast, I moved to Seattle for college and graduated with degrees in physics and astronomy – and I’m still here! I’m currently completing my MS remotely through Georgia Tech’s OMSCS program. This is my first semester with EcoCAR, working on the CAVs and HMI subteams. My love of mobility and interest in self-driving cars specifically brought me to Georgia Tech, and I joined EcoCAR to get real world, hands-on industry experience with semi-autonomous systems. I’m excited and honored to join the SLC, where I’ll have the opportunity to be a representative and voice for students – from all university teams!