For 25 years, Kristen Wahl has been at the helm of Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTC) and has fundamentally grown the program since she started at Argonne National Laboratory in 1997.
When she began working on vehicle competitions, it was a two-person operation with a budget of $100,000. Since then, she has overseen nine competition series for DOE and has built the program to include a staff of twelve and budget exceeding $25 million. She also has engaged more than 125 sponsors to support the various competition series over the years.
Today, more than 30,000 students from 95 educational institutions in North America have participated in AVTCs. These staggering numbers can only be accredited to Kristen’s efforts as the primary driver for where student vehicle competitions are today. Her commitment to enhancing student enrichment and education by providing a real-world automotive experience for student participants has never wavered.
Kristen has navigated the continuous shifts in technology advancements, all while keeping AVTCs at the forefront of some of the greatest design changes in automotive history.
As we reflect on her 25 years of dedication and service to AVTCs, it is with both a heavy heart and excitement to announce that Kristen has transitioned to a new position at Argonne and is now the Director of Energy Justice & Workforce Readiness and the Section Manager for Sustainable Transportation Education & Partnerships (STEP). She will continue as Director of Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions but, has officially passed the day-to-day operations of AVTCs to Jesse Alley who serves as the new EcoCAR EV Challenge Sr. Program Manager and Group Manager for Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions.
AVTCs owe Kristen a debt of gratitude, and her everyday presence will be missed, however if she approaches her new role in STEP like she has with AVTCs, we are certain exciting and impactful programs are on the horizon.
Kristen, on behalf of the tens of thousands of individuals you have had a tremendous impact on, we thank you!