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Meet Steven Plascencia, UC Merced’s treasurer and battery pack software member

By: Steven Plascencia and Emily Pu

What is the Battery Workforce Challenge University of California, Merced team’s No. 1 strength? Its amazing team members! Let’s chat with UC Merced team member Steven Plascencia about his roles, his interests, and his commitment to sustainability.

Steven Plascencia

Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
A: “Howdy, my name is Steven Plascencia. I’m from San Jose, California, and I’m a fifth-year computer science and engineering major here at the University of California, Merced. Currently, I am participating in the Battery Workforce Challenge, which is managed by Argonne National Laboratory and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Engergy and Stellantis.

Q: What is your role in UC Merced’s BattChallenge team?
A: “I have two roles in the club with the first being the treasurer, where I manage the club’s finances. Secondly, I am part of the battery pack software team, where we will be constructing many of the control systems for a battery pack that will be integrated inside a vehicle provided by Stellantis.

Q: Why did you decide to participate in BattChallenge?
A: “There are many things to be excited about with this amazing opportunity. I am most excited that we will get a chance to work on an electrical vehicle. This was one of the various reasons that interested me to participate in this challenge as I am able to invest my time on a battery pack for an electric vehicle while exploring potential novelty regarding sustainability.”

Q: What does sustainability mean for you?
A: “To me, sustainability is creating little to no waste and being able to renew items or energy for as long as possible — a balance between all ecological systems. Electric cars are viewed as sustainable due to their ability to be charged with renewable energies such as wind, water and solar. Thus, developing a battery pack that uses energy more efficiently will improve environmental sustainability. Implementing this idea into the work that I am involved in with the BattChallenge is a personal goal of mine.”

Q: What are your goals post-BattChallenge?
A: “At the end of my time with the BattChallenge, I hope to broaden my horizons for potential employment opportunities and gain insight into the ever-evolving electric vehicle industry by learning and sharpening significant technical skills.

“For instance, being a treasurer helps me develop my skills in leadership, collaborating with others, and developing reports about club activities and responsibilities. In contrast, being part of the battery pack software team will assist developing my technological capabilities, allowing me to explore an unfamiliar field in computer science that I have not explored.”

Steven Plascencia

Q: What inspired you to join the Battery Workforce Challenge?
A: “There are many factors that influenced my decision to join the Battery Workforce Challenge team at UC Merced. The primary reason is that I wanted to gain experience working on something real and tangible. I want to gain experience on what it’s like to work on a team with diverse members. UC Merced’s BWC Team is composed of a large set of diverse individuals — all with differing backgrounds and knowledge sets that imbue the team’s vision with creativity.

“With that being said, I volunteered for the role of Treasure because I wanted to further my managerial experience to develop my interpersonal competence and better understand how effective communication with other group members coincides with our goals.”

Q: How is Battery Workforce Challenge helping you grow as an engineer?
A: “My time with the Battery Workforce Challenge is helping me learn about real electric vehicles, manage finances as treasurer, and develop teamwork and leadership skills. This experience is shaping my understanding of the industry and enhancing both technical and managerial abilities.

“Joining the BattChallenge was a deliberate choice for practical learning. I believe it will greatly contribute to my personal and professional growth in the electric vehicle field by allowing students, like myself and my peers, to explore innovative approaches to sustainable solutions.”


Members of the University of California Merced & Merced College Battery Workforce Challenge team.

As you can see, Plascencia is hardworking and ambitious. With members like him, the UC Merced and Merced College team can spread its message and motivate others to reach the goal of environmental change and sustainability. You don’t have to be an engineer to become involved; you just need some inspiration!

Be sure to follow @BattChallengeUCM on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to keep tabs on our team’s frequent updates and events.

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