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Where are they now: Ryan Alexander

Only a select few participants of Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTCs) can reflect on their time as a student, organizer, AND sponsor. Included in these few exceptions is Ryan Alexander, a West Virginia University (WVU) graduate, obtaining a B.S in Journalism and a M.S in Data Marketing Communications.

During his first year of graduate school in 2020, Alexander began working as the WVU Communications Manager for the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge. Being the only non-engineering student on the WVU EcoCAR team, he had a significant amount to learn, especially during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think what was most valuable from my time with WVU EcoCAR was working with people that aren’t from a communications background,” said Alexander.

Working with a multidisciplinary team gave Alexander skills beyond the average collegiate track. He enjoyed the challenge and excelled in the Communications Subteam, earning a First Place Overall Communications Program in 2021.

His first job upon graduation was as an Argonne Associate for Argonne National Laboratory. Alexander’s responsibilities were split into supporting EcoCAR and Clean Cities.

With EcoCAR, Alexander managed video production of promotional content and assisted with the EcoCAR Communications Subteam. Alexander also helped develop the branding for the launch of the EcoCAR EV Challenge and led the digital content creation for the program’s social media channels. While supporting AVTCs as an organizer, Alexander gained experience in managing multiple projects, which led to his professional growth.

Currently, Alexander works as a Digital Marketing Communications Manager at dSPACE, which is an EcoCAR leadership-level sponsor. dSPACE is a global technology leader for simulation and validation solutions. Currently, Alexander oversees all marketing and social media activities for North America and executes target email and social media marketing campaigns. In addition, he leads asset creation for photo, video, graphic design, and advertising for external publications. Through his work, he has honed his skills in content development and enjoys the challenge of reaching target audiences through varied campaign tactics. His position has led to his interest in developing marketing campaigns.

When looking for a full-time role, Alexander was motivated to join a sponsoring organization of EcoCAR because of his passion for the AVTC program. Alexander hopes to offer mentorship to future communication managers by guiding them through their career paths and helping them fulfill their aspirations, just as he was able to experience through the EcoCAR program.

Most recently, Alexander participated as a judge for the EcoCAR EV Challenge during the Year 1 Competition. “During my time with Argonne, I was able to establish the year-end presentation content for the Communications Managers (CMs),” Alexander said. “It was inspiring to see how each team took the requirements and created their own unique social media campaigns during Year 1. I was excited to see this project come to fruition and be able to participate as a judge.”

Alexander’s involvement as a participant, organizer, and sponsor of the EcoCAR program has given him an invaluable and unique experience that he is proud to reflect on. “I wouldn’t be here today without EcoCAR,” said Alexander. “The program provided me with the opportunity to work on a multidisciplinary team, juggle multiple projects, learn technical language, and build relationships.”

Through the collective experiences of the competition Alexander participated in, he gained the ability to think beyond conventional boundaries and embrace collaborative approaches to problem-solving. Furthermore, he gained invaluable knowledge on the importance of work-life balance and creating a fulfilling professional journey centered around his passions. Alexander has enjoyed seeing all aspects of the program in each of his unique roles.

Thank you, Ryan, for your continued support of AVTCs.