Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) alumnus Ashley Effmeyer began her journey with Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTCs) in 2006 to gain real-world experience in the automotive industry. She participated in ChallengeX from 2006 to 2008, serving on the Model Based Design Team during her first year. She then took on the role of Outreach Coordinator in the Outreach program for the rest of her time in ChallengeX and eventually EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge.
“It allowed me to blend technical work that my team and I were doing with the education piece of the program,” she said. “I felt like it was always more effective to describe to what we were doing as a team to the ‘nontechnical’ community in a way that those not involved in the competition could relate to, rather than talk at them about complicated engineering concepts.”
Ashley’s favorite moments involved her team working together to solve problems. “It was always stressful and challenging,” she said. “But we always had fun completing the tasks at hand.”
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2008, Ashley stayed at RHIT to earn a Master of Science in Engineering Management in 2010. During her second year in grad school, she worked as a professional intern at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in the Environmental Programs and Ride and Show departments of Disney’s engineering group.
In 2011, Ashley took a position with Honeywell FM&T as a mechanical engineer. “I have the opportunity to work as a contractor for the DOE and further develop my technical skills as an engineer,” she said.
Through her time with AVTCs, Ashley learned that communication was crucial to success in any business. “An engineer may have the best idea in the world that may be of great benefit to a company, but if they cannot communicate that concept to their managers and peers in a clear and concise manner, they will not be successful in implementing that idea within their community,” she said.
Ashley notes that the AVTC program is as beneficial as ever. “Students today are getting even more opportunities for exposure to new technologies, technical skills, and industry before ever leaving school,” she said. “On top of this, the program is doing a great job of educating those outside of the students working on this project about the benefits of going green and adopting hybrids.”