Where Are They Now: How AVTCs Led a VT Student to the DOE

Steven Boyd first visited Virginia Tech as a junior in high school and had the opportunity to watch a group of engineers test an experimental hybrid electric vehicle.  That day sparked his love for engineering and changed his life forever. 

Fast forward 12 years and Steven works for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, managing projects in hybrid and electrical systems for the Vehicle Technologies program and serves as a technical advisor for the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTC) program.

Steven recalls attending his first “Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team” meeting at Virginia Tech as a freshman that focused on examining a new approach to improving vehicle efficiency. The team had just started a new collegiate AVTC series called FutureTruck. As an undergraduate, Steven volunteered in the Virginia Tech shop and worked on different kinds of hybrid vehicles including high voltage systems, electric traction drives, and hydrogen fuel systems in both hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicles.  The unique engineering opportunities that Steven experienced through the FutureTruck competition series inspired him to do further graduate research in the field.

In pursuit of a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, Steven started his research as the team leader for Virginia Tech’s Challenge X team.  For two years he held that position and in 2006, the team took home the gold!

“Advanced vehicle technology competitions give students the opportunity to apply classroom skills to real-world applications that are critical to our nation’s energy security,” said Steven. “The competitions would not be possible without the active collaboration of government, industry, and academia partners.  Each brings something different to the table, but together, they offer so much more.”

Steven Boyd