The McMaster Engineering EcoCAR team is currently in their second AVTC series competition but has already produced numerous graduates across its six-year history. Andrew George is one of the most recent graduates of the McMaster Engineering EcoCAR team and was present for all six of those years through his undergraduate and graduate degrees in mechanical engineering. We were able to catch up with Andrew and learn about his path after graduation, and how the EcoCAR competition helped lead him there.
MAC: What was your role on the McMaster Engineering EcoCAR team?
Andrew: I started on the team in my first year of undergrad, where I was simply a member of the mechanical sub-team. In my second year, I started managing the CAD software on our team, including our Teamcenter server. Then in fourth year I was one of five students who prepared the application for the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge. Finally, for the two years where I was a graduate student, I was the Propulsion System Integration lead for the team. So, I’ve worn a lot of hats.
MAC: Why did you decide to join the EcoCAR team?
Andrew: In high school I competed in the FIRST Robotics competition, and that showed me how powerful extracurriculars are in terms of hands-on learning and experience. I’ve also always been interested in automotive, so when I arrived at MAC and found the team, I knew I had to join.
MAC: What did you like most about EcoCAR?
Andrew: In my early years I really enjoyed the chance to learn from my extremely experienced older teammates. Most of them had been on some form of student car team for their entire university career, so the chance to shadow them and learn from that experience was amazing. When I became PropSys lead, I really enjoyed the other side of the program, mentoring the younger students and trying to pass on the knowledge I had gained from both my mentors and my own experiences.
MAC: How did EcoCAR impact you and/or your career?
Andrew: The skills I learned on EcoCAR are directly responsible for the career I now have, so the impact has been immense. Personally, I made a lot of lifelong friends on the team, which I am always grateful for.
MAC: What are you up to now?
Andrew: I have just started my first post-graduation job as a systems engineer at JJE North America. They are a company that designs and manufactures electric motors and drivetrains for automotive companies, one example being FCA.
MAC: What are you looking forward to?
Andrew: I am excited to both apply the skills I learned through the EcoCAR competition, as well as learn a whole set of new ones at my new job. I am also excited to watch the MAC team continue their EcoCAR journey and watch as the current team members take the team in new directions and to new heights.