After his senior year in college, Matthew Young worked as a graduate research assistant in advanced vehicular systems at Mississippi State University. During this time, he considered entering the AVTC competition. Because of his background in computer engineering, Young brought something unique to the table. His interest in the AVTC competition peaked when he saw a need for controls on the team. A faculty advisor asked him if he’d like to join Challenge X and the rest is history.
“I wanted to try and pursue a career that was towards a controls base. With the Challenge X program that was going on actively when I joined, I saw that there was a big controls need, so that’s the primary reason that I branched out,” says Young. “It kind of married both an automotive side and a controls side that I was both interested in.”
As a controls team lead, Young helped bring their team to victory multiple times during the AVTC competition. But he sees some additional bonuses to the experience.
“Great moments would have been the time we spent working on the cars. The camaraderie and fellowship we all had, not only as a team, but as an entire group,” says Young. “I still have contacts with a lot of people that we had within the competition.”
Today, Young works as a manufacturing engineering manager at Paccar Engine Company, a company that designs, manufactures and provides customer support for customers in the heavy duty trucking industry.
“It’s a very progressive industry. It’s very cutting edge, high technology,” said Young. “Being a part of AVTC gave me that sense of urgency and that drive to expand and understand new technology.”
His advice to students: get some sleep while you can because competitions are very time consuming.
“It’s kind of bittersweet the amount of time required to do it,” said Young. “I think it made myself as well as some of the others more dedicated and more focused engineers going through the competition.”
To learn more about Young and his success, check out the video here: