Where Are They Now: UW’s Aman Kalia

Written By: Caitlin Hillman

Before coming to the University of Washington, Aman Kalia was working with cars. During his undergraduate years at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University in India, Aman participated in another automotive competition where he worked with a team to build a car. That was where his passion for automotive vehicles sparked, and his experience with that team drew him to EcoCAR. “It was one of the factors that helped me choose University of Washington,” Aman said.

Aman came to the University of Washington for his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering in 2013 and continued on to complete his PhD. He first joined the UW EcoCAR team in 2013, where he participated in EcoCAR 2.

While working on his PhD in during the EcoCAR 3 series, Aman became a Controls and Systems Modeling lead, in which he led the team in developing, testing and implementing the hybrid supervisory control algorithm in order to turn the team’s Chevrolet Camaro into a hybrid vehicle.

According to Aman, “EcoCAR 3 there was an opportunity to base some of his research on some of the more specific topics.”

Aman continued his research during the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge in 2018, in which he assumed the role of Engineering Manager, managing the technical swimlane dynamic and advising his engineering peers. Aman believes that the hands-on experience and teamwork skills he gained from EcoCAR was a great start to his career, saying that it helped him get his first internship at Daimler Trucks North America.  Following his time at Faimler, the then went on to complete an internship at Tesla. On top of the general experience he gained, Aman said his EcoCAR experience and internships helped him network with people in the industry, landing him in his current position at Waymo.

At Waymo, Aman is a Systems Test Engineer. During his research for graduate school and in EcoCAR, he worked on a variety of aspects in automotive engineering, which included some autonomy. However, he now works in a ‘fully autonomous” domain at Waymo. Aman is excited about these new learning opportunities. He especially enjoys the interdisciplinary aspects of his job as it is a mix of mechanical, electrical, and software engineering.

Aman is passionate about working in a field that is continuously changing and advancing. He enjoys that he has been able to apply his experience in autonomy from the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge to his current role in the industry.