Written by: Sabreena Lauzon
In June 2019, two dedicated members of the University of Washington EcoCAR team graduated with bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering. Thaniel “Than” Schrimshire and Katerina “Kat” Mikhaylyuta were both involved in EcoCAR 3 and Year 1 of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge.
Kat was on the team for three years, starting in her sophomore year. Likewise, she started on the CSMS team. After a year, she became a PCM lead. Finally, in her last year at UW EcoCAR, she was the System Safety Manager.
When Than was a member of the team, he dedicated his time to focusing on controller integration within the vehicle, which consisted of validating and debugging systems, writing controller code, and testing the vehicle as a whole. When we caught up with him, he spoke fondly of his time in EcoCAR.
“EcoCAR was an excellent experience and was a major part of my time as an undergrad,” Than said. “I really appreciated that EcoCAR provided an opportunity to help connect with other engineers and to learn together, as well as practice our engineering skills in a very hands-on environment.”
Both Than and Kat currently work at GM as a Controller Software Engineer and an Algorithm Design and Development Engineer, respectively. They are located at the General Motors Milford Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan.
Although their experiences at EcoCAR greatly contributed to their current career paths, both Than and Kat were originally introduced to General Motors through summer internships.
In Than’s Case, he acted as a Cyber Security Intern at GM in his sophomore year and took up an offer to return the following year as a Controller Integration Engineering Intern. Eventually, Than was asked to return full-time, immediately after his graduation.
Kat’s case is similar, where she also worked at GM in the summer as a Controller Integration Engineering Intern. Like Than, Kat then received an offer to work full-time after graduating.
Than and Kat have now been employed at General Motors for several months, and each emphasized that being in EcoCAR greatly prepared them for their new careers.
“Many of the tools I work with and things I need to do for my job are things I first learned about as a member of the EcoCAR team, such as MATLAB Simulink and safety documents,” said Than. “Additionally, EcoCAR follows a similar structure to the design and development cycle of a vehicle, so it’s been helpful knowing that process.”
“All the vehicle development practices we used I am using every day in my work,” Kat added. “I am very fortunate to be able to continue to work on electrification controls so much of what I learned in my roles on the controls team has been a direct translation.”
We wish both Than and Kat the best of luck at General Motors and are proud to have them as an example for what UW EcoCAR alumni can achieve after graduation.