Since 1988, the U.S. Department of Energy has sponsored Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTCs) in partnership with the North American automotive industry. Managed by Argonne National Laboratory, AVTCs provide an unparalleled educational experience and serve as a real-world training ground for North America’s future engineers.
This public/private partnership harnesses the resources of government and industry to empower the next generation of engineers and business leaders to help address the toughest mobility challenges facing our nation, while building a clean energy workforce that reflects the diversity of North America.
More than 27,000 students from 93 educational institutions across North America have participated, creating a talent pipeline and clean mobility workforce that has shaped new energy efficient mobility solutions for three decades.
More than 27,000 students from more than 93 educational institutions in North America have participated in an Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition. Since the start of AVTCs, graduates have had the opportunity to complete valuable internships during their academic career and have gone on to work full-time in the automotive industry. The real-world, hands-on knowledge students receive in AVTCs vastly enhances their career opportunities and provides experiences that other student competitions do not.
Each year, winning teams share more than two dozen awards across numerous engineering, outreach and sponsor-related categories, totaling more than $100,000 in industry-provided prize money.
However, the most highly-valued prize may be the employment and collaboration and networking opportunities with the sponsors that the program provides. While AVTC are much like a first job in the industry, many students graduate with stronger prospects for a real one, regardless of how their vehicle placed.
Here’s what former EcoCAR/AVTC participants have to say about the program.
F-35 Communication Specialist, Lockheed Martin
University of Alabama
“My experience with EcoCAR was unique because it gave me hands-on media and overall communications experience. I had the opportunity as a college student to reach out to the media, plan events and develop and execute integrated communications plans, so I was learning through experience while I was still in college.”
Technical Lead, Marcom University Programs, NXP
Mississippi State University
“Being a part of EcoCAR has been an amazing experience. The networking opportunities through EcoCAR are incredible. Students are able to collaborate with engineers from top companies and make relationships with them which can spark a student’s career path. If there are any students that are considering joining their university’s EcoCAR team, I highly recommend doing so! Even if you’re an undergrad with a heavy workload, just going to your team’s EcoCAR meetings and soaking up information and knowledge is super beneficial!”
Car, Performance and Motorsports Communications General Motors
Ohio State University
“I always loved cars, and so for me, working for GM certainly was a goal and was something I realized was achievable once I started working on the EcoCAR team.”
Automated Driving Systems Safety Engineer, General Motors
“EcoCAR is very valuable to the student experience, getting to work with amazing people towards a real technical project that is one of a kind at our university.”
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
“EcoCAR provided a well-rounded, multidisciplinary experience that provided me insight not only to my engineering skills, but to the skills that one can only attain by doing, how to lead and how to follow. The skills I have gained from participating in EcoCAR for the past 4.5 years enhanced my education ten-fold, and is what equipped me to take on numerous internships including my current one as a flight controller for the International Space Station, continuing to serve as the foundation to my career for time to come.”
“Before joining EcoCAR, I didn’t even know how a car worked, let alone the complexities of hybrid and autonomous vehicle technology. Now, I’m using tools and components at the industry’s cutting edge and leading a team of engineers in integrating a hybrid and level 2 autonomous vehicle. I’ve gotten a glimpse into the exciting future of mobility and for that I have EcoCAR to thank!”