An OSU Outreach Coordinator’s Fast Intro to EcoCAR

Sarah Jadwin (left) with her OSU teammates

By Sarah Jadwin, Ohio State University Outreach Coordinator

Let me just give you a little background about myself and my past experience with advanced vehicle technologies. Oh, wait…I had none.

When I first joined the EcoCAR team last year, I had no idea what I was getting into. At my first meeting with the team leaders, the only thing they were going to teach me was exactly how the car worked. I can honestly say that a minute after they started talking, I was completely lost. I remember being so overwhelmed by all the information, and they were only teaching me the basics!  While it was a huge challenge at first to understand the different engineering aspects behind the car, I eventually got it (and I’m still working on perfecting it).

After working with the team for about four or five months, it was easy to see the differences between the business team and the engineering team. Spending time around these differences and working through them first-hand made me realize something: We had to bridge the gap. My solution to this problem was an Engineering Sciences Minor. That’s right, the girl who knew nothing about cars and rarely took science classes, just declared an engineering minor!

This winter quarter, I started my first engineering classes. For me, it has truly been an eye-opener. I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at objects, situations and even our own EcoCAR vehicle, in a different way.  While this is a field that I know very little about, I am lucky that I can have a team of 40 engineers that will help me along the way!