EcoCAR faculty advisors are the true champions for Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions at each of the 16 universities participating in EcoCAR 3. Without their loyal support and dedication to each and every team, the competition would not be possible.
EcoCAR faculty fulfill the crucial roles of professor, mentor, and colleague. They provide the proper balance between hands-on experience and classroom education. They instill the importance of competition through hard work and commitment to team work. They also put in tremendous effort to establish a successful infrastructure within their university for students to participate in EcoCAR. This includes everything from establishing automotive engineering curricula and EcoCAR-specific courses for their students, securing the necessary facilities, equipment and tools that are needed, working to recruit and retain the necessary faculty and student involvement and providing regular leadership and direction to the team to stay on track.
In addition to the time and effort Faculty Advisors provide to their EcoCAR teams, they still have to fulfill their roles as full time educators. The path to tenure is notoriously rigorous. In addition to teaching, professors must churn out research, publish in preeminent journals, present at national and international conferences, serve on professional committees and advice students at the graduate and undergraduate level.
Students weren’t the only ones who reached major milestones at the EcoCAR 3 Year 4 competition. Two professors, Dr. Andrew Nix and Dr. Abdel Mayyas, were both informed that they earned tenure at their respective universities on the first night of the competition.
“Finding out about my promotion to tenure here at competition with my colleagues all around me made it more special,” said Nix, faculty advisor for the West Virginia EcoCAR 3 team.
Meeting and getting to work with other smart, motivated professors through EcoCAR 3 was part of what made the program so meaningful. When Nix and Mayyas heard the good news, they had the chance to celebrate not only with peers, but with friends.
“EcoCAR 3 gave me the opportunity to go through a steep learning curve as a junior faculty member,” said Mayyas, lead faculty advisor for the Arizona State EcoCAR 3 team. “Though it is very demanding, it gave me the opportunity to interact with faculty and students from other universities, nationally and internationally, as well as a wide range of industry leaders.”
Congratulations to Dr. Nix and Dr. Mayyas for reaching this milestone in their careers! Thank you for your unwavering commitment to your teams, the AVTC program, and universities.