Meet EcoCAR 2’s Female Engineering GRAs

This year, EcoCAR 2 is proud to have three female engineers in the Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) program.  Mengjia Cao, from Wayne State University, Amanda Hyde, from Ohio State University, and Laura Nash, from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, all hail from different places across the United States, and even the world, but are all tied together by their interest in engineering.

Mengjia Cao received her bachelor’s degree in traffic engineering from Nanjing University of Science and Technology in Nanjing, China.  After graduation, she began working in the automotive industry at Yanfeng Johnson Controls Seating, where she was involved in the engineering, testing, manufacturing and launching of car seating for several different car manufacturers, including those of headline sponsor, General Motors.  Now Mengjia is working towards her master’s degree in electric drive vehicle engineering at Wayne State University and is a mechanical team member on their EcoCAR 2 team.

Amanda Hyde is the Energy Storage System Lead for Ohio State University EcoCAR 2 team.  Before Amanda started her master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Ohio State University, she attended the University of Oklahoma, where she received her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.  During her time there, Amanda received hands-on engineering experience by working in the University of Oklahoma AME Machine Shop.  There, she aided students with design and fabrication for their class projects and design competitions, as well as designing and manufacturing equipment for faculty research projects.  During the summer months at the University of Oklahoma, Amanda interned at FMC Technologies in Houston, a global provider of technology solutions for the energy industry.  Amanda also was one of three female engineers to win the Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation Women in Engineering Award at the 2012 EcoCAR Competition.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Laura Nash jumped straight into the industry.  She began as a mechanical engineer at Belshaw Brothers, Inc., a bakery equipment manufacturer in the state of Washington.  There she improved upon existing equipment prototypes, provided support for product lines and evaluated designs for functionality, manufacturability and structural and thermal effectiveness. Now, after a few years in the industry, Laura has returned to Rose-Hulman to continue her education by working towards her master’s degree in mechanical engineering.   As part of the EcoCAR 2 team, Laura is the Energy Storage System Lead, where she will lead the assembly and fabrication of the ESS in the team vehicle.

The EcoCAR 2 organizers wish Laura, Mengjia and Amanda much success this year, as well as the other Year Two engineering GRAs! If you are a female engineering student attending the Society of Women Engineers conference in Houston this week, check out EcoCAR 2 in the General Motors booth – 827!

To see Amanda, Mengjia, and other female engineers in the EcoCAR 2 program, check out the Women Engineering the Future video below!