The University of Tennessee, Knoxville has participated in several advanced vehicle technologies competitions, including Challenge X. Amanda Womac, the current executive director of the Hearing and Speech Foundation in Knoxville, was the outreach coordinator for the UT Challenge X Team.
As Outreach Coordinator, Womac was responsible for all media relations and speaking engagements for the team. This helped Womac to not only develop professional contacts, but sharpened her ability to speak publicly about technical issues.
Womac says that her experience in the competition has spilled over into her current position as adjunct faculty at Lincoln Memorial University. In addition to Womac’s current position she also teaches a public speaking course at LMU.
Her experience as outreach coordinator for the UT Challenge X Team was a great addition to her flourishing career as a science journalist.
When Womac was approached to become the outreach coordinator, she was already writing articles about engineering for her position in the Office of Engineering Communications, so it was a natural fit. In addition, she drove a bio-fueled Mercedes, which gave her a personal connection to alternative fuels.
The experience of Challenge X also helped strengthen Amanda’s technical writing skills, which in turn helped her obtain her current career.
Womac said, “I first started working at the Hearing and Speech Foundation as a technical writer for the Research and Development Program shortly after the competition ended. I became executive director a year later because of my organization and communication skills.”
The Challenge X experience is one that Womac will never forget. It not only introduced her to the world of alternative fuels, but gave her hope in the future of improved vehicle technology.