This week’s Mentor Monday post features Bill Beggs, an engineering group manager at GM. Bill has been an Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition mentor for six years, first with Challenge X and now with the Mississippi State University EcoCAR team. Bill has visited MSU twice in the past year, once last fall and once prior to the Year Two competition, to offer advice and assist the students with their EREV. The team was extremely successful in Year Two and their efforts were both recognized and rewarded in San Diego with a first place win in the overall competition.
“It was great seeing all the teams’ efforts at the Year Two Finals in May,” said Bill. “I’m proud of my team for winning, but it’s also inspiring to see the work of the other teams, too.”
Bill is looking forward to traveling to Mississippi later this year to check in on the team’s status in the third and final year of EcoCAR.
“It makes a huge difference when you get face time with the students,” said Bill. “I love meeting individually with everyone on the team, seeing the vehicle first hand and talking through any issues they may have. You just can’t get that kind of interaction over the phone or through email.”
In Year Three, MSU is focused on vehicle refinement, which includes improving drive quality and optimizing fuel economy. The students are also looking to incorporate after-market consumer electronic features, such as touch screens, into the console of their car.
Bill has worked for GM for 10 years. Based in the Energy Center in Milford, MI, his current project focuses on the development and execution of more efficient fuel economies.
“Basically, our goal is to achieve the best possible fuel efficiency we can for consumers,” he said. “With all the new advances in vehicle technology, it’s an exciting field to be a part of right now.”