Today’s EcoCAR Engineers Making a Positive Impact on Tomorrow’s Female Engineers

Since she was a young girl, Beth Bezaire has had a fascination with science and the way things work. She attended summer camps lead by female engineers, took additional courses at a math, science, and technology center during high school, and focused her undergraduate work on mechanical engineering. She has held internships in Powertrain Development at Chrysler and General Motors, mentored a female high school student interested in engineering, and has worked on nearly every aspect of Ohio State’s EcoCAR.

While working with the Ohio State team, Beth has demonstrated leadership, technical expertise, and diversity. It only seems fitting that at the EcoCAR Year Two Finals she was awarded the Women in the Winner’s Circle Women in Engineering Award, presented by Lyn St. James, a former Indy 500 racer, on behalf of the Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation.

“The award, which is sponsored by the Foundation that Lyn St. James established, recognizes the benefits of diversity in the automotive industry,” said Cindy Svestka, Executive Technical Assistant in Powertrain / Vehicle Integration at General Motors. “By recognizing several of the outstanding women who participate in the EcoCAR competition each year, we have the opportunity to show the importance of having women participate in the design, development, testing, and execution of automotive programs.”

Beth Bezaire receiving the Women in the Winning Circle Foundation Award at the EcoCAR Year Two Finals

In the past year, Beth showcased the importance of vehicle development for the Ohio State team. As a co-team leader, she was a member of the Engine team, focusing on exhaust aftertreatment, emissions control, and integration of the fuel system. She also assisted in battery and mechanical integration, where she worked on fabrication of the fiberglass cover for the rear electric machine (REM) and procuring cooling plates and the heat exchanger for the team’s energy storage system.

“Her desire to continually learn about the technology being applied to her team’s vehicle is exceptional,” said Svestka. “When she doesn’t know something, she finds out where to go to learn about it and then takes it on until she not only understands it but can also teach it to others.”

Beth’s technical experience and teamwork is impressive, but it’s her dedication to women in the field that is truly inspiring.

“It’s important to promote women in engineering for two main reasons,” said Beth. “First, we need to encourage the women that are pursuing engineering and foster fellowship among us so we develop support and camaraderie. Second, we need to promote science and engineering to younger students, both female and male, to give them an understanding of what engineering is and why it’s fun so they will consider it as a future career. This is what the Women in Engineering Award is about.”

With one year left on the Ohio State team, Beth plans to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by EcoCAR and wants an impact on the future of female engineering.

“I think great engineers are people that take initiative. They are inquisitive, keep asking questions, and never stop learning,” said Beth. “That is what I hope to achieve.”

Contributed by Dana Bubonovich, Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition Intern at Argonne National Laboratory

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