Where Are They Now: AVTC Grad Launches Company to Design and Build Powertrains

Five years ago, Matt Stevens was sitting in a classroom learning about electrochemistry and control theory. Matt participated in Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainable Mobility, a Department of Energy Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC), throughout his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Waterloo. Matt’s experience in Challenge X led him to his current position, helping clients design and build powertrains and technology that will help drive tomorrow’s vehicles.  

Matt served as a team leader for the University of Waterloo’s Alternative Fuels Team (UWAFT) in Challenge X, which re-engineered a production Chevy Equinox into a hybrid fuel cell vehicle.  With funding and support from Natural Resources Canada, Matt and his team developed the first dedicated fuel cell vehicle in AVTC history to participate in every competition event! The project was the foundation for his research, which earned Matt a PhD in chemical engineering with a focus on hybrid powertrain design and battery degradation.

The interdisciplinary nature of the AVTC program inspired Matt to launch CrossChasm Technologies with Chris Mendes, another AVTC graduate. The CrossChasm team expanded and added a third AVTC graduate, Jen Bauman. 

Applying new technologies to reduce the cost of developing hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles; Matt, Chris and Jen work with off-road, light-duty and heavy-duty vehicle clients.  The CrossChasm team also works with fleets, policy makers, and NGO’s to enable the adoption of higher efficiency powertrains.  The interdisciplinary nature of AVTC was instrumental in developing the soft skills demanded by CrossChasm’s clients.

Matt is currently an “on-call” resource for the Waterloo team and is excited to see what the graduates of EcoCAR will turn out this year!

Matt Stevens (middle) poses with GM and Department of Energy executives during Challenge X