Where Are They Now: Mississippi State University’s Michael Barr

Michael Barr

Michael Barr

Michael Barr, a Mississippi State ChallengeX and EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge alum, is now a Systems Engineer at AVL Powertrain Engineering. He first got involved with Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTCs) in 2007 during Year 3 of ChallengeX and continued through 2011 with Year 3 of EcoCAR. Michael was involved with MSU’s mechanical group and served as Mechanical/Powertrain Group Leader during his time with the team.

While on the team, Michael realized that working on advanced vehicles was what he wanted to do with his life.

“After I got involved with ChallengeX I knew this is what I wanted to do,” Michael said. He now serves many different roles within his profession, including functional integration of mechanical, electrical, thermodynamic, and energy storage systems within hybrid and electrical vehicle applications. Michael primarily works on the design, build, and testing of HV batteries, but is also doing controls work on vehicle applications.

Michael’s experience with AVTCs was a building block for his successful career. The competitions sparked his interest and evolved into something that he wanted to spend the rest of his life doing.

“I love cars, and I wanted to work in the automotive industry. I knew the AVTC program could help get me there and that’s why I got involved.  I loved the entire experience (except maybe a few of the all-nighters!) and what I do now at AVL is very similar to everything that I did in ChallengeX and EcoCAR.  I love what I do and wouldn’t change anything.”

Michael learned a lot from his experiences with AVTCs, but one piece of advice that sticks with him to this day is to have a good work ethic.

“If you work hard and have dedication you can do anything. Get involved, work hard, and do your best!”