Where Are They Now: Virginia Tech’s Brian Kelly

Over the years, many Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) graduates have gone on to do great things. The real-world experience gained from the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) of Virginia Tech is always helpful in new careers—none more relevant than 2012-2013 HEVT electrical subteam leader, Brian Kelly.

Kelly (first row, far left) with the HEVT team during the EcoCAR 2 - Year Two Competition

Kelly (first row, far left) with the HEVT team during the EcoCAR 2 – Year Two Competition

Since graduating, Brian has been working with Proterra as a mechanical engineer. Brian’s experience with HEVT has given him a range of skills to use in his work with Proterra.

“I am in charge of all of the mechanical subsystems of the high and low voltage modules of the bus,” said Brian. “EcoCAR helped me get a lot of electrical experience. I now know what conditions need to be met on both the electrical and mechanical side.”

Since Brian works on an all-electric bus as a mechanical engineer, he is a sort of hybrid himself. His co-workers jokingly call him a “mech-elec,” meaning mechanical electrical engineer. He is using a lot of CAD to work on designs for the newest version Proterra’s electric bus. He is in charge of all of the mechanical subsystems of the high and low voltage modules of the bus. If an electrical component needs a place to be mounted, he designs a way to integrate it.

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Kelly (right) talks to a student on behalf of Proterra during a Sponsor Social

Being a mechanical engineering major, he had very little knowledge of electrical systems before his work with HEVT. Brian leveraged his experience and networking from EcoCAR to land his current job with Proterra.
Brian said it best, “There is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be where I am today without my involvement with EcoCAR.”

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