As a former Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) student, Hung Nguyen felt more than prepared when entering his first job as a CEE Engineer with General Motors Canada. Serving as a mechanical team member in ChallengeX and the mechanical team lead in EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge for the University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team, Hung walked away with a set of skills he didn’t have prior to the competitions – time management, project management and being able to manage a small team.
“A lot of the stuff that I did for the Waterloo team translated directly into my job,” said Hung.
Waterloo’s AVTC team intrigued Hung when he would walk by the garage almost every day and see students working on vehicles. “I found that these competitions were very interesting by the fact that you could design and build something from start to finish,” he said.
After graduating from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering, Hung was hired by GM Canada. He has held his position ever since. “What excites me about my job is I’m critical to the review and virtual validation of cars before they hit production.”
Hung said that AVTCs have impacted not only his career path, but his life as well.
“AVTCs gave me the opportunity to participate in a world of automotive engineering that I otherwise wouldn’t have had. To any student that is going through undergrad and thought, ‘Hey, is this all engineering is?’ They should look for something extracurricular like this where they can have ownership for a project.”
Looking back on his time with UWAFT, Hung’s most memorable moment took place in the garage with his teammates, trying to solve difficulties they were having with the vehicle. “You find out the answer, then you implement it and it works and the car starts to move. That’s honestly one of the best feelings you can have.”