Student finds career path in real world competition

By johnebersold

Last week we shared how the EcoCAR 3 real-world competition helps students learn digital skills. This week we want to tell you more about one of those students. In an increasingly competitive world, students are constantly working to differentiate themselves and stand out to companies and recruiters. One student that has no problem standing out and separating himself from the rest of his peers.

Matthew Tidwell, a junior undergraduate student at Mississippi State University (MSU) from Huntsville, Alabama, is studying mechanical engineering at Mississippi State University. He spends countless hours in and out of class, developing design and manufacturing skills.

             Before Tidwell began his career at MSU he gained experience that laid the groundwork for his education. During Tidwell’s junior year of high school he got involved in Greenpower, an international, project-based STEM learning initiative to advance education in sustainable engineering and technology. Students work together during a year-long process to design, manufacture and race electric, one seat vehicles. Tidwell was one of the drivers for Team USA and competed in three racing events in England. He helped lay-up carbon fiber for the body of the car, and studied the batteries that powered the vehicle, as well as designed parts for the vehicle.

Huntsville Greenpower Team at the Goodwood Motor Circuit.jpgTidwell explained how Greenpower was the spark to his education, “Greenpower really opened my eyes to the whole manufacturing process, from design to fabrication, early on as a high school junior and was a proving ground for the career I thought I wanted to pursue.”

The Greenpower program impacts more than 10,000 students across the globe, More than a hobby or extracurricular activity, Greenpower lays the foundation for students’ education.

When MSU recruiters heard Tidwell talk about his experience with Greenpower they told him about the EcoCAR program. He was able to visit the MSU EcoCAR facility while on a visit to campus. Tidwell ended up enrolling at MSU and joining the EcoCAR team where he has continued his hands-on mechanical engineering experience by working to redesign a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro. Learn more about Tidwell’s work for MSU EcoCAR.

Greenpower gave Tidwell an interest in mechanical engineering and a career in the automotive industry. Tidwell is now impacting the automotive industry as an undergraduate at MSU and will graduate trained in the latest technologies and software.

Siemens is proud to sponsor real-world competitions like Greenpower and EcoCAR so that students like Tidwell can explore their passions in life and join the workforce ready for the real world.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at