Student Engineers Address Urban Mobility at PACE Annual Forum

Students use software from Siemens PLM in PACE automotive design competition

PACE or Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education links GM and software/hardware partners with select academic institutions worldwide to develop the automotive PLM team of the future.

Last week seven global teams from 32 universities met in Pasadena, Calif., at the Art Center College of Design for the PACE Annual Forum. Lorne Buchman is president of the Art Center and noted the school is akin to Julliard where students enter after an audition (portfolio) and then work with experts to improve their craft. He estimates four out of five cars have had an Art Center graduate involved in the design. So it was a fitting location to see student teams compete with their PACE projects.

The project is a Portable Assisted Mobility Device (PAMD) to address urban population growth and provide sustainable solutions for megacities. I’ll share more on the innovative student projects soon.

In the meantime, I’d like you to meet Vass Theodoracatos.

PACE universities use software from Siemens PLM to design future mobility solutions

Vass manages academic outreach at GM, including PACE and K-12 STEM programs. He is a civil, ocean and mechanical engineer.

What inspired him to pursue a STEM career?

When Vass was 12 years old, an earthquake hit his hometown in Greece. He was inspired by the structural engineer who came to inspect the damage to his neighbor’s home. He went on to study engineering from nearly every angle. Vass has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, a master’s degree in ocean engineering and a doctorate in mechanical engineer. He says all engineering is about making things better and while the end product may differ, the process is the same across these disciplines.

Here is a video interview with Vass at the PACE Annual Forum.

Stay tuned for more stories from the forum.

– Dora

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