The fall ECE Expeditions trip took 25 students to the General Motors Tech Center in Warren, MI, for an insider’s look into what an ECE alum might be doing in the high-tech world of modern transportation.
The students interacted with multiple EE/CE engineers throughout the day. GM highlighted a number of ongoing projects included a trailering app, radar and lidar sensor systems on autonomous vehicles, on-star technology, and various antenna technologies. They emphasized the importance of systems engineering and the need for software and hardware to work together.
It seems like much of the next-generation technology that GM plans to develop will require a lot of effort from electrical engineers.Brian Raeker, an ECE PhD student
“I was surprised at how GM seems to be transitioning to a more electrical engineering focused company, which was different from my impression before going on the trip,” said Brian Raeker, a PhD student in ECE. “It seems like much of the next-generation technology that GM plans to develop will require a lot of effort from electrical engineers.”
GM also talked about the complexity of ethical considerations, such as distracted driver concerns, as well as the safety and legal requirements of their work. GM’s top priority is security, and they constantly weigh what they can do versus what they should do to best serve the customer.
Students had a chance to explore iHub, an innovative safe space for employees to tackle problems and come up with new products and ideas to enhance and continue GM’s mission.
The visit wrapped up with a Q&A session, which featured two University of Michigan alumni panelists.
ECE Expeditions were created as a tool to showcase the variety of opportunities available to EE/CE alumni. Each visit provides a “behind the scenes” look of both large and small companies, including the day-to-day tasks and types of projects and research taking place. The experience also highlights the culture of the company and what makes the company unique.
Date: October 16, 2018
Location: Warren, MI
Companies visiting: GM