This week’s Mentor Monday post features two EcoCAR mentors: Amanda Kalhous, the GM mentor for the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), and Paul Shoytush, the GM mentor for Penn State.

Amanda is an engineering specialist in infotainment/telematics at General Motors of Canada’s Regional Engineering Centre. She joined the GM team in 2005 and has been working on Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTC) since 2008 – the year the EcoCAR competition started. 

GM mentor, Amanda Kalhous, and UOIT controls team lead, Hugo Provencher, reviewing vehicle error messages

“Right now, my team is working on the finishing touches of their lithium-polymer battery pack,” said Amanda. “They recently solved an issue with their motor that was limiting their torque output. I’m looking forward to seeing it all come together at competition.”

The team’s enthusiasm reminds her of why she loves being an engineer. “The best part of working with the UOIT team is getting to know the students and to see how bright the future of automotive engineers will be,” said Amanda. “It’s invigorating.”

Paul Shoytush, a senior project engineer for GM, is the EcoCAR mentor for his alma mater, Penn State. Paul recently visited campus to help the team get their 1.3 Liter diesel engine running, a key step in rebuilding the EcoCAR.

GM mentor, Paul Shoytush, working on control algorithms in Penn State's research lab

“The best part of being a mentor is watching the students succeed and helping them in the process,” said Paul. “It really is amazing to see the students working as hard as they do. All of their hard work will pay off in Yuma.”

“Working with Paul over the last few years has been incredible,” said Penn State faculty advisor, Gary Neal. “Besides the fact he is a Penn State alum, Paul has always put in that extra effort to help out the team. That is what the Advanced Vehicle Team needs – a mentor who is always there and appreciates what they do.”