Not so long ago, Justin Kern was helping West Virginia University rebuild their FutureCar during the FutureCar Challenge. Since then, Justin has gone on to become an organizer and now sponsor of advanced vehicle technology competitions (AVTCs).

After graduating from West Virginia University, Justin was hired by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) to work on hybrid electric vehicle powertrains. In particular, he was able to perform chassis dyno testing of hybrid vehicles and supported the installation of the 4WD chassis dyno at ANL. During his time at ANL, he also acted as a technical coordinator for AVTCs and helped with the FutureTruck competition.

“College student competitions provided me with hands-on experience with advanced technology concepts that I would normally not have had a chance to experience,” he said.

Today, Justin works at Bosch, a sponsor of the EcoCAR competition. As a senior calibration engineer, he has become an expert in Motronic engine control software for gasoline direct injection engines.

“I work in the engine management systems group as a calibrator.  Our job is to take the engine control system and adjust parameters to ensure all the customer and legislated requirements are met.  I spend time in prototype vehicles working to get them functioning, and running tests to evaluate their performance in areas like drivability, emissions, cold starts and many other metrics.  And as a certified Motronic trainer, I teach classes for our customers.”

“From FutureCar to today’s EcoCAR Challenge, the changes in the student competitions parallel the industry advancements,” Justin said. “As a sponsor of the competition, it is nice to be able to provide this learning experience to future engineers, knowing how much I valued and gained from it.”