The Graduate Specialization in Automotive Systems and Mobility: A Student’s Perspective

Posted: March 5, 2020

The Ohio State College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is offering a new way for MS and PhD students to acquire specialized training in their fields.

The Graduate Specialization in Automotive Systems and Mobility (GS-ASM) provides a unique opportunity for students to acquire unique skills and real-world experience in their area of interest, which will enhance their degree with a focus on automotive systems and smart mobility.

“As a new graduate student, you don’t really know what courses to take, the specialization allows you take courses which are structured in a cohesive manner,” said Simon Trask who completed the program in 2019. “This kind of structure offers something to say, ‘these are the courses that you should take to help you excel in industry’. I may not have taken a course in diagnostics otherwise. The courses in this specialization have really helped me open doors in my career and in my network.”

Trask received master’s degrees in both mechanical and electrical engineering and was a team lead for EcoCAR 3 and EcoCAR Mobility Challenge at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) with a research focus on systems engineering. While working at CAR, Trask decided to pursue the GS-ASM program. He is now a TRACK Engineer focusing on Hybrid and Battery-Electric Vehicle Controls at General Motors.

Students participating in the GS-ASM program are required to regularly attend seminars that focus on cutting-edge research and development in the broad area of automotive systems and transportation. These seminars feature a range of speakers and themes, and industry experts are often invited to share their insight with students. Generally, seminars focus on current work in automotive-related research, conveyed from the perspectives of practicing automotive engineers and managers.

”The seminars allow you to learn from other researchers, industry professionals and students, learn strategies that aren’t field specific, and learn ideas that can go from aerospace to automotive,” Trask said. “Most innovations that come from either academics or industry have already been done somewhere else, it’s just a matter of creating that bridge to bring that information into your field or into your area of discipline and these seminars really offer that opportunity.”

The GS-ASM requirements serve to enhance the skills and knowledge that graduate engineers will apply to complex automotive problems in the future. By their program’s completion, students will better understand the perspectives, capabilities and approaches of other engineering disciplines, as well as their relevance to automotive systems.


simon trask bio

“The GS-ASM is designed to balance education, research and training with a strong focus on today’s and tomorrow’s challenges in the field of advanced mobility,” said Professor Marcello Canova who oversees the program. “Since the program was re-introduced and updated less than a year ago, 12 MS and PhD students have already completed this specialization and, like Simon, have started their careers in the automotive industry.”

To learn more about the specialization, visit the GS-ASM webpage.

Written by Muhammed Al Refai, CAR writing intern