Distinguished Lecture

Evolution of a Career, Computers, and Cars: 40 Years of Change

Andrew FarahChief Technology Architect for Autonomous VehiclesGeneral Motors

There have been significant changes in the automotive electronics landscape in the last 40 years, from stand-alone micro-controllers to highly distributed networked ecosystems. Not only has system complexity increased dramatically, but the way that vehicle manufacturers work with electronics suppliers, and the process to develop and introduce new systems and features into the consumer marketplace have both also evolved. Nowhere are these changes more evident than as companies move quickly to capitalize on the disruptive opportunities of autonomous vehicles. In this talk, I will share my impressions on these changes and what forces are shaping them, as seen through the lens of my career and my education at the University.
ECE alumnus Andrew Farah (BSE CE 1982; MSE Electrical Science 1984) is currently Chief Technology Architect for Autonomous Vehicles at General Motors. He started his General Motors career in 1984 as a Product Engineer in the Electrical/Electronics Group with the Buick Motor Division in Flint, Michigan. He has also worked for Johnson Controls in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as Manager Electrical/Electronic Vehicle Systems Engineering for their Battery Division.

Returning to GM, he subsequently held several leadership positions in the Product Development and Program Management organizations, including Engineering Group Manager of Vehicle Propulsion Engineering for the EV1 Electric Vehicle. In 2001, he was named GMNA Director Electrical Development & Validation, and later was responsible for all GM Europe Aftersales Engineering activities as GME Director Aftersales Engineering, located in Rüsselsheim, Germany. In 2007, he was named Vehicle Chief Engineer (VCE) for the Chevrolet Volt.

Farah is the recipient of the 2017 ECE Alumni Merit Award.

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Electrical and Computer Engineering