Get motivated to find your dream job at Continental through this inspiring story of how an autonomous driving engineer landed his.
Continental’s Noah Gedrimas doesn’t take no for an answer. From his relentless quest to get hired at Continental to his love for the challenges of highly complicated projects like autonomous vehicles, the Technical Project Lead is always in search of a solution.
My vehicle dynamics professor at Oakland University, where I got my master’s degree in mechanical engineering, was a tire engineer at Continental.
He took our class on a tour at Continental. I was working in the automotive industry for another company nearby, but I was always interested in autonomous vehicles. During the tour, I met some of the engineers working on highway autonomy. I was so shocked that Continental was working on autonomous cars so close to where I was working. Our class carpooled that day and was only scheduled to be there for 40 minutes, but I made everyone stay for 90 minutes while I asked questions.
I wanted to work at Continental.
I kept sending email after email to managers here who were working on the technology. It went on for over a year. I even changed my masters focus so that it would better fit what Continental was doing. After about 17 or 18 emails, I finally got hired. I’m a big believer you aren’t done applying for a job until they say yes.
I work on a number of autonomous vehicle projects, including our Continental Urban Mobility Experience (CUbE).
The CUbE is an electric four-wheel autonomous vehicle used primarily for first- and last-mile transportation. Cities are getting more congested and a big challenge is how people get to their final destination in a city or on a college campus. CUbE is Continental’s solution.
I think autonomous driving is perhaps the biggest challenge that faces our generation of engineers.
Autonomous driving can have a major impact on quality of life around the world. I’ve always been attracted to big challenges and I love to learn new things, so with autonomous driving there’s always something new. It’s never been done, so it’s exciting and that’s what drew me to it. It’s an open horizon. I also like that it involves multi-disciplined projects. We have electrical, safety, mechanical and computer engineers and many other professionals– everyone has to work together to move forward.
The CUbE platform involves a very broad range of technologies, which means the team has to be very adaptable.
Look at the CUbE system like a chain of components: everything from the braking systems to the seat material to the radar sensors that detect objects in the road is a link in a long chain. Depending on the level of granularity, you end up with a chain that can be hundreds of links long. All these links need to be monitored so faults and errors always lead to safe outcomes. This takes an immense amount of analysis and systems engineering to analyze and validate.
There was a facet of the CUbE project a couple years ago that was really special.
We had what we called “global integration week,” where we had all of the engineers who are working on CUbE technology in the U.S., Germany and Japan go to their respective test tracks and test the technology. We’d work 8-10 hours a day at each location, but because of the time zones we could basically work in a continuous cycle. Germany would test all day, then tell us what they were still trying to figure out and we’d focus on that. Then we’d work our shift and tell Japan, and so on. It was really powerful.
Working for Continental really motivates me.
Some people are passionate about music, sports or art, I like those things too but my passion is engineering and good design. I have a workshop at home where I build and fix things that interest me. Before Continental, this was where I pursued most of my passion. But, because of Continental and the CUbE project, I get to work on what interests me all the time.
This article was written by our employee.