Part of a Winning Team

While I was writing my Thesis in Graduate School, I had the privilege of being involved with a global and collaborative project, the General Motors (GM) Sustainable Urban Transportation (SUT) Design Project. The SUT design challenge was a inter-disciplinary engineering project that challenged my problem solving and critical thinking skills. I am proud to be part of the Winning Team that Designed the Agriyah Vehicle set to be put into production by GM in 2025.  


GM Sustainable Urban Transportation Design Project

Ntengwa Mukosa, Director of STEM Programs at Ascension Works during his work at the General Motors (GM) Sustainable Urban Transportation (SUT) Design Project.


The Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering design challenge was developed to introduce graduate engineers to real world problem solving by virtue of a design competition. I was part of a design team that included groups from, Mexico, 2 from India,  Michigan USA and New Mexico USA.  I was put in charge of the ergonomics team that was tasked with designing an ergonomic interior that was based in New Mexico.

With the help of my team, we were able to develop a methodology for car interior design that included various human factor and safety measures incorporated in our design.  The team powered through the early stages of the design process. We were fortunate in considering future processes while constructing a working prototype. After taking into account the manufacturability, bill of materials, time to assemble, maintenance and replaceability the team identified a lot of challenges with the initial design of the vehicle. Either the manufacturing costs were too high or the shapes & designs of certain parts could not be made in an assembly line or replacing the assembled pieces was not convenient for end users. This was a lot to digest for my first experience outside the classroom and safety of a one hour lab.

Real world experience is vital for tomorrow innovators, because the theory and the application of theory are vastly different yet co-dependant. Education is a 2 step process that consists of attaining knowledge and applying the knowledge learnt for the betterment of humankind. Imagine providing a solution to a real world problem as being a puzzle you’re trying to solve. The scientific knowledge base makes up the pieces of the puzzle and the application of that knowledge is the sequence in which the pieces to the puzzle are joined together.  

To help tackle this our DTI curriculum introduces scientific concepts where  students are self-guided through our creative design scenarios. Students are given real world problems to solve. This hands-on program allows tomorrow’s scientists and engineers to get a complete education by also learning how to apply their knowledge base and design skills in fun interactive lab exercises.

DTI students are a part of a winning team! They have the opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss solutions to a problem while going through a fun, scientific exploration. At the core of  the DTI program, we are creating a culture of critical thinkers and problem solvers that have the mindset to help solve real world problems. The skills young innovators learn in the DTI program provide them with an education for life. Learn more about the program. Help us teach the world how to fish.

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