Scholarships encourage student engineers to build careers in Michigan’s mobility industry

March 29, 2024
A young black man in dark pants and a gray shirt stands in front of a Hummer SUV, made by General Motors, with his arms open.

Through the Michigander Scholars Program, a group of Michigan universities are working together to offer scholarships to student engineers who aspire to work in transportation and mobility. In addition to U-M, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Wayne State University and Kettering University are part of the effort, led by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, to help build the state’s mobility talent pipeline.

Students selected for scholarships received $5,000 for taking accepting an internship with a participating company or $10,000 for taking a full-time position. Employers working with the scholars program include BorgWarner, Bosch, Denso, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, LG Energy Solution, Magna, Mahle, MOBIS, Nissan, One Next Energy, Shape Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., Ultium Cells and ZF Group.

Mcity Assistant Director Vicki Waters, who manages U-M’s participation in the program, says the Michigander Scholarship Program helps everybody involved— students, participating companies and the state of Michigan.

“It’s an opportunity for engineering students to learn about the future mobility technology space, connect with participating companies and earn a scholarship for taking a position with one of them,” Waters says. “It also helps the companies identify potential employees, and positions the state to retain more talent in Michigan.”

To date, 41 U-M students have won Michigander Scholarships. Meet a few of them.

Bhumanyu Singh

A young man with dark hair and brown skin from India takes a selfie in front of a vehicle.

Bhumanyu Singh, a native of India now working as an intern at Bosch through the Michigander Scholarship Program, earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and brings a global perspective to U-M where they are pursuing a master’s in Automotive Engineering. The state of Michigan’s automotive heritage blends perfectly with Bhumanyu’s passion for motorsports, leading them to Ann Arbor, to pursue their professional dream of defining the automobiles of the future. “There’s just something special about Michigan’s legacy in the automotive world,” Singh says, “which can’t be replicated elsewhere.”

Rebecca Lara

Rebecca Lara, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in economics at the University of Michigan, spends the majority of her time as the Business Lead managing logistics on the University of Michigan Supermileage Team, which builds and competes fuel-efficient vehicles at the annual Shell Eco-Marathon, and will be heading to competition soon. Rebecca is part of the Mechanical Engineering Honors Society and works as a docent at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. A native Californian, Rebecca was drawn to U of M due to its connections and gateways to many different engineering industries. This summer, she’ll start her second rotation at the Nissan Technical Center North America, focusing on user experience research and testing and hopes to pursue a career in the EV sector. “The EV space is advancing quickly,” Lara says. “I hope to be an integral part in shaping it and leading it to success.”

Lamar King

Lamar King accepted a Summer 2024 internship with GM earning a $5,000 scholarship. Lamar is a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. While Chicago is home for Lamar, U-M and the state of Michigan offer tremendous opportunities for him to pursue his love of cars and racing, and to be a part of the fast paced evolution of both. Once a young child dreaming big with Legos who grew up to love HS Robotics, Lamar is now a people-first engineer embracing his skills to, in his words, “create or improve things that would improve people’s quality of life.”

Christian Nunez

Young white man crouches next to a red sportscar

Christian Nunez accepted an electrical engineering position with Ford, earning a $10,000 scholarship as a Michigander Scholar. The University of Michigan College of Engineering is about people-first engineering, and Christian is no exception. Motivated by his engineering father, Christian wants to be a mechanical engineer working for the common good in the automotive industry specifically because of its impact on so many lives. “The unique approaches and solutions by engineers to create a better world and engineer better products is tremendous and exciting,” Christian says.

Sarah Wojtowicz

Sarah Wojtowicz accepted a post-graduate position with General Motors, receiving a $10,000 Michigander Scholarship. Sarah’s passion and pride for Michigan, for its automotive industry, and for the opportunity to work for GM CEO Mary Barra, is infectious. It is easy to forget what it means to women working in still typically male-dominated fields including science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to have such an inspirational role model at the helm of one of Detroit’s Big Three automakers. Sarah is also passionate about the transformative potential of technology and its ability to serve as a catalyst for positive change. “(I’m) driven by the desire to be a part of this change,” she says, “contributing to a future where technology plays a vital role in creating a better world.”

Akshaya Naapa Ramesh

Akshaya Naapa Ramesh earned her Michigander Scholarship by joining the GM team! Akshaya is pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering to learn about the interactions between hardware and software systems in the development of smart safety technologies. She is also a member of the Michigan Mars Rover – Student Project Team where she designs and prints circuit boards that distribute voltages to the rover. “Seeing a real-life implementation of EV-charging roadways blows my mind,” Akshaya says, “and excites me about the technologies being developed in the EV/mobility space.”

A woman with shoulder-length dark hair, dark eyes and brown skin is smiling. She's standing in front of a window with a plaid valance.