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Kristen G. Wahl

Director, Energy Justice and Workforce Readiness / Director, Sustainable Transportation Education and Partnerships (STEP) Department


Kristen Wahl is the Manager of the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) Program in Argonne National Laboratory’s Transportation and Power Systems division, where she has organized and managed more than 25 student automotive engineering competitions since 1997, including the most recent EcoCAR 3 series.  The competition provides the ultimate automotive engineering challenge for its participants – re-engineer a production vehicle to improve its energy efficiency and reduce its environmental impact, while balancing consumer demands for performance, safety and utility.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, in partnership with the automotive industry and more than two dozen government and industry leaders, this unique public/private partnership has provided the ultimate training ground for future automotive leaders since it was first initiated in 1988. To date, more than 20,000 students from 93 unique educational institutions have graduated from the program, taking with them hands-on experience solving real-world engineering challenges that prepare them to address our nation’s energy and transportation challenges in their future careers. As a result, AVTC graduates have been at the forefront of redefining the automobile over the last three decades.

Wahl has over 20 years of experience managing and executing the AVTC program and also serves as the chair of the program’s Executive Steering Committee and Faculty Advisory Board.