Employee Spotlight – Remy Audel

2019-01-11


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Meet Remy Audel, Controls and Diagnostics Development Engineer at our Canadian Technical Centre Markham Campus.

1) How long have you been at GM and what is your current role?

I’ve been at GM for two years now, since January 2017. (Hard to believe, time flies!)

I’m a Controls and Diagnostics Development Engineer in our Vehicle Dynamics team within Embedded Controls and Software. That’s a lot of words, but what my role really comes down to is conceiving, designing and testing software algorithms for diagnostics and controls concerning four-wheel drive systems across our vehicles.

2) What brought you to GM?

In 2016 I participated in a GM-sponsored mobility conference in Cincinnati, USA where I led a team from McMaster University that presented a novel reconfigurable vehicle design to GM and other partners. That’s where I met Regan Dixon, Engineering Manager and Brian Tossan, Director, Canadian Technical Centre at GM Canada. After a conversation about all the exciting Software work that was in the making at GM Canada, I was immediately interested. I guess GM liked a thing or two about my engineering skills, so a little while later, here I am!

3)  What is the best part about your job?

The people. I work with the best team in the business, and we continually learn and grow as engineers in a fantastic environment. I mean what I say when I tell you that every engineer I’ve had the pleasure of working with across the company genuinely cares about making the best possible quality product for our customers.

I’ve worked with colleagues at GM Holden in Australia, GM Brazil in Sao Paolo, and with teams in Korea and Germany; it’s the same collaborative and can-do attitude that makes us a world-class company.

Other than that? Driving! I’m a car guy, and everyone who knows me knows it. I love getting to test software of my own conception and design in actual vehicles, and improving it by doing so.

4)  How has GM helped you grow?

Aside from the technical engineering skills, I feel the opportunities GM has brought forth to better understand how my work impacts customers has been key to making me a better engineer. Moreover, with so many people being brought into the company with the growth in Software Engineering at our Canadian Technical Centre, it’s important to know how to be a mentor, and how to be a mentee!

With such a diverse skillset in our team, I learn new things from my peers on a daily basis, and I am always ready to share my knowledge in return.

5)  What is the coolest thing that you’ve accomplished since being at GM?

That’s an easy one. It was being a part of the SYNAPSE competition!

SYNAPSE is an annual innovation incubator in which GM employees solve bold challenges related to creating the future of mobility. Employees empathize with customers to understand their true needs, frame up the problem, and then prototype and test potential solutions.

Our team here at GM Canada spent the first half of 2018 talking to new and future electric vehicle customers, developing ideas related to electric vehicle ownership, and building experiences to prototype with test users. As the first team from GM Canada to participate, we succeeded in making it to the final round and got the opportunity to present our idea to executive leaders down at the GM Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. Getting to pitch our innovation to many strategic decision makers and members of the senior leadership team was an awesome experience! I am so excited to see where my career goes from here and to keep working on projects that directly affect the future of mobility.

6)  What’s your favourite GM vehicle?

On any given day of the week, I’ll give you a different answer!

Out of our current lineup? It’s definitely the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. I love hearing how a couple of our engineers took the thing to the Nürburgring in Germany and smashed the time set by a Ferrari 488 GTB!

Historically? That’s a tougher one. The 1990 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 with the legendary DOHC 5.7L V8 we designed with Lotus…or the elegant 1930 Cadillac V-16 – that car is all class!

Racing-wise? It’s the 2001 Cadillac Northstar LMP01 prototype. I still have a poster of it at home somewhere…

If I had to pick one though… the GM EV-1. People are talking about charging infrastructure and batteries more than ever…we were doing that 25 years ago! It shows that this company can and will lead the industry forward to Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions, and Zero Congestion.

7)  If you could drive to one place where would it be?

Fortunately, I already have: La Grande Corniche overlooking the Côte d’Azur on the French Riviera. From Nice to Monaco…Greatest drive of my life!

Next stop: Snaefell, Isle of Man. Or maybe the Stelvio Pass…or the Stuart Highway in Australia.

8)  What do you do on your free time?

Cooking, travelling, very occasional gaming, and go karting! I also play squash, badminton and I boulder (badly). I do like to read about the fast-paced auto industry news as well.

9)  What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

I love playing violin! Yes, engineers have ‘artsie’ sides too!

10)  If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

Race, of course!

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