Employee Spotlight – Richard Hamilton

2018-11-06


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Meet Richard Hamilton, Controls Integration Engineer on our Active Safety team 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 since July of 2018, and I am a Controls Integration Engineer.

2)  What brought you to GM?

I became interested in autonomous capable vehicles from the very start of my engineering degree at McMaster University. The concept of self-driving cars amazed me, and knowing that I could contribute in some way became a dream. In school, I joined the McMaster Engineering EcoCAR3 Team, a four-year competition in which undergraduate and graduate students work together to convert a 2016 Camaro into a hybrid car. This experience really opened my eyes to the industry. I was able to take on a leadership role on the team during my senior years as the Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems Lead. This role both challenged and inspired me to continue my journey in the automotive industry.

During this time, I also became a Research Assistant for Dr. Ali Emadi, Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Hybrid Powertrain at McMaster University. I demonstrated how powerful modeling and simulating software can help engineers perform vital testing for autonomous capable vehicles, right from a computer. I recently presented my research paper published in the Electrical Power and Energy Conference Journal for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, called "Modeling and simulation of autonomous-capable electric vehicles". Collectively, these experiences have helped bring me to GM.

3)  What is the best part about your job?

The best part about my job is the vast amount of knowledge and skills that I am continuously learning. I love being challenged by new problems in my role as a Control Integration Engineer. I get the opportunity to come up with solutions, which allows me to learn and grow as an engineer. I have always believed that learning is a life-long journey and I love that I can practice it in this position.

4)  How has GM helped you grow?

Besides learning, I feel that one of the most important aspects to the job is teamwork. GM cultivates such a strong team spirit, both within our smaller teams and as a whole. It is evident that every single person on the team holds an important and accountable role and that working collaboratively is what will help us reach results. This process has helped enhance my teamwork skills in ways that have transcended into many areas of my life. 

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

The coolest accomplishment since being at GM was when I helped get our team’s test bench to start working. It was such a great feeling because of all the things I had to learn and all the tedious moments I had to overcome. The final result gave me confidence that I could be successful in my role.

6)  What’s your favourite GM vehicle?

My favourite GM vehicle is my personal car, the 2014 Cadillac ATS! I love it. Second favourite would be the Cadillac CT6!

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

I've always dreamt of driving to the west coast of Canada to Vancouver, BC! And yes, I mean the entire 40-hour drive! I feel that there would be so much to see and learn driving to the other side of this beautiful country.

8)  What do you do on your free time?

On my free time I love working on side projects. I love creating automated systems that work on their own. I find that side projects help me continue to learn and evolve both personally and professionally. When I step away from side projects, I usually opt for a game of basketball or going to the movies. 

9)  What’s the last thing you watched on tv?

The last thing I've watched is the recent Lakers vs. Rockets game. For as long as I can remember I have been a Lakers fan, especially because of Kobe Bryant. I was interested in seeing how Lebron James performed on the court as a Laker. 

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

I would take flight lessons to obtain a pilot's license.