Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Interview: FIRST Robotics Competition w/ Tim Grewe, Director of the FIRST Program, General Motors, and James Bell, Head of Consumer Affairs, General Motors

School will be back in session and the FIRST Programs will begin. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) attracts hundreds of thousands of students each year as well as hundreds of major corporations like Google, Microsoft, Johnson and Johnson, Underwriter's Laboratories, Boeing, Infineon and General Motors who provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorship and support.

This year, General Motors will directly sponsor more than 70 teams in the FIRST Robotics Competition and provide additional sponsorship and event support to over 600 teams in other programs such as the FIRST LEGO League and the FIRST Tech Challenge.

Check out my interview with Tim Grewe, Director of the First Program, General Motors, and James Bell, Head of Consumer Affairs, General Motors as they talk about The FIRST Program, robots, why the program is important, and how its key for recruiting future talent.

About the talent:
Tim Grewe is a General Motors Electrification Chief engineer and Director of The First Program at General Motos. He has designed multiple electrification systems which are utilized in vehicles as large as a 60,000 transit bus down to the Chevy Volt. Tim deeply enjoys interacting with creative youth who go confidently in the direction of their dreams, realizing the life they imagined. Tim has a BSEE from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and MSEE from Syracuse University.

With over 16 years of experience, James Bell is a nationally recognized and authoritative resource within the automotive industry. During his tenure, James has diligently analyzed and effectively communicated automotive data and research to multiple constituencies, including the national and international media, automotive manufacturers, dealers, and the every-day shopper. His multifaceted experience has led to a unique perspective on the industry that easily crosses over the boundaries between the general consumer and passionate enthusiast. Prior to joining GM, James was Vice President of Corporate Communications and Executive Market Analyst for Kelley Blue Book. In this role, he was charged with promoting the brand and driving traffic to its award-winning Web site. Bell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Communications and Political Science from California State University.

Check out the interview below:

The Green Light: I wish the FIRST Program would have been available to me when I was in elementary school because I would have loved to be a part of the program. Did anyone participate in the FIRST Program? If so, what was your experience?

I want to thank General Motors for this interview opportunity! I also want to thank Tim Grewe and James Bell for taking out the time to discuss and answer my questions.

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