CoE Alumna Cindy Svestka receives SAE award for women leaders

Cindy Svestka, Engineering Group Manager (EGM) for General Motors Powertrain's North American Gas Engine Diagnostics and Evaporative Emissions Group, will receive the J. Cordell Breed Award for Women Leaders during the Society of Automotive Engineers 2014 World Congress. Svestka will receive the award during the society's Awards and Recognitions Ceremony on April 8.

The award recognizes a woman active in the mobility industry who exhibits two or more of the following: Outstanding service to her company and community; excellent leadership as a supervisor, manager, or in team environments; innovation and uniqueness in achieving corporate and personal goals; strong interpersonal skills; important engineering or technical contributions to the mobility industry; and/or has overcome adversity, or participates in and is involved with SAE International activities.

Svestka earned her bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Utah State University, her master's of science in engineering here at Purdue, and an MBA from Indiana University's Kelly School of Business. She worked at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago from 1998 to 2000 before joining General Motors.

Before taking on her current assignment at GM in 2013, Svestka was the EGM for the Cranking Systems & Electronic Sensors group; the Business Process Manager for Powertrain Vehicle Integration, lead fuel system engineer for the launch of the ethanol (E85) flex-fuel systems for the full-size pick-up and SUV applications; energy and drive quality engineer for the Chevrolet HHR; and energy analysis engineer for a future hybrid program. Throughout her time at GM, Svestka has been active in the GM and U.S. Department of Energy co-sponsored Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) series, supporting the 2001 FutureTruck competition, Challenge X, from 2005 to 2008, EcoCAR in 2008-2011, and now EcoCAR 2. For EcoCAR 2, she is a member of the competition's Technical Steering Committee and is event captain for the business program and women in engineering events.