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Research Spotlight: Amanda Nummy

Posted: September 19, 2023

When starting a new career, there’s a big question you ask yourself: “What can I do?”

The better question in mobility may be, “What can’t you do?”

Engineer, researcher, and mobility professional Amanda Nummy shared insights behind her beginnings within the automotive industry, as well as her experience with publishing and self-advocacy.

“Advocate for your own goals early on. The biggest piece of advice that I would give my younger self would be to talk more about my goals and my career. Be more proactive about heading in the direction you want, and make sure to build the support network you need. Be your biggest advocate,” Amanda said.

Amanda’s own self-advocacy and focus on alternative energy brought her to General Motors for several years early in her career before she joined Hyundai in 2016. With a degree in polymer, textile, and fiber engineering, she’s applied her skills to a wide variety of applications.

“I've worked in sustainability in a variety of capacities, directly on the battery enclosures for electric vehicles, and also through some more indirect projects where I'm looking at something like replacing paint with a new technology to eliminate painting lines and environmental effects. There's really a broad range of technologies and applications that are available to work on. That's what keeps things interesting for me,” Amanda said.

Her work has opened the door for her exploration of new ideas that have led her down a path to publishing with SAE International.

She’s received positive feedback from fellow battery technology professionals for her technical paper, Development of a New Flammability Test Method: Enabling Material-Level Evaluation of Polymeric Materials for Electric Vehicle Battery Enclosures – something she admits took her by surprise.

“We've been doing this testing the same way for years, and when I presented a new way of doing it, I was preparing myself for a lot of critical feedback, [but instead] what I got was overwhelming support and enthusiasm. People were really excited about it, and we've seen already in the span of just a year that this method truly achieves what it set out to do,” Amanda said.

Her work has impacted the industry for the better. The future of mobility can go in many directions and Amanda and her peers have direct influence over what this change may look like.

“There's a lot of hope in that. I'm not only making the industry better for the environment, but also the future of mobility itself,” she said. “We want to be looking at it [mobility] as an enabler technology to be integrated into the different facets of our lives. Ideally, I would like to see the industry go beyond net zero.”

She cited policy as a vital factor within this conversation. From horses to cars to modern air travel, Amanda emphasized that large technological changes have always been reinforced through legislation.

And a huge part of influencing policy comes from the researchers sharing their findings.  

“Being able to publish my work really accelerated the interest in the use of the technology in the marketplace, and that’s enabled me to continue to build on those efforts,” Amanda said.

SAE’s publication process works to give a platform to the people shaping the industry. As we play our part, professionals like Amanda can help guide technology to better and better advancements.

“I think there's still there's a long way to go, but we're at this point where the future of mobility is still being defined, and so it can be it can be anything we want it to be,” Amanda said.

Learn more about SAE publishing opportunities.

See more of Amanda’s research.