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Volunteer Spotlight: Kam Salehi

Posted: June 8, 2022

From competing in college engineering challenges to coaching students, Kam Salehi’s professional journey has made him an integral part of SAE International.

Salehi is currently a lead product integrity engineer at General Motors, where he’s spent the last 7 years of his career, with two years of relevant research at the Pennsylvania State University into lithium-ion battery safety for automotive vehicles prior to assuming his role at GM.

As a student, Salehi competed in the EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future, a three-year collegiate advanced vehicle technology engineering competition established by the United States Department of Energy and General Motors (GM) that challenged students to reduce the environmental impact of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu by improving its fuel efficiency and minimizing emissions. The experience provided a window into hybrid vehicle development for Salehi.

“Having to put the academic knowledge to use in order to build a working hybrid vehicle made me aware of all the benefits working on such projects has,” he said. “Now being at General Motors and [seeing] my alma mater competing in ADCII [Auto Drive Challenge II], I saw an opportunity to be able to share my knowledge and the lessons I learned with the students.”

Salehi first got involved with the AutoDrive program at Penn State during the first AutoDrive challenge, and now serves as the GM advisor for the Penn State team in AutoDrive Challenge II, which is wrapping its first of four years with competition held in Michigan this June. Salehi plans to serve as the team advisor for all four years.

He encourages others to pass on their expertise through volunteer opportunities like the one he’s found with SAE.

“Don’t wait; get involved!” Salehi said. “There are lots of opportunities to volunteer with ADCII, and no matter what role you choose, you get a chance to help broaden the experience, knowledge, and background of your future industry colleagues.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Kam.


June at SAE International is Volunteer Recognition Month, and we’ll be celebrating our volunteers and contributors all month long. Know a story we should tell? Contact Marketing Specialist Maria Graziano at to share the details.