May 06, 2021
CMU Connection Leads to Success at eIQ Mobility
The years spent studying, researching, and growing at CMU forms a camaraderie between students that lasts long past graduation. For Emre Kara (CEE PhD '14) and Sila Berkol Kiliccote (CFA MS '95 and Tepper MBA 1999-2000), their shared CMU connection led to a business partnership at eIQ Mobility—where they work together to simplify and accelerate electrification of fleets. As VP of Engineering, Kara is tasked with building what’s now the leading software platform for fleet electrification assessments.
Kiliccote, the company’s CEO and co-founder, says she knew right away that Kara’s experience at CMU would be an asset to the company. She learned about Kara from Professor Mario Bergés—and was excited to learn that Kara hailed from her homeland of Turkey.
Kiliccote says she actively recruits from CMU—60% of her employees are alumni. And she has a strong relationship with CMU’s Silicon Valley campus, welcoming many students working on Capstone projects. “There is an ease that comes with working with highly skilled, thoughtful, and ethical people. CMU [is] a perfect place to look for these qualities in people we want to work with.”
At eIQ Mobility, Kara is currently focused on building a software platform to help companies transition their vehicle fleets from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles. The platform helps companies to identify the best locations and vehicles to electrify—as well as federal and state incentives that companies may qualify for. It also helps to size the appropriate charging infrastructure to keep fleets operational with a goal to minimize the cost of electricity while maximizing the amount of green energy that goes into each vehicle.
He mentions that his CMU alumni connections have been extremely valuable in the engineering industry. “It definitely opens doors when you initially get on the job market.”
“CEE taught me how to think and how to learn effectively—these traits are [essential to] success in your professional life."
Now that he’s in a position to hire employees for his department, Kara looks for CMU graduates to fill open spots. “I know that if someone has successfully completed their degree, there’s a high chance that they will do great things within my team.”
Kara adds that his education at CEE prepared him well for the work and research challenges of his career. “CEE taught me how to think and how to learn effectively—these traits are [essential to] success in your professional life.
And like Kiliccote, Kara emphasizes the fellowship gained by finding another CMU alumnus in the workplace. “There is a camaraderie. We’ve gone through the same intellectual challenges and processes and that forms an immediate trust.”