Last week Wayne State University and the Engineering Alumni Association named Olga Alavanou, Yazaki's Vice President of Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler business units, among its distinguished Hall of Fame. The College of Engineering Hall of Fame honors exemplary members of the Wayne State engineering and computer science alumni. In 2016, three alumni were honored with a membership.
Olga—who graduated with a bachelor's in electrical engineering from Wayne State—has worked for Yazaki North America, Inc. for nearly two decades in various roles, including her current position as executive vice president for Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler business units. She manages Yazaki's electrical and electronic distribution business and is responsible for global customer strategy, development, engineering, quality and manufacturing planning. After joining Yazaki in 1998 as a sales manager in the General Motors Business Unit and advancing through the ranks, Olga served as executive vice president of supply chain management prior to her current assignment.
Olga's 28-year career in the automotive industry began at Ford Motor Company, where she was a product development engineer. She was also part of the management team at Alcoa and United Technologies. Olga also went on to receive her M.B.A. from the University of Detroit Mercy.
"It was our honor to include Olga into our Hall of Fame," said Farshad Fotouhi, Dean of Wayne State University's College of Engineering. "Her contribution to the automotive industry as well as her commitment to women in STEM fields is inspiring. She is a glowing example for our students and future generations."
Wayne State University's College of Engineering Hall of Fame now recognizes 142 honorees since its inception in 1983. The entire class of 2016 Hall of Fame inductees include:
Olga Alavanou, BSEE '88
Executive Vice President
Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler Business Units
Yazaki North America, Inc.
Kathy Kay, BSCS '83
Vice President, Business Technology
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Jeff Yanssens, BSME '83
Buick Lacrosse and Cadillac XTS
The Wayne State University College of Engineering Hall of Fame was founded in 1983 to recognize and honor distinguished alumni who, through their leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation, have made significant industrial, educational and societal contributions to the engineering and computer science professions. The Hall of Fame celebrates the rich history of the College of Engineering and provides exceptional standards by which Wayne State University engineering students can measure success.