Two Michigan students in top 3 for FCA’s Drive for Design competition

AUBURN HILLS–A student from California and two students from Michigan have taken the top spots in this year’s FCA Drive for Design contest. Entries submitted from high school students in grades 10-12 from across the country were reviewed virtually by FCA’s automotive design team and special guest judge Josh Welton. This year’s 10-week competition asked students to sketch a Ram truck of the future.

“All of the entries were impressive,” said Mark Trostle, who leads the Ram Truck division and the Mopar Exterior Design operation for FCA North America. “The work was very focused with a notable attention to detail, as well as their thought process–these are characteristics we look for when we go to hire designers to work for FCA. Automotive design is a growing field and often overlooked by parents and students, our goal is to inspire and change that perspective. There are many career paths available within automotive design where young designers will have the opportunity to create some of the most exciting and technologically advanced products on the road today, as well as create what’s possible for the future.”

Trostle knows firsthand what it’s like to be given an opportunity to excel in this field. In 2013, he introduced Drive for Design, which is based on a contest he won as a high school student. He credits that experience as something that led him to his current professional role, heading the design efforts for some of the most desired vehicles on the road. Today, he’s passing the torch to three promising automotive designers.

The three student winners of the 2020 Drive for Design competition are:

  • First place – Job Skandera, 12th grade, Santa Clara, Calif.
  • Second place – Vincent Piaskowski, 11th grade, Birmingham, Mich.
  • Third place – Alex David Kirschmann, 11th grade, Auburn Hills, Mich.

Second-place winner Vincent Piaskowski is also a second-time winner, placing third in last year’s competition. Piaskowski attends Seaholm High School in Birmingham, while Kirschmann attends Oakland Christian School in Auburn Hills.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, awards for the annual contest were changed to include a more hands-on experience that will include virtual networking and design sketching demonstrations with members of the FCA design team along with electronic creative tools of the trade:

  • First place – Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16, a powerful mobile pen computer with a retail price of $3,500
  • Second and third places – Apple iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, worth about $1,000.
  • Virtual networking and design sketching demonstrations with FCA designers will be planned for all winners

For detailed contest rules and information, visit

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