Muammer Yolga, 34
Senior manager software, simulation and systems, AVL List
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
My current job hasn’t changed much from my first job. I started as a software development engineer at AVL. It might be a bit of a cliche; however, it isn’t hard for a young man to be interested in the automotive sector. It’s especially fascinating now as electrification and artificial intelligence take the lead.
Your greatest achievement?
Professionally, it was the day my company budgeted more than 10 million euros toward a patent idea I bought. At the time I was only 24. I’m also proud of building a great team. It’s made up of 25 different nationalities, with 30 percent being female. My team is like family to me.
Born: Istanbul, Turkey
Languages: English, German, Turkish
Education: Master’s degree in system and control, Technical University Eindhoven, Eindhoven, Netherlands; bachelor’s degree in mechatronics, Sabanci University, Tuzla, Turkey
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
There was a time I thought I could work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That might have been OK for my mind, but my body gave up. One day, I woke up and discovered I was blind in my left eye. Now I know I’m not a machine.
What is your current challenge at work?
Trying to align the organizational speed with the fast pace of my great team.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Being able to say, “No,” is one of life’s true luxuries.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
This industry has its own pace, regulations, processes and characters. That’s why it’s important to not give up on the direction you believe in along the way.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I love working with people and always try to bring out the best in them. That’s why any job that has a positive impact on people, their journeys and helps support their innovative skills would fulfill me.
(All AVL List )
2018-present: Senior manager software, simulation and systems, Graz, Austria
2015-2018: Manager software and systems, Graz
2013-2015: Lead engineer software, Graz
2011-2013: Software development engineer, Graz
What do you do to relax?
I listen to music, run and spend time with my friends.
What is your dream location to live?
While I believe it’s always about whom you live with, I would eventually prefer being in a warmer place near the sea.
What is your favorite driving song?
It’s “Dream On” by Aerosmith.
What was your favorite road trip and why?
It was driving on the roads of northern Italy in a 1994 Porsche 911. The Alps were stunning, and the car was amazing.
What was your first car?
A BMW 3 Series.
I haven’t owned a car since I started working in the automotive industry. To get around I use my bicycle and rent a car when I go on vacation.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
I would be a Mercedes G-Class. This SUV reflects the values that are important to me. It is somehow simple, very reliable and will not let you down. I also like that it is made in Graz, which is the city where I spent more than 10 years of my life.