Why did you want to work in the auto industry? The auto industry offered the best opportunity to apply engineering and manufacturing learning on the factory floor.

First automotive job: An associate project engineer in 1985 at GM's AC Spark Plug plant in Flint, Mich.

Proudest professional achievement: Participating on the leadership team at Delphi that emerged from bankruptcy with the confidence of customers intact.

Current challenge at work: Handling the pace of growth after the recession.

Dream job: CEO or top management of an auto component or manufacturing company.

On being tested: As a young mechanical engineer, I had some skilled tradesmen test me by taking me up 30 feet in a scissor lift to fix some pipes. The operator intentionally hit the cage on the overhead pipes to spill dust all over me. They thought I would want to clean up and take them to quitting time. I said, "Let's finish the job."

What you do to relax: Garden.

— David Barkholz